Europe’s Sentinel-3A Returns Gorgeous “First Light” Earth Images

Captured by the EU’s Copernicus Sentinel-3A satellite on Feb. 29, 2016, this beautiful composition of blacks, purples, and blues shows the twilight transition across the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, located north of the Arctic Circle between Norway and the North Pole.  The snow-covered and fjord-cut large island of Spitsbergen can be seen at the right edge, while sea ice…

Cassini’s Best Look Yet At Saturn’s Crazy Hexagon

Yes, I said hexagon. If you haven’t heard, our solar system’s second-largest planet has another curious feature besides its sprawling rings; it’s also in possession of an uncannily geometric six-sided jet stream encircling its north pole — at the heart of which lies a churning hurricane-like vortex over 1,800 miles wide. This hexagon has been…

Northern Exposure

Here’s a look at Mars’ north polar ice cap as seen by ESA’s Mars Express orbiter on September 30, 2010, edited by astrophotographer and digital artist Mike Malaska. The original image was taken from an altitude of  6,627 miles above Mars. See how he created this image on his Flickr photostream here, and check out…