ESA - European Space Agency


Bringing the wonders of the Universe and Earth to the palm of your hands. Use #yourESA for collaboration. 🌍 @ESA_Earth
What will we eat on the Moon? 🌙🍔🥩 Astronauts will have to start producing their own food on the Moon, transporting long-shelf-life food from Earth is not sustainable in the long run. Plenty of experiments have been conducted to see whether plants can grow in space. However, scientists wanted to know: would it be possible to cultivate meat in space? We supported two research teams to find out, and their analysis showed that, yes, cultivating meat in space does seem possible. However, there are a few things we still need to understand, such as how cells will adapt to altered gravity and radiation. Cultivated meat is made by feeding animal cells with nutrients. Ideally, we would have a closed-loop system where these nutrients are recovered from metabolic waste and used again to cultivate more meat. This would allow us to become more self-sufficient on the Moon and Mars. Researchers are actively working to find ways of making this happen! 📹 @europeanspaceagency
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3 hours ago
The Universe is filled with colours 🤩 @esawebb and @hubbleesa have united to study an expansive galaxy cluster known as MACS0416. The resulting panchromatic image combines visible and infrared light to assemble one of the most comprehensive views of the Universe ever obtained. Located about 4.3 billion light-years from Earth, MACS0416 is a pair of colliding galaxy clusters that will eventually combine to form an even bigger cluster. The image reveals a wealth of details that are only possible by combining the power of both space telescopes. It includes a bounty of galaxies outside the cluster and a sprinkling of sources that vary over time, likely due to gravitational lensing — the distortion and amplification of light from distant background sources. Those colours give clues to galaxy distances: the bluest galaxies are relatively nearby and often show intense star formation, as best detected by Hubble, while the redder galaxies tend to be more distant and are best detected by Webb. Some galaxies also appear very red because they contain copious amounts of cosmic dust that tends to absorb bluer colours of starlight. The Webb observations identified 14 objects varying in observed brightness over time, known as transients, across the field of view. Among the transients identified, one stood out in particular. Located in a galaxy that existed about 3 billion years after the Big Bang, it is magnified by a factor of at least 4000. The team nicknamed the star system Mothra in a nod to its ‘monster nature’, being both extremely bright and extremely magnified. It joins another lensed star that the researchers previously identified and that they nicknamed Godzilla. 📸 @NASA , @europeanspaceagency , @canadianspaceagency , @space_telescopes , J. Diego (@ifca_csic_uc ), J. D’Silva (@universitywa ), A. Koekemoer (STScI), J. Summers & R. Windhorst (@arizonastateuniversity ), and H. Yan (@mizzou ). 🎶 Stellardrone - Twilight 🎶 Stellardrone - The Night Sky in Motion #Hubble #Webb #WebbSeesFarther
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Here's some light for your menorah 🕎 With this Hubble carrousel of V838 Monocerotis we want to wish everyone celebrating a happy Hanukkah! The unusual variable star V838 Monocerotis, a previously inconspicuous star, underwent an outburst early in 2002, during which it temporarily increased in brightness to become 600 000 times more luminous than our Sun. Light from this sudden eruption is illuminating the interstellar dust surrounding the star, producing the most spectacular ‘light echo’ in the history of astronomy. As light from the eruption propagates outward into the dust, it is scattered by the dust and travels to Earth. The scattered light has travelled an extra distance in comparison to light that reaches Earth directly from the stellar outburst. Such a light echo is the optical analogue of the sound echo produced when an Alpine yodel is reflected from the surrounding mountainsides. Hubble observations have been used to determine the distance to V838 Monocerotis, using a technique based on the polarisation of the reflected light. Hubble has polarising filters that only pass light that vibrates at certain angles. This method yields a distance of 20 000 light-years for V838 Monocerotis, suggesting that, during its outburst, it was one of the brightest stars in the entire Milky Way. Although the reason for the eruption is still unclear, some astronomers have suggested it might have resulted from the collision of two stars. The morphing sequence of six images reveals dramatic changes in the way a brilliant flash of light from the star is reflecting off surrounding dusty cloud structures. The effect, called a light echo, has been unveiling never-before-seen dust patterns ever since the star suddenly brightened for several weeks in early 2002. 📸 @NASA , @europeanspaceagency and the Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/@space_telescopes ); @creativecommons CC BY 4.0 #Hubble #V838Monocerotis #HappyHanukkah
