Exploration Images

"The Venus Pioneers" - Circa-1978 NASA film about the two Pioneer Venus missions. These probes are largely forgotten today, but they made a big impact on me as a kid. The Pioneer Venus Orbiter made the first, fairly low resolution radar map of the planet’s surface, which was compiled over the course of the first year or so in orbit. One of the monthly magazines, I forget whether it was Sky and Telescope or Astronomy, included an updated map in each month’s issue, so I’d go to the library when a new issue came out, and there’d be a new updated map, and a few more of the blank, empty spaces would be filled in, and later names started to appear. I was just a kid, but I knew I was seeing something everybody was seeing for the first time, and I thought that was amazing. I was hooked.

Time lapse movie of the International Space Station flying through an aurora, with a sunrise at the end.

This timelapse was created from photographs taken from on board the International Space Station by the Expedition 40 crew.

ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst commented: “We flew right through a massive aurora after last week’s solar mass ejection.”
Credit: ESA/NASA
Cassini  Polar hexagon & rings of Saturn, August 24th, 2014

W00089247.jpg was taken on August 23, 2014 and received on Earth August 24, 2014. The camera was pointing toward SATURN at approximately 1,126,363 miles (1,812,706 kilometers) away, and the image was taken using the MT2 and IRP0 filters.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
A list of Cassini camera filters at UMSF explains that “IRP0” is the “Infrared 0º polarizer” filter, while “MT2” is “Methane band 2”

Cassini Polar hexagon & rings of Saturn, August 24th, 2014

W00089247.jpg was taken on August 23, 2014 and received on Earth August 24, 2014. The camera was pointing toward SATURN at approximately 1,126,363 miles (1,812,706 kilometers) away, and the image was taken using the MT2 and IRP0 filters.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

A list of Cassini camera filters at UMSF explains that “IRP0” is the “Infrared 0º polarizer” filter, while “MT2” is “Methane band 2”
Rosetta:  Navcam image of Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, August 23rd 2014.

Rosetta navigation camera image taken on 23 August 2014 at about 61 km from 4 km-wide comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. From 23 August, Rosetta started taking NAVCAM image sequences as small 2 x 2 rasters, such that roughly one quarter of the comet is seen in the corner of each of the four images, rather than all in just one shot. This is one example of the 512 x 512 pixel ‘corner’ image.

Copyright ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

Rosetta: Navcam image of Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, August 23rd 2014.

Rosetta navigation camera image taken on 23 August 2014 at about 61 km from 4 km-wide comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. From 23 August, Rosetta started taking NAVCAM image sequences as small 2 x 2 rasters, such that roughly one quarter of the comet is seen in the corner of each of the four images, rather than all in just one shot. This is one example of the 512 x 512 pixel ‘corner’ image.
Copyright ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

SDO: "Amazing Filament"

The Sun sported a very long filament (over 30 times the size of Earth) that angled diagonally across its surface for over a week (July 31 – Aug. 6, 2014). Filaments are clouds of cooler gas suspended above the Sun’s surface by magnetic forces. They are notoriously unstable and often break apart in just hours or days. So far, this one has held together as it rotated along with the Sun for over a week. The images were taken in the 193 Angstrom wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light and were tinted red instead of its usual brown hue.
Credit: NASA SDO

"Project Gemini Science Program" (1965) - Another vintage NASA short film.

Rosetta: New 3D image of Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Peer over cliffs and onto the boulder-strewn ‘neck’ region, marvel at the layers in the exposed cliff face, and ponder the formation of the numerous crater-like depressions in this amazing 3D view of comet 67P/C-G.
The anaglyph image can be viewed using stereoscopic glasses with red–green/blue filters. The two images used to make the anaglyph are also posted separately below. They were taken on 7 August 2014, from a distance of 104 kilometres through the orange filter of the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera. They are separated by 17 minutes and the exposure time is 138 milliseconds.

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

Rosetta: New 3D image of Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Peer over cliffs and onto the boulder-strewn ‘neck’ region, marvel at the layers in the exposed cliff face, and ponder the formation of the numerous crater-like depressions in this amazing 3D view of comet 67P/C-G.

The anaglyph image can be viewed using stereoscopic glasses with red–green/blue filters. The two images used to make the anaglyph are also posted separately below. They were taken on 7 August 2014, from a distance of 104 kilometres through the orange filter of the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera. They are separated by 17 minutes and the exposure time is 138 milliseconds.
Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA
Stardust:  Microscopic track of an interstellar dust particle.

The largest interstellar dust track found in the Stardust aerogel collectors was this 35 micron-long hole produced by a 3 picogram speck of dust that was probably traveling so fast that it vaporized upon impact. The other two likely interstellar dust grains were traveling more slowly and remained in

Image Credit: UC Berkeley/Andrew Westphal.

Stardust: Microscopic track of an interstellar dust particle.

The largest interstellar dust track found in the Stardust aerogel collectors was this 35 micron-long hole produced by a 3 picogram speck of dust that was probably traveling so fast that it vaporized upon impact. The other two likely interstellar dust grains were traveling more slowly and remained in
Image Credit: UC Berkeley/Andrew Westphal.
Rosetta:  Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, August 11th 2014.  Taken about 102km from the comet.
Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

Rosetta: Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, August 11th 2014. Taken about 102km from the comet.

Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

Rosetta:  Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, August 10th 2014.  Taken about 110km from the comet.
Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

Rosetta: Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, August 10th 2014. Taken about 110km from the comet.

Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM