Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus
It is not every day that such an interesting cloud
Get larger image formats
Over a decade before planets were found orbiting normal stars, the astronomy world was intrigued by the discovery of a vast, edge-on, pancake-flat disk of dust and gas encircling the newborn star Beta Pictoris. It appeared to validate the hypothesis by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, 230 years ago, that our solar system was born when planets condensed from nebular material in the plane of such a disk. (This model was independently proposed by French scholar Pierre-Simon Laplace in 1796.) Kant regarded the coplanar obits of the planets a fossil skeleton of the long-ago disintegrated disk. Though nearly two dozen circumstellar debris disks have been viewed by the Hubble Space Telescope to date, Beta Pictoris is the first and best example of what a forming young planetary system looks like. That's because it can be seen edge on, and it is the only disk to date where a planet has also been imaged. Hubble has been used to intensively study the disk for the past two decades and this latest picture when compared to previous observations shows that the disk particles appear to smoothly revolve around the star like a majestic carousel. Ground-based telescopes found a Jupiter-sized world embedded in the disk in 2009, and future observations may yield more planetary objects.
RedOrbit Images Of The Day - Earth
New Zealand in Sunglint
The sunglint shows Wellington Bay?where the capital city is located?opening onto Cook Strait. Banks Peninsula, near the city of Christchurch, is the prominent cape whose characteristic shape is well known to ISS crews.
Clouds are approaching from the top left (west) in the image. New Zealand is seldom photographed from orbit because it is one of the cloudier parts of planet, and because crew sleep periods often occur when the ISS passes over the area.
RedOrbit Images Of The Day - Mars
Phlegra Montes southern tip
The image was acquired by the High Resolution Stereo Camera on ESA?s Mars Express on 8 October 2014 during orbit 13670 and is centred on 31ºN / 160ºE. The ground resolution is about 15 m per pixel.
Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin
RedOrbit Images Of The Day - Universe
Exploring the colors of the Small Magellanic Cloud
The scene is actually a collaboration between two cosmic artists ? ESA?s Herschel space observatory and NASA?s Spitzer space telescope. The image is reminiscent of an artistic stipple or pointillist painting, with lots of small, distinct dots coming together to create a striking larger-scale view.
The colours within this image provide information about the temperature of the dust mixed with the gas throughout the galaxy. The slight green tint stretching towards the left of the frame and the red hue of the main body of the galaxy are from the Herschel observations, which highlight cold material, down to a chilly ?260 degrees Celsius .
The brighter patches of blue were captured by Spitzer. These regions are made up of ?warmer? ?about ?150 degrees Celsius ? gas and dust, and within some of these areas new stars are being born. These newborn stars in turn warm up their surroundings, resulting in intense clumps of heated gas and dust within the galaxy.
These clumps show up brightly in this image, tracing the shape of the galaxy clearly ? the SMC is made up of a central ?bar? of star formation, visible on the right hand side, and then a more extended ?wing?, stretching out towards the left of the frame.
Overall, the Small Magellanic Cloud is about 1/20th of the size of the Milky Way. It can be seen shining in the night sky of the southern hemisphere, and its brightest regions are easily visible to the naked eye. It is a satellite galaxy of our own ? it orbits around the Milky Way along with its bigger companion, the Large Magellanic Cloud. These two galaxies have been extensively studied because of their proximity to us; astronomers can observe them relatively easily to explore how star formation and galactic evolution works in galaxies other than our own.
The data in this image are from Herschel?s Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver (SPIRE), Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer (PACS), and Spitzer?s Multiband Imaging Photometer (MIPS).
NASA Earth Observatory Image of the Day
Djibouti and the Southern Red Sea
The nation is strategically positioned on one of the world's busiest shipping lanes, with access to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.
Living on the Edge: Stars Found Far from Galaxy Center
Data from NASA's WISE mission have led to the discovery of two clusters of newborn stars thousands of light-years below the plane of our galaxy.
ESA Top Multimedia
This false-colour image from the Spot-5 satellite was acquired on 28 September 2011 over central Belgium, capturing the capital city of Brussels (left).
Zooming in on the city, we can see a number of large parks, such as the Parc du Cinquantenaire or Jubelpark in the city?s European Quarter ? home to the institutions of the European Union. Brussels is the de facto capital of the EU, and is a major centre for international politics.
Further west, we can see the Parc de Bruxelles or Warandepark, where the Royal Palace of Brussels and Belgium Parliament are located.
Northeast of the city, we can see the runways of the Brussels Airport.
Darker blue areas throughout the image depict thick vegetation cover, such as the city parks and the large Sonian Forest south of Brussels. Stretching over 4400 hectares, the forest is home to animals such as deer, red squirrel and wild boar. Brown bear and wolf also once roamed this area, but have disappeared through human influence and changes in the ecosystem over hundreds of years.
In the upper right is the city of Leuven in the Flemish Region. The city is home to the headquarters of Anheuser-Busch InBev ? the world?s largest brewing group that includes brands such as Beck?s, Budweiser and Stella Artois.
This image is featured on the Earth from Space video programme.