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ESA Education

European Astro Pi Challenge: Phase 2 update On 25 November 2016, ESA Astronaut Thomas Pesquet kicked off Phase 2 of the European Astro Pi Challenge by assigning a primary and a secondary mission to the selected teams. It’s now time for an update!

01/13/2017

ESA Space Engineering & Technology

Hungary joins ESA’s Europe-wide technology network ESA’s Europe-wide network dedicated to finding down-to-Earth uses for space technologies has added Hungary, the Agency’s latest member.

01/13/2017

Astronomy & Astrophysics

Vol. 597
In section 2. Astrophysical processes Power requirements for cosmic ray propagation models involving diffusive reacceleration; estimates and implications for the damping of interstellar turbulence by L. O'C. Drury & A. W. Strong A&A 597, A117


This paper presents a surprisingly efficient physical process for diffusively accelerating cosmic ray particles . In this process, interstellar turbulence suffices to produce a substantial fraction of the cosmic ray energy in the Galaxy. Under very reasonable physical conditions, this acceleration may also be a previously unconsidered mechanism for damping the same turbulence on scales well above the diffusive subscale. This proposal is tested using GALPROP modeling, and can be easily incorporated in other particle propagation codes.

01/13/2017

Astronomy & Astrophysics

Vol. 585
In section 1. Letters A non-glitch speed-up event in the Crab Pulsar by M. Vivekanand A&A 597, L9


The Crab pulsar is one of the first radio pulsars ever detected, and the first one to be clearly linked to a supernova remnant. The neutron star spins at 33 ms and its rotation can be monitored both with radio telescopes and X-ray instruments, as the Crab is also a strong X-ray pulsar. The Crab pulsar is a precise clock. It is monitored monthly by radio telescope, and often by several X-ray instruments in orbit. Its spin period is known to an accuracy about 10 significant digits. As any other radio pulsar, the Crab pulsar slowly spins down due to rotational energy losses, which power the observed emission at all wavelengths. Sometimes it also shows glitches - sudden (less than a minute) increases of the spin frequency caused by some internal processes within the pulsar. In this Letter the discovery of a new type of speed-up event is reported. It is not impulsive, like a glitch, but it lasted for over two years. It is not easy to explain this new type of event. One possibility suggested by the author is in terms of an extra source of heat generated within the neutron star, resulting in a slowing down of the superfluid interior and speeding up the outer crust.

01/12/2017

NASA Image of the Day

Well-Preserved Impact Ejecta on MarsThis image of a well-preserved unnamed elliptical crater in Terra Sabaea, is illustrative of the complexity of ejecta deposits forming as a by-product of the impact process that shapes much of the surface of Mars.

01/12/2017

ESA Operations

Operations image of the week: Sentinel-2 mission controllers begin the year with intensive training for the March launch

01/12/2017

ESA Operations

Sentinel-2B launch preparations off to a flying start Some of us may be easing ourselves gently into the New Year, but for the team readying Sentinel-2B for liftoff on 7 March it’s full steam ahead.

01/12/2017

New Scientist - Space

A review of NASA research highlights the risk that prolonged social isolation poses to long-distance space missions, as well as other dangers like radiation

01/11/2017

NASA Image of the Day

NASA Astronaut Peggy WhitsonFlight Engineer Peggy Whitson along with Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough successfully installed three new adapter plates and hooked up electrical connections for three of the six new lithium-ion batteries on the International Space Station during last week's spacewalk.

01/11/2017

ESA Human Spaceflight

Proxima spacewalk live ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet is set for his first spacewalk, on Friday 13 January. Together with NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, he will exit the International Space Station at 12:05 GMT (13:05 CET) to complete a battery upgrade to the outpost’s power system.

01/11/2017