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NASA’s Earth Observing-1 satellite shows toxic sludge from the Ajkai Timföldgyar alumina (aluminum oxide) plant in western Hungary


 Toxic Sludge in Hungary

Toxic Sludge in Hungary    http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/iotd.html

On Oct. 4, 2010, an accident occurred at the Ajkai Timföldgyar alumina (aluminum oxide) plant in western Hungary, when a corner wall of a waste-retaining pond broke, releasing a torrent of toxic red sludge down a local stream. Several nearby towns were inundated, including Kolontar and Devecser, where the sludge was up to 6.5 feet deep in places. Four people were killed immediately, several more were missing and dozens of residents were hospitalized for chemical burns.

On Oct. 9, 2010, the Advanced Land Imager on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 satellite captured this natural-color image of the area.

Image Credit: NASA

NASA photo – three storms in the Atlantic on August 30!


This was taken on August 30,2010. Three storms out there. Yikes!


http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/iotd.html

 Three Storms

Three Storms

The current Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite GOES-13 captured this image of Hurricane Danielle heading for the north Atlantic (top center), Hurricane Earl with a visible eye hitting the Leeward Islands (left bottom) and a developing tropical depression 8 (lower right) at 1:45 p.m. EDT on Aug. 30.

Image Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

James Cameron Shares NASA’s Exploration of Earth in ‘Avatar’ Videos


James Cameron Shares NASA’s Exploration of Earth in ‘Avatar’ Videos
08.24.10

See at http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/avatar.html

James Cameron, director of “Avatar,” the most successful film ever released, is featured in a series of new NASA public service announcements that describe the many contributions of the agency’s Earth science program to environmental awareness and exploration of our home planet.

“When NASA ventures into space, it remembers to keep a steady eye on home,” Cameron said. “Its fleet of Earth-orbiting satellites constantly reveals our whole planet: its remotest places, its mysteries and the powerful influence of humans.”

Cameron’s 3-D epic, based on the fictional planet of Pandora is coming back to theaters this week. The story centers on a beautiful planet threatened by forces that want to exploit its natural resources.

The public service announcements feature “Avatar” film imagery and include computer animations and data from NASA’s fleet of Earth-observing satellites. NASA has 14 science satellites in orbit making cutting

GALACTIC VOLCANO. M87 galaxy.


Massive Attack Massive Attack

This image shows the eruption of a galactic “super-volcano” in the massive galaxy M87, as witnessed by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and NSF’s Very Large Array (VLA). At a distance of about 50 million light years, M87 is relatively close to Earth and lies at the center of the Virgo cluster, which contains thousands of galaxies.
The cluster surrounding M87 is filled with hot gas glowing in X-ray light (and shown in blue) that is detected by Chandra. As this gas cools, it can fall toward the galaxy’s center where it should continue to cool even faster and form new stars.

However, radio observations with the VLA (red) suggest that in M87 jets of very energetic particles produced by the black hole interrupt this process. These jets lift up the relatively cool gas near the center of the galaxy and produce shock waves in the galaxy’s atmosphere because of their supersonic speed. The interaction of this cosmic “eruption” with the galaxy’s environment is very similar to that of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland that occurred in 2010. With Eyjafjallajokull, pockets of hot gas blasted through the surface of the lava, generating shock waves that can be seen passing through the grey smoke of the volcano. This hot gas then rises up in the atmosphere, dragging the dark ash with it. This process can be seen in a movie of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano where the shock waves propagating in the smoke are followed by the rise of dark ash clouds into the atmosphere.

In the analogy with Eyjafjallajokull, the energetic particles produced in the vicinity of the black hole rise through the X-ray emitting atmosphere of the cluster, lifting up the coolest gas near the center of M87 in their wake. This is similar to the hot volcanic gases drag up the clouds of dark ash. And just like the volcano here on Earth, shock waves can be seen when the black hole pumps energetic particles into the cluster gas.

Ghosts in outer space.


Into the Night

Researchers do not yet know what is lighting up IRAS 05437+2502, a small, faint nebula that spans only 1/18th of a full moon toward the constellation of the Taurus. Particularly enigmatic is the bright upside-down V that defines the upper edge of this floating mountain of interstellar dust.

This ghost-like nebula involves aIRAS 05437+2502 small star-forming region filled with dark dust that was first noted in images taken by the IRAS satellite in infrared light in 1983. This recently released image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows many new details, but has not uncovered a clear cause of the bright sharp arc.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble, R. Sahai (JPL)

Solar eclipse – composite view from Easter Island.


The View From Easter Island

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/iotd.html The View From Easter Island

On July 11, 2010, the new moon passed directly in front of the sun, causing a total solar eclipse in the South Pacific. In this image, the solar eclipse is shown in gray and white from a photo provided by the Williams College Expedition to Easter Island and was embedded with an image of the sun’s outer corona taken by the Large Angle Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) on the SOHO spacecraft and shown in red false color. LASCO uses a disk to blot out the bright sun and the inner corona so that the faint outer corona can be monitored and studied. Further, the dark silhouette of the moon was covered with an image of the sun taken in extreme ultraviolet light at about the same time by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly on the Solar Dynamics Observatory. The composite brings out the correlation of structures in the inner and outer corona.

Image Credit: NASA/ESA/Williams College Eclipse Expedition

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s an … Asteroid.


Farewell LLutetiautetia

On its way to a 2014 rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft, with NASA instruments aboard, flew past asteroid Lutetia on Saturday, July 10.