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Hello For this post I'm particularly proud to present to you a collaboration with the European Space Agency @europeanspaceagency ! For those who don't know me, let me introduce myself, I am Giorgia Sanna @gio_sanna , I live in Sardinia and I always have my nose turned up, which is why astrophotography has always fascinated me, but only recently 6 years ago, thanks also to my beautiful island full of places with little light pollution, I can explore this world fascinating where every day I learn something new! As much as I want to share with you some photos, That I took this summer and beyond 🤩.. some of which are unpublished! I hope you like them, Enjoy your viewing! 1. Venus Moon and Jupiter alignment 03/23/23 2. Partial lunar eclipse 6% 10/28/23 3. Full moon 6/04/23 on Mount Arcuentu 4. full moon of 27/11/23 5. The Old Moon in the New Moon's arms of 11/17/23 6. Milky Way in the most famous Juniper of the largest desert in Europe Piscinas Beach Sardinia 7. Milky Way in the Dunes of Is Arenas Biancas 8. Milky Way in Perde Liana, the most famous heel in Ogliastra 9. Green ray at sunset West Coast of Sardinia 10. the Sun and its spots taken this summer on the West Coast of Sardinia . . . . #il _dream . . . . . #astro #astrophotography #nightsky #nightphotography _exclusive #yourESA #milkyway #astrophotographyworld #fullmoon
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3 days ago
“Anyone who has ever sat in a train as it rushes through a dark night will know that sometimes there are long minutes when the coaches slide smoothly along without so much as a shudder. All rustle and bustle cease and the sound of the wheels becomes a soothing, peaceful melody. The coaches no longer seem to run on rails and sleepers but glide into space.” When Nobel Prize laureate Selma Lagerlöf spoke these words during the Nobel Prize banquet she was not to know that the gold medal she had been awarded hours earlier would years later be gliding into space, not metaphorically but literally. Next year Lagerlöf’s Nobel Prize medal will be taking a very special trip up to the @iss with @esaastro_marcus . Back on Earth our 2023 Nobel Prize laureates will also be forging a special connection to space – when they take part in a live call with the International Space Station and @europeanspaceagency astronaut @astro_andreas . Join us on 11 December to watch that call live. For more information visit the link in our bio. Photo: Sweden from space. Credit: NASA/ESA-Andreas Mogensen
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4 days ago
How do you shake it? 🪇 The Hera mission team needs to become certain their asteroid-explorer spacecraft is robust enough to be flown into space aboard a rocket. To do this, they took their spacecraft and shook it bodily, replicating the kind of vibrations it will experience on the day of launch. The spacecraft is seen here on the our Test Centre’s 640kN QUAD shaker, whose metal plate is moved vertically by a quartet of water-cooled electrodynamic shakers. The forward-facing side of Hera hosts the mission’s 1.13-m-diameter main antenna. Also seen are four of the red-tag-covered thrusters found on all corners of the spacecraft, which will manoeuvre Hera through space. These tags were removed before the shaker was run as it can be seen in the video. At approximately 3000 sq. m in area, our Test Centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, is the largest satellite testing establishment in Europe, equipped with facilities to simulate every aspect of launch conditions and the orbital environment. Hera is Europe’s contribution to an international planetary defence experiment. Following the DART mission’s impact with the Dimorphos asteroid last year – modifying its orbit and sending a plume of debris thousands of kilometres out into space – Hera will return to Dimorphos to perform a close-up survey of the crater left by DART. The mission will also measure Dimorphos’ mass and make-up, along with that of the larger Didymos asteroid that Dimorphos orbits around. Hera is scheduled for launch in October 2024, to rendezvous with the Didymos and Dimorphos asteroid system about two years later. 📸 @europeanspaceagency - @sarahjanemuirheadphotography 📹 ESA #HeraMission #InTheCleanRoom #PlanetaryDefence
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5 days ago
Hubble time! 🌌 This luminous tangle of stars and dust is the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1385, that lies about 30 million light-years from Earth. The same galaxy has been captured by @hubbleesa before (as seen in the videos), but the two images are notably different. This more recent image has far more pinkish-red and umber shades, whereas the former image was dominated by cool blues. This chromatic variation is not just a creative choice, but also a technical one, made in order to represent the different number and type of filters used to collect the data that were used to make the respective images. It is understandable to be a bit confused as to how the same galaxy, imaged twice by the same telescope, could be represented so differently in two different images. The reason is that — like all powerful telescopes used by professional astronomers for scientific research — Hubble is equipped with a range of filters. These highly specialised components have little similarity