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  • 10 Illuminating Photos Of The Milky Way

    Oregon-based photographer Matt Payne specializes in landscape photography and as a native of Colorado, he knows all the best spots to capture amazing vistas. But his talent isn’t just limited to the terrestrial world. Matt also captures incredible photos of the Milky Way from the mountains and lakes of the western states. As city-dwellers who are lucky to see any stars in the night sky, it’s hard to believe that such scenes exist anywhere on Earth. It really makes you look up at the blinding advertisements in the night sky of Times Square and wonder what else you’re missing out on. Check out more of Matt’s landscapes, including equally impressive photos shot during the day, at Matt Payne Photography.

  • 25 Years Ago Mankind Visited Neptune For The First Time [14 Photos]

    With the speed at which technology progresses these days, it’s sometime hard to imagine how far we’ve come in so short a time. Take for instance our knowledge of the planet Neptune. It wasn’t until August of 1989, just 25 years ago, that mankind saw up-close photos of the farthest planet from the sun (since 2006 when those nasty eggheadsof the International Astronomical Union demoted poor Pluto to “dwarf planet” status). Neptune was first seen by telescope in 1846  by Johann Galle using calculations supplied by Urbain Le Verrier. Its largest moon, Triton, was discovered shortly after but it wouldn’t be until the 20th century before the other 13 moons would be seen telescopically. In 1977, NASA launched the Voyager 2 space probe in an effort to explore the outer Solar System and interstellar space. Voyager 2 began exploring Neptune in June, 1989 and on August 25 it made its closest approach to the planet. It then passed close to Triton later that same day. Voyager 2 captured these iconic photos of Neptune and Triton and for the first time we could see the distinguishable weather patterns and Great Dark Spot on the planet. Voyager 2 is still flying through space and more »

  • 30 Stunning Photos of Saturn Gathered By A School-Bus Sized Spacecraft Named “Cassini”

    No way these can be real, right? While we humans carry on with our daily lives down here on Earth, perhaps stuck in traffic or reading blogs, or just enjoying a summer time stroll, a school-bus-sized spacecraft called Cassini continues to gather data and images for us – 1.4 billion kilometers (870 million miles) away. Since arriving at Saturn in 2004 NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has made several close flybys of Saturn’s moons, caught the Sun’s reflection glinting off a lake on Titan, and has brought us even more tantalizing images of ongoing cryovolcanism on Enceladus. Collected here are a handful of recent images from the Saturnian system.

  • 45 Years Ago The Apollo 11 Astronauts Were Declared Free Of Moon Germs; Ticker-Tape Parade Held

    When you’re the first country to send men to the moon, there are certain precautions you must take. We’re talking, of course, about moon germs. How would you like to be the nation responsible for most epic accomplishment in human history only to have your astronauts return lousy with lunar bacilli that replicates exponentially in the rich Earth atmosphere and eradicates all of humanity? That would be a total bummer and a real bad PR move. NASA knew this and that’s why when the Apollo 11 crew returned to Earth they were placed in a Mobile Quarantine Facility just in case they had some alien disease. The MQF was a converted Airstream trailer that housed the 3 astronauts along with a doctor and assistant for cooking and cleaning. The trailer had a communications facility (read: telephone) which allowed the crew to meet with their families and President Richard Nixon. After almost 3 weeks in quarantine, it was decided that the astronauts were free of moon germs and they were freed on August 10. On August 13, the crew was officially welcomed home with a ticker-tape parade in New York city. Did NASA give up on quarantining their moonmen? Of course! But more »

  • Get up Close And Personal With Celestial Hardbody Comet 67P [5 HQ Photos]

    Over 10 years ago, in March of 2004, the European Space Agency launched the Rosetta spacecraft. The robotic space probe was built with the intent of studying comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. On August 6, Rosetta entered into orbit around the comet, the first spacecraft ever to do so. For the next 17 months, Rosetta will orbit 67P while conducting the most detailed study of a comet ever attempted. In November, the Philae robotic lander will land on the surface of 67P for further studies. Below are the first of the comet close-ups received from this incredible mission. Keep up with ESA Mission Rosetta on Twitter.

