Archive for the ‘Astronomy & Space’ Category

Discovery STS-120 Mission

October 23, 2007

Below are some great photographs of the space shuttle Discovery as it rests on launchpad 39A and then roars skyward to deliver the Harmony (node 2) module to the International Space Station during the STS-120 mission. Also included is a nice mission crew photo including mission commander Pamela Melroy. As usual photos are courtesy of NASA.

sts120_padDiscovery STS120 launch 1STS120 crew photo



Great amateur Jupiter photo

July 23, 2007

Below is a great photo of Jupiter from an amateur astronomy photographer with the nom de plume of AutoClub (Paul) and also courtesy of Universe Today. It was made by stacking (combining with various computer image processing software) a large set of Jupiter photos he took with a Celestron C11 telescope. For amateur astronomy, it is very very good!

Jupiter via AutoClub

STS-117 Atlantis Orbiter Photos

June 5, 2007

Below are some very nice photos of the Atlantis orbiter as it becomes ready for the STS-117 mission to the International Space Station. As usual, photos are courtesy of NASA.

Atlantis enroute Atlantis launchpad 1

Atlantis launchpad 2 Atlantis VAB

Blue Origin Goddard Vehicle

January 22, 2007

Below are a couple of interesting pictures from Blue Origin of their first development vehicle, named Goddard, which is a vertical take-off, vertical-landing vehicle designed to take several astronauts on a sub-orbital journey. Blue Origin is a private spaceflight company funded by Jeff Bezos of See the
website for more pictures and some very interesting movies of the first test flight of this vehicle.

Goddard 1 Goddard 2

STS-116 Spacewalk Images

December 17, 2006

Below are two beautiful images from the STS-116 mission to continue construction of the International Space Station. The first image is of Robert Curbeam Jr. and the second image is Curbeam along with ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang. Images are courtesy of NASA via As always, click images to enlarge.

Curbeam ISS Curbeam Fuglesang ISS

Mars Spirit Rover McMurdo Panorama

October 26, 2006

The fantastic image below is the recently released 360 degree “McMurdo” panorama taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit from its Mars winter observation post known as “Low Ridge”. The overall panorama consists of 1449 Pancam images and represents a data volume of almost 500 megabytes! Image is of course courtesy of NASA and JPL. As always, click on the image to enlarge.

McMurdo Panorama

Anousheh Ansari To ISS

September 22, 2006

Below are a couple of nice images of American/Iranian businesswoman Anousheh Ansari as she trains and then departs on a Russian Soyuz for her trip to the International Space Station. Images are courtesy of NASA/Bill Ingalls and

Anousheh Training    Anousheh Boarding Soyuz

Atlantis Rolls Back To The Launchpad

September 1, 2006

Below is a nice image of the Atlantis Shuttle orbiter as it rolls back to the launchpad at the end of August in preparation for the STS-115 mission to resume construction of the International Space Station. (Atlantis was temporarily removed from the launchpad because of Tropical Storm Ernesto). Image courtesy of NASA. As always, click to enlarge.

Atlantis STS115

Universe 15% Older Than Previously Thought?

August 7, 2006

Astronomers recently calculated the distance to the relatively nearby galaxy M33 (aka the Triangulum Galaxy) as being about 15% further than previously estimated. They analyzed the distance using several telescopes while observing a binary star system, fine tuning their instruments very carefully. This measurement means that the Hubble constant (71 km/sec/mparsec) – which astronomers use to measure distances in the Universe – could be off as well. The Universe might actually be 15% larger (and thus older) than previously believed. (This post mostly courtesy of, with some editing by me. Below image of M33 courtesy of NASA/JPL).

M33 Galaxy

Discovery STS-121 Launch Photo (2)

July 5, 2006

Below is an additional Shuttle Discovery STS-121 launch photo, as usual courtesy of NASA. Click to enlarge.

Shuttle Discovery Launch 2