In this incredible photograph taken from the Galileo Spacecraft we can see an eclipse of the sun by the planet Jupiter. What’s equally remarkable about this shot is that the reflected sunlight also shows the rings of Jupiter. Some of you may not have known that Jupiter has rings. In fact they were only discovered in 1979 by the passing Voyager 1 spacecraft.
Their origin was a mystery until data from the Galileo spacecraft that orbited Jupiter from 1995 to 2003 later confirmed that these rings were created by meteoroid impacts on small nearby moons. As a small meteoroid strikes tiny Adrastea, for example, it will bore into the moon, vaporize, and explode dirt and dust off into a Jovian orbit.
What we’re seeing here in the reflected sunlight are both the dust particles that compose Jupiter’s rings along with other dust particles high in Jupiter’s orbit that help give the massive planet shape in this phenomenal shot. [Source: APOD]
Photograph by PLEIADES-HR SATELLITE
This dramatic aerial photograph of Bora Bora was taken by France and Italy’s recently launched Pleidades-HR Satellite in January of 2012. The satellite orbits the Earth at an altitude of 694 km (431 miles). Pleiades is made of two “small satellites” (mass of one ton) offering a spatial resolution at nadir of 0.7 m and a field of view of 20 km. [Source]
Bora Bora is an island in the Leeward group of the Society Islands of French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the Pacific Ocean. The island, located about 230 kilometres (140 mi) northwest of Papeete, is surrounded by a lagoon and a barrier reef. In the center of the island are the remnants of an extinct volcano rising to two peaks, Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu, the highest point at 727 metres (2,385 ft).
Bora Bora is a major international tourist destination, famous for its aqua-centric luxury resorts. The island is served by Bora Bora Airport on Motu Mete in the north, with Air Tahiti providing daily flights to and from Papeete on Tahiti. The major settlement, Vaitape is on the western side of the main island, opposite the main channel into the lagoon. According to a census performed in 2008, the permanent population of Bora Bora is 8,880. [Source]
Expedition 30 astronaut Don Pettit uses knitting needles and water droplets to demonstrate physics in space through ‘Science off the Sphere.’ This is part of the first video in a series for a partnership between NASA and the American Physical Society to share unique videos from the International Space Station with students, educators and science fans from around the world.