My solar system chauvinism is well-established, but I am as much a sucker for beautiful astrophotos as the rest of you. Once in a while I get a media advisory from the European Southern Observatory about a new pretty picture posted on their website, and then I inevitably lose an hour following links to one stunner after another.
Last week at a meeting of NASA's Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG), Han Li of the Chinese Academy of Sciences gave a lengthy presentation on Chang'E 2. Her presentation included a new sequence of photos from the December 13 Toutatis flyby.
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured a new view of Curiosity on Mars on January 2 (sol 145). Curiosity was in the same location as the one from which it shot the sol 137 panorama I posted earlier. You can see the rover's tracks leading all the way back to the landing site!
A recently launched Earth-observing satellite is using the stars to practice its pointing, and caught a neat animation of Jupiter.
A Mars imaging scientist answers the question: who is the "photographer" behind images returned from Mars?
My collage of all the asteroids and comets visited by spacecraft is probably the single most popular image I have ever posted on this blog. I've now updated it to be in color and to include Toutatis.
The Chang'E 2 mission flyby of Toutatis succeeded in acquiring images. Oh my goodness, did they succeed. These, in combination with the incredible radar images still being acquired from Goldstone and innumerable optical observations, make Toutatis one of the best-studied asteroids in the solar system.
Near-Earth asteroid 4179 Toutatis will be passing within 7 million kilometers of Earth on December 12. Both radio telescopes and the Chang'E 2 spacecraft will be acquiring images.
A few days ago, the Dawn mission finally published their archival data. During the year of delay I often looked with anticipation to the Planetary Data System to check whether or not images were there, and I am delighted that they are finally available. Was the wait worth it? Definitely!
Remember the amazing photo of Saturn's north pole that I posted yesterday? Now, thanks to an amateur image processor, it moves, and the motions of the individual clouds within the belts are mesmerizing.
On Saturday, while parked for the Thanksgiving holiday at the edge of Glenelg, Curiosity took a lovely panorama pointed to the east and into Glenelg.
After a false start earlier this year, the first chunk of Dawn Framing Camera data from Vesta has finally made it to the Planetary Data System. As a first step to understanding the data set, I've built some index pages to these cool images.
Posted by Björn Jónsson on 2012/11/13 05:24 CST
This is a very large (19000 pixels square) mosaic of the fjords and glaciers of southern Greenland. I had been interested for a long time in experimenting with the processing of Earth satellite imagery just to get a comparison to the other planets.
I asked Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to take a photo, and it turned out better than I had imagined: an incredibly fresh, well-preserved, dramatically rayed oblique impact crater.
A sharp-eyed amateur noticed two images of Titan taken 20 months apart from nearly exactly the same perspective, and they illustrate how the shifting of Saturn's seasons has brought change to Titan's atmosphere.