to filters used on social media: those software-powered filters are added after the image has been taken, and cause information to be lost from the image as certain colours are exaggerated or reduced for aesthetic effect. In contrast, telescope filters are pieces of physical hardware that only allow very specific wavelengths of light to enter the telescope as the data are being collected. This does cause light to be lost, but means that astronomers can probe extremely specific parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. This is very useful for a number of reasons; for example, physical processes within certain elements emit light at very specific wavelengths, and filters can be optimised to these wavelengths. Take a look at this image and the earlier image of NGC 1385. What are the differences? Can you see the extra detail (due to extra filters being used) in the updated version? 📸 @europeanspaceagency / @hubbleesa & @NASA , R. Chandar, J. Lee and the PHANGS-HST team; @creativecommons CC BY 4.0 #Hubble #Galaxy #Fornax
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6 days ago
Congrats to the team‼️ 🚀 Six years of hard work and dedication paid off in spectacular fashion, as the Educational Irish Research Satellite, @eirsat1 , successfully blasted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, on 1 December 2023. Hitching a ride on a Space-X Falcon-9 launcher, the tiny satellite – measuring just 10.7cm x 10.7cm x 22.7cm – has now made history as Ireland’s first satellite! EIRSAT-1 was designed, built, and tested by students from @universitycollegedublin (UCD) participating in our Academy’s Fly Your Satellite! programme, a hands-on initiative supporting university student teams to develop their own satellites according to professional standards. We provided the launch opportunity itself. Our experts have been on-hand throughout the satellite’s development to offer training and guidance to dozens of UCD students. Their learning journey also included test campaigns at our Education’s CubeSat Support Facility in Belgium, and dedicated spacecraft communications sessions both at our Academy’s Training and Learning Centre and at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt Germany, to learn Ireland’s first spacecraft operations procedures. From low earth orbit EIRSAT-1 will carry out three main experiments, which were built from scratch by the students: - GMOD, a detector to study gamma ray bursts, which are the most luminous explosions in the universe and occur when a massive star dies or two stars collide. - EMOD, an experiment to see how a thermal treatment protects the surface of a satellite when in space. - WBC, an experiment to test a new method of using Earth’s magnetic field to change a satellite’s orientation in space. Following EIRSAT-1’s deployment to orbit, the student team established contact with the satellite and now they have started operations from their dedicated ground control facility, also entirely operated by students and located at UCD in Dublin. 📹 @spacex 📸 SpaceX 📹 @europeanspaceagency #ESAEducation #EIRSAT1 #FlyYourSatellite
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On top of the world I didn’t get to see the Himalayan Mountains during my first mission in 2015. Therefore, it has been one of my goals for this mission. Today, I saw the Himalayan Mountains on a clear and cloudless day, and I even believe I may have successfully photographed Mount Everest. However, I’m not entirely sure. I think Mount Everest is the peak with a few clouds, which I marked in the last picture. Can anyone confirm this? Or point out any of the other peaks? / Verdens tag oppefra Jeg nåede ikke at se Himalayabjergene i løbet af min første mission i 2015. Det har derfor været et af min mål i denne mission. I dag så jeg Himalayabjergene på en klar og skyfri dag og jeg tror måske endda det er lykkedes mig at fotografere Mount Everest. Men jeg er ikke helt sikker. Jeg tror Mount Everest er bjergtoppen hvor der er en lille smule skyer, som jeg prøvede at markere i det sidste billede. Er der nogen der kan bekræfte det? Eller udpege nogen af de andre bjergtoppe? 🗻 #HelpAndyInSpace #SpaceFromEarth #Himalaya #huginn #WhatYouLoveYouWillProtect
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8 days ago
How to capture Star Trails ✨ Star trails are like cosmic brushstrokes painted by the Earth’s rotation as it dances through the night. In long-exposure photos, stars transform into streaks of light, capturing the enchanting journey they make across the sky. In this carrousel you can see some of the images I’ve taken in the last year using the techniques and tips that I will share below! 1. Choose Your Shooting Direction: Opt for north in the northern hemisphere or south in the southern hemisphere for perfect circle trails. However, stars look fantastic in any direction, so focus on finding a compelling composition. ( I use a compass to figure out the direction and align it with the camera) 2. Focus Technique: Use live view on your camera to find precise focus near infinity. Slightly defocus the stars to enhance color variation in your images. 3. Optimize ISO and Aperture: Achieve richer star colors by using a lower ISO and slower aperture settings. 