This Was Rosetta’s View of Earth and the Moon in March 2005

ESA’s comet-chasing Rosetta mission is best known today for its two historic firsts of entering orbit around a comet and sending a lander onto the surface of said comet, in May and November of 2014 respectively. But Rosetta didn’t just go directly from its March 2, 2004 launch to comet 67P; it had to perform…

Experience Earthrise with Apollo 8

On December 24, 1968, Apollo 8 entered lunar orbit making astronauts Frank Borman, Bill Anders, and Jim Lovell the first humans in history to travel around the Moon and see first-hand its hidden far side. During their 10-orbit voyage they captured one of the most well-known and iconic images of the Space Age: the blue-and-white…

Alan Friedman on Photographing the Sun

I’ve featured many of Alan Friedman’s amazing photos of the Sun here on Lights in the Dark, starting from the very first one I came across via the venerable Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) in November 2009. I’ve even featured Alan’s work in several articles I’ve written for National Geographic News,┬áDiscovery News, and Universe…

And The Sun Is Eclipsed By The Moon

If you didn’t get a chance to see the annular eclipse from where you are, either due to weather or location, here’s a shot of it I managed to grab from Dallas, TX just as the Sun emerged from some low clouds and right before it set beyond the trees.It was visible for perhaps five…

Monday Night Lights: October Aurorae Surprise Skywatchers

Powerful geomagnetic activity created colorful aurorae that delighted skywatchers around the world on the night of Monday, October 24. The photo above was taken by LITD fan Bob Trembley from his location in Chesterfield, Michigan with his Canon EOS Rebel XS. “I can NOT believe I got these shots!” Bob writes on his Facebook page….

WordPress Posting Challenge

Ok, it’s not really a challenge for me because I post an awful lot of things here on Lights in the Dark, but I think it’s great that WordPress is putting forth the effort to get more of their bloggers….well, blogging, with their Post Every Day Challenge. It’s an attempt to get people writing, regardless…

Southern Dunes

  Here’s an exceptionally beautiful image taken by the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter showing rippling dunes within a crater on Mars’ southern hemisphere. The way the dunes are lit reminds me of a Salvador Dali painting, the central area reminiscent of the lower part of a human face. The brightest areas are…

Images from Enceladus!

The raw images from Cassini’s eighth flyby of Enceladus are in! And they don’t disappoint…the highlight of the set so far, in my opinion, is the image above showing the moon’s signature ice geysers erupting from fracture lines called “tiger stripes” surrounding the south pole. Highlighted by sunlight, the plumes follow the lines of the…

Mars Rocks!

I don’t care how commonplace images like these have become over the past decade…it still fascinates me to look at photos of the rocky Martian landscape. Rugged, barren and empty as it is, it’s another planet. Every hill, every rock, every sand dune has never been touched by a person, or perhaps even any living…