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Images of the month

September 2012

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"It is better to see once than hear a hundred times."

This stunning irregular galaxy really looks strange and unusual but in fact, the galaxy NGC 6745 is the result of a collision between two galaxies, or more precisely an interaction, as a traverse of one by the other.
These two galaxies are crossed there are only a few hundred million years, can still be seen in the lower right edge of the image, a part of the second galaxy, the smaller being away, tearing by the way, a part of the large galaxy.
The great galaxy was before the cosmic collision, a spiral galaxy. It will take a few hundred million years to repair the tissue stellar and regain its original spiral.
It is likely that no star is back in a collision with another, however, gas, dust and ambient magnetic fields have interacted them directly to have the appearance of a cloud stretched by the wind.
The structures of the two galaxies have been altered by the "wind" of gravity.
The great galaxy had to absorb most of the interstellar medium of the small galaxy as it passes within it.
It is likely that the small galaxy passing was stripped of its gas and its interstellar dust.


Gravity that has torn the tissue stellar of the great galaxy, compressed dust and gas which is currently in the process of young stars born 10 million years (bottom right forming a bridge between the two galaxies).
Besides, we still see the traces in the form of a tear along NGC 6745. NGC 6745 spans about 80,000 light-years long, and lies in the constellation Lyra, 207 million light-years from the Milky Way, our Galaxy.

Image: Image of collision insightful.
Collision and interaction of galaxies in NGC 6745 as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope.
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) - ESA/Hubble Collaboration Acknowledgment: Roger Lynds (KPNO/NOAO) et al.

 Colliding galaxy NGC 6745

January 2012


The International Space Station photographed in perspective, before the Moon, January 4, 2012 from Houston.
ISS running on a low orbit, 350 to 400 km altitude as readjustments of its orbit is nearly circular around the earth, it rises from time to time before the Moon which it is located between 363,300 km and 405,500 km from Earth. The International Space Station is discoverable, in the night sky, quite easily, because it reflects the intense rays of the sun, with an area of ​​2500 m2 of solar panels, which provide 110 kilowatts of electricity it needs to function.
With 400 tons of technology, ISS is the largest man-made objects orbiting Earth.
 The satellite measures 110 meters wide, 74 meters long and 30 meters high. Its rapid movement in the sky at a speed of 27 700 km/h or 7.7 km/s, corresponds roughly to a shift of one degree per second.
ISS made ​​15 times a day around the Earth, which corresponds roughly to one turn every 90 minutes.
This type of image can be captured again until 2020, because it is possible that by that date, the station is deorbited.


Controlled de-orbiting, of the station is the responsibility of NASA. It is envisaged that a cargo ship back into the lower layers of the atmosphere so that it disintegrates into small pieces and falls on Earth.

Image: image taken Jan. 4, 2012 by NASA from Houston © NASA

 ISS in front of the Moon

December 2011


The thin line of Saturn's rings is split Tethys and Titan, taken by the Cassini spacecraft.
The largest moon, on the left of the image is Titan, with its 5150 km in diameter.
Tethys with its 1062 km in diameter, is near the center of the image. The sunny side looks toward Saturn. The image was taken in visible light by the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera, December 7, 2011. The image was captured at a distance of approximately 2.2 million kilometers of Tethys and 3.1 million kilometers of Titan.
Tethys, has here the appearance of a golf ball. The image resolution is 13 km per pixel on Tethys and 19 km for Titan.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency.


The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

Image: Titan, Saturn's largest moon, is the second largest satellite in the Solar System. Titan is larger than Mercury or Pluto. Tethys is the fifth moon of Saturn, in size.

Nota: Ganymede is the largest moon of Jupiter, but also the solar system.
 Tethys and Titan seen by Cassini

September 2011


This beautiful detailed image shows remarkable detail near the central region of a sunspot.
This is the finest image ever obtained of the solar surface. It was conducted in 2002 with the Swedish Solar Telescope from the island of La Palma, Canary Islands.
In this detailed view, we see granules resembling corn kernels on an ear.
This resolution was achieved using sophisticated adaptive optics, a technique paving and digital processing to counter the effect of disrupting Earth's atmosphere.