  • Walter White Goes To Space

    Last month, tvtag set their sights on the stars. After thousands of votes from Earth-folk like you, Walter White was nominated to be tvtag’s first space ambassador. Over the course of his journey to space, Walt braved speeds of 95 mph (153km/h), temperatures as low as -65F (-54C), and a maximum altitude of 85,000 feet (25,908m). He soared to new heights, carrying along with him the hopes and dreams of TV watchers everywhere. Long live Heisenberg. Long live TV.

  • Vines From Space Are Better Than Anything You Post

    Former Naval aviator and test pilot Reid Wiseman was selected to join NASA back in 2009. On May 28 of this year, the 38-year-old began his first mission in space at the International Space Station as part of Expedition 40/41. Besides being an astronaut, Wiseman also happens to be keen on social media, posting regularly on Twitter and Vine. 18 months after launching, many people are still not quite sure what Vine’s six-second video clips are best suited for. Well it looks like we have an answer—space videos. What, you’re not an astronaut? Good thing Wiseman’s mission last until November. After that it’s back to being bemused with the service.

  • 9 Mind Blowing Photos Of Typhoon Neoguri From Space

    Typhoon Neoguri is currently battering Okinawa as it moves torwards Japan’s main island of Honshu. The storm, expecting to reach Tokyo on Thursday, is the equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane, with sustained winds of 123 mph and gusts up to 168 mph. Early this morning, Alexander Gerst, an astronaut from the European Space Agency currently aboard the International Space Station, captured these incredible photos as the ISS traveled over the Pacific. The size of the storm has been compared to Hurricane Sandy, which devastated the US east coast in 2012. Keep up with Gerst’s photos from ISS at Flickr.

  • Astronomy Photographer Of The Year Finalists Announced [8 HQ Photos]

    The Royal Observatory Greenwich has announced the finalists for its sixth annual Astronomy Photographer of the Year Award. The competition ends September 17 and on the following day, an exhibition of the winning images opens at the Royal Observatory. The overall winner will be awarded £1500 ($2500), while winners of each of the different categories will receive £500 ($850). For more info on the contest and exhibition, visit Royal Museums Greenwich. More of the submitted photos can be viewed at the contest’s official Flickr album.

  • Photo of the Day: Hurricane Arthur As Seen From Space

    Beach-goers along the East Coast are going to have a soggy 4th of July…unless Tim Howard saves us all. The first tropical system of the Atlantic season, Tropical Storm Arthur, formed off southern Florida on July 1, 2014, and is moving north along the coast. NASA snapped the following image from their Terra satellite on July 2 at 11:35 a.m. when Arthur was 105 miles east of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

  • Visit Space In A Luxury Balloon

    Everyone is aware of Virgin Galactic’s space voyages that are set to begin commercial service soon and it would be awesome if we could all go, however not everyone who’s not a celebrity or billionaire adventurer can afford the $250,000 ticket. What many people don’t know is that another company, World View, will be offering tours into space via a luxury balloon for the low, low price of just $75,000. Relatively speaking, that’s not too bad! A joint venture from Arizona’s Paragon Space Development Corporation and British studio Priestmangoode, who designed cabins for Virgin Airlines, World View will take passengers 100,000 feet above the Earth’s surface. The capsule is carried up via large balloon, reaching the 100,000 feet mark in about 90 minutes. The capsule will then float around for a few hours before returning to terra firma. Inside the luxury capsule will be a bar, snack area, and a bathroom and plenty of viewing areas. Reserve your seat with a $5,000 deposit at World View.

  • What If Other Planets Were as Close to Earth as the Moon?

    Visualization by Ron Miller @ Black Cat Studios Our moon is a pretty big object. If it was orbiting the sun and not Earth it’s big enough to be a respectable planet in its own right. The Moon is a quarter the diameter of the Earth. Only Pluto has a satellite that is larger, in proportion to the size of the planet it orbits. What if a celestial body like Jupiter, the biggest planet in our solar system, was as close to the Earth as our moon? Would it fill the night sky? Illustrator and author Ron Miller sought to answer the question using the reference photograph above.

  • 10 Rare Photos Of Apollo Astronauts Training In Hawaii

    On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the moon. Over the next 3 years, 5 more Apollo missions would land on the moon. But how did NASA train the astronauts for this mission? By vacationing in Hawaii, apparently. Last December, Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems, or PISCES, Executive Director Rob Kelso searched through the photo archives at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and found these images. NASA digitized the images and sent them to PISCES earlier this year. Now, for the first time, the public can see the little-known role Hawaii played in the Apollo program of the early 1970s.

