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Author Topic: Science Photo of the Week  (Read 468257 times)

Offline neilep

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Brightest supernova in a decade captured by Hubble
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-BERKELEY NEWS RELEASE

A University of California, Berkeley, astronomer has turned the NASA Hubble Space Telescope on the brightest and nearest supernova of the past decade, capturing a massive stellar explosion blazing with the light of 200 million suns.




The explosion of a massive star blazes with the light of 200 million Suns in this NASA Hubble Space Telescope image. The arrow at top right points to the stellar blast, called a supernova. Credit: NASA, ESA, A.V. Filippenko (University of California, Berkeley), P. Challis (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), et al.
The supernova, called SN 2004dj, is so bright in the Hubble image that it easily could be mistaken for a foreground star in our Milky Way Galaxy. Yet it lies 11 million light-years from Earth in the outskirts of a galaxy called NGC 2403, nestled in a cluster of mostly massive bright blue stars only 14 million years old.

Source:SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM

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UK moths reveal 35-year decline
By Alex Kirby
BBC News Online environment correspondent  


British moths are in serious trouble, possibly because of changing climate, a scientist will reveal later this week.
Dr Kelvin Conrad of Rothamsted Research will tell the British Association's annual meeting in Exeter that about two-thirds of UK moths are declining.
He says about a fifth of all British moths are losing numbers sharply enough to cause conservationists concern.

Moths are seen as a good indicator of the general health of the environment, because they occupy most habitats.

Rothamsted Research, north of London, is the UK's largest agricultural research centre.

Dr Conrad will be presenting data from a 35-year study of moths caught in Rothamsted's nationwide network of light traps to the BA Festival of Science on 9 September.





 

The hedge rustic: Two-thirds of UK moths show some decline



Scarce footman: Some species are doing better



The moth decline mirrors that of UK butterflies

SOURCE: BBC NEWS  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3625296.stm




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Solar capsule crashes into Earth
A capsule from the Genesis probe, which has been gathering particles blown off the Sun, has crashed back to Earth.

The capsule entered the atmosphere as planned at 1554GMT (1654BST) but its drogue parachute failed to open.

Hollywood stunt pilots had been waiting to catch the capsule in midair to give its cargo a special soft landing.

The particles of solar wind in the capsule were being sought by scientists to help them understand the origin and evolution of the Sun and the planets.




The Genesis capsule will be recovered




The capsule was seen to tumble to Earth



SOURCE:BBC.CO.UK/NEWS    here  is the link to the whole story , which also includes a link to a video of the crash but at this time of posting the videolink did not seem to work !!http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3638926.stm


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Dying star creates fantasy-like sculpture of gas and dust
SPACE TELESCOPE SCIENCE INSTITUTE NEWS RELEASE

In this detailed view from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, the so-called Cat's Eye Nebula looks like the penetrating eye of the disembodied sorcerer Sauron from the film adaptation of "The Lord of the Rings."





Credit: NASA, ESA, HEIC, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

The nebula, formally cataloged NGC 6543, is every bit as inscrutable as the J.R.R. Tolkien phantom character. Though the Cat's Eye Nebula was one of the first planetary nebula to be discovered, it is one of the most complex such nebulae seen in space. A planetary nebula forms when Sun-like stars gently eject their outer gaseous layers that form bright nebulae with amazing and confounding shapes.
As if the Cat's Eye itself isn't spectacular enough, this new image taken with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) reveals the full beauty of a bull's eye pattern of eleven or even more concentric rings, or shells, around the Cat's Eye. Each 'ring' is actually the edge of a spherical bubble seen projected onto the sky -- that's why it appears bright along its outer edge.

Observations suggest the star ejected its mass in a series of pulses at 1,500-year intervals. These convulsions created dust shells, each of which contain as much mass as all of the planets in our solar system combined (still only one percent of the Sun's mass). These concentric shells make a layered, onion-skin structure around the dying star. The view from Hubble is like seeing an onion cut in half, where each skin layer is discernible.


SOURCE: Spaceflightnow.com

Guess we won't be looking for life around that star !!..but, phew !!..that's an incredible picture....here's the link for the much bigger version  (484k)http://imgsrc.hubblesite.org/hu/db/2004/27/images/a/formats/print.jpg

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« Last Edit: 13/09/2004 01:33:56 by neilep »
 

Offline OmnipotentOne

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Umm I think this is relevant.  Back in May like many know we have a overpopulation of cicadas Known as brude X.  My house was covered in them and you could hear there low buzzing noise everywhere, protruding wheve ever you went.  Heres some pictures of what it looked like when they died...