The instruments aboard Rosetta recorded the first close-up image of the biggest asteroid so far visited by a spacecraft. Rosetta made measurements to derive the mass of the object, understand the properties of the asteroid’s surface crust, record the solar wind in the vicinity and look for evidence of an atmosphere. The spacecraft passed the asteroid at a minimum distance of 3,160 kilometers (1,950 miles) and at a velocity of 15 kilometers (9 miles) per second, completing the flyby injust a minute. But the cameras and other instruments had been working for hours and in some cases days beforehand, and will continue afterwards. Shortly after closest approach, Rosetta began transmitting data to Earth for processing.

Lutetia has been a mystery for many years. Ground telescopes have shown that it presents confusing characteristics. In some respects it resembles a ‘C-type’ asteroid, a primitive body left over from the formation of the solar system. In others, it looks like an ‘M-type’. These have been associated with iron meteorites, are usually reddish and thought to be fragments of the cores of much larger objects.

Image Credits: ESA 2010 MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/RSSD/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Space Photo of the day. July 10 2010. Greenland –


Speaking of the environment, here’s an article from NASA about global warming.

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/jakobshavn2010.html

Jakobsahvn glacier before and after with notations

Images courtesy of Digital Globe

NASA-funded researchers monitoring Greenland’s Jakobshavn Isbrae glacier report that a 7 square kilometer (2.7 square mile) section of the glacier broke up on July 6 and 7, as shown in the image above. The calving front – where the ice sheet meets the ocean – retreated nearly 1.5 kilometers (a mile) in one day and is now further inland than at any time previously observed. The chunk of lost ice is roughly one-eighth the size of Manhattan Island, New York.

Research teams led by Ian Howat of the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University and Paul Morin, director of the Antarctic Geospatial Information Center at the University of Minnesota have been monitoring satellite images for changes in the Greenland ice sheet and its outlet glaciers. While this week’s breakup itself is not unusual, Howat noted, detecting it within hours and at such fine detail is a new phenomenon for scientists.

“While there have been ice breakouts of this magnitude from Jakonbshavn and other glaciers in the past, this event is unusual because it occurs on the heels of a warm winter that saw no sea ice form in the surrounding bay,” said Thomas Wagner, cryospheric program scientist at NASA Headquarters. “While the exact relationship between these events is being determined, it lends credence to the theory that warming of the oceans is responsible for the ice loss observed throughout Greenland and Antarctica.”

The researchers relied on imagery from several satellites, including Landsat, Terra, and Aqua, to get a broad view of ice changes at both poles. Then, in the days leading up to the breakup, the team received images from DigitalGlobe’s WorldView 2 satellite showing large cracks and crevasses forming.

DigitalGlobe Inc. provides the images as part of a public-private partnership with U.S. scientists. Howat and Morin are receiving near-daily satellite updates from the Jakobshavn, Kangerlugssuaq, and Helheim glaciers (among the islands largest) and weekly updates on smaller outlet glaciers.

Jakobshavn Isbrae is located on the west coast of Greenland at latitude 69°N and has been retreated more than 45 kilometers (27 miles) over the past 160 years, 10 kilometers (6 miles) in just the past decade. As the glacier has retreated, it has broken into a northern and southern branch. The breakup this week occurred in the north branch.

Scientists estimate that as much as 10 percent of all ice lost from Greenland is coming through Jakobshavn, which is also believed to be the single largest contributor to sea level rise in the northern hemisphere. Scientists are more concerned about losses from the south branch of the Jakobshavn, as the topography is flatter and lower than in the northern branch.

In addition to the remote sensing work, Howat, Morin, and other researchers have been funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation to plant GPS sensors, cameras, and other scientific equipment on top of the ice sheet to monitor changes and understand the fundamental workings of the ice. NASA also has been conducting twice-yearly airborne campaigns to the Arctic and Antarctic through the IceBridge program and measuring ice loss with the ICESat and GRACE satellites.


NOTE ON THE USE OF IMAGERY

DigitalGlobe products may be published for editorial use only, in hardcopy, electronic or in broadcast format, provided that credit is conspicuously provided to “DigitalGlobe” on all such products as set forth in these Usage Rules. For purposes of these Usage Rules, “editorial use” is limited to a publication relating to a newsworthy event, or which is otherwise in the public interest.

Mike Carlowicz

Space photo of the day. July 8, 2010. A group of galaxies.


See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.

Those swirls are galaxies. Not planets, not stars,
not solar systems.  Galaxies. Wow!

HCG 87: A Small Group of Galaxies
Credit: Sally Hunsberger (Lowell Obs.), Jane Charlton (Penn State) et al.;
Data: Hubble Legacy Archive; Processing: Robert Gendler

Explanation: Sometimes galaxies form groups. For example, our own Milky Way Galaxy is part of the Local Group of Galaxies. Small, compact groups, like Hickson Compact Group 87 (HCG 87) shown above, are interesting partly because they slowly self-destruct. Indeed, the galaxies of HCG 87 are gravitationally stretching each other during their 100-million year orbits around a common center. The pulling creates colliding gas that causes bright bursts of star formation and feeds matter into their active galaxy centers. HCG 87 is composed of a large edge-on spiral galaxy visible on the lower left, an elliptical galaxy visible on the lower right, and a spiral galaxy visible near the top. The small spiral near the center might be far in the distance. Several stars from our Galaxy are also visible in the foreground. The above picture was taken in 1999 July by the Hubble Space Telescope‘s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2. Studying groups like HCG 87 allows insight into how all galaxies form and evolve.

From http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap100706.html

Space photo for July 5. Japanese Kibo complex of the International Space Station


Backdropped by Earth’s horizon and the blackness of space, the Japanese Kibo complex of the International Space Station was snapped by a NASA Expedition 23 crew member while the space shuttle Atlantis was docked with the station in May.  NASA/AP

http://www.csmonitor.com/CSM-Photo-Galleries/In-Pictures/Space-Photos-of-the-Day/Space-photos-of-the-day-07-02/%28photo%29/4