New Nasa camera provides an ‘EPIC’ view of Earth


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This is what Earth looks like from a million miles away.

The stunning image, which focuses on America, was taken by the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) and is the satellite’s first view of the entire sunlit side of our planet.

It was presented to the White House today, prompting a tweet from President Barack Obama describing it as: ‘A beautiful reminder that we need to protect the only planet we have.’

The blue marble was captured by the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (Epic) and created by combining three separate images to show the Earth in incredible detail.

The camera takes a series of 10 images using different narrowband filters – from ultraviolet to near infrared.

‘This first DSCOVR image of our planet demonstrates the unique and important benefits of Earth observation from space,’ said Nasa Administrator Charlie Bolden.

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DSCOVR orbits the sun at a location called the Lagrange point 1, or L1, It’s from that unique vantage point that the Epic instrument is acquiring science quality images of the entire sunlit face of Earth. Data from Epic will be used to measure ozone and aerosol levels in Earth’s atmosphere, cloud height, vegetation properties and the ultraviolet reflectivity of Earth

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3168520/America-like-ve-never-seen-New-Nasa-camera-provides-EPIC-view-Earth-million-miles-away.html#ixzz3gcucsg7K

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NASA’s “Remastered” View of Europa is the Best Yet


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(Click image to download) This newly-reprocessed color view of Europa was made from images taken by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft in the late 1990s. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute

Europa, Jupiter’s sixth-closest moon, has long been a source of fascination and wonder for astronomers. Not only is it unique amongst its Jovian peers for having a smooth, ice-covered surface, but it is believed that warm, ocean waters exist beneath that crust – which also makes it a strong candidate for extra-terrestrial life.

And now, combining a mosaic of color images with modern image processing techniques, NASA has produced a new version of what is perhaps the best view of Europa yet. And it is quite simply the closest approximation to what the human eye would see, and the next best thing to seeing it up close.

The high-resolution color image, which shows the largest portion of the moon’s surface, was made from images taken by NASA’s Galileo probe. Using the Solid-State Imaging (SSI) experiment, the craft captured these images during it’s first and fourteenth orbit through the Jupiter system, in 1995 and 1998 respectively.

The view was previously released as a mosaic with lower resolution and strongly enhanced color (as seen on the JPL’s website). To create this new version, the images were assembled into a realistic color view of the surface that approximates how Europa would appear to the human eye.

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The cracked, icy surface of Europa. The smoothness of the surface has led many scientists to conclude that oceans exist beneath it. Credit: NASA/JPLredit: NASA

Continue reading NASA’s “Remastered” View of Europa is the Best Yet

Half of universe’s stars are orphans with no galaxy


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Celestial orphans are relatively small, less massive, cooler than our sun, expert says

New observations from suborbital rocket launches and an orbiting observatory show that as many as half the stars in the universe may be orphans with no galaxy scientists said on Thursday. They found that the dim light these stars produce from the far reaches of the cosmos equals the amount coming from all the galaxies.

‘The night sky on a planet around such a star would be profoundly boring and black to human eyes – no other stars, or at least very few, no Milky Way band, only distant galaxies.’                                        – Michael Zemcov, Caltech experimental astrophysicist

The phenomenon of the orphan star has been well known. Astronomers have witnessed tidal streams of stars being stripped away from colliding pairs of galaxies.

The data suggests orphan stars are probably relatively small, less massive and cooler than our Sun, but typical of most stars in the universe, said Caltech experimental astrophysicist Michael Zemcov.

The night sky as seen from Earth is brimming with starlight. But these orphans would be so distant from other stars that a view from one would offer almost complete nothingness.

“The night sky on a planet around such a star would be profoundly boring and black to human eyes – no other stars, or at least very few, no Milky Way band, only distant galaxies. You might be lucky and see your parent galaxy off in the distance like we see Andromeda,” Zemcov said.

Zemcov said scientists have traced the origin of galaxies to about 13.2 billion years ago, 500 million years after the Big Bang that created the universe.

“Galaxies have been forming and interacting continuously since then, with a peak in the star formation rate about two billion years after the Big Bang,” Zemcov said. “You have enough interactions over enough time, and you end up stripping out a lot of stars.”

Source : cbc.ca

China’s Lunar Test Spacecraft Takes Incredible Picture of Earth and Moon Together


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The Chinese lunar test mission Chang’e 5T1 has sent back some amazing and unique views of the Moon’s far side, with the Earth joining in for a cameo in the image above. According to the crew at UnmannedSpaceflight.com the images were taken with the spacecraft’s solar array monitoring camera.

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A closeup of Mare Marginis, a lunar sea that lies on the very edge of the lunar nearside. Credit: Xinhua News, via UnmannedSpacefight.com

The mission launched on October 23 and is taking an eight-day roundtrip flight around the Moon and is now journeying back to Earth. The mission is a test run for Chang’e-5, China’s fourth lunar probe that aims to gather samples from the Moon’s surface, currently set for 2017. Chang’e 5T1 will return to Earth on October 31.

The test flight orbit had a perigee of 209 kilometers and reached an apogee of about 380,000 kilometers, swinging halfway around the Moon, but did not enter lunar orbit.

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A view of Earth on October 24, 2014, from the Chinese Chang’e-5 T1 spacecraft.

Source : universe today