Image: Credit: SST, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

 Surface detail of the Sun

June 2011


A magnetic storm caused by a spectacular solar flare was observed by NASA.
"A great cloud of particles rose rapidly and then fell back, covering an area that represents nearly half of the solar surface," said NASA in a statement.
Particles were ejected solar material into space and travel at 1400 km/s depending on the model of NASA. No solar flare of similar magnitude had been observed since 2006, according to U.S. National Weather Service (NWS).
The eruption peaked at 5:41 UTC.


As she has not held directly toward Earth, its effects should remain "relatively low", according to NASA.

Image: spectacular image of the solar flare of 7 June 2011. The spectacular eruption that hit the surface of the Sun June 7, 2011 was filmed live by satellites Solar SDO, Stereo and Soho.

 solar flare of 7 June 2011

May 2011


The shuttles have contributed greatly to building the international space station, during the decade 2000-2010. We see this exceptional image, the space shuttle Endeavour docked with the International Space Station.
May 23, she brought back to Earth, Russian cosmonaut Dmitri Kondratyev, Cady Coleman, NASA astronaut Paolo Nespoli and the European Space Agency.
The last 3 spacecraft reach end of life, worn by many returned to the atmosphere and the hundreds of millions of kilometers.
The shuttles Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour completed their fabulous careers. Discovery completed its 39th and last mission in February 2011 and made ​​his final return to Earth, March 9, 2011 by landing at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, at 11:57.
It is on display at the National Air and Space Museum. Space Shuttle Endeavour finally laid in May 2011, on the trail from Cape Canaveral in Florida.


During his 16-day mission, she made a last visit to the International Space Station. Since its commissioning in 1992, space shuttle Endeavour will have carried out 25 flights from a total of 299 days in space. Space Shuttle Discovery, the third space shuttle first flew on 30 August 1984. Retired since March 9, 2011, she realized the orbiting Hubble Telescope and the launch of the Ulysses probe.
She was once pegged to the old station Mir and the ISS to five times. It has also deployed 26 satellites. As for the space shuttle Atlantis, it will make its final departure, July 8, 2011.

Image: image of Space Shuttle Endeavour docked with the International Space Station, and the ATC, on the far right, the automatic European cargo spacecraft. Image taken by Soyuz TMA-20 en route to Earth, bringing astronauts.

 International Space Station

February 2011


On this beautiful picture of the 4 large telescopes of the VLT, taken in Chile, we recognize in from the left, the diagonal band of light called the zodiacal light, which is the reflection of sunlight on atmospheric dust.
The bright white dot on the left, just above the horizon, is Venus. To the right of Venus, we recognize the arch of the Milky Way.


Under the arch of the Milky Way, there are the Great and Small Magellanic Clouds, and the right constellation of Orion, surrounded by the red ring of Barnard's Loop. The orange spot above the second telescope, the moon, which is adorned with a beautiful copper color.

 Milky Way in Chile

Image: Credit: Yuri Beletsky (ESO)

March 2009


The Aral Sea is situated in Central Asia, on horseback on two countries, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
This big inner sea withdrew in several separate reservoirs, it was transformed into a salt lake, shrinking regularly during the second half of the 20th century.
Waters of two main rivers feeding the sea, the Amu-Darya in the South, and the Syr-Daria in the northeast, served for irrigating the cotton plantations of the region, what transformed the Aral Sea into a desert called Deserted of the Aralkoum.
Of the Aral Sea there are in 2009 only 2 lakes, one in the South and the other one even smaller in the North. The retreat of the Aral Sea added in some years of successive droughts, left ports in full lands annihilating the business of the fishing. The bed of the Aral Sea occupies a surface about 65 000 km2, more half of which was transformed into desert. The constant winds and the poor vegetable cover provoke an intense erosion creating small dunes of sand from 5 to 6 km, very fast. Sandstorms, more and more frequent on the region of the Aral Sea, have grave impacts on the fauna and the flora.


