This Is The First Photo Ever Taken of Earth From Space

These days we get to see photos of our planet taken from space literally every day. Astronauts and cosmonauts living and working aboard the ISS, weather and Earth-observing satellites in various orbits, even distant spacecraft exploring other planets in our Solar System… all have captured images of Earth from near and far. But there was…

On the Lunatic Fringe: LADEE’s First Pictures of the Moon

It’s getting so a spacecraft can’t take a decent picture these days without SOMEONE getting in the way! (*Ahem* MOON.) But then it just might be the lunatic we’re looking for… The image above is one of five that were downlinked by NASA’s Lunar Atmospheric Dust Environment Explorer — aka LADEE (that’s “laddie” à la…

OMG Saturn.

Go get some extra socks handy because this new image of Saturn is going to knock ’em clean off your feet. Seen in eclipse against the light of the Sun, Saturn and its rings seem to glow with a magical light in this picture, painstakingly assembled from 141 separate wide-angle images taken by the Cassini spacecraft…

A Cosmic Quotation Mark? No, It’s Just Another Moon of Saturn

What looks like a single open-quote (or backwards comma) is really Saturn’s two-toned moon Iapetus, seen here in RGB composite color made from raw images acquired by Cassini on Aug. 30 from a distance of about 1.5 million miles. With a leading side stained a dark reddish hue and a trailing side bright white, the…

This is the World Waving at Saturn

On July 19 did you wave at Saturn as Cassini was aiming its camera back our way? If you did (and if you sent a photo of you waving to JPL, like I did) you’re in this awesome new image, a compilation of 1400 submitted photos from assembled into a mosaic of Earth, a planet-wide…

The Frightful Fallacy of “False Color”

I rarely ever reblog posts, but this is an excellent criticism on the term “false color” and its oft-maligned perception by the modern public, and also a support of coloration techniques used in astronomy to produce the beautiful — and scientifically valuable — space images we have all come to enjoy (and expect!) By Dr….

Want to see a BILLION-pixel view of Mars from Curiosity?

Well, here you go. Don’t say I never gave you nothin’. 😉 Actually this is a NASA-produced image made of 850 frames taken by Curiosity’s MastCam, showing the view from the rover as of late October/early November 2012. Mount Sharp (Aeolis Mons) rises in the distance, and the mountainous rim of Gale Crater can be…

The Horsehead Nebula Like You’ve Never Seen It Before

Holy Horsehead, Batman! You’ve probably seen photos of the famous Horsehead nebula in Orion many times before, but NOTHING like this! Astronomers have used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to photograph the iconic Horsehead Nebula in a new, infrared light to mark the 23rd anniversary of the famous observatory’s launch aboard the space shuttle Discovery on…

A Clear Blue Sky on Mars

There’s nothing like a beautiful sunny day in Gale crater! The rusty sand crunching beneath your wheels, a gentle breeze blowing at a balmy 6º C (43º F), Mount Sharp rising in the distance into a clear blue sky… wait, did I just say blue sky? Yes I did. But no worries — Mars hasn’t…

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…