Fireworks and the quarter Moon seen over the skies of Pisa, Italy on June 16, 2013. Credit and copyright: Giuseppe Petricca.
This lovely image of the Moon with fireworks exploding nearby in the sky was taken by astrophotgrapher Giuseppe Petricca over the weekend. “In Pisa, it was the Patron Saint’s Day, and I managed to catch fireworks, launched from the middle of the river Arno, exploding near the first quarter Moon!” This is an actual shot — not a mosaic — and Guiseppe said he only used Photoshop to make the Moon’s surface detail more clear and reduced the overall noise in the picture.
The event must have been awe-inspiring in person!
This image taken with a Nikon P90 Bridge Digital Camera on tripod.
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On Monday, NASA introduced eight new astronaut candidates – four women and four men – who will “help the agency push the boundaries of exploration and travel to new destinations in the solar system,” NASA said.
“This is the first class in three years, and the 21st overall in our nation’s nearly 55-year journey in space,” said NASA Associate Administrator Lori Garver in a blog post. “From a near-record number of applicants, more than 6,100, we selected an extremely qualified class that represents a high degree of achievement and dedication to our nation’s future.”
This is the highest percentage of female candidates ever selected for a class.
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The European/Russian ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) will launch in 2016 and sniff the Martian atmosphere for signs of methane which could originate by either biological or geological mechanisms. Credit: ESA
Has life ever existed on Mars? Or anywhere beyond Earth?
Answering that question is one of the most profound scientific inquiries of our time.
Europe and Russia have teamed up for a bold venture named ExoMars that’s set to blast off in search of Martian life in about two and a half years.
Determining if life ever originated on the Red Planet is the primary goal of the audacious two pronged ExoMars missions set to launch in 2016 & 2018 in a partnership between the European and Russian space agencies, ESA and Roscosmos. [click to continue…]
An impressive, gorgeous, powereful supercell northwest of Booker, Texas from June 3rd, 2013. Credit and copyright: Mike Olbinski/Olbinski Photography.
Photographer and storm chaser Mike Olbinski has captured some incredible storm footage over the years (such as this apocalyptic haboob in Arizona in 2011.) But his latest timelapse was something he’s been chasing down for over four years: a rotating supercell. Mike lives in Arizona, where that type of storm doesn’t happen. But he regularly visits the US Central Plains and said on his website that he’s been hoping to capture footage of “clouds that rotate and look like alien spacecraft hanging over the Earth.”
To quote Mike again, “Boy, did we find it.”
On June 3, 2013 he and his team were following storms near Booker, Texas. “We chased this storm from the wrong side (north) and it took us going through hail and torrential rains to burst through on the south side. And when we did…this monster cloud was hanging over Texas and rotating like something out of Close Encounters.”
Watch it below:
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Screens in ESOC’s Main Control Room on the day the last command was sent to the Herschel Space Telescope, shutting the observatory off. Credit: ESA.
We knew it was coming, but it is still sad to see the end of a mission. Controllers for the Herschel space telescope sent final commands today to put the observatory into a heliocentric parking orbit. Commands were sent at 12:25 GMT on June 17, 2013, marking the official end of operations for Herschel. But expect more news from this spacecraft’s observations, as there is still a treasure trove of data that that will keep astronomers busy for many years to come. Additionally, maneuvers done by the spacecraft allowed engineers to test out control techniques that can’t normally be tested in-flight during a mission.
You can watch a video of Herschel’s final “live” moments below:
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