European Space Agency Flickr Update

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Chile’s salt flat
27-05-2016 10:18 AM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Chile's salt flat

The Sentinel-2A satellite takes us to the diverse landscape of the eastern Atacama desert in South America. The region pictured lies around 200km east of the Chilean city of Antofagasta on the Pacific coast (not pictured), and is virtually devoid of vegetation.

At the top of the image we can see part of Chile’s largest salt flat, the Salar de Atacama. With an average elevation of some 2300 m above sea level, it is formed by waters flowing down from the Andes, which, having no drainage outlets, are forced to evaporate, leaving salt deposits.

It is the world’s largest and purest active source of lithium, containing some 30% of the world’s lithium reserve base, and providing almost 30% of the world’s lithium carbonate supply.

The bright turquoise rectangles and squares visible along the top part of the image are evaporation ponds. Subsurface salt brines are pumped from beneath the saline crust in two different areas. In one of them, extracted salt brines have unrivalled concentration levels of potassium and lithium. In the other, the brines obtained contain high concentrations of sulphate and boron.

In the lower right part of the image we can see the Socompa stratovolcano, known for its ‘debris avalanche deposit’ where the land collapsed on its western rim some 7000 years ago. The area has since been partially filled by lava, and we can see dark lava flows around the volcano.

The multispectral instrument on Sentinel-2 uses parts of the infrared spectrum to analyse mineral composition where vegetation is sporadic. In this false-colour image, the intense shades of brown and orange come from the use of an infrared part of the spectrum leading to an exaggeration of colour intensity.

This image – also featured on the Earth from Space video programme – was captured by Sentinel-2A on 8 March. The satellite is the first in the twin satellite Sentinel-2 mission for Europe’s Copernicus programme, and carries a wide-swath high-resolution multispectral imager with 13 spectral bands, for a new angle on our land and vegetation.

Credit: Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data [2016], processed by ESA

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CubeSats competition winners

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CubeSats competition winners
27-05-2016 02:03 PM CEST

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The challenge for the worldwide radio amateur community to start listening out for three new orbiting CubeSats was set on 21 April. ESA’s Education Office published the transmission frequencies of the student-built satellites that were about to be launched as part of the Fly Your Satellite! Programme, and invited the radio amateur community to listen out for them.

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European Space Agency Flickr Update

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Mars Triptych
26-05-2016 01:34 PM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Mars Triptych

Operations image of the week is this triptych that brings together three excellent images of Mars acquired this month by two cameras in space and one in Australia.

The image at left was taken on 22 May by amateur astrophotographer Dylan O’Donnell from his home-built backyard observatory in Byron Bay, New South Wales. On 22 May, Mars was at opposition with respect to Earth, meaning the Sun and Mars were on exact opposite sides of Earth. Mars was also rather nearby, at just 76.3 million km from Earth. To capture his image, he used a Celestron 9.25 inch Edge HD telescope. In a Facebook posting, Dylan noted:

Mars is at opposition tonight, which means its brighter than it will be for another few years, and it’s one of the larger views for many years. Previously I thought the white at the bottom was the southern polar ice cap but a recent Hubble image reveals this is persistent cloud cover. Indeed much of the cloud cover from 12 May seen in the Hubble image, on the right, can still be seen in mine on 22 May.

The image at right is the ESA/NASA Hubble space telescope image that Dylan used for comparison with his own photo, and was acquired on 12 May (just 10 days before the opposition described above) when the planet was 80 million km from Earth, revealing details as small as 32–48 km across.

The image at centre was acquired by the Visual Monitoring Camera on Mars Express about 10 000 kms from the surface at 22:17 GMT on 22 May, some eight hours after Dylan conducted his observation.

With its operational usage having been completed in 2003, the low-resolution camera has until now been used for only outreach and education. Starting this spring, however, it has been upgraded to a full science instrument in recognition of the intrinsic quality of its images, which in particular can support cloud tracking and dust storm monitoring, making significant contributions to planetary science.