  • Journey Through The Solar System, One Pixel At A Time

    It can hard to grasp the vastness of space when you just hear the numbers. The diameter of the Moon, at 3474 km, can be hard enough to grasp, let alone figures like the distance from the Earth to the Moon (384,000 km). Interactive web designer Josh Worth set out to make these numbers easier to comprehend with his project “If The Moon Were Only 1 Pixel.” Using the scale of The Moon equal to 1 pixel, Worth takes us on a journey through our solar system, from the Sun to former planet Pluto. As you scroll for what seems like an eternity, facts about the sizes of and distances between celestial bodies offer a respite from the emptiness. After checking out the project, be sure to visit JoshWorth.com for more interactive and insightful work. 

  • 27 Astounding Images Of Earth As Seen From Aboard The International Space Station

    Despite any political differences between the United States and Russia, the space agencies of the two countries continue their cooperative work in Earth’s orbit, aboard the International Space Station. Apart from the research being done in microgravity, ISS crew members continue to send back amazing images of our home world, photographed from low Earth orbit. Gathered here are recent images of Earth from aboard the ISS, and from a handful of other NASA satellites.

  • NASA Creates World’s Largest Selfie

    On April 22, Earth Day, NASA asked the question “Where are you on Earth right now?” on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr. The space agency asked for answers in the form of selfies. The response was incredible. More than 50,000 photos from all 7 continents and 113 countries were posted. Ultimately, 36,422 of the selfies were used to create a zoomable 3.2-gigapixel image. See the image for yourself and learn more about the project at GigaPan.  

  • Elon Musk Is Making “Progress” Towards A Mars Colony With His SpaceX Project

    When speaking of the most ambitious goal of his life Elon Musk, real life Tony Stark who founded PayPal and Tesla, says the human race could be a multiplanet species in our lifetimes as Discovery reports: Billionaire Elon Musk said his private spaceflight company SpaceX has made some progress toward establishing a permanent colony on Mars — a longtime goal in the entrepreneur’s push to help make humanity a multiplanet species. “The reason SpaceX was created was to accelerate development of rocket technology, all for the goal of establishing a self-sustaining, permanent base on Mars,” Musk told an audience here after receiving the Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Award during the 33rd annual International Space Development Conference on Friday (May 16). “And I think we’re making some progress in that direction — not as fast as I’d like.” Musk cited the success of SpaceX’s recent reusable rocket test on April 18 as a critical achievement on the road to Mars. During that test flight, SpaceX launched a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket from its Florida pad and then returned the rocket’s first stage back to Earth to make a vertical “soft landing” at a target in the Atlantic Ocean, before splashing down. The mission also delivered more »

  • The Future Of Travel At Spaceport America [10 HQ Photos]

    With the American people electing more and more Luddites who refuse scientific evidence and are unable to understand any sort of technology, NASA’s future isn’t looking so bright. In fact, during the government shut-down last year, 97 percent of NASA employees were deemed “unessential” and sent home. It’s up to the private sector to explore space now and in New Mexico they’ve built the perfect headquarters. Spaceport America has been described as “the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport,” with tenants including Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, UP Aerospace, and Armadillo Aerospace. A visitor center in downtown Truth Or Consequences, the closest town to the Spaceport, is in the works and will offer shuttle bus services. With Virgin Galactic aiming to begin commercial space flights later this year, Spaceport America is the start of a new chapter in travel. For more info and photos, visit Spaceport America.

  • Live HD Stream From The ISS Is Amazing [Video]

    Last month, 4 high-definition cameras were delivered to the International Space Station. The cameras were mounted on the outside of the ISS and live video feed has been streaming since April 30. Aside from offering an incredible view of Earth like you’ve never seen before, the program also tests the viability of commercial cameras for future space missions. If these HD cameras prove successful, millions can be saved by forgoing expensive, custom-designed space cameras. With governments cutting back on space programs, every dollar counts. Check out the live feed below and get more info on the High Definition Earth Viewing program at NASA.

  • Yup, This Fully Zoomable, Movable Martian Panorama Is Pretty Damn Amazing

    Панорама Марса – марсоход Curiosity: 613-ый марсианский день in out-of-this-world Sure, you might never be able to set foot on Mars (although never say never) but now, with this amazing panorama created by Andrew Bodrov using 138 individual shots that he stitched together will show you what it might look like.

