European Space Agency Flickr Update


Ariane 5 liftoff
06-04-2018 04:06 PM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Ariane 5 liftoff

On 5 April 2018, Ariane 5 flight VA242 lifted off from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana and delivered two telecom satellites, DSN-1/Superbird-8 and Hylas-4, into their planned orbits.

Credits:: 2018 ESA-CNES-Arianespace / Optique vidéo du CSG – S. Martin

Galaxy cluster MACS j1149.5+223
06-04-2018 01:29 PM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Galaxy cluster MACS j1149.5+223

This image shows the huge galaxy cluster MACS J1149.5+223, whose light took over 5 billion years to reach us.

The huge mass of the cluster is bending the light from more distant objects. The light from these objects has been magnified and distorted due to gravitational lensing. The same effect is creating multiple images of the same distant objects.

Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have found the most distant star ever discovered. The hot blue star existed only 4.4 billion years after the Big Bang. This discovery provides new insight into the formation and evolution of stars in the early Universe, the constituents of galaxy clusters and also on the nature of dark matter.

Go to Hubble uses cosmic lens to discover most distant star ever observed [heic1525] to learn more.

Credits: NASA, ESA, S. Rodney (John Hopkins University, USA) and the FrontierSN team; T. Treu (University of California Los Angeles, USA), P. Kelly (University of California Berkeley, USA) and the GLASS team; J. Lotz (STScI) and the Frontier Fields team; M. Postman (STScI) and the CLASH team; and Z. Levay (STScI)

Lake Baikal, Siberia
06-04-2018 10:46 AM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Lake Baikal, Siberia

The Copernicus Sentinel-3A satellite takes us over southern Siberia and the world’s largest freshwater lake: Lake Baikal.

Imaged on 14 March 2017, this deep lake is covered by ice. The entire lake is typically covered between January and May and in some places the ice can be more than 2 m thick.

Holding around 23 000 cubic km of water, Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake by volume in the world. It contains about 20% of the world’s fresh surface water, which is more than all of the North American Great Lakes put together. Baikal water is extraordinarily clean, transparent and saturated with oxygen. The high transparency is thanks to numerous aquatic organisms purifying the water and making it similar to distilled water.

At 25 million years old, this remarkable lake is also the oldest in the world. It is known as the Galapagos of Russia because its age and isolation have produced rich and unusual water wildlife, which is of exceptional value to evolutionary science. Occasionally, new species are discovered and it has been estimated that we know of only 70–80% of all the species inhabiting the lake. For these reasons, in 1996 it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The lake is surrounded by mountain-taiga landscapes, which are also protected to preserve their natural state.

This image is also featured on the Earth from Space video programme.

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

Cosmic cloning
04-04-2018 04:13 PM CEST

europeanspaceagency posted a photo:

Cosmic cloning

This image is packed full of galaxies! A keen eye can spot exquisite ellipticals and spectacular spirals, seen at various orientations: edge-on with the plane of the galaxy visible, face-on to show off magnificent spiral arms, and everything in between. The vast majority of these specks are galaxies, but to spot a foreground star from our own galaxy, you can look for a point of light with tell-tale diffraction spikes.

The most alluring subject sits at the centre of the frame. With the charming name of SDSSJ0146-0929, the glowing central bulge is a galaxy cluster — a monstrous collection of hundreds of galaxies all shackled together in the unyielding grip of gravity. The mass of this galaxy cluster is large enough to severely distort the spacetime around it, creating the odd, looping curves that almost encircle the cluster.

These graceful arcs are examples of a cosmic phenomenon known as an Einstein ring. The ring is created as the light from a distant objects, like galaxies, pass by an extremely large mass, like this galaxy cluster. In this image, the light from a background galaxy is diverted and distorted around the massive intervening cluster and forced to travel along many different light paths towards Earth, making it seem as though the galaxy is in several places at once.

Credits: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt


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