There were so many dead it killed the grass, and it stank for weeks[xx(]

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What part of the country was this? In southeastern PA we had no unusual Cicada activity.
 

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Dark matter 'superstructure' revealed by Chandra
CHANDRA X-RAY CENTER NEWS RELEASE

A nearby galaxy cluster is facing an intergalactic headwind as it is pulled by an underlying superstructure of dark matter, according to new evidence from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. Astronomers think that most of the matter in the universe is concentrated in long large filaments of dark matter and that galaxy clusters are formed where these filaments intersect.





A Chandra mosaic of images of the Fornax galaxy cluster reveals that the vast cloud of ten-million-degree Celsius gas surrounding the cluster core has a swept-back cometary shape that extends for more than half a million light years. This geometry suggests that the hot gas cloud is moving through a larger, but less dense cloud of gas, creating a ram pressure, or intergalactic headwind. Credit: NASA/CXC/Columbia U./C.Scharf et al.

Source: SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM

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Falling into Place: Atom mist yields nanobricks and mortar

Nanotechnologists envision using tiny structures to create ultrastrong materials and to build memory chips that store entire libraries. But these visions require making matter behave in exceptionally orderly ways.




NEAT TRICK. Orderly arrays of nanodots are spawning new materials and light-emitting devices. Only 7 nanometers across, these nickel dots occupy an aluminum-oxide matrix.
Narayan and Tiwari


Now, materials scientists Jagdish Narayan and Ashutosh Tiwari of North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Raleigh have induced tiny particles, or nanodots, of nickel to spontaneously assemble into exceptionally uniform, three-dimensional arrays of macroscopic size.


With this method, they've also created blends of copper nanodots and tin that they say are harder than steel. The company Kopin in Taunton, Mass., is already applying the technique to semiconductors that they use to manufacture unusually efficient light-emitting diodes.

Narayan and Tiwari describe their work in the September Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.


SOURCE: SCIENCENEWS.ORG





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« Last Edit: 15/09/2004 22:14:36 by neilep »
 

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Galactic contortionists captured in amazing image
GEMINI OBSERVATORY NEWS RELEASE


A stunning image released by the Gemini Observatory captures the graceful interactions of a galactic ballet, on a stage some 300 million light years away, that might better be described as a contortionist's dance.



Stephan's Quintet as imaged by the Gemini Observatory using the Multi-Object Spectrograph on Gemini North.  The interacting members of the cluster are almost 300 million light years away.  The galaxy NGC 7320 (top-center) is thought by most astronomers to be in the foreground (about 8-times closer) and is distinguished in this image by multiple red blobs indicating hydrogen clouds where stars are forming. Credit: Gemini Observatory Image/Travis Rector, University of Alaska Anchorage

The galaxies, members of a famous troupe called Stephan's Quintet, are literally tearing each other apart. Their shapes are warped by gravitational interactions occurring over millions of years. Sweeping arches of gas and dust trace the interactions and possible ghost-like passage of the galaxies through one another. The ongoing dance deformed their structures while spawning a prolific fireworks display of star formation fueled by clouds of hydrogen gas that were shocked into clumps to form stellar nurseries.


SOURCE: SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM

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Huygens test successful
EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY NEWS RELEASE

ESA's Huygens probe, now orbiting Saturn on board the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini spacecraft, is in good health and successfully passed its fifteenth 'In-Flight Checkout' on 14 September 2004.




An artist's concept shows Huygens parachuting to Titan after deployment from the Cassini orbiter. Credit: EADS Astrium
 

This in-flight checkout procedure was the last but one planned before separation of the Huygens probe from Cassini in December this year, and it included some specific activities that were intended to prepare for the separation. The main difference in this procedure from previous checkouts was that there was a test of the Master Timer Unit (MTU).
The MTU is the 'triple-redundant' alarm-clock that has the most important job of waking up Huygens a few hours before its entry into Titan's atmosphere

Source: Spaceflightnow.com

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Green, Leafy Spinach May Soon Power More Than Popeye’s Biceps
For the first time, MIT researchers have incorporated a plant’s ability to convert sunlight to energy into a solid-state electronic “spinach sandwich” device that may one day power laptops and cell phones.

