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NASA Image Of The Day

Illusions in the Cosmic Clouds
NASA Image Of The Day
Pareidolia is the psychological phenomenon where people see recognizable shapes in clouds, rock formations, or otherwise unrelated objects or data. There are many examples of this phenomenon on Earth and in space. When an image from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory of PSR B1509-58 -- a spinning neutron star surrounded by a cloud of energetic particles --was released in 2009, it quickly gained attention because many saw a hand-like structure in the X-ray emission. In a new image of the system, X-rays from Chandra in gold are seen along with infrared data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) telescope in red, green and blue. Pareidolia may strike again as some people report seeing a shape of a face in WISE's infrared data. What do you see? NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, also took a picture of the neutron star nebula in 2014, using higher-energy X-rays than Chandra. PSR B1509-58 is about 17,000 light-years from Earth. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the WISE mission for NASA. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the Chandra program for. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, controls Chandra's science and flight operations. Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech...
23 Oct 2014
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  • Galileo duo handed over in excellent shape

    A pair of fully functioning Galileo navigation satellites was recently delivered to its operators, as preparations get underway for the next round of launches.



  • China to join effort developing post-2020 aircraft satnav standards

    Aircraft employ satellite navigation too: Europe’s EGNOS augmentation system sharpens the accuracy and reliability of GPS signals so they can safely be used for landing approaches across a growing number of European airports. But aviation is a global enterprise – so the aim is to develop a seamless network of augmentation systems in future.



  • Galileo satellites – status update

    The fifth and sixth Galileo satellites have been in a safe state since 28 August, fully under control from ESA’s centre in Darmstadt, Germany, despite having been released on 22 August into lower and elliptical orbits instead of the expected circular orbits.



  • Team of teams

    Human spaceflight & operations image of the week: The experts who brought the Galileo satellites under control

  • Update on Galileo launch injection anomaly

    Operations continue smoothly for Galileo Sat 5-6. Both satellites now have both sets of their solar arrays fully deployed and generating power.



  • Galileo status

    Updates on the Galileo Soyuz launch injection anomaly

  • Update on Galileo launch injection anomaly

    Work at ESA’s ESOC control centre continues relentlessly on the two Galileo satellites.



  • Soyuz Galileo launch: injection anomaly

    Following the announcement made by Arianespace on the anomalies of the orbit injection of the Galileo satellites, the teams of industries and agencies involved in the early operations of the satellites are investigating the potential implications on the mission.



  • Galileo liftoff

    Soyuz Flight VS09, carrying Europe's fifth and sixth Galileo satellites, lifted off from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on 22 August 2014 on 12:27:11 UTC/14:27:11 CEST.

  • New launch date for Galileo

    Arianespace has announced the next launch attempt for Soyuz VS09 with Europe's fifth and sixth Galileo satellites is 22 August at 12:27 GMT, 14:27 CEST.



  • ESA and CNES experts ready for Galileo’s first orbits

    Lift-off for Galileo satellites 5 and 6 is set for Thursday, 21 August, at 12:31 GMT (14:31 CEST) on a Soyuz rocket from the Guiana Space Centre, French Guiana.

    Just 9 minutes and 23 seconds later, the Fregat upper stage carrying the payload will separate from the Soyuz third stage, and conduct a pair of engine burns separated by an approximately three-hour ballistic coast phase.

    Three hours and 47 minutes after launch, the Galileo satellites will separate into free-flight orbit, 23 522 km above Earth. On board each satellite, an automatic sequence will be triggered, switching the spacecraft on, booting up the onboard software, deploying a pair of solar arrays and orienting the spacecraft toward the Sun.



  • Galileo satellites seated atop Soyuz launcher

    Europe’s latest two Galileo satellites have been placed on top of their Soyuz launcher, ready for their ride to orbit tomorrow.



  • Launching Galileo

    Follow preparations for the forthcoming launch of Europe's fifth and sixth Galileo satellites from our dedicated website

  • Deploying Galileo

    Friday 22 August sees the launch of the first of the rest of the Galileo constellation. A new video explains Galileo's next phase

  • Galileo fixes worldwide

    ESA's offer to issue certificates for the very first 50 Galileo fixes provoked responses from across the whole world

  • Sea trial

    Results are being processed from a long-range Galileo maritime trial spanning the North Sea

  • Wings of power

    Europe’s Galileo satellites in orbit are kept alive by the Sun – through their solar arrays

  • Galileo for mass market

    ESA is working directly with European manufacturers of mass-market satnav chips and receivers to ensure that their products are Galileo-ready

  • First airborne fix

    For the first time, Europe has been able to determine an aircraft's position using only Galileo

  • Search and rescue sites

    Dedicated ground stations at opposite ends of Europe enable Galileo participation in global Cospas–Sarsat search and rescue testing

  • Navipedia

    Visit Navipedia, the web’s leading resource on satellite navigation: http://www.navipedia.net

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