Is This New Picture of Earth From the Moon for Real? Yes, Yes It Is.

Today NASA released an amazing image of Earth taken from the Moon — specifically from lunar orbit by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been studying our Moon since the summer of 2009. In it our planet appears as an incredibly bright blue globe with swashes of white clouds and Africa and northeastern South America clearly visible…

Goodbye, MESSENGER. You May Be Gone But You Won’t Be Forgotten!

At 3:34 p.m. EDT (19:34 UTC) today, April 30, 2015, after more than ten years in space – and four of them in orbit –  the MESSENGER spacecraft’s operational life came to a conclusive end when it impacted the surface of Mercury, as planned. After revealing the surface of the innermost planet like no mission ever…

Three Wheels and a Mountain

NASA’s Curiosity rover takes a peek at a peak — the central peak of Gale Crater, that is! — as well as three of its Morse-code etched wheels in this picture, made from two images acquired with its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) instrument on September 9.

Incoming! First New Image of 2005 YU55

This radar image of 1300-foot-wide (400 meter) asteroid 2005 YU55 was obtained on Nov. 7, 2011, at 11:45 a.m. PST (2:45 p.m. EST/1945 UTC), when the space rock was at 3.6 lunar distances, which is about 860,000 miles, or 1.38 million kilometers, from Earth. This asteroid will pass by Earth tomorrow at 6:28 pm EST,…

A Beautiful Demise

I don’t usually post images of deep-space objects here but I had to make an exception for this one. With its most recent set of optics, installed in May 2009 during the STS-125 servicing mission (SM4), the Hubble Space Telescope is returning amazingly detailed images of distant, exotic objects – like the butterfly-shaped planetary nebula NGC 6302,…

Lunar Landscape

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has opened its eyes and sent back its first images since establishing orbit around the moon on June 23. The image above is from a region called Mare Nubium – “Sea of Clouds” – and is on the Earth-facing side of the moon. “Because of the deep shadowing, subtle topography is…