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Science @ the European Space Agency ESA, keeping you posted on European space science activities.
13 May 20
A new #comet was discovered last month by amateur astronomer Micheal Mattiazzo from Australia. Just, he did not look at the sky to do so. He inspected images from #SOHO, our Solar and Heliospheric Observatory.

Meet C2020/F8, aka Comet SWAN 👇👍
Details 👉
esa.int/Science_Explor…
Here is a photo of the comet from 2 May 👇
Today, it reached its closest approach to Earth at around 85 million km, and it is headed towards its closest point to the Sun on 27 May. It is now faintly visible to the naked eye. Will it become brighter?
It can be extremely difficult to predict the behaviour of comets, but scientists are hopeful that Comet SWAN will remain bright enough to see as it continues its journey. If it survives, star gazers should look for it near the bright star Capella in the constellation of Auriga ☄️
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28 May 19
Today we'd like to share some fun facts about #Mars and our discoveries so far with #ESA Mars Express & @ESA_TGO. But first let's take a look at the @esa @NASA @isro @roscosmos spacecraft currently investigating the Red Planet:
📷Hi-res: esa.int/spaceinimages/… #ExploreFarther
@ESA_TGO @esa @NASA @isro @roscosmos Did you know there is a telecommunications network at #Mars? Orbiters relay commands and send #science data from landers & rovers back to #Earth. Our #ExoMars @ESA_TGO is a key provider of data relay services!🔴〰️🛰〰️🌍 #ExploreFarther
📷Hi-res: esa.int/spaceinimages/…
@ESA_TGO @esa @NASA @isro @roscosmos Did you know that you can find out what the #weather is on #Mars? Landers & rovers report the local weather while orbiters keep an eye on global atmosphere developments including cloud formations and dust storms☁️🌪

📷Hi-res: esa.int/spaceinimages/… #ExploreFarther #Space19plus
Read 25 tweets
4 Feb 19
#SpaceScience #ImageOfTheWeek: Grab your #3D glasses & dive into a river delta on #Mars! 💦 This recent image was taken by @ExoMars_CaSSIS onboard our @ESA_TGO, currently investigating the planet’s atmosphere & mapping subsurface water-ice. #ScienceAtESA 📷esa.int/spaceinimages/…
Our @ESA_TGO is part one of the joint @esa @roscosmos #ExoMars programme. Coming soon is @ESA_MarsRover, set for launch in 2020 and landing on #Mars in 2021 in a quest to look for evidence for life buried underground. esa.int/exomars #ScienceAtESA #Space19Plus
More exciting #MarsRover news to come later this week..! 🔎
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25 Oct 18
Over the past few weeks, the @esamarswebcam on our #Mars Express mission has been observing an elongated cloud hovering near Arsia Mons volcano ⬇️
Not linked to volcanic activity, this water-ice cloud is driven by the slope's influence on the air flow: esa.int/Our_Activities…
@esamarswebcam The formation of water-ice clouds is sensitive to the amount of dust in the atmosphere (remember the #Marsstorm in June/July?) ☁️ The cloud was also observed with OMEGA (left) & High Resolution Stereo Camera (right) on #Mars Express, providing extra #data to study the phenomenon
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20 Oct 18
Greetings from @ESA's operations centre in Germany, where we're following the launch of #BepiColombo together with mission experts. The spacecraft are on the launch pad at Europe's #Spaceport in Kourou & in just over 1 hour will blast off into space. Destination: planet #Mercury
#BepiColombo is a collaboration between @ESA and @JAXA_en to explore the innermost planet in our Solar System. For a primer on #Mercury and the mission, here's a useful thread 👇
And for a unique "first-person" account, follow the three spacecraft accounts: @ESA_Bepi, @JAXA_MMO & @ESA_MTM
Read 24 tweets
21 Sep 18
The high-gain antenna of our #SolarOrbiter mission, which inherited high-temperature technologies & materials from @BepiColombo's antenna, is now ready to be integrated with the spacecraft ahead of upcoming satellite testing campaign ☀️🛰️
Details: sci.esa.int/solar-orbiter/…
The #SolarOrbiter spacecraft is about to leave the @AirbusSpace facilities in the UK to start testing at @IABG_mbH in Germany. Scheduled for launch in 2020, the mission will investigate the #Sun & its corona, the solar wind close to the Sun, and the Sun's uncharted polar regions.
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4 Sep 18
Remember the famous hexagon at #Saturn's north pole? A new study based on @CassiniSaturn data has revealed a similarly-shaped vortex high up in the planet's atmosphere, suggesting the hexagon is a towering structure hundreds of km in height 😯
Details: sci.esa.int/cassini-huygen…
The new result is based on a long-term study of #Saturn's upper atmosphere in infrared wavelengths, monitoring the growth of the hexagonal vortex between 2013 and 2017, as the planet's northern hemisphere headed toward summer solstice 🌀
Figure & credits: sci.esa.int/cassini-huygen…
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25 Jul 18
🔴💦 Our #Mars Express satellite has detected liquid #water hidden under the planet’s south polar ice cap. Full story: esa.int/Our_Activities…
We know from orbiters, landers & rovers that #Mars had a wet past, with its vast dried out river channels & minerals that can only form in liquid #water, but it is not stable on the surface anymore, so scientists are looking underground…
Until now evidence from the #Mars Express radar experiment MARSIS, the first radar sounder ever to orbit another planet, remained inconclusive. A new operating mode generating higher-quality data was needed to seek out better evidence for buried #water...
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17 Jul 18
From an almost perfect Universe to the best of both worlds: final data release of our @Planck mission confirms the standard model of cosmology... but with a few details to puzzle over ➡️ esa.int/Our_Activities…
Planck scanned the sky between 2009 and 2013 to observe the Cosmic Microwave Background, or #CMB, which is the most ancient light in the history of our Universe, emitted only 400,000 years after the Big Bang, and hidden beneath the microwave emission of our Milky Way galaxy
The first @Planck data release, in 2013, revealed the most precise image of the Cosmic Microwave Background ever obtained. Tiny fluctuations of the #CMB temperature in the sky allow scientists to investigate the contents, history & expansion of our #Universe in painstaking detail
Read 8 tweets