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NASA Image Of The Day

Supernova Seen In Two Lights
NASA Image Of The Day
The destructive results of a mighty supernova explosion reveal themselves in a delicate blend of infrared and X-ray light, as seen in this image from NASA?s Spitzer Space Telescope and Chandra X-Ray Observatory, and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton. The bubbly cloud is an irregular shock wave, generated by a supernova that would have been witnessed on Earth 3,700 years ago. The remnant itself, called Puppis A, is around 7,000 light-years away, and the shock wave is about 10 light-years across. The pastel hues in this image reveal that the infrared and X-ray structures trace each other closely. Warm dust particles are responsible for most of the infrared light wavelengths, assigned red and green colors in this view. Material heated by the supernova?s shock wave emits X-rays, which are colored blue. Regions where the infrared and X-ray emissions blend together take on brighter, more pastel tones. The shock wave appears to light up as it slams into surrounding clouds of dust and gas that fill the interstellar space in this region. From the infrared glow, astronomers have found a total quantity of dust in the region equal to about a quarter of the mass of our sun. Data collected from Spitzer?s infrared spectrograph reveal how the shock wave is breaking apart the fragile dust grains that fill the surrounding space. Supernova explosions forge the heavy elements that can provide the raw material from which future generations of stars and planets will form. Studying how supernova remnants expand into the galaxy and interact with other material provides critical clues into our own origins. Infrared data from Spitzer?s multiband imaging photometer (MIPS) at wavelengths of 24 and 70 microns are rendered in green and red. X-ray data from XMM-Newton spanning an energy range of 0.3 to 8 kiloelectron volts are shown in blue. Credit: NASA/ESA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC/IAFE...
21 Aug 2014

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  • 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.

  • Watch the launch

    Watch the launch of the fifth and sixth Galileo satellites from Europe's Spaceport on Friday 22 August. Streaming starts at 12:07 UTC/14:07 CEST

  • Galileo satellites encapsulated for launch

    Europe’s latest Galileo satellites have been sealed within their launch fairing, atop the Fregat upper stage that will carry them into their final orbit.

  • 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

  • Twin Galileos meet, ready for Thursday’s launch

    Final functional testing of Europe’s twin Galileo navigation satellites has been completed at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, on track for launch this Thursday.

  • New video: Galileo towards the future

    The special significance of next Thursday's launch for the Galileo system as a whole is highlighted in a new ESA video, including an interview with Didier Faivre, the Agency's Director of the Galileo Programme and Navigation-related Activities.

  • Call for Media: Press briefing on launch of Galileo satellites 5-6

    The next satellites in Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system will be launched on 21 August, ushering in the system deployment phase and paving the way for the start of initial services. Media are invited to take part in an audio briefing on Wednesday, 20 August.

  • Galileo’s ‘midwives’ stand ready for launch

    Galileo’s post-launch team at ESA have finalised their preparations for taking control of the twin satellites being launched next month.

  • Galileo: it’s all about the time

    Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system – the combination of satellites in space and stations on the ground – forms a planetary scale timepiece. Current testing shows it keeping very good time indeed – around 10 billionths of a second on average. 

  • Galileo fixes worldwide

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

  • Pioneer Galileo navigation fixes recognised by ESA

    Billions of satnav position fixes are performed daily, but determining your place in the world using Europe’s Galileo system is quite new. So ESA offered to issue certificates for the very first 50 Galileo fixes – provoking responses from across the whole world.

  • Apprentices sought for satnav summer school

    Students still have time to join the ESA International Summer School on GNSS, taking place in the Czech Republic this July. The 10-day course will cover all aspects of satellite navigation, up to and including the creation of a satnav-based business.

  • 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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