  • This Astronaut’s Twitter Puts Us All To Shame

    What’s that? You just had one of those Taco Bell breakfast tacos and though you weren’t that impressed you still felt the need to share it with everyone along with multiple pictures? That’s cool, I guess. Astronaut Rick Mastracchio tweeted pictures from his spacewalk, but I’m really glad you found time to retweet a funny picture from George Takei that everyone saw on Reddit the day before. Seriously though, Rick Mastracchio is aboard the International Space Station and his incredible tweets give us terrestrial folks a glimpse of life in Low Earth Orbit. Follow him @AstroRM and feel bad about posting pics of yourself wearing a trucker hat 10 years ago for #tbt.

  • Far-Out Space Colony Concept Art From the 1970s

    Back in the 1970s, when our government actually encouraged innovation and gave money to scientific endeavors, NASA conducted three space colony summer studies at NASA Ames. These artistic renderings were the result, illustrating toroidal colonies and Bernal spheres containing populations of 10,000 and cylindrical colonies housing over 1 million. It’s easy to dismiss these works as fantastic notions of science fiction, but ideas need to start somewhere. And it’s a refreshing reminder that our government is capable of inspiring such innovation, or at least was capable not too long ago. Learn more about space settlements at NASA.

  • Astronaut Bloopers

    It’s pretty evident that walking on a surface area with completely different gravity might not be the breeziest of walks, but astronauts are people too. It’s just so hard to get those moon dust stains out of those million dollar suits.

  • Have A Space Party Celebration For Yuri’s Night [12 Photos]

    April 12, 1961 marked the monumental occasion of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s first manned spaceflight. On that day 20 years later, NASA launched the first space shuttle. To commemorate the importance of April 12, Yuri’s Night was established in 2001 to encourage parties and gatherings aimed at entertaining while celebrating these milestones and encouraging a new generation of space explorers. In 2011, on the 50th anniversary of Gagarin’s flight, over 100,000 people attended 567 official events in 75 countries on all 7 continents. If you still haven’t made plans, find a party near you on the official Yuri’s Night site or use these photos from past events to give you ideas on planning your own. Check out more Yuri’s Night photos on Flickr.

  • The Mercury 7: America’s First Astronauts [22 HQ Photos]

    On April 9, 1959, NASA announced the original seven men chosen to be astronauts for the manned spaceflights of the Mercury program. Dubbed the Mercury 7, the group was made up of Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, Gordon Cooper, and Deke Slayton. NASA originally planned for an open competition to find its first astronauts, but President Eisenhower, ever a stick in the mud, insisted that they all be test pilots. Due to the size of the Mercury capsule, candidates could be no taller than 5’11” and weigh less than 180 pounds. Other requirements were age under 40, a bachelor’s degree, and at least 1500 hours of flying time. More than 500 initially applied, and after rounds of testing, both physical and mental, the group was whittled down to 18. The final 7 were chosen because of their genius-level IQs and their ability to function both as a team and solo. Between them, the 7 flew on all classes of manned NASA spacecraft from the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle programs. With the exception, of Gus Grissom, who was tragically killed in the 1967 Apollo 1 fire, they all lived long lives well into retirement more »

  • 10 Must Have Items From Bonhams Space History Sale

    New York auction house Bonhams is having a space history sale today with incredible artifacts from US and Soviet space missions. With the ever dwindling budgets of space exploration programs, these items could be the closest you ever get to space. For just $30,000 or so, you could even own a stowage strap encrusted with actual lunar dust! Check out Bonhams for the entire catalog and watch as these awesome artifacts get snatched up for more money than you could ever afford.

  • Earth’s Cities At Night From Space [14 GIFs]

    These GIFs of cities at night as seen from space are blended with maps of the pictured regions to give you a better idea of exactly where you are looking. Obviously, the brighter sections will correlate with bigger cities, giving a better impression of population density. The amount of empty, dark space in Australia is incredible when viewed this way, but even more interesting is North Korea’s lack of light. Even Pyongyang, a city of over 2.5 million, barely registers any light, illustrating a lack of resources rather than population density.

  • How Big Is Space? [Link]

    BBC has put together a really cool interactive infographic to give you an idea of the vastness of space. Scrolling the length of the page will take you all the way through the solar system with facts along the way. If your index finger consider can survive the arduous journey, you justt might have what it takes to become an astronaut. I’m pretty sure that’s how it works.