It was in January 2005, when I—a planetary geologist only recently turned to writing about space for a living—was crammed along with two dozen other reporters into a room at the European Space Agency operations center in Germany.
Europe's Huygens probe had just completed its descent through Titan's atmosphere, and we knew the spacecraft had been working ESA had received its radio transmissions. But there was a delay and the pictures ...more »
Here's how Planetary Society Members answered...
Click through to read the full submission and comment.
What do you want to see next in space exploration?
When I first saw this photo in 1995 I thought it truly amasing, but didn't quite understand exactly what it was I was being amased by.
Late when Herschel, with help from NASA, revisited this area of space and attempted to put some scale or perspective to the entire Eagle Nebula I was utterly flabbergasted. It was then that I gained an understanding of the sheer size of this nebula and ... more »
I've been interested in Space my whole life...from when my grandfather gave me pocket book guides to the Stars and Planets at an age I could barely read! My love for Space in all its forms continues to this day, but two particular moments strike me when I think of influential images. The more famous of them, the Hubble Deep Field image, always makes me excited about the infinite possibilities ... more »
The most exciting for me is the moon footprint. Think about how long for to achieve this. A technology challenge, a men on the moon. Our ancestors saw the moon, could they imagine that one day, the humankind can achieve the stars? And now ... what's the next step?
The first images that really excited me were of the Hellas impact basin, with the great outflow channels (Dao and Harmarkis) together with, to the east, the Reull Vallis. Important because Hellas is such a large crater that if any impact would remove atmosphere, Hellas would. The huge fluid flows together with what looked like massive alluvial deposits had to post-date impact, as the alluvial deposit had to be into ... more »
It was July 1996. After 25 years of employment as a physicist in industry and academe, I had just set out on a second career as a children's science writer.
I was confident in my decision, yet a bit uneasy. Although I had three books to my credit and a fourth well underway, to make it as a self-employed writer, I would need a steady flow of ideas. Where would they ... more »
Emily, as you know, I've zinged the Planetary Society and the JPL (and yourself) with a few of my photo shopped cartoons from time to time, and I wait with baited breath for more Cassini images from Titan...the lakes region photos were real jaw droppers for me. But the one photo that really grabbed me and held on to me from all the stunning images sent back by our deep ... more »
Carl Sagan's Cosmos TV series had such a profound effect on me with his easy style and great information. However, I probably wouldn't have watched it if it weren't for something that happened to me when I was young. My interest in space was piqued as a small child when we went to the Griffith Park Observatory. On the wall was a giant backlit photo of the Andromeda Galaxy m31. ... more »
There is no need to post the most famous picture from Apollo 8: it is the Earth Rise over the moon. As a member of the team that put men there, this image was a stunning surprise that encouraged all of us to try even more to be successful with a landing. Personally, that picture still evokes all the emotions of that time: pride, humility, focus, and dedication. It is ... more »
I was working at JSC the night Apollo 8 went behind the moon. Our computers were receiving real time data from the space craft and the computer lights all stopped blinking at LOS. We had to wait about 10 minutes holding our breath until the space craft finally emerged on the other side of the moon and our computer's lights started blinking again. The photo of earth taken during that ... more »
I was in elementary school when my parents gifted me with an entry level telescope. Spent many lunar cycles memorizing crater patterns & shadows. Having no structure with my sky gazing, I shifted my attention to a very bright "star" that didn't twinkle like the others. I knew I was on to something really BIG; and what was strange about this discovery, this "star" had four tiny little dot stars ... more »
It was 1980 and I was 14 when I first saw the attached image of Ganymede by Voyager 2 on the July 16, 1979 issue of the Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine. I still remember my exact thoughts: "Do I have the right not to know anything about this?", Then I saw the famous Voyager 1 Saturn family montage and that was it!
It was July 20, 1976... I was 11 years old, and it was early in the am 4am plus…, or late, considering we had been up all night in excitement and preparation for this incredible moment… the first images coming from the VIKING MARS LANDER (VL1). That moment was not the actual beginning for me as the daughter of a Viking Team member, as I was surrounded by funny paper ... more »
My image would be an average gaze into the night sky, from the viewpoint of a rural area which is not hidden from view due to the glare of city lights. After having taken a basic-level astronomy course in college, I recall attempting to recognize and to identify various stars, galaxies, and other scenes overhead, which I did not know of beforehand. So many; it was amazing!
One of the most inspiring space photos is the Hubble Ultra Deep Field photo from 2004. Seeing thousands of galaxies all in one image from a tiny spot in the sky was the moment I realized how vast the universe actually is. The more recent eXtreme Deep Field gives us even more clarity.
I remember that December broadcast of the Christmas Apollo voyage, when the astronauts read from Genesis Chap. 1, and the earth rose above the lunar horizon. That image showed all of us how beautiful, how fragile, our Earth is. I have always wanted to go see what was "Out There", and that image has further strengthened that desire.