This is the Oldest Surviving Photo of the Moon

These days anyone with a cheap point-and-shoot camera or even a cell phone can snap a picture of the Moon (although I highly advise using at least an entry-level dSLR) but there was a time when that wasn’t the case. Go back to the late 1830s, when photography was in its infancy and methods for capturing light…

This is Our Best Photo of Neil Armstrong on the Moon

Everyone knows that Apollo 11 commander Neil A. Armstrong was the first human to set foot on the Moon (and if you didn’t know, that occurred on July 20, 1969 – yes, it really happened). It was a momentous, history-making event that many (like myself) consider one of the most impressive achievements of humankind. But oddly…

A Frog Makes One Giant Leap for Lunar Exploration

At 11:27 pm EDT on September 6, 2013, NASA’s LADEE mission lifted off aboard a Minotaur V rocket from the Wallops Flight Facility on the Virginia shore, a launch visible across the entire northeast coast as it arced beautifully over the Atlantic on its way to the Moon. Sadly, at least one frog may have…

Smile, Earth!

Hey everyone! Today, THIS is happening: That’s right — the entire planet will be photographed from Saturn by Cassini, 900 million miles away. So whatever you’re doing at that particular time, take a moment to look up, smile and wave! This will be one for the history books. Read more here.

A Comet and the Crescent Moon

As comet Pan-STARRS heads back out into the depths of the Solar System, it’s become visible to skywatchers in the northern hemisphere (after several weeks of putting on a show in southern skies.) While poor viewing due to weather confounded some over the past few days, many people did get some great views of this…

Blue Marble, Pale Blue Dot…whatever you call it, it’s Home

35 years ago today, September 18, 1977, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft turned its camera homeward just about two weeks after its launch, capturing the image above from a distance of 7.25 million miles (11.66 million km). It was the first time an image of its kind had ever been taken, showing the entire Earth and Moon together…

An Astronaut’s Lunar Family Photo

On April 23, 1972, Apollo 16 astronauts Charlie Duke and John Young embarked on the third and final EVA of the mission, exploring the Descartes Highlands via Lunar Roving Vehicle. During the EVA, just before setting up a Solar Wind Collector, Duke placed a small family photo he had brought along onto the lunar surface and snapped a few…

Multi Moons

    I can’t even begin to say how many moons Cassini captured in this raw image, taken yesterday October 6! I see Epimetheus and Janus and Pan and Daphnis (I think) and…Atlas?….and…and……..is that Tethys at the bottom? I’m not sure, but what I do know is that this is a whole lot of moons…

A Picture of Home

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter turned its cameras toward home from a distance of over 231,000 miles away on June 12, 2010. Looking back at Earth in this way helps to calibrate its Wide Angle Camera, and while doing so two images were taken with its Narrow Angle Camera and combined to create this beautiful black-and-white…

Hello, World

All I can say is ” 🙂 “. On its way back for its third and last flyby on Nov. 13, 2009, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft captured this beautiful photo of our planet. The illuminated crescent shows the south polar region, with some of Antarctica’s sea ice reflecting brightly through the swirling clouds….

Composition in White

949-mile-wide Rhea floats in front of the rings and the brightly-lit face of Saturn in this image from Cassini, taken on November 8. The face of Saturn, overexposed here in order to see detail in the rings and Rhea, appears as bright white, making a dramatic studio backdrop. The planet’s uppermost atmospheric haze is also…