Saturday, 17 October 2015


Week’s Best Space Pictures: Curiosity Snaps a Selfie
By Jane J. Lee,
National Geographic News, 16 October 2015.

Feed your need for heavenly views of the universe with our pick of the most awe-inspiring space pictures. This week, we get a glimpse of fall colours from space, see the remains of a supernova ballooning into a cloud of space stuff, and get a good-morning greeting from an astronaut in space.

1. Remnants


Hot gas (blue) from a supernova expands to fill the shell (greenish-yellow) left over by the explosion. A molecular cloud (red) surrounds the supernova remnant while stars peek through as bright points of light.

2. Morning Light Show


Astronaut Scott Kelly snapped an image of the aurora from the International Space Station as the sun came up. Kelly, who is spending a year in space, tweeted the photograph to his followers.

3. Odd Couple


Two of Saturn's moons, Mimas (foreground) and Pandora, share a neighbourhood but not a background. The elongated Pandora likely formed by gathering ring particles onto a dense core, while Mimas' gravity shaped the moon into a sphere.

4. Martian Cone


A cone-shaped mound stands out in a region of Mars known for its flat-topped hills. The formation is similar to mounds of cooled lava on Earth that have had their surrounding sediment eroded away.

5. Wish You Were Here


The Mars rover Curiosity snapped a selfie - actually made of dozens of images stitched together - at the "Big Sky" site on Mount Sharp. The camera that took the photos isn't visible, although its shadow is.

6. Sun's Hole


The darker region near the top of the sun is called a coronal hole. It's an opening in the sun's magnetic field that allows solar material out into space. This hole produced a geomagnetic storm near Earth that sparked several nights of auroras.

7. Fall From Space


A NASA satellite captured the fall foliage around the Great Lakes in North America earlier this week. The leaves have started turning from green to red, brown, and orange.

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

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