Exploration Images
Cassini:  Polar view of Saturn, July 28th 2014

W00088896.jpg was taken on July 28, 2014 and received on Earth July 31, 2014. The camera was pointing toward SATURN at approximately 1,576,854 miles (2,537,700 kilometers) away, and the image was taken using the CB2 and CL2 filters.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Cassini: Polar view of Saturn, July 28th 2014

W00088896.jpg was taken on July 28, 2014 and received on Earth July 31, 2014. The camera was pointing toward SATURN at approximately 1,576,854 miles (2,537,700 kilometers) away, and the image was taken using the CB2 and CL2 filters.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Ranger VII image of the Moon, July 31st 1964, 50 years ago today.

Ranger 7 took this image, the first picture of the Moon by a U.S. spacecraft, on 31 July 1964 at 13:09 UT (9:09 AM EDT) about 17 minutes before impacting the lunar surface. 

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Ranger VII image of the Moon, July 31st 1964, 50 years ago today.

Ranger 7 took this image, the first picture of the Moon by a U.S. spacecraft, on 31 July 1964 at 13:09 UT (9:09 AM EDT) about 17 minutes before impacting the lunar surface.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
SDO:  Lunar Transit, July 26th 2014

On July 26, 2014, from 10:57 a.m. to 11:42 a.m. EDT, the moon crossed between NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and the sun, a phenomenon called a lunar transit. A lunar transit happens approximately twice a year, causing a partial solar eclipse that can only be seen from SDO’s point of view. Images of the eclipse show a crisp lunar horizon, because the moon has no atmosphere that would distort light. This image shows the blended result of two SDO wavelengths - one in 304 wavelength and another in 171 wavelength.

Image Credit: NASA/SDO

SDO: Lunar Transit, July 26th 2014

On July 26, 2014, from 10:57 a.m. to 11:42 a.m. EDT, the moon crossed between NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and the sun, a phenomenon called a lunar transit. A lunar transit happens approximately twice a year, causing a partial solar eclipse that can only be seen from SDO’s point of view. Images of the eclipse show a crisp lunar horizon, because the moon has no atmosphere that would distort light. This image shows the blended result of two SDO wavelengths - one in 304 wavelength and another in 171 wavelength.
Image Credit: NASA/SDO
Space selfie by Kaguya, the Japanese lunar probe.  

Image of high-gain antenna deployment. The right side is the SOL-BC that is part of the X-ray spectrometer.

Image credit: JAXA

Space selfie by Kaguya, the Japanese lunar probe.

Image of high-gain antenna deployment. The right side is the SOL-BC that is part of the X-ray spectrometer.
Image credit: JAXA

Ranger VII: Lunar surface impact movie, July 31st 1964. The Ranger VII probe was the first fully successful US moon probe, and the first moon probe of any country to send back close up images of the lunar surface. It was launched July 28th 1964, 50 years ago today.

Mars rover Opportunity:  Microscopic Imager photo, sol 3743

Mars rover Opportunity: Microscopic Imager photo, sol 3743

Curiosity: View across Gale Crater, sol 696 (July 22nd, 2014).  The hills in the background are actually the rim of the crater, and the rover’s busy driving across the crater floor toward the mountain at the crater’s center.
This image was taken by Mastcam: Left (MAST_LEFT) onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 696 (2014-07-22 08:15:12 UTC). 

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity: View across Gale Crater, sol 696 (July 22nd, 2014). The hills in the background are actually the rim of the crater, and the rover’s busy driving across the crater floor toward the mountain at the crater’s center.

This image was taken by Mastcam: Left (MAST_LEFT) onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 696 (2014-07-22 08:15:12 UTC).
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
Curiosity:  Slopes of Mt. Sharp (Aeolis Mons), Sol 696 (July 22nd, 2014)
This image was taken by Mastcam: Left (MAST_LEFT) onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 696 (2014-07-22 08:07:04 UTC). 

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity: Slopes of Mt. Sharp (Aeolis Mons), Sol 696 (July 22nd, 2014)

This image was taken by Mastcam: Left (MAST_LEFT) onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 696 (2014-07-22 08:07:04 UTC).
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
Mars Express:  The Earth from Mars orbit, taken with the probe’s Visual Monitoring Camera (aka the “Mars Webcam”).  The camera is a simple low-resolution device, without a shade to cut down sun glare, and the result isn’t exactly a National Geographic cover photo.  But still, it’s the Earth from Mars.  That never stops being cool.

Mars Express: The Earth from Mars orbit, taken with the probe’s Visual Monitoring Camera (aka the “Mars Webcam”). The camera is a simple low-resolution device, without a shade to cut down sun glare, and the result isn’t exactly a National Geographic cover photo. But still, it’s the Earth from Mars. That never stops being cool.

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