Welp, another year, and still nobody’s been back to the lunar surface. [sigh]
I hope you guys aren’t sick of Juno photos yet! (Because I’m not going to stop posting them. I’m trying to spread them out; I’ve been sitting on this one for weeks!)
NASA’s Juno spacecraft was racing away from Jupiter following its seventh close pass of the planet when JunoCam snapped this image on May 19, 2017, from about 29,100 miles (46,900 kilometers) above the cloud tops. The spacecraft was over 65.9 degrees south latitude, with a lovely view of the south polar region of the planet.
This image was processed to enhance color differences, showing the amazing variety in Jupiter’s stormy atmosphere. The result is a surreal world of vibrant color, clarity and contrast. Four of the white oval storms known as the “String of Pearls” are visible near the top of the image. Interestingly, one orange-colored storm can be seen at the belt-zone boundary, while other storms are more of a cream color.
I have a particular fascination with space shuttle and orbiter concept art, partly due to being in “the Shuttle generation”. This is the space travel of my childhood. Anyway, this rendering is fairly late in the game, compared to other artwork I’ve posted in the past, and looks a lot closer to the final orbiter design we knew (and loved.) The famously (fantastically!) long runway is shown in the upper left.
Image via x-ray delta one. (No artist credit is given.)
Often in remote imaging/sensing, visible wavelengths are enhanced, to bring out otherwise too-subtle differences (“enhanced color”). You also can assign ANY wavelength’s data to be ANY color, visible or otherwise, and combine them for different, interesting results (“false color”. That’s your remote sensing lesson for today. #geologyrocks) Here, visible wavelengths have been enhanced to show the different rock types exposed by slope movements down-crater:
Impact craters expose the subsurface materials on the steep slopes of Mars. However, these slopes often experience rockfalls and debris avalanches that keep the surface clean of dust, revealing a variety of hues, like in this enhanced-color image from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, representing different rock types. The bright reddish material at the top of the crater rim is from a coating of the Martian dust.
The long streamers of material are from downslope movements. Also revealed in this slope are a variety of bedrock textures, with a mix of layered and jumbled deposits. This sample is typical of the Martian highlands, with lava flows and water-lain materials depositing layers, then broken up and jumbled by many impact events.
Caption: Alfred McEwen
Explanation: The beautiful Trifid Nebula, also known as Messier 20, lies about 5,000 light-years away, a colorful study in cosmic contrasts. It shares this nearly 1 degree wide field with open star cluster Messier 21 (top left). Trisected by dust lanes the Trifid itself is about 40 light-years across and a mere 300,000 years old. That makes it one of the youngest star forming regions in our sky, with newborn and embryonic stars embedded in its natal dust and gas clouds. Estimates of the distance to open star cluster M21 are similar to M20’s, but though they share this gorgeous telescopic skyscape there is no apparent connection between the two. M21’s stars are much older, about 8 million years old. M20 and M21 are easy to find with even a small telescope in the nebula rich constellation Sagittarius. In fact, this well-composed scene is a composite from two different telescopes. Using narrowband data it blends a high resolution image of M20 with a wider field image extending to M21.
Happy 4th of July, America! Here’s a flag on the lunar surface, and possibly the most awesome flag salute photo of the Apollo program.
AS16-113-18339 (21 April 1972) — Astronaut John W. Young, commander of the Apollo 16 lunar landing mission, leaps from the lunar surface as he salutes the United States flag at the Descartes landing site during the first Apollo 16 extravehicular activity (EVA). Astronaut Charles M. Duke Jr., lunar module pilot, took this picture. The Lunar Module (LM) “Orion” is on the left. The Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) is parked beside the LM. The object behind Young (in the shade of the LM) is the Far Ultraviolet Camera/Spectrograph (FUC/S). Stone Mountain dominates the background in this lunar scene. While astronauts Young and Duke descended in the LM to explore the Descartes highlands landing site on the moon, astronaut Thomas K. Mattingly II, command module pilot, remained with the Command and Service Modules (CSM) “Casper” in lunar orbit.