At the heart of the device is a protein complex dubbed Photosystem I (PSI). Derived from spinach chloroplasts, PSI is 10 to 20 nanometers wide. Around 100,000 of them would fit on the head of a pin. “They are the smallest electronic circuits I know of,” said researcher Marc A. Baldo, assistant professor of electronic engineering and computer science at MIT.

 protein complex named Photosystem I, which is derived from spinach chloroplasts, functions as an extremely small electronic circuit. About 100,000 of them would fit on the head of a pin. (Image courtesy of Massachusetts Institute Of Technology

SOURCE:SCIENCEDAILY.COM
Original Source: MIT


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Massive merger of galaxies is most powerful on record
NASA NEWS RELEASE

An international team of scientists, led by a NASA-funded researcher, announced today, they observed a nearby head-on collision of two galaxy clusters. The clusters smashed together thousands of galaxies and trillions of stars. It is one of the most powerful events ever witnessed. Such collisions are second only to the Big Bang in total energy output.



This artist's concept shows what the scientists are calling the perfect cosmic storm: galaxy clusters that collided like two high-pressure weather fronts and created hurricane-like conditions, tossing galaxies far from their paths and churning shock waves of 100-million-degree gas through intergalactic space. Credit: NASA

SOURCE: SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM


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Big Gulp? Neck ribs may have given aquatic beast unique feeding style

The fossilized neck bones of a 230-million-year-old sea creature have features suggesting that the animal's snakelike throat could flare open and create suction that would pull in prey. Such a feeding strategy has never before been proposed for an ancient aquatic reptile.




THAT'S A STRETCH. Features of the fossilized neck bones of Dinocephalosaurus suggest that the creature, at least 3 meters long, captured its prey by creating water suction as it struck.
C. Cain/AAAS, Science


SOURCE: SCIENCENEWS.ORG

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Mars orbiter sees rover, lander and even wheel tracks
NASA/JPL NEWS RELEASE
 

NASA's Mars Global Surveyor, starting its third mission extension this week after seven years of orbiting Mars, is using an innovative technique to capture pictures even sharper than most of the more than 170,000 it has already produced.




Wheel tracks left by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit, and even the rover itself, are visible in this image from the Mars Orbiter Camera on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter. Credit: NASA/JPL/MSSS
Download a larger image version here: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/figures/PIA06879_fig1.jpg


One dramatic example from the spacecraft's Mars Orbiter Camera shows wheel tracks of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit and the rover itself. Another tells scientists that no boulders bigger than about 1 to 2 meters (3 to 7 feet) are exposed in giant ripples created by a catastrophic flood.

Source: Spaceflightnow.com



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Medieval surgeons were advanced
Surgeons were carrying out complicated skull operations in medieval times, the remains of a body found at an archaeological dig show.
A skull belonging to a 40-year-old peasant man, who lived between 960 and 1100AD, is the firmest evidence yet of cranial surgery, say its discoverers.



The peasant's skull had been operated on

The remains, found in Yorkshire, show the man survived an otherwise fatal blow to the head thanks to surgery.

Nearly 700 skeletons were unearthed by English Heritage at a site near Malton.


SOURCE: BBC



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Unraveling a 400-year-old supernova mystery
NASA NEWS RELEASE


Four hundred years ago, sky watchers, including the famous astronomer Johannes Kepler, best known as the discoverer of the laws of planetary motion, were startled by the sudden appearance of a "new star" in the western sky, rivaling the brilliance of the nearby planets.

 


NASA's three Great Observatories ‹ the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory - joined forces to probe the expanding remains of a supernova, called Kepler's supernova remnant, first seen 400 years ago by sky watchers, including famous astronomer Johannes Kepler. Credit: NASA, ESA, R. Sankrit and W. Blair (Johns Hopkins University)
Download larger image version here
http://imgsrc.hubblesite.org/hu/db/2004/29/images/a/formats/print.jpg

Modern astronomers, using NASA's three orbiting Great Observatories, are unraveling the mysteries of the expanding remains of Kepler's supernova, the last such object seen to explode in our Milky Way galaxy.

