All posts by Tom



ESA is getting ready to begin its mission to map Earth’s oceans and land surfaces with the Sentinel-3A satellite.

We see the satellite being put inside a rocket fairing on 08 February at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia in preparation for launch. Image: ESA–Stephane Corvaja, 2016.

The Sentinel-3 mission is set to play a key role in the world’s largest environmental monitoring programme – Copernicus.


Reflection Nebula


A reflection nebula is an interstellar dust cloud that is reflecting light from a nearby star. In this case, a young star is lighting up IC2631 and is shown by this great image from the ESO.

A newly formed star lights up the surrounding cosmic clouds in this image from ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. Dust particles in the vast clouds that surround the star HD 97300 diffuse its light, like a car headlight in enveloping fog, and create the reflection nebula IC 2631. Although HD 97300 is in the spotlight for now, the very dust that makes it so hard to miss heralds the birth of additional, potentially scene-stealing, future stars.

Credit: ESO

AggieSat4 and BEVO-2


Tim Peake captured this photo of the Texas A&M AggieSat4 and the Texas University BEVO-2 sats being released from the robotic arm in Japan’s Kibo Laboratory on 29 Jan 2016.  Each of the sats were built by the students in the respective schools.

Credit: NASA/ESA

Selfie Time


Another of Curiosity selfie, this one combines 57 images taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera at the end of Curiosity’s arm on Jan. 19. The image was taken in part of the Bagnold Dune Field, which lines the northwestern flank of Mars’ Mount Sharp.

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

London Calling


This look at London at night comes from NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren during a nighttime flyover of London on the International Space Station.


Two Views of a Comet


This image of “Rosetta’s Comet” by Paolo Bacci from San Marcello Pistoiese gives us a nice perspective on  Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.  It’s almost hard to believe it is the same comet as we see below from Rosetta’s NAVCAM.



Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0
Hat tip: Epic Cosmos