The major stake for the 50 million persons of the region, is to dedicate means to a rational management of the water in all this pond. The big brown spot in the South of the Aral Sea is the delta of the Amu-Darya, the region of extensive agriculture. Uzbekistan, country of 27 million inhabitants is the second world cotton exporter after the United States today. The cotton is its first economic resource. The rehabilitation of the Aral Sea began in 2001 with the construction of a work in concrete 13 km long allowing to contain durably waters of Small the Lake Aral. Waters of the part the North of the Aral Sea rose of 12 m to 42 m. Its surface increased by 30 %. The salinity came down again at an acceptable level for the reintroduction of the disappeared sorts of fishes. The fishing started again and we assist a climatic revival with an effect of dew and the more frequent rains.

Image: Below to the right of the image, the desert of Kyzyl-Koum. embellishes with images realized on March 6th, 2009 by the camera MERIS (Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer) of the satellite Envisat. source: ESA

 Aral Sea dried

December 2008


This image of 1st December 2008, offers beautiful colors of a spectacular sunset Australian surrounded by clouds reflected in water from Brisbane on the central coast of New South Wales, Australia.
There is also a remarkable conjunction of the crescent Moon, Venus and Jupiter close together playing to form a smiley in the twilight.
The astronomer Mike Salway took these two bright planets and the Moon around skygazers, along a soggy shore, braving the rain and mosquitoes.
This perspective, which dominates the horizon of the southern hemisphere after sunset, watch the brilliant Venus at the highest point in the sky with Jupiter a little lower on his right and the Moon smiling.


Everywhere on the planet photographers had the opportunity to take this unusual combination, but it should be in the right place at the right time to successfully taking the image below against.

Image: This picture makes us admire a beautiful view of clouds reflected in water from Brisbane in Australia. Click on the picture to notice the smiley offered by the Moon, Venus and Jupiter.
Credit: Mike Salway astronomer.


October 2008


The Arctic polar cap of Mars is virtually cut in two by a huge bleeding called Chasma Boreal.
We see in this image several layers of dust cascading down to the great Chasma. The facade of the cliffs, are a red surprising, there is no comparable places on Earth. The white areas are certainly covered with water ice.


Image: This image of the red cliffs of Mars, covers a distance of about one kilometer. This view shows an area near the North Pole, and the drop between left and right of the image exceeds kilometer.
credit: HiRise, MRO, LPL (U. Arizona), NASA.

 mars red cliffs, Hirise

September 2008


The STEREO spacecraft observed this eruption on September 29th 2008, in the wavelength of UV, 304 angstrom. The Prominences are clouds of relatively cool gas suspended above the sun and controlled by magnetic forces.
This prominence, shown on the image here against, is mounted and fell cascade for several hours, like a flag flying in the wind, then it broke into pieces to go into space. The prominence is composed of ionized helium to about 60 000 degrees Kelvin.
The satellites of the STEREO mission revolve around the sun almost aligned with the Earth's orbit.
One, called "Forward" moves between the Earth on its orbit, while another called "Back" follows our planet in its orbit.


Image: Image of a solar prominence taken on September 29th  2008.
Image credit: NASA.

 Solar prominence

August 2008


Image of Tropical Storm Edouard in the Gulf of Mexico.
This image was taken on August 4th 2008 on board the International Space Station by flight engineer, Greg Chamitoff.
The hurricane season in the Atlantic runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.
For 2008, climatologists have provided an "important" with between twelve and sixteen storms, including six to nine hurricanes.
A normal season has eleven storms including six hurricanes, including two very violent


Image: Credit image: NASA

 Tropical Storm Edouard

July 2008


The most detailed image ever taken of the dark clouds of the Carina Nebula.
What forms dark hiding in the mists of the Carina Nebula?
These figures are threatening molecular cloud of molecular gas knots and dust so thick they have become opaque.
In comparison, these clouds are much less dense than Earth's atmosphere.
The Carina Nebula stretches over 300 light-years behind and 7 500 light-years away in the constellation Carina.


NGC 3372 is known as the Great Carina Nebula. Eta Carinae, the most energetic star of the nebula, was one of the brightest stars in the sky during the 1830s, but faded radically.