On 30 May, Mars will be the closest it has been to Earth in 11 years, at a distance of 75.3 million km. Mars is especially photogenic during opposition because it can be seen fully illuminated by the Sun as viewed from Earth.

Credit: D. O’Donnell – ESA/Mars Express/VMC CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO – ESA/NASA/Hubble

Comet 67P from a distance of 7 km on 25 May 2016
26-05-2016 10:34 AM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Comet 67P from a distance of 7 km on 25 May 2016

Image of comet 67P taken from a distance of 7km by Rosetta’s OSIRIS camera on 25 May 2016.

Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Catwalk show for Couture in Orbit
26-05-2016 10:09 AM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Catwalk show for Couture in Orbit

ESA’s Couture in Orbit project to look at the future of fashion using space materials and technology came to a close with a fashion show at London’s Science Museum on 25 May.

Five leading fashion schools around Europe took part in Couture in Orbit, each assigned a theme, an ESA astronaut and technical and fabric sponsors.

For more information about Couture in Orbit visit the Tumblr page: couture-in-orbit.tumblr.com/

Credit: Barry Macdonald

Catwalk show for Couture in Orbit
26-05-2016 10:09 AM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Catwalk show for Couture in Orbit

ESA’s Couture in Orbit project to look at the future of fashion using space materials and technology came to a close with a fashion show at London’s Science Museum on 25 May.

Five leading fashion schools around Europe took part in Couture in Orbit, each assigned a theme, an ESA astronaut and technical and fabric sponsors.

For more information about Couture in Orbit visit the Tumblr page: couture-in-orbit.tumblr.com/

Credit: Barry Macdonald

Catwalk show for Couture in Orbit
26-05-2016 10:09 AM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Catwalk show for Couture in Orbit

ESA’s Couture in Orbit project to look at the future of fashion using space materials and technology came to a close with a fashion show at London’s Science Museum on 25 May.

Five leading fashion schools around Europe took part in Couture in Orbit, each assigned a theme, an ESA astronaut and technical and fabric sponsors.

For more information about Couture in Orbit visit the Tumblr page: couture-in-orbit.tumblr.com/

Credit: Barry Macdonald

Catwalk show for Couture in Orbit
26-05-2016 10:09 AM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Catwalk show for Couture in Orbit

ESA’s Couture in Orbit project to look at the future of fashion using space materials and technology came to a close with a fashion show at London’s Science Museum on 25 May.

Five leading fashion schools around Europe took part in Couture in Orbit, each assigned a theme, an ESA astronaut and technical and fabric sponsors.

For more information about Couture in Orbit visit the Tumblr page: couture-in-orbit.tumblr.com/

Credit: Barry Macdonald

Catwalk show for Couture in Orbit
26-05-2016 10:09 AM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Catwalk show for Couture in Orbit

ESA’s Couture in Orbit project to look at the future of fashion using space materials and technology came to a close with a fashion show at London’s Science Museum on 25 May.

Five leading fashion schools around Europe took part in Couture in Orbit, each assigned a theme, an ESA astronaut and technical and fabric sponsors.

For more information about Couture in Orbit visit the Tumblr page: couture-in-orbit.tumblr.com/

Credit: Barry Macdonald

Catwalk show for Couture in Orbit
26-05-2016 10:09 AM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Catwalk show for Couture in Orbit

ESA’s Couture in Orbit project to look at the future of fashion using space materials and technology came to a close with a fashion show at London’s Science Museum on 25 May.

Five leading fashion schools around Europe took part in Couture in Orbit, each assigned a theme, an ESA astronaut and technical and fabric sponsors.

For more information about Couture in Orbit visit the Tumblr page: couture-in-orbit.tumblr.com/

Credit: Barry Macdonald

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Couture in Orbit

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Couture in Orbit
26-05-2016 05:31 PM CEST

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Auf der Modenschau „Couture in Orbit“, veranstaltet von dem Science Museum in London und der ESA, haben führende Modeschulen ihre Kollektionen vorgestellt. Aus Deutschland nimmt die ESMOD Berlin International University of Art for Fashion an diesem europaweiten Projekt teil.

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