Archives » NASA

Michael Collins

One of the most important cogs in the Apollo 11 team which made the first Moon landing (way back in 1969, 52 years ago!) has died.

While Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin flew down to the Moon in the Lunar Module, Eagle, Michael Collins stayed in Moon orbit in the Command Module, Columbia, keeping the whole mission together, orbiting the Moon alone – the supposedly loneliest human in the universe – thirty times before the Lunar Module returned Armstrong and Aldrin to Columbia.

Having started his career as a fighter pilot and going on to be a test pilot Collins was a veteran of Gemini 10 where he became the fourth human to space walk and the first to do it twice but retired from NASA in 1970 very soon after his most historic mission.

Michael Collins: 31/10/1930 – April 28/4/2021. So it goes.

Jupiter’s Magnetic Field

What an odd apparition Jupiter’s magnetic field is, with various magnetic poles. At least as seen from NASA’s Juno spacecraft.

This is from YouTube via Astronomy Picture of the Day for 25/2/20.

Fly Over Vesta

From Astronomy Picture of the Day for 30/6/19.

An animated video made form photos taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft.

M106

Another great picture of a galaxy courtesy of NASA – via Astronomy Picture of the Day for 17/3/19.

It’s thought that huge amounts of glowing gas are falling into the galaxy’s central black hole.

This is M106:-

Galaxy M106

Fly Over Mercury

Courtesy of today‘s Astronomy Picture of the Day. A composite of images taken by Nasa’s MESSENGER probe.

Mercury of course has a very slow rotation – onky three turns for every two trips round the sun.

Pan from Cassini

Nasa’s Cassini probe has produced an intriguing close-up view of Saturn’s moon Pan.

This photograph is today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Pan from Cassini

Pan orbits inside the the Encke Gap of Saturn’s A-ring but is an odd object indeed.

The Bubble Nebula

This NASA image made from assigning colours to three monochromatic photos taken through the Hubble Telescope was Astronomy Picture of the Day for 22/4/16.

Bubble Nebula

It almost looks like a living cell of some sort.

Charon from New Horizons

Astronomy Picture of the Day yesterday had a stunning view of Pluto’s moon Charon as taken by the New Horizons probe. The moon looks oddly lop-sided, probably due to the shadowing on its side pointing away from the sun:-

Charon

That’s a big fissure running right across its middle.

Pluto Flyby

It hasn’t taken NASA long to get this New Horizons flyby sequence of Pluto up on You Tube:-

And on Astronomy Picture of the Day on 17/7/15 was this photo of Pluto’s largest moon Charon.

Charon

Wonderful stuff.

Every single time spaceprobes have gone to somewhere as yet unexplored they have yielded unexpected results. This time the youth of Pluto’s surface was a surprise.

Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)

Astronomy Picture of the Day was 20 years old on Jun 16th. It has been on a bit of a roll recently.

The Pinwheel Galaxy (Jun 14th):-

Pinwheel Galaxy

The Black Eye galaxy (Jun 18th):-

the black eye galaxy

On 23rd Jun there was this star bubble round Sharpless 2-308:-

Star Bubble

This is a picture of Zeta Ophiuchi (Jul 5th) which is travelling to the left at 24 kilometres per second thus causing the bow-shock in the interstellar dust as shown:-

Zeta Ophiuchi

The next day gave us this picture of clouds near Rho Ophiuchi

Clouds near Rho Ophiuchi

Then Jul 8th had this stunning scene of Dione, Saturn and Enceladus (Saturn is visible only as a faint arc and its rings are edge-on):-

Dione

Fly-over Ceres, Jun 10th, a composite of still pictures:-

It’s exciting times for NASA as New Horizons is getting very close to Pluto. See yesterday’s picture:-

5 million miles from Pluto

Wonderful stuff.

free hit counter script