4. Balancing Settings for Efficiency: Employ slower apertures and lower ISO, compensating with longer exposures. This approach minimizes the total number of images, saving memory space and speeding up processing time. Alternatively you can just shoot a normal Timelapse and use these images to create a final star trail image but try not to over expose as we really don’t want the stars to be burnt out and missing their beautiful colours! 5. Utilize Star Stax for Stacking: Download the free Star Stax program to efficiently stack your images for the final star trail. Follow up with minor adjustments and clean-up in Photoshop to remove trails from planes and satellites. 6. Extended Shooting Duration: Aim for star trail images spanning 4-7 hours for more complete and mesmerizing trails. 7. Foreground Considerations: Capture your foreground during the blue hour for a cleaner look, or stack separate images for noise reduction. Use Photoshop to seamlessly blend the foreground with the final star trail image. #astro #astrophotography #nightsky #nightphotography
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A Martian hourglass 🔴 This unusual ‘hourglass’-shaped structure is located in Promethei Terra at the eastern rim of the Hellas Basin, at about latitude 38º South and longitude 104º East. A so-called ‘block’ glacier, an ice stream with a large amount of scree (small rocks of assorted sizes), flowed from a flank of the massif into a bowl-shaped impact crater, nine kilometres wide, which has been filled nearly to the rim. The block glacier then flowed into a 17 kilometre wide crater, 500 metres below, taking advantage of downward slope. The Martian surface at mid latitudes and even near the equator was being shaped by glaciers until a few million years ago. Today, water ice could still exist at shallow depths as ‘fossil’ remnants of these glaciers. Numerous concentric ridges are visible and appear similar to ‘end moraines’ (hills of scree that form as an extending glacier pushes material ahead and remain after its retreat). Furthermore, there are parallel stripe-like structures that are interpreted as middle moraines, displaying the flow direction of these glaciers. In locations where glaciers creep over steep terrain, cracks are visible. Similarly in terrestrial glaciers, cracks are formed when tensile stress within the ice increases due to greater slope and uneven terrain. Further glacial features include elongated grooves, extending several kilometres, and elongated hills observed on the surface of mountain ridges some distance from potentially glaciated areas. These hills could be analogous to so-called ‘drumlins’, structures formed beneath ice by glacial flow resulting in compression and accumulation of abraded material. On Earth, drumlins appear in formerly glaciated regions such as Germany’s Bavarian alpine uplands. These glacial structures are seen in a consistent spatial context, confirming the belief that scientists are really seeing former glaciers on Mars. 📸 @europeanspaceagency / @germanaerospacecenter / @fu_berlin ; @creativecommons CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO 📸 @NASA /MGS/MOLA #Mars #MarsExpress #CreativeCommons
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Hubble time! 🌌 This image features the spiral galaxy NGC 941, which lies about 55 million light-years from Earth. The beautiful NGC 941 is undoubtedly the main attraction in this image; however, this hazy-looking galaxy was not the motivation for the data being collected. That distinction belongs to an astronomical event that took place in the galaxy years before: the supernova SN 2005ad. The location of this faded supernova was observed as part of a study of multiple hydrogen-rich supernovae, also known as type II supernovae, in order to better understand the environments in which certain types of supernovae take place. Whilst the study was conducted by professional astronomers, SN 2005ad itself owes its discovery to a distinguished amateur astronomer named Kōichi Itagaki, who has discovered over 170 supernovae. This might raise the question of how an amateur astronomer could spot something like a supernova event before professional astronomers — who have access to telescopes such as Hubble. The answer is in part that the detection of supernovae is a mixture of skill, facilities and luck. Most astronomical events happen over time spans that dwarf human lifetimes, but supernova explosions are extraordinarily fast, appearing very suddenly and then brightening and dimming over a period of days or weeks. Another aspect is that professional astronomers often do not spend that much time actually observing. There is a great deal of competition for time on telescopes such as Hubble, and then data from a few hours of observations might take weeks, months, or sometimes even years to process and analyse to their full potential. So many supernovae are spotted by skilful amateurs such as Itagaki that there is actually an online system set up for reporting them (the Transient Name Server). This is a big help to professional astronomers, because with supernova events time is truly of the essence. 📸 @europeanspaceagency / @hubbleesa & @NASA , C. Kilpatrick; @creativecommons CC BY 4.0 #Hubble #Galaxy #Cetus
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