Tuesday , May 11 2021

Space photos of the week: Packing for Mars

This strange zigzag terrain is part of the southern pole of Mars. These strange features are the result of seasonal changes on Mars. As aqueous ice formed in winter defrosts, the dry ice under it evaporates, leaving these irregular shapes. By observing the seasonal changes on Mars with the HiRise camera on Mars Scout Orbiter, scientists can merge larger climate images for our dusty neighborly neighbor.

After traveling to the south pole, we are now on the north pole during the spring. This synaptic model is caused by the slow de-icing of the carbon dioxide ice on the surface. As the planet warms up in the spring, the ice disappears, leaving behind this elaborated polygon model. The fashion patches here are snow on carbon dioxide. This photo was taken over by HiRise camera in 2008, when NASA tried to determine where to put its founder in Phoenix.

This special photo is the first for all space exploration. This is Mars as seen by one of the MarCO CubeSats who traveled with InSight on their way to Mars. Both CubeSats and InSight started off the Earth at the Atlas V rocket. After they were far enough away, the rocket released the trio, and they traveled together on Mars. This wide-angle view shows that Mars is huge in the background, while an antenna with high gain is seen to the right of the frame. When MarCO-B used this photo, it just finished its primary mission: A pair of mini-satellites carried real-time data back to Earth during "7 Minute Terror," which is when InSight fell through the atmosphere of Mars and down the surface.

This colorful cloud is called Rosetta's nebula, and this is what is known as the emission nebula. As gas and dust are judged, new stars are created, and the strength of these stellar births pushes the surrounding gas and dust. During this process, it begins to shine as a result of radiation from the formation of the stars. This image was captured by a very large telescope at the European Southern Observatory in Chile.

Meet Apep – a system of binary stars that has never been recorded before. The image, made by a very large telescope at the European Southern Observatory, shows a pair of stars that orbit each other. Their interaction causes huge stellar winds that extinguish gas and dust around their dance, leaving behind this vortex cloud of dust.

Abel 1033 is bold to go where there was no previous Skopje galaxy. It is shaped like the USS Enterprise from Star Trek, but unfortunately it is not a secret gas spaceship, but an odd residue left behind a clash of two galaxy clusters. Galaxy clusters are the largest known objects in the universe – they can contain thousands of galaxies and are all linked together by gravity. However, the gas that exists around them can have as much as six times the mass of all galaxies combined, and that gas is difficult to see only with visible light. By combining the data from the Chandra Observatory, recorded here in the purple, and radio observations seen in blue, the complete form created by the interaction appears.

Welcome to Mars, InSight! This image of Mars, trapped by the Mars Express Orbiter of the European Space Agency, shows a region called Elisium Planinia, where only Insight landed. (It's sort of between a black dot on the lower right and a raised candy reed at 3 o'clock.) The lander will operate there for two years, while studying the interior of the planet, seeking punishments and studying the heat from below the surface. The area where InSight has established a store is far from the hills and remains of volcanoes, and that's a good thing, because InSight needed a very flat and "boring" place to live on Mars. And now Insight has a friendly (kind of) neighbor – it's only a few hundred miles north of the place where the rover of Curiosity moves around.

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