The Solar Dynamics Observatory is open for business and man are the first light images amazing!!
Be sure to see the videos which are better-than-HD quality.
There is a post over at Universe Today all about the MESSENGER mission to Mercury and the latest and greatest photos of the under-explored planet.
Check out the paw print made from craters. Cool….
I saw a really cool post over on Universe Today about the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and yet another close-up of the moon.
This time there is evidence that really big boulders rolled down the slopes of the Tsiolkovskiy Crater
You can see the path the boulders took and the tracks they left behind them.
The crater rim in stark relief in this image. Dark and deep it looks!
Amateur astronomers are often asked if one can see the Apollo landing sites with their telescope and the answer is no. Even with Hubble we can’t get the needed resolution for such small scale structures. But the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is in a high orbit around the Moon as part of a series of new lunar missions and on July 17th the LRO team released a series of images of the Apollo landing sites. You can clearly see the spacecraft and the shadows they cast but the LRO is still a long way from the lowest orbit which happens in August so I suspect better resolution images will come later in the year.
There is a lot of talk about the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing which is coming up on July 20th, 2009. Of course there are those that still believe NASA faked the entire thing. I wonder if these images will change anyone’s mind.
The image showing the Apollo 14 landing site shows what the LRO team claims are the tracks of the astronauts as they set up scientific equipment on the lunar surface. That is just incredible stuff.
Seriously… astronaut tracks. COOL!
Apollo 11 launched was 40 years ago today. The great photo blogging site “The Big Picture” posted a fantastic set of images documenting the entire trip.
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon July 20th 1969.
There is a flash driven and quite cool site dedicated to remembering the Apollo 11 Moon landing called WeChooseTheMoon.org so check it out.