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…

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.

Curiosity’s Camera Reveals “Southwestern” Landscape on Mars

Wow — what a view! This is a high-resolution shot of the Curiosity rover’s ultimate goal: the stratified flanks of Gale Crater’s 3.4-mile (5.5-km) high central peak, Mount Sharp. The image was taken with Curiosity’s 34mm Mastcam as a calibration test… if views like this are what we can expect from the MSL mission, all I can…

A Lomographic Look at Mount Sharp

Looking like an old photograph of a Western U.S. landscape, this is a view from Curiosity’s acquired on August 18 (UTC) with the rover’s right Navcam. I colored the image using some of Curiosity’s previous color shots for reference, and adjusted the curves quite a bit from the original to bring out some contrast. The…

Heads Up, Curiosity!

This just in: the latest full-size image from Curiosity shows the rover’s shadow with its “head” extended…. hello, Curiosity! 🙂 The image above was taken with the rover’s left navcam, and also shows its branded plate and cool little Atari-esque “logo”. Awesome! You can see more raw images from Curiosity on the JPL site here….

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…

The Colors of Titan and Saturn

The pumpkin-orange colors of Titan’s thick clouds appear in stark contrast in front of the limb of Saturn, which appears quite blue along its sunlit limb due to Rayleigh scattering, the same process that makes the sky look blue here on Earth. The image here is a color composite made from three separate raw images…

Expedition 31 Sails Back to Earth

A Soyuz TMA-03M capsule descended to the steppes of Kazakhstan this morning at 4:14 a.m., returning Expedition 31 crew members Oleg Kononenko, Don Pettit and André Kuipers to Earth after 193 days working aboard the Space Station. The dramatic photo above was captured by NASA photographer Bill Ingalls, showing the Soyuz vehicle as it parachuted down…

More Evidence for Titan’s Underground Ocean

As Titan travels around Saturn during its 16-day elliptical orbits, it gets rhythmically squeezed by the gravitational pull of the giant planet — an effect known as tidal flexing. Now, if this cloud-covered moon were mostly composed of rock, the flexing would be in the neighborhood of around 3 feet (1 meter.) But based on measurements…

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.

A Blue Marble Martini – With Extra Ice

This latest portrait of Earth from NASA’s Suomi NPP satellite puts the icy Arctic in the center, showing the ice and clouds that cover our planet’s northern pole. The image you see here was created from data acquired during fifteen orbits of Earth. Read the rest of this article here.