Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category

Cassini’s ‘Grand Finale’ Saturn portrait


(Planetary) – In the early hours of April 13, 2017, Cassini captured this breathtaking and unique visage of the Saturnian system as it coasted through space in the shadow of the gas giant.

All components of the main ring system are visible, seen here illuminated from behind: a vantage point technically known as a ‘high-phase angle’. In this geometry, a peculiar reversal happens: the thinner and more translucent rings shine out brightly, while the more opaque and thicker regions are relatively dark.

Only two moons — Janus and Mimas — can be picked out in this uncalibrated and compressed data, in addition to a red-giant star in the constellation of Gemini: Tejat (μ Gem). …

planetary finale-portrait

Cassini's 'Grand Finale' Saturn portrait (April 13, 2017)

March of the Milky Way


(National Geographic::No Place Like Home) – Nadia Drake:

Photographer Christian Sasse captures rare views of the galaxy as it spirals over southern Australia. …

nationalgeographic 2017/05 space-galaxy

Christian Sasse: Milky Way march over Australia

Saturn’s Propellers


(Syfy Wire::Bad Astronomy) – Phil Plait:

Having orbited Saturn now for nearly 13 years, the Cassini spacecraft has sent some pretty amazing images back to Earth. Of course, the planet, itself, the moons, and the rings have provided us with stunning portraits, but there’s been a lot of truly weird stuff as well. Like propellers. …

blastr 2017-5-10 propellers

Saturn's propellers, by Cassini

The Big Dipper over Chile


(Syfy Wire::Bad Astronomy) – Phil Plait:

The Big Dipper is more than just a celestial boreal icon. Except for Dubhe and the last star in the tail, called Alkaid, the other stars are all at about the same distance from us, and physically associated with each other. They’re called the Ursa Major Association (or cluster), after the constellation the Big Dipper is part of. Those stars are all about 80 light years from us (Alkaid is about 100, and Dubhe 120). …

blastr 2017-5-9 big-dipper

Yuri Beletsky: Big Dipper over Chile

March For Science


(BuzzFeed) – Tamerra Griffin:

These March For Science signs are so wonderfully nerdy. …

buzzfeed march-for-science

March for Science

Cannibal Galaxy


(Syfy Wire::Bad Astronomy) – Phil Plait:

Even at first glance, this is an odd-looking galaxy. It’s 850 million light years from us, so we don’t get a lot of detail, but we can see enough to know it’s a spiral. The shape is distorted, with that outer arm wrapping around and somewhat kinked. But the most obvious bit is that pair of very bright blobs on the right. What are they? …

blastr 2017-4-3 gigantic-black-hole

Galaxies Was 49a and b

Opposing Jupiter


(Syfy Wire::Bad Astronomy) – Phil Plait:

Friday April 7, 2017, at 21:30 (or so) UTC, the Sun, Earth and Jupiter fell very nearly along a straight line in space. We call that opposition, because the Sun and Jupiter are opposite each other in the sky. …

blastr 2017-4-7 opposing-jupiter

Jupiter on 2017-04-03, by Hubble

Farewell, Pluto


(Syfy Wire::Bad Astronomy) – Phil Plait:

On July 14, 2015, just after noon UTC, the small space probe New Horizons shot past Pluto at 50,000 kilometers per hour. It took images and data as it barnstormed the tiny world just 12,500 km above the surface, and then, as it passed what for many is the final outpost of the planets, the spacecraft spun around to look back on its target, lit from behind by the Sun.

And what it saw was awe. …

blastr 2017-3-27 pluto

New Horizons: Pluto farewell

Colourful Characters Beneath Berlin


(Guardian Art) – Temitope Kalejaiye:

Berlin is known for its underground scene of artists, DJs and techno, but it was the actual underground that captured the attention of photographer Sebastian Spasic. In his project Berlin Lines, a collaboration with website Pixartprinting, Spasic photographed 20 people in the German capital’s metro stations that had a particular significance to them. …

theguardian 2017/mar/25 beneath-berlin

Berlin Lines

Castor and Pollux, Not Really Twins


(Syfy Wire::Bad Astronomy) – Phil Plait:

If you live in the northern hemisphere – and statistically speaking, there’s a 90% chance you do – then go outside and look south as soon as the sky gets dark. You’ll see Orion standing tall to the southwest, leaning a bit to his left (your right, since we assume he’s facing us), with the bright star Sirius to the lower left, and Procyon directly left of reddish Betelgeuse (Orion’s right shoulder – to your left).

Just above Procyon are two more bright stars, close together in the sky. These are Castor and Pollux, and they mark the heads of the twin brothers denoted by the constellation Gemini. If you have good eyesight you may be able to tell that Pollux (the one closer to the eastern horizon) is yellowish, while Castor is blue. …

blastr red-star-blue-star

Gemini, by Rogelio Bernal Andreo