Sculptures by Sylvia Evers 

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Shuttle Atlantis Wrapped Up

The space shuttle Atlantis has been encased in a protective plastic, a wrap that will keep the spacecraft dust-free while construction crews finish building the exhibit hall to showcase her to the public.

Since reaching the retirement home, Atlantis was offloaded from the 76-wheel motorized transporter and secured to beams that will be used for lifting the 152,700-pound craft into its display configuration.

Workers this week covered the shuttle with the same type of wrapping you might see around boats being shipped down the highway. It will keep the dust and debris from coming in contact with the priceless artifact in the construction zone.

(Fonte: photoset.com)


Erik Söderberg: Fractal Experience part 2

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Animations of Saturn’s aurorae

Earth isn’t the only planet in the solar system with spectacular light shows. Both Jupiter and Saturn have magnetic fields much stronger than Earth’s. Auroras also have been observed on the surfaces of Venus, Mars and even on moons (e.g. Io, Europa, and Ganymede). The auroras on Saturn are created when solar wind particles are channeled into the planet’s magnetic field toward its poles, where they interact with electrically charged gas (plasma) in the upper atmosphere and emit light. Aurora features on Saturn can also be caused by electromagnetic waves generated when its moons move through the plasma that fills the planet’s magnetosphere.  The main source is the small moon Enceladus, which ejects water vapor from the geysers on its south pole, a portion of which is ionized. The interaction between Saturn’s magnetosphere and the solar wind generates bright oval aurorae around the planet’s poles observed in visible, infrared and ultraviolet light. The aurorae of Saturn are highly variable. Their location and brightness strongly depends on the Solar wind pressure: the aurorae become brighter and move closer to the poles when the Solar wind pressure increases.

Credit: ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser & L. Calçada)