Friday, 14 August 2015


Week's Best Space Pictures: Space Station Sunrise
By Jane J. Lee,
National Geographic News, 14 August 2015.

Feed your need for "heavenly" views of the universe every Friday with our picks of the most awe-inspiring space pictures. This week, a comet lets off some "steam," liquid seeps across Mars, and a sunshield gets a once-over.

1. Sunrise


Astronaut Scott Kelly caught the sun rising over the western United States from the International Space Station (ISS) on August 10. The ISS orbits Earth every 92 minutes, so crew members experience 16 sunrises and sunsets a day.

2. Arches


NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory caught an arch (left) forming above an active region on the sun in extreme ultraviolet light. These bright, or active, spots are produced by ionized iron and can reach temperatures of a million degrees.

3. Sunscreen


A sunshield for NASA's James Webb telescope undergoes an inspection in California. Five silvery layers - with an SPF of a million - will unfurl into a tennis court-sized shade for the telescope's sensitive infrared instruments once in space.

4. Flows


Spring in Mars' northern hemisphere means the appearance of flows (dark lines, bottom right) along north-facing slopes. These darker channels in Valles Marineris are consistent with liquid - possibly briny water - leaking from shallow seeps.

5. Outburst

Picture of gif of comet outburst
GIF by ESA/Rosetta/MPS

The Rosetta spacecraft captured comet 67P letting off a little "steam" as it approaches perihelion, or the closest it will get to the sun during its orbit. Astronomers calculate that material in the jet travelled at 33 feet per second.

Photo gallery by Emily Jan.

[Source: National Geographic News. Edited. Some links added.]

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