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Space Station over Lunar Terminator

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Hubble picture of the day
Hubble Space Telescope Celebrates 25 Years of Unveiling the Universe
23 Apr 2015

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NASA and ESA are celebrating the Hubble Space Telescope's silver anniversary of 25 years in space by unveiling some of nature's own fireworks a giant cluster of about 3,000 stars called Westerlund 2. The cluster resides inside a vibrant stellar breeding ground known as Gum 29, located 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina. The comparatively young, 2-million-year-old star cluster contains some of our galaxy's hottest, brightest, and most massive stars. The largest stars are unleashing a torrent of ultraviolet light and hurricane-force winds that etch away the enveloping hydrogen gas cloud. This creates a fantasy celestial landscape of pillars, ridges, and valleys.

RedOrbit Images Of The Day - Earth

Shipping Superhighways
6 Mar 2015
Shipping Superhighways
The oceans may be vast, yet they still can grow crowded. Some congested areas have enough ship traffic that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and other groups maintain traffic separation schemes?the equivalent of highways for ships?to reduce the risk of collisions.
The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured this view of northbound and southbound shipping lanes off the coast of China?s Shandong Peninsula on February 24, 2015. The lanes form one of the main routes from the Yellow Sea into the Bohai Sea and the Chinese ports of Dalian and Tianjin, two of the busiest in the world. As shown by this map, several lanes of traffic intersect northeast of the Shandong Peninsula.
The vessels in this image are most likely cargo ships, though some may be ferries or fishing boats. The ships appear as small gray and white specks. (Click on the image for a closer view.) In the shallow coastal waters, their propellers kick up long, brown sediment plumes. Most of the northbound ships make a turn to the northwest as they round the tip of Shangdong.
According to the IMO, the practice of following predetermined routes for shipping originated in 1898. It was first adopted by shipping companies operating passenger ships across the North Atlantic. Since then, traffic separation schemes have been established in most congested areas, causing the number of ship collisions and groundings to drop dramatically.
But with upwards of 86,000 merchant ships on the world?s sea, accidents still happen. On May 2, 2010, the Bright Century, a cargo ship loaded with 170,000 tons of iron ore, sank after it collided with a freighter about 37 kilometers (23 miles) east of Shandong Peninsula. In December 2012, a fishing boat collided with a cargo ship near the peninsula and sank with 11 fisherman on board.
Credit: NASA

RedOrbit Images Of The Day - Mars

A Possible Landing Site for the 2020 Mission: Jezero Crater
6 Mar 2015
A Possible Landing Site for the 2020 Mission: Jezero Crater
It?s not only when trying to find a scientifically interesting place to land that the high-resolution images from HiRISE come in handy: it?s also to identify potential hazards within a landing ellipse.

This is one of the trickier aspects of selecting landing sites on Mars: a place to do good science but also where the risks of landing are low. Jezero Crater is an ancient crater where clay minerals have been detected, and with a delta deposit indicating that water was once flowing into a lake. Since clays form the in presence of water, this crater would be a very good candidate for a lander to explore and build on what we?ve learned from the Mars Science Laboratory. Could some form of ancient life have existed here and for how long?
Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

RedOrbit Images Of The Day - Universe

Enhanced Color Caloris
6 Mar 2015
Enhanced Color Caloris
The sprawling Caloris basin on Mercury is one of the solar system\'s largest impact basins, created during the early history of the solar system by the impact of a large asteroid-sized body. The multi-featured, fractured basin spans about 1,500 kilometers in this enhanced color mosaic based on image data from the Mercury-orbiting MESSENGER spacecraft. Mercury\'s youngest large impact basin, Caloris was subsequently filled in by lavas that appear orange in the mosaic. Craters made after the flooding have excavated material from beneath the surface lavas. Seen as contrasting blue hues, they likely offer a glimpse of the original basin floor material. Analysis of these craters suggests the thickness of the covering volcanic lava to be 2.5-3.5 kilometers. Orange splotches around the basin\'s perimeter are thought to be volcanic vents.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins/Arizona State University

NASA Earth Observatory Image of the Day

Florianópolis, Brazil
27 Apr 2015

Florianópolis, Brazil
Astronauts learn to sense the way sunlight brings out different features in the water and around coastal cities.

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News Photos
News and Features - NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Dawn Enters Science Orbit
24 Apr 2015

This artist's concept shows NASA's Dawn spacecraft heading toward the dwarf planet Ceres.

NASA's Dawn spacecraft entered into its first science orbit on Thursday, April 23, as scheduled.

ESA Top Multimedia

Celebrating Hubble?s silver anniversary
23 Apr 2015

This glittering tapestry of young stars flaring into life in the star cluster Westerlund 2 has been released to celebrate the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope?s 25th year in orbit and a quarter of a century of discoveries, stunning images and outstanding science.

The cluster resides in the prolific stellar breeding ground called Gum 29, some 20 000 light-years away in the constellation Carina.

The image?s central region, containing the star clusters, blends visible-light data taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys and near-infrared exposures taken by the Wide Field Camera 3. The surrounding region is composed of visible-light observations taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys. The red colours in the image represent hydrogen; the bluish-green hues, hydrogen and oxygen.

Full story: Celestial fireworks celebrate Hubble?s 25th anniversary