February 9th, 2015
There are now several white spots appearing on Ceres as Dawn makes it’s final approach to the dwarf planet. Any knee-jerk expectation say that there is merely a brighter material beneath the surface that was revealed by ancient impacts. Why the surface is darker and the underneath material is brighter (see Iapetus) would be a mystery… but perhaps they still may be related to the active geysers scientists have previously predicted due to data provided by The Herschel Infrared Space Observatory.
We shall soon see.
January 26th, 2015
The Dawn spacecraft is approaching Ceres and has begun observations, including this first animation. Ceres is a dwarf planet that resides within the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter and is the last unexplored spherical body (that we know of) that resides within the orbit of Neptune. Read the rest of this entry »
January 10th, 2015
This was the view from Rosetta’s Philae lander when it came to rest upon Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. What is shown is one of the landers feet (bottom center) and a very craggy surface beyond. After bouncing 3-4 times, scientists assume that Philae finally came to rest set precariously upon an uneven surface. Despite these images and images taken from Rosetta orbiting above — they have yet to find exactly where the lander has settled. Read the rest of this entry »
November 28th, 2014
It is rare that an Earth images graces these pages because they are so much more common. But take a look at this. Something you do not see very often because the view requires a fairly rare polar orbit. Get the super-hires here. Thanks to Sploid/Gizmodo.
October 30th, 2014
All three designs are published for our Kickstarter project. Back us today and get this Curiosity poster, Voyager or Cassini (or all three) as large scale screen-printed posters.
October 21st, 2014
Consider backing our Kickstarter project and get this Cassini poster, Voyager or Curiosity (or all three) as large scale screen-printed posters.
October 20th, 2014
The poll is complete and the most popular robotic spacecraft in history have been selected. Thanks to the efforts by The Planetary Society. The top three missions selected here now represent the themes of our series of screen-printed posters celebrating the history of robotic space exploration. To support this effort please see our campaign page at Kickstarter.
The Voyager Program
As we expected the Voyager Program came into the top spot with 507 votes (18.5%). The poster for this design is already complete and available for viewing on the campaign page.
Cassini / Huygens
Cassini takes poster #2 with 432 votes (15.7%), effectively eclipsing it’s sister probe Galileo. This design is expected to be completed on or before October 23rd.
Mars Science Lab (aka Curiosity)
The newest member of the robotic Martian community of surface rovers, Curiosity arrived in 2012 and has stolen the thunder of the previous Mars Exploration Rovers with 340 votes (12.4%). This design is expected to be completed on or before October 31st.
Read the rest of this entry »
October 18th, 2014
Even though this sunset lacks the tiny disc of the sun, this image beats the previous sunset image for my hard-earned-cash.
October 16th, 2014
Our new Kickstarter project proposes the creation of three screen-printed posters celebrating the most popular and notable interplanetary robotic space missions in history. Going into this, we knew that poster #1 had to go to the hugely popular Voyager missions (shown above). However, we need your help selecting the themes of posters #2 and #3. So head over to The Planetary Society now to vote on your three favorite missions, but do it by the 19th to have it count for the poster selection. If this goes better than expected we could even wind up designing a fourth or fifth.
October 5th, 2014
You know how your Mother will always take the most predictable pictures at the holidays? Well, the Mars Orbiter Mission has done exactly that with it’s recent global image of Mars and it turns out to actually be quite a rare image. Despite so many probes being active at Mars at once, most are too close to the planet to be able to capture a full disc image like this. Read the rest of this entry »
October 2nd, 2014
It is hard to imagine that this is a 3D model by Matthias Malmer. Not a series of 120 images released by the Rosetta team and stitched into a movie, but rendered from just 4 images. I processed this quick animated gif and looking at the individual frames, cannot detect the difference between the individual frames and still images taken by Rosetta.
September 29th, 2014
Our new Kickstarter campaign will be live in a few days. Above are a few of the celestial assets illustrated for the animation/video we are producing for the campaign page.
September 27th, 2014
There is so little to see here, but to think that New Horizons arrives at this impossibly distant world next year is unreal. Other than some fairly minor bodies, after Pluto and Ceres are visited in 2015 — every major target of interest in the solar system that most of us grew up with will have been visited at least once by robotic spacecraft.
September 27th, 2014
And you thought the Voyager mission was over. A crescent Triton as seen by Voyager on August 25, 1989. Image by Gordan Ugarkovic.
September 24th, 2014
A new imager turning out some impressive work on the Rosetta mission has popped up on flickr. These are not only gorgeous, but are the first color images I have seen of the comet thus far. Check out 2di7 & titanio44’s image feed and see not only more color images of the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, but also great work done at Mars and Saturn as well.
Image Notes: The original of the first image above can be seen here. What is posted here was cleaned up a bit by wanderingspace.net and is not intended for scientific use. We did the best to represent what is in the original, but telling the difference between what might have been boulders and what was image noise is hard to determine. Also, the jets were reprocessed and altered to appear smooth in this final version. More on the color below.
Image Notes: According to the imagers, there have been no filtered images released as of this date of Comet 67P/CG. Which means that the color above is artistic interpretation. Strikingly real looking, but still just a make-shift approach to consider what the color might be before any real data on color has been released by ESA.