Saturday, October 26, 2013

Best of space photos

We're living in a golden age for people who love space imagery. Between the constellation of unmanned probes and rovers zipping around our solar system and crawling across the face of Mars, the Hubble Telescope's views of our galactic neighborhood and beyond, and the International Space Station looking down from low orbit, each week brings at least one or two new images that drive home the wonder and scale and sheer beauty of the universe. Or at least the beauty that we humans and our young machine ecology perceive.

So, with out further ado, my favorite space-related imagery of recent years. All photos courtesy of NASA and JPL.

Saturn's icy moon, Enceladus

Soyuz capsules attached to the ISS

The Shuttle Endeavor attached to the ISS

The Hubble's shot of the Horse Head Nebula from earlier this year

Another Hubble shot

The south pole of Mars, as seen by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
The aftermath of a recent solar eruption, as captured in UV by  NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory

Astronaut Tracey Caldwell floating in International Space Station's observation copula not long after its installation

Dry ice mounds near the Martian south pole

Jupiter's frozen moon Europa
The great rift of Mars and the largest volcanoes in the solar system

The Curiosity rover's self-portrait

Space station and space shuttle amid the vastness

Cassini's view of Saturn's north pole and its great hurricane

A massive solar flare in UV from May this year. Powerful enough to have caused wide-spread damage on Earth, if it had taken place a week earlier.

Venus transiting the sun last month. Solar Dynamics Observatory.

A rover-eye view of the local Martian landscape

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