Astrophotographer Judy Schmidt (aka. Geckzilla, SpaceGeck) is at it again! Earlier this month, she released a processed image of the Great Barred Spiral Galaxy (NGC 1365). The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) recently observed this iconic double-barred spiral galaxy, which resulted in the most-detailed look at this galaxy to date. This time, Schmidt shared a series of images via Twitter that provide a closer look at NGC 1365’s core region, a widefield view that shows the galaxy’s long arms, and lovely animation that shows the galaxy in near- and mid-infrared wavelengths.Continue reading “Gaze Into the Heart of NGC 1365, Captured by Webb”
The JWST is grabbing headlines and eyeballs as its mission gains momentum. The telescope recently imaged M74 (NGC 628) with its Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI.) Judy Schmidt, a well-known amateur astronomy image processor, has worked on the image to bring out more detail.Continue reading “Here’s M74 Like You’ve Never Seen it Before, Thanks to Judy Schmidt and JWST”
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When NASA sent the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) to the red planet in 2006, the spacecraft took an instrument with it called CRISM—Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars. CRISM’s job is to produce maps of Mars’ surface mineralogy. It’s been an enormous success, but unfortunately, the loss of its last cryocooler in 2017 means the spectrometer can only undertake limited observations.
But CRISM is going out with a bang, creating one final image of the surface of Mars that NASA will release in batches over the next six months.Continue reading “A New Map of Mars, Made From 51,000 Orbital Images”
Chinese scientists have created the most detailed map of the Moon yet. It took them 10 years and involved hundreds of researchers. The new map will be a boon to lunar exploration and for anyone who just wants to study our natural satellite in more detail.Continue reading “A Geologic map of the Entire Moon has Been Released at 1:2,500,000-Scale”
Direct images of exoplanets are rare and lack detail. Future observatories might change that, but for now, exoplanet images don’t tell researchers very much. They merely show the presence of the planets as blobs of light.
But a new study shows that only a few pixels can help us understand an exoplanet’s surface features.Continue reading “Just a Few Pixels Would let Astronomers Map Surface Features on an Exoplanet Like Oceans and Deserts”
It seems like only months ago that the Perseverance Rover landed in Jezero Crater on Mars. But in fact, it’s been there longer than a year. Perseverance has had company during this time; its sidekick, the Ingenuity helicopter, completed 23 flights in Mars’ thin atmosphere so far.
The HiRISE camera on the MRO has captured an image of the rover and the tiny helicopter on Mars as it rests on the surface.Continue reading “What a Feat! Ingenuity Photographed From Space”
In our age, we’ve grown accustomed to pictures of astronauts inside the International Space Station, as they float in zero-G and tend their science experiments. We’re even getting used to images of spacewalking astronauts. But this is something new.
An image of two astronauts on a spacewalk, taken from the ground.Continue reading “Stunning Image of ISS Taken From the Ground Shows two Spacewalking Astronauts”
NASA’s Perseverance Rover is busy exploring Jezero Crater on Mars. Part of its mission is to collect samples for retrieval by a future mission. NASA and the ESA haven’t determined where the sample return mission will land yet.
That depends on the Perseverance mission and how it spends the rest of its time on Mars. But we know of one possible—albeit ambitious—landing spot: just west of Jezero Crater.Continue reading “This is Where the Mars Sample Return Mission Could be Landing”
Missions to Mars are expensive, even orbiters. They’re there to do science, not take pretty pictures. But sometimes Mars’ beauty is captured inadvertently, usually with some science mixed in.
That’s the case with this picture of star dunes captured by the HiRISE camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.Continue reading “These are Star Dunes on Mars, Formed When the Wind Comes From Many Different Directions”
At the Space Telescope Science Institute (STSI) in Baltimore, Maryland, NASA engineers are busy aligning the mirrors and instruments on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). In the meantime, the mission team has provided us with another glimpse of what this observatory – a successor to the venerable Hubble Space Telescope – will see once it is fully operational. The latest teaser is a “telescope alignment evaluation image” of a distant star that looks red and spiked!Continue reading “Wondering About the 6 Rays Coming out of JWST's Test Image? Here's why They Happen”