You need to upgrade your Flash Player The theme of this blog is not only and obviously space, but in particular “terrestrial worlds”, places that tend to have surfaces on which one could walk or at least attach oneself to. These places sometimes also have other earth-like familiar features such as atmospheres, weather, volcanos, geysers and perhaps, we are finding, even exotic oceans, rivers or lakes that are not necessarily made of familiar materials we are used to here at home. The second theme is imagery. Occasionally I do some retouching of images when needed if an image is incomplete or sometimes “dirty” or noisy. I will attempt to correct image shortcomings based upon other images or well-accepted presumed attributes. When this is done, notes will be offered as to what was added, why and sometimes how it was done. This way no one should ever wonder if something they are looking at is real or photoshop.

Archive for June, 2009

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Launch

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is up and out. Its mission is similar to that of the Surveyor missions of the early 60’s. You wouldn’t think we would be needing to do this again, but it is looking for safe places for future manned missions to land. The exciting part is that it will also be seeking out any potential for much needed resources like water trapped in permanently shaded areas in the polar regions. Not having to pack your water bottles for a long Lunar mission would be a big plus.

The best part is that LRO will observe LCROSS smash into the moon and make a big mess in October.

Apollo 11 Owners Manual

Monday, June 15th, 2009

If happen to come to own one of these bad boys from the late 60’s early 70’s you are going to need this owners manual. The original owners of these models rarely have this on-hand. If you are in the market, beware of any models from the 13 line since that model had a well-known faulty oxygen tank that is likely to scrub any potential trips to the Lunar surface you may have planned. Get it from Haynes online.

Earth Ring and the End of Kaguya

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

The Kaguya moon orbiter has reached the end of its mission and on June 10th the spacecraft executed an uncontrolled impact into the surface of the moon. The impact was captured from ground-based observation (at left) and is the small round flash seen dead-center.

One of the mission’s final masterpeices of hi-def video was capturing an Earth eclipse of the Sun for the first time from the Moon. The image at top shows the details in 8 key frames and the actual video can be seen here on youTube.

I’m the Moon

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

The genius that is Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt has this intriguing recurring character that comes at various times throughout its television show named “The Mighty Boosh”. Its is… “The Moon”. The Moon is an odd character that often injects an observation pretty much independent of anything related to the storyline in betwen scenes. Essentially it is Noel Fielding’s face covered in some kind of cream ala Georges Meliès classic “A Trip to the Moon” and is always, always funny.

Rings Not Entirely Flat

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

Recent observations of Saturn’s rings from Cassini reveal some vertical structure to the rings. Shown here are disturbances caused by Daphnis, a small moonlet that orbits within the Keeler Gap of the rings. We have seen much of these kinds of disturbances in the rings from tiny moonlets, but the Saturninan equinox finally provides us with an angle of sunlight that reveals such structures from the long shadows they cast. The tallest shadow seen at right is Daphnis itself.

Rhea in Great Detail

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Closest view of Rhea (moon of Saturn) at full resolution, taken at about 98,000-100,000km on February 2009. Mosaic by Exploitcorporations at

ISS Looking Like its from the Battlestar Armada

Monday, June 1st, 2009

This is one of the more theatrical images I have ever seen of The International Space Station. I think I see Adama’s living quarters.