Here are some beautiful space photos and videos that have been posted on the Internet recently. Enjoy!
From the highest volcano to the deepest canyon, from impact craters to ancient river beds and lava flows, this flyover video from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express takes you on an unforgettable journey across the Red Planet.
Mars Express was launched on 2 June 2003 and arrived at Mars six-and-a-half months later. It has since orbited the planet nearly 12,500 times, providing scientists with unprecedented images and data collected by its suite of scientific instruments.
The data have been used to create an almost global digital topographic model of the surface, providing a unique visualisation and enabling researchers to acquire new and surprising information about the evolution of the Red Planet.
The images in this movie were taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera and the video was released by the DLR German Aerospace Center as part of the ten years of Mars Express celebrations in June 2013. The music has been created by Stephan Elgner of DLR’s Mars Express planetary cartography team. DLR developed and is operating the stereo camera.
A new image of the sunward plunging comet ISON suggests that the comet is intact despite some predictions that the fragile icy nucleus might disintegrate as the sun warms it. The comet will pass closest to the sun on Nov. 28.
In this NASA Hubble Space Telescope image taken on Oct. 9, the comet’s solid nucleus is unresolved because it is so small. If the nucleus broke apart then Hubble would have likely seen evidence for multiple fragments.
Moreover, the coma or head surrounding the comet’s nucleus is symmetric and smooth. This would probably not be the case if clusters of smaller fragments were flying along. A polar jet of dust first seen in Hubble images taken in April is no longer visible and may have turned off.
This color composite image was assembled using two filters. The comet’s coma appears cyan, a greenish-blue color due to gas, while the tail is reddish due to dust streaming off the nucleus. The tail forms as dust particles are pushed away from the nucleus by the pressure of sunlight. The comet was inside Mars’ orbit and 177 million miles from Earth when photographed. Comet ISON is predicted to make its closest approach to Earth on Dec. 26, at a distance of 39.9 million miles.
Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
This is some beautiful timelapse video of the observatories atop Mauna Kea, Hawaii. The summit is at an altitude of nearly 14,000 ft and is the premiere site for astronomy in the Northern Hemisphere. Click here to learn why the astronomers were using lasers!