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Vesuvius on fire
13-07-2017 04:37 PM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Vesuvius on fire

With Italy suffering high temperatures and drought, wildfires have broken out including blazes that are ravaging the slopes of Mount Vesuvius near Naples. Using images taken by the Copernicus Sentinel-2B satellite on 12 July 2017, the animation combines different sensor bands to highlight the numerous separate fires around this iconic volcano and the smoke billowing over the surrounding area.

This huge plume of smoke led some to believe that Vesuvius was erupting again. The last time it erupted was back in 1944, but is most famous for the 79 AD eruption that destroyed Pompeii.

The smoke from these fires poses the biggest threat and has forced several evacuations this week. The wooded slopes of Vesuvius form part of the Vesuvio National Park, which was set up in 1995 to protect the volcano and surroundings. Much of the woodland is now destroyed.

Vesuvius is the only active volcano on mainland Europe. The animation also shows another fire and smoke near Positano on the Amalfi coast.

The Sentinel-2 mission is based on a constellation of two identical satellites: Sentinel-2A and Sentinel-2B. Each carries a high-resolution multispectral camera working in 13 wavelength bands for a new perspective on land and vegetation. The combination of high-resolution, novel spectral capabilities, a field of vision covering 290 km and frequent revisit times is providing unprecedented views of Earth. Information from this mission is helping to improve agricultural practices, monitor the world’s forests, detect pollution in lakes and coastal waters, and contribute to disaster mapping.

Credit: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Libya Montes in context
13-07-2017 12:37 PM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Libya Montes in context

This map shows the location of Libya Montes in context of the surrounding region. The region outlined by the larger white box indicates the area imaged during Mars Express orbit 16647 on 21 February 2017. The small box in the centre highlights the focus of the associated image release. In this context image, north is up.

Read the associated article here.

Credit: NASA MGS MOLA Science Team

Libya Montes in 3D
13-07-2017 12:37 PM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Libya Montes in 3D

Read the associated article here.

Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Perspective view of Libya Montes
13-07-2017 12:37 PM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Perspective view of Libya Montes

Perspective view looking along an ancient, dried out river channel in the Libya Montes region close to the equator on Mars. The valley snakes between hummocky mountain terrain and is fed by numerous tributaries arising from rainfall and surface runoff. To the left, part of a co-joined crater can be seen, its smooth floor pockmarked in smaller impact craters.

The oblique perspective view was generated using data from the Mars Express high-resolution stereo camera stereo channels. This scene is part of the region imaged on 21 February 2017 during Mars Express orbit 16647. The main image is centred on 90°E / 1°N. In this orientation north is roughly to the bottom.

Read the associated article here.

Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Libya Montes colour view
13-07-2017 12:37 PM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Libya Montes colour view

Colour view of the Libya Montes region in the equatorial region of Mars, at the boundary between the southern highlands and northern lowlands.

The image was acquired by the Mars Express High Resolution Stereo Camera on 21 February 2017 during orbit 16647. The ground resolution is about 15 m/pixel and the images are centred on 90°E / 1°N. North is to the right in this orientation.

The colour image was created using data from the nadir channel, the field of view which is aligned perpendicular to the surface of Mars, and the camera’s colour channels.

Read the associated article here.

Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Libya Montes topography
13-07-2017 12:37 PM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Libya Montes topography

The colour-coded topographic view shows relative heights and depths of terrain in the Libya Montes region on Mars. As indicated in the key at top right, whites and reds represent the highest terrain, while blue/purple is the lowest.

The color-coded topographic view is based on a digital terrain model of the region, from which the topography of the landscape can be derived.

This region was imaged on 21 February 2017 during Mars Express orbit 16647. The ground resolution is about 15 m/pixel and the images are centred on 90°E / 1°N.

Read the associated article here.

Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Robot meets its masters
13-07-2017 08:57 AM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Robot meets its masters

Seen at ESA’s technical centre in the Netherlands, BepiColombo has completed its final tests in launch configuration, the last time it will be stacked like this before being reassembled at the launch site next year to begin its mission to Mercury.

The day before a final media viewing on 6 July 2017, the flight controllers who will operate the robotic explorer had an opportunity to meet ‘their’ spacecraft for the first time.

The team comprises the engineers and specialists dedicated to BepiColombo. They work at ESA’s mission control centre in Darmstadt, Germany, where teams of experts design and develop the facilities, networks and systems to send commands and receive scientific data from all types of missions.

The visit is an important step to allow the controllers to see the spacecraft and receive briefings from the mission scientists and managers with whom they will work closely throughout the life of BepiColombo.

The team, led by Spacecraft Operations Manager Elsa Montagnon, have been working for the past two years defining flight procedures, building up control systems and conducting the initial tests and rehearsals of procedures that will be used to control BepiColombo during its mission.

More about:
BepiColombo
BepiColombo Operations

Credit: ESA

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