When a new star appeared Oct. 9, 1604, observers could use only their eyes to study it. The telescope would not be invented for another four years. A team of modern astronomers has the combined abilities of NASA's Great Observatories, the Spitzer Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory, to analyze the remains in infrared radiation, visible light, and X-rays. Ravi Sankrit and William Blair of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore lead the team.

The combined image unveils a bubble-shaped shroud of gas and dust, 14 light-years wide and expanding at 6 million kilometers per hour (4 million mph). Observations from each telescope highlight distinct features of the supernova, a fast-moving shell of iron-rich material, surrounded by an expanding shock wave sweeping up interstellar gas and dust.



These images represent views of Kepler's supernova remnant taken in X-rays, visible light, and infrared radiation. Each top panel shows the entire remnant. Each color in this image represents a different region of the electromagnetic spectrum, from X-rays to infrared light. The X-ray and infrared data cannot be seen with the human eye. Astronomers have color-coded those data so they can be seen in these images. The bottom panels are close-up views of the remnant. Credit: NASA, ESA, R. Sankrit and W. Blair (Johns Hopkins University)Download larger image version http://imgsrc.hubblesite.org/hu/db/2004/29/images/g/formats/web_print.jpg

The explosion of a star is a catastrophic event. The blast rips the star apart and unleashes a roughly spherical shock wave that expands outward at more than 35 million kilometers per hour (22 million mph) like an interstellar tsunami. The shock wave spreads out into surrounding space, sweeping up any tenuous interstellar gas and dust into an expanding shell. The stellar ejecta from the explosion initially trail behind the shock wave. It eventually catches up with the inner edge of the shell and is heated to X-ray temperatures.

SOUCE: SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM
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« Last Edit: 08/10/2004 15:30:33 by neilep »
 

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What is it? Mystery object discovered by astronomersNATIONAL OPTICAL ASTRONOMY OBSERVATORY NEWS RELEASE


Astronomers using the Gemini North and Keck II telescopes have peered inside a violent binary star system to find that one of the interacting stars has lost so much mass to its partner that it has regressed to a strange, inert body resembling no known star type.



A close-up view of the EF Eridanus system as it might appear today given that most of the radiation emitted by the system is in the infrared part of the specrum and not visible to the human eye. Credit: Gemini Observatory/Jon Lomberg
 
Unable to sustain nuclear fusion at its core and doomed to orbit with its much more energetic white dwarf partner for millions of years, the dead star is essentially a new, indeterminate type of stellar object.


SOURCE: Spaceflightnow.com



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Discovery of the oldest remains of a woman who died in childbirth
3,000 years ago.





A woman of the Argaric culture went into a difficult labour with a badly positioned foetus. The outcome was fatal: the woman and her child died. The remains of the grave were found at the "El cerro de las Viñas" site in 1996. Now a team of anthropologists from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona have established that these are the oldest remains of this type to have been described by scientists.

SOURCE: EUREKALERT.ORG

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Offline gsmollin

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quote:
Originally posted by neilep

What is it? Mystery object discovered by astronomersNATIONAL OPTICAL ASTRONOMY OBSERVATORY NEWS RELEASE


Astronomers using the Gemini North and Keck II telescopes have peered inside a violent binary star system to find that one of the interacting stars has lost so much mass to its partner that it has regressed to a strange, inert body resembling no known star type.



A close-up view of the EF Eridanus system as it might appear today given that most of the radiation emitted by the system is in the infrared part of the specrum and not visible to the human eye. Credit: Gemini Observatory/Jon Lomberg
 
Unable to sustain nuclear fusion at its core and doomed to orbit with its much more energetic white dwarf partner for millions of years, the dead star is essentially a new, indeterminate type of stellar object.


SOURCE: Spaceflightnow.com



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I thought this was called a "brown dwarf", and can be very numerous. Most are thought to form from nebulae that are simply not massive enough to produce a star. This method, loss through a Roche radius to a more massive partner, may be more common than we think. There could be another twist. If the star losses enough mass to its binary partner so that the white dwarf exceeds the Chandesakar limit, the white dwarf will supernova, and the blast could blow away enough of the less massive star to leave a brown dwarf behind.
 

