This colour-composite image was obtained by the ESO telescope headquarters at La Silla, Chile. This photogenic group of nebulae can be found in Chamaeleon, a constellation visible predominantly in skies south of the Earth's equator. Towards Chamaeleon, dark molecular clouds and bright planetary nebula NGC 3195 can be found. Visible near the center of the above photograph is a reflection nebula surrounding a young bright star. On the lower right, a dark molecular cloud blocks the light from stars behind it. It takes light hundreds of years to reach us from these objects.
Here's the first satellite images from the ISS of the earthquake off the coast of Chile taken by Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, who is currently aboard the International Space Station. It's not high-res, but they're still quite stunning. In the image below, you can see what appears to be silt and dirt in the water, apparently as a result of the quake.
The magnitude 8.8 earthquake that struck early today occurred along the same 400-mile long fault responsible for the biggest quake ever measured, a 1960 tremor that killed nearly 2,000 people in Chile and hundreds more across the Pacific.
"The idea that we are the only intelligent creatures in a cosmos of a hundred billion galaxies is so preposterous that there are very few astronomers today who would take it seriously. It is safest to assume therefore, that they are out there and to consider the manner in which this may impinge upon human society."
Arthur C. Clarke, physicist and author of 2001: A Space Odyssey
The Helix Nebula is the closest example of a planetary nebula created at the end of the life of a Sun-like star. The Helix Nebula, given a technical designation of NGC 7293, lies about 700 light-years away towards the constellation of Aquarius.The blue-green glow in the centre of the Helix comes from oxygen atoms shining under effects of the intense ultraviolet radiation of the 120 000 degree Celsius central star and the hot gas. Further out from the star and beyond the ring of mysterious knots, the red colour from hydrogen and nitrogen is more prominent. A careful look at the central part of this object reveals not only its mysterious knots, but also many remote galaxies seen right through the thinly spread glowing gas.
When scientists send their spacecraft across the universe, they save fuel by performing “slingshot fly-bys”. This is where, rather than firing up the thrusters, the craft changes its trajectory by harnessing the enormous gravitational pull of a planet. However, this trick has had an unexpected side-effect: it seems to produce a change in speed that no one, since it was first discovered in the early 1990's, can account for.
Experts are intrigued by the fact that while the acceleration is tiny and has no significant effect on NASA missions, it holds great interest because no explanation based on conventional physics and understanding has been found. The effect is so persistent that it could indicate some physics not considered in previous attempts to explain the motions of bodies in the universe.
Bloom Energy unveiled its technology this week, revealing a fuel-cell system that the company claims can run on a variety of fuels and pay for itself in three to five years via lower energy bills. Google, eBay, and Walmart, have are testing Bloom's technology, and in the few months these fuel cells have been in operation, they've generated 11 million kilowatt hours of electricity (about enough to power 1,000 homes for a year). In addition to Google, eBay, and Walmart, Bloom's customers include Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Cox Enterprises, FedEx, and Staples. A 400-kilowatt system powers a building at Google that contains an experimental data center. Walmart has installed Bloom modules at two locations, where they generate between 60 to 80 percent of the electricity for the stores.