Thanks to a break in the dusty ‘weather’ over the giant Hellas Basin at the beginning of this year, ESA’s Mars Express was able to look down into the seven kilometre-deep basin and onto the frosty surface of Hellas Chaos.
Hellas Basin sits in the southern highlands of Mars and is one of the Solar System’s largest impact basins, with a diameter of 2300 km. It is thought to have formed some 3.8–4.1 billion years ago, during the heavy bombardment that subjected all the inner Solar Sys [...]
Two donuts of seething radiation that surround Earth, called the Van Allen radiation belts, have been found to contain a nearly impenetrable barrier that prevents the fastest, most energetic electrons from reaching Earth.
The Van Allen belts are a collection of charged particles, gathered in place by Earth’s magnetic field. They can wax and wane in response to incoming energy from the sun, sometimes swelling up enough to expose satellites in low-Earth orbit to damaging radiation. The discov [...]
The International Space Station is operating at full capacity as the six-member Expedition 42 crew ramps up new science experiments by setting up research hardware.
Commander Barry Wilmore partnered up with new Flight Engineer Terry Virts in Japan’s Kibo laboratory module setting up a nanosatellite deployer known as Cyclops. Wilmore then moved on to science freezer maintenance while Virts worked on the Aniso Tubule botany study and measured air velocity in Kibo.
Italian astronaut Samanth [...]
The MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile has captured a richly colourful view of the bright star cluster NGC 3532. Some of the stars still shine with a hot bluish colour, but many of the more massive ones have become red giants and glow with a rich orange hue.
NGC 3532 is a bright open cluster located some 1300 light-years away in the constellation of Carina (The Keel of the ship Argo). It is informally known as the Wishing Well Cluster, as it resembles scatter [...]
The galaxy cutting dramatically across the frame of this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is a slightly warped dwarf galaxy known as UGC 1281. Seen here from an edge-on perspective, this galaxy lies roughly 18 million light-years away in the constellation of Triangulum (The Triangle).
The bright companion to the lower left of UGC 1281 is the small galaxy PGC 6700, officially known as 2MASX J01493473+3234464. Other prominent stars belonging to our own galaxy, the Milky Way, and more dista [...]
The International Space Station’s 3-D printer has manufactured the first 3-D printed object in space, paving the way to future long-term space expeditions.
"This first print is the initial step toward providing an on-demand machine shop capability away from Earth," said Niki Werkheiser, project manager for the International Space Station 3-D Printer at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. "The space station is the only laboratory where we can fully test this technolog [...]
A 24 minute sequence from top to bottom, this intriguing series of telescopic frames tracks the occultation of Io by Callisto, two of Jupiter's Galilean moons, from San Pietro Polesine, Italy, planet Earth. A challenging observational project using a small telescope, the two contrasting Jovian worlds are both slightly larger than Earth's Moon.
In fact, bright, volcanic Io and dark, cratered Callisto are about 3,640 and 4,820 kilometers in diameter respectively. With Earth itself now crossing [...]
The International Space Station’s population stands at six after three new crew members arrived Sunday night. After a six hour ride that began at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Soyuz Commander Anton Shkaplerov and Flight Engineers Terry Virts and Samantha Cristoforetti docked to the Rassvet module beginning a 5-1/2 month stay at the orbital laboratory.
Monday was a day of rest for all six Expedition 42 crew members. However, it was back to work Tuesday as the crew was scattered arou [...]