Offline gsmollin

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Well that sucked. It didn't post my thoughtful reply. Well, anyway, this is what I wrote:

I think this is called a "brown dwarf" because it is a failed star that radiates gravitational binding energy in the infrared. Most are thought to form in nebula simply not massive enough to form a star. This could be a second way. I can think of a third. If the star losses enough mass through its Roche radius to the white dwarf companion, the white dwarf can exceed the Chandrasakar limit and supernova. The blast could blow away enough stellar mass to produce a brown dwarf, orbiting a neutron star.
 

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Photo gallery: Soyuz rocket rolls to the launch pad






The Soyuz rocket to launch the Expedition 10 crew to the International Space Station is rolled from its assembly building to the Baikonur Cosmodrome pad. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Source: SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM



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Astronomers discover planet building is big messNASA NEWS RELEASE
Planets are built over a long period of massive collisions between rocky bodies as big as mountain ranges, astronomers announced today.

New observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope reveal surprisingly large dust clouds around several stars. These clouds most likely flared up when rocky, embryonic planets smashed together. The Earth's own moon may have formed from such a catastrophe. Prior to these new results, astronomers thought planets were formed under less chaotic circumstances.




This animation illustrates a massive collision between rocky, embryonic planets as big as mountain ranges. Such collisions form the basis of the planet-building process. New findings from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope show that these catastrophes continue to occur around stars even after they have developed full-sized planets, when they are as old as one hundred million years. For reference, our own Sun, at 4.5 billion years old, is far past this late stage of planet formation. Credit: NASA/JPL

SOURCE: SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM

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Science salutes its ocean giant

All great careers come to an end and the deep-sea manned submersible Alvin goes into retirement after 40 years of remarkable work in the world's oceans.
The sub has taken 12,000 people on over 4,000 dives, to observe the lifeforms that must cope with super-pressures and move about in total darkness.

It is said Alvin research has featured in nearly 2,000 scientific papers.

It helped confirm the theory of plate tectonics and continental drift, and discovered hydrothermal vents.


SOURCE: By Virginia Phillips
BBC Science



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Graphite in Flatland: Carbon sheets may rival nanotubes

Anyone who has written with a pencil may have unwittingly made a few traces of a promising new nanomaterial. Among the thick smears of graphite deposited when a pencil rubs along paper are probably some carbon films only a few atoms thick, says physicist Andre K. Geim of the University of Manchester in England.

In laboratory experiments, he and his colleagues at Manchester and in Russia have now created freestanding carbon films as thin as one atom. The researchers call the surprising material "few-layer graphene."

In the Oct. 22 Science, the team also reports that it formed the material into a novel prototype transistor that's expected to produce less heat than a conventional transistor does.

"I find this one of the most interesting discoveries that has emerged in condensed-matter physics in the last decade," comments Laurence Eaves of the University of Nottingham in England.

These new findings are "truly outstanding" and "bear huge significance in this field" of carbon nanostructures, adds Philip Kim of Columbia University, who says he has made slightly thicker carbon layers with similar properties




WHAT FLAKES. A 1-atom-thick flake of graphene has settled onto a silicon dioxide surface (burnt-orange background in above image). In some regions, it folds back on itself like fabric (lightest orange). Atomic-force-microscope image represents a field 10 micrometers wide.
K. Novoselov, et al./Science



A gauzy patch of atom-thick graphene 200 nanometers long connects two electrodes (gold

SOURCE: SCIENCENEWS.ORG

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Eyes on Xanadu
CASSINI PHOTO RELEASE

 
Eyes on Xanadu
CASSINI PHOTO RELEASE
Posted: October 25, 2004

This image taken on Oct. 24, 2004, reveals Titan's bright "continent-sized" terrain known as Xanadu. It was acquired with the narrow angle camera on Cassini's imaging science subsystem through a spectral filter centered at 938 nanometers, a wavelength region at which Titan's surface can be most easily detected. The surface is seen at a higher contrast than in previously released imaging science subsystem images due to a lower phase angle (Sun-Titan-Cassini angle), which minimizes scattering by the haze
 



The image shows details about 10 times smaller than those seen from Earth. Surface materials with different brightness properties (or albedos) rather than topographic shading are highlighted. The image has been calibrated and slightly enhanced for contrast. It will be further processed to reduce atmospheric blurring and to optimize mapping of surface features. The origin and geography of Xanadu remain mysteries at this range. Bright features near the south pole (bottom) are clouds. On Oct. 26, Cassini will acquire images of features in the central-left portion of this image from a position about 100 times closer.

SOURCE: SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM


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