Space Mountain!

Where do you suppose this rocky, jagged peak is located? Sierra Nevada? The French Alps? The Himalayas? Actually this craggy mountain is located much, much farther away than any of those Earthly ranges (although it’s currently getting closer by the day) – this is a peak on the 4-km-wide nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, imaged by…

Venus Express Survived Its Dive!

Having made over 3,000 orbits of Venus over the past eight years, ESA’s Venus Express has (as of May 15) completed its science mission and is now in the final few months of its operational life. With a nothing-left-to-lose attitude, the spacecraft recently made a daring and risky dive down into the upper layers of…

Cassini Marks Ten Discovery-Filled Years at Saturn

Just a week after Curiosity celebrated its first Martian year in Gale Crater and we have yet another milestone anniversary in Solar System exploration: as of 10:48 p.m. EDT tonight Cassini will have been in orbit around Saturn for a full decade! “There are times when human language is inadequate, when emotions choke the mind, when the magnitude…

Now You Can Watch Beautiful Live Video of Earth From Space

This is something really special, and everyone should know about it, and so I’m doing my part and sharing it here but please feel free to pass it along yourself as well. We now have publicly-accessible, high-definition video of our planet coming in live from the Space Station, thanks to the High Definition Earth Viewing…

Happy Birthday, ISS!

It’s been 15 years since the first piece of what we now know as the International Space Station left the surface of our planet. It was Russia’s Zarya module, launched aboard a Proton rocket on Nov. 20, 1998, and the U.S. followed suit two weeks later with the Unity module sent aboard the shuttle Endeavour….

No, this isn’t a shot from the film “Gravity” (but it could be)

I could say “how have I never heard of this!?” but the truth is I wasn’t blogging about space in February 2006 when this image was taken. Still, it’s no less incredible to watch! But if you’re not already familiar with this, it may not be exactly what you think…

Canadarm Soars Above Waves of Aurora

Sparked by a coronal mass ejection emitted from a sunspot on July 12, Earth’s aurora leapt into action both at the north and south poles three days later. Here we can see a view of the southern lights, or aurora australis, shimmering in green waves below the Space Station’s Canadarm on July 15. With 7…

Soaring Over a Shadow: An Eclipse Seen From Space

The May 20 annular eclipse, seen by many around the world as a “ring of fire” in the sky, was also seen by the astronauts aboard the ISS — although they also got a great view of the shadow that the Moon cast on the Earth as well! This HD video, a time-lapse made from…

High-Flying Ice Clouds Spotted From Space

Glowing high-altitude ice clouds were spotted over western Asia by the crew of the International Space Station on June 13 during one of their 16 daily orbits of the planet… the photo above shows the wispy filaments shining brightly in the mesosphere above western Iraq and Uzbekistan. Read the rest of this article here.

Good Librations!

As the Moon orbits Earth, it rotates at such a rate as to keep the same face aiming our way… but not exactly the same face, as shown in this excellent video from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (lovingly annotated by the Bad Astronomer himself, Dr. Phil Plait.) The Moon has a slight wobble to its axial…

How Many Stars Can Astronauts See?

Short answer: a lot. Long answer: a real lot… if you include the stars inside the Andromeda galaxy, which is also very visible from space as this recent time-lapse from the ISS shows!