Scipsy

Working in Space by V. Bétoulaud.
A set of 10 illustrations showing European space activities
ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle Jules Verne (via ESA)

ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle Jules Verne (via ESA)

Soyuz VS01 on launch pad (by europeanspaceagency)

Soyuz VS01 on launch pad (by europeanspaceagency)

Expedition 30 Soyuz Rollout (by nasa hq photo)

Expedition 30 Soyuz Rollout (by nasa hq photo)

Shuttle STS-134 back from enhancing Space Station
Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA (by magisstra)

Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA (by magisstra)

 Record loss of ozone over Arctic

ESA’s Envisat satellite has measured record low levels of ozone over the Euro-Atlantic sector of the northern hemisphere during March. This record low was caused by unusually strong winds, known as the polar vortex, which isolated the atmospheric mass over the North Pole and prevented it from mixing with air in the mid-latitudes. This led to very low temperatures and created conditions similar to those that occur every southern hemisphere winter over the Antarctic. As March sunlight hit this cold air mass it released chlorine and bromine atoms – ozone-destroying gases that originate from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and break ozone down into individual oxygen molecules – predominantly in the lower stratosphere, around 20 km above the surface. Ozone is a protective atmospheric layer found at around 25 km  altitude that acts as a sunlight filter shielding life on Earth from  harmful ultraviolet rays, which can harm marine life and increase the  risk of skin cancer and cataracts.
Stratospheric temperatures in the Arctic show strong variations from  winter to winter. Last year, temperatures and ozone above the Arctic  were very high. The last unusually low stratospheric temperatures over  the North Pole were recorded in 1997.
Scientists are investigating why the 2011 and 1997 Arctic winters were  so cold and whether these random events are statistically linked to  global climate change. […] (via ESA)

Record loss of ozone over Arctic

ESA’s Envisat satellite has measured record low levels of ozone over the Euro-Atlantic sector of the northern hemisphere during March. This record low was caused by unusually strong winds, known as the polar vortex, which isolated the atmospheric mass over the North Pole and prevented it from mixing with air in the mid-latitudes. This led to very low temperatures and created conditions similar to those that occur every southern hemisphere winter over the Antarctic. As March sunlight hit this cold air mass it released chlorine and bromine atoms – ozone-destroying gases that originate from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and break ozone down into individual oxygen molecules – predominantly in the lower stratosphere, around 20 km above the surface. Ozone is a protective atmospheric layer found at around 25 km altitude that acts as a sunlight filter shielding life on Earth from harmful ultraviolet rays, which can harm marine life and increase the risk of skin cancer and cataracts.

Stratospheric temperatures in the Arctic show strong variations from winter to winter. Last year, temperatures and ozone above the Arctic were very high. The last unusually low stratospheric temperatures over the North Pole were recorded in 1997.

Scientists are investigating why the 2011 and 1997 Arctic winters were so cold and whether these random events are statistically linked to global climate change. […] (via ESA)


ESA’s GOCE mission has delivered the most accurate model of the ‘geoid’  ever produced, which will be used to further our understanding of how  Earth works.
A precise model of Earth’s geoid is crucial for deriving accurate  measurements of ocean circulation, sea-level change and terrestrial ice  dynamics. The geoid is also used as a reference surface from which to  map the topographical features on the planet. In addition, a better  understanding of variations in the gravity field will lead to a deeper  understanding of Earth’s interior, such as the physics and dynamics  associated with volcanic activity and earthquakes. (Credits: ESA/HPF/DLR; via ESA)

ESA’s GOCE mission has delivered the most accurate model of the ‘geoid’ ever produced, which will be used to further our understanding of how Earth works.

A precise model of Earth’s geoid is crucial for deriving accurate measurements of ocean circulation, sea-level change and terrestrial ice dynamics. The geoid is also used as a reference surface from which to map the topographical features on the planet. In addition, a better understanding of variations in the gravity field will lead to a deeper understanding of Earth’s interior, such as the physics and dynamics associated with volcanic activity and earthquakes. (Credits: ESA/HPF/DLR; via ESA)

(Source: twitpic.com)

Santiago, Cabo Verde (by Paolo Nespoli)
LISA will be the first space-based mission to attempt the detection of gravitational waves. These are ripples in space that are emitted by exotic objects such as black holes. (via ESA Portal - How to keep LISA’s laser on target five million km away)

LISA will be the first space-based mission to attempt the detection of gravitational waves. These are ripples in space that are emitted by exotic objects such as black holes. (via ESA Portal - How to keep LISA’s laser on target five million km away)