NASA gets artsy

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

One of the things I like about NASA missions isn’t just the information and new discoveries but also the images. Who can forget the Apollo 8 Earthrise, pale blue dot or the images from the surface of Mars.

Now most of the ones the public are aware of are carefully picked by officials, there are several versions of Earthrise alone. However missions now dump all the images onto the website and are easily found under the RAW images. I usually find these better than the ones that are sent out or used in publications. For example this lovely image of Saturn:

This was taken by Cassini 2 days ago from a distance of 1.7 million miles. Black and white has a tendency to make interesting photos but this captures the patterns on the planet and all the details of the ring system.

Sometimes though, the ones released or featured are amazing, take for example Curiosity currently trundling around Mount Sharp on the surface of Mars. While this too has lots of RAW images sometimes NASA just have to do something different. And when they do you get something like this:

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/TAMU

The twilight sky over Mars. Just noticeable (although click it and get a bigger one) is a small bright star in the sky. Except to paraphrase Obi Wan Kenobi – That’s no Star. It is infact here, Earth, zoom in? and you see this:

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/TAMU

Earth and the Moon would appear as two incredibly bright stars in the Martian sky, this image was made up of three separate images taken from the mast camera (Mastcam) and stitched together and cleaned up the originals are a bit “noisy”:

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Sometimes it’s best to clean them up. Finally the newest image from Curiosity’s mastcam:

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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