Exploration Images
Rosetta:  Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko rotating.  APOD caption:

 Explanation:  
Why does this comet’s nucleus have two components?

The surprising discovery that 
Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko has a double nucleus came 
late last week as 
ESA's robotic interplanetary spacecraft 
Rosetta continued 
its approach toward the ancient comet’s core.

Speculative ideas on how the double core was created include, currently, that 
Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko is actually the result of the merger of two comets, that 
the comet is a 
loose pile of rubble pulled apart by 
tidal forces, 
that ice evaporation on the comet has been asymmetric, 
or that the comet has undergone some sort of explosive event.

Pictured above, the comet’s unusual 5-km sized comet nucleus is seen rotating over the course of a few hours, with each frame taken 20-minutes apart.

Better images — and hopefully more refined theories — are expected as 
Rosetta 
is on track to enter orbit around 
Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko's nucleus early next month, 
and by the end of the year, if possible, 
land a probe on it. 


Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team; MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Rosetta: Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko rotating. APOD caption:

Explanation: Why does this comet’s nucleus have two components? The surprising discovery that Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko has a double nucleus came late last week as ESA's robotic interplanetary spacecraft Rosetta continued its approach toward the ancient comet’s core. Speculative ideas on how the double core was created include, currently, that Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko is actually the result of the merger of two comets, that the comet is a loose pile of rubble pulled apart by tidal forces, that ice evaporation on the comet has been asymmetric, or that the comet has undergone some sort of explosive event. Pictured above, the comet’s unusual 5-km sized comet nucleus is seen rotating over the course of a few hours, with each frame taken 20-minutes apart. Better images — and hopefully more refined theories — are expected as Rosetta is on track to enter orbit around Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko's nucleus early next month, and by the end of the year, if possible, land a probe on it.
Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team; MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA
Curiosity:  ChemCam image, July 12th 2014.

This image was taken by ChemCam: Remote Micro-Imager (CHEMCAM_RMI) onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 686 (2014-07-12 01:56:13 UTC). 

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

Curiosity: ChemCam image, July 12th 2014.

This image was taken by ChemCam: Remote Micro-Imager (CHEMCAM_RMI) onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 686 (2014-07-12 01:56:13 UTC).
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL
Yutu:  Undated photo of “Dragon Rock” on the moon, via China Space on FB
Yutu:  Undated photo of the lunar surface, via China Space on FB
Mars rover Opportunity:  Rocks at Endeavour Crater, sol 3717

Mars rover Opportunity: Rocks at Endeavour Crater, sol 3717

Buzz Aldrin floating in front of the Earth, Gemini XII, November 1966
Looking down at the moon from Apollo 13, April 1970
Mars rover Opportunity:  Navcam image from Sol 3705 (June 29th 2014)
Crescent moon out the window, Apollo 13, April 1970
Far side of the moon, from Apollo 16, April 1972.

Apollo 16 metric camera image of the Moon’s eastern limb and far side. The lower left part of the image shows a portion of the moon visible from Earth. The dark area at the 8:00 position on the edge is Mare Crisium. To the right of that is Mare Smythii. The upper right area shows the heavily cratered lunar far side. The Moon is 3475 km in diameter and North is at 10:30 in this image. (Apollo 16, AS16-3021)

Far side of the moon, from Apollo 16, April 1972.

Apollo 16 metric camera image of the Moon’s eastern limb and far side. The lower left part of the image shows a portion of the moon visible from Earth. The dark area at the 8:00 position on the edge is Mare Crisium. To the right of that is Mare Smythii. The upper right area shows the heavily cratered lunar far side. The Moon is 3475 km in diameter and North is at 10:30 in this image. (Apollo 16, AS16-3021)