Image: Credit image: la NASA, ESA, N. Smith (U. California, Berkeley) et (STScI/AURA)

 Great Carina Nebula

January 2008


The Messenger probe use the gravitational assistance of the Earth and Venus who hastened to each pass over these planets to reach Mercury in January 2008.
The three over flights of the planet at altitudes of about 200 km are necessary before going into orbit around Mercury, March 18 2011.
Then she photographed areas plunged into the shade during the over flights Mariner 10.
On Mercury, the surface temperature can reach over 400 ° C and down, the night - 170 ° C.
Messenger designed to withstand tremendous heat differences is equipped with a large sun shield and covered with a protective ceramic.


Image: The surface of Mercury photographed by Messenger on January 14th 2008 to 18 000 km away.
Credit NASA.

 surface of Mercury

November 2007


ISS (International Space Station), conduct experiments in many scientific fields.
The cost of the program is estimated at around 70 billion Euros (15 cents of euro per day per European throughout the program).
Contributors (USA, Russia, Canada, Japan, Europe).
The dimensions of this field of experimentation are equivalent to those of a football field.
It is also a platform for observing the Earth and the universe.
Since the first launch in 1998, 2 or 3 astronauts permanently occupy the station to see the Earth from heaven.
The elements of the station are sent one by one in space and then assembled automatically or by astronaut.


Image: The international space station.
ISS is the largest structure ever made by man in space.


October 2007


The probe "Kaguya, launched on 14 September by the Japanese rocket H-2A, entered the attraction of the Moon in early October and has since stabilized in a circular orbit for observation, about 100 remote km of the moon.
The probe "Kaguya", will make a very precise mapping of the moon and already formidable shots we arrive.


Image: Moon images taken by HDTV on board the Kaguya (Kaguya is the name of a princess of a traditional Japanese).

 mapping of the moon

September 2007


Phobos, one of two moons of Mars are made of carbon-rich rocks and ice.
Phobos is dotted with impact craters as telluric all objects in the solar system.
Phobos is doomed because its orbit is below synchronous altitude, the tidal forces gradually reduce its orbital radius at a rate of 1.8 meters per century.
In about 40 million years, it will break to form a ring around Mars or crash on its surface.


Image:  Stickney Crater on the photograph, measuring more than 9 km in diameter (about half the diameter of Phobos), Stickney is so great that this impact could completely disintegrate the small moon of Mars.
Superb image of the HiRise camera of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter taken in 6000 km of Phobos.

 Stickney Crater

June 2007


Focus on Enceladus, the moon of Saturn ice shows here all its splendor. In the foreground, the bright white of Enceladus stands out immense shadows of Saturn's rings as seen in the background.
This photo was taken on 28 June 2007, at a distance of about 291 000 km (181 000 miles) by the Cassini spacecraft, using his camera to narrow during its mission 'Equinox '.
The perfectly round white face of Enceladus, measuring 504 km in diameter (313 miles).


* Magnificent focus of Enceladus and its ice.
Image credit: NASA / JPL / Space Science Institute.


May 2007


The stunning images of Saturn's south pole show unusual and complementary aspects of the region through the instruments of the Cassini probe.
The images of infrared mapping spectrometer visual show that the region is full constellation of thunderstorms. Such details as imaging cameras are shown in closeup, the resolution is 208 km per pixel.


Image: Beautiful image of Saturn's south pole.
Image realized in May 2007 by the Cassini probe.
Image credit: NASA.

 Saturn's south pole

October 2006


Gullies in Terra Sirenum on the planet Mars.
This view colorful show gullies in a anonymous crater in the Terra Sirenum, a region of Mars.
The image was taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter October 3th 2006.
This view measure 254 meters wide.
The upper and left regions of this scene are in shadow.


Image: The strong signal noise of high-definition camera of the orbiter reflects the colors and distinguishes them in darkness.
This allows dark features to be identified as true albedo features compared to topographic features.
The albedo is the coefficient of light reflected compared to the light received by a planet or a satellite.

 Terra Sirenum, a region of Mars
1997 © − Astronomy, Astrophysics, Evolution and Earth science.
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