The China National Space Administration (CNSA) launched its Tianwen 1 Mars mission in July 2020. And this Saturday, it has sent back its first photos of the Red Planet, along with the mission orbiter flying around it.
2021 is coming to an end and we’re all recapping it. One of the major events of this insane year sure was the Perseverance rover’s landing on Mars. NASA’s rover returned quite a few photos during the current year, and it recently shared the ones that the community liked most.
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe was launched in 2018 with a goal to explore our Sun. And now, three years later, the probe has reached its destination and “touched” the sun, getting closer to it than any space probe before. Parker entered the Sun’s corona, and as if it wasn’t impressive enough – it also sent back the first photos from out there.
Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa recently joined the crew onboard the International Space Station. While enjoying his exclusive trip around the Earth, he filmed a pretty cool timelapse. He described the experience as “beautiful,” and judging from his video – I have no reason not to believe him.
Thomas Pesquet is known as an astronaut and the current commander of the ISS. And for us photographers, his stunning photos from the orbit are especially interesting. He recently captured a rare event named transient luminous event (TLE), also called “upper-atmospheric lightning.” Not only it’s not common to see it from Earth, but how often can you see it from space?
Astronomy Photographer of the Year is one of the contests I always look forward to. It has just announced its 2021, and just as always – I’m definitely not disappointed. The winning image is a striking photo of the last year’s annular solar eclipse, but there are many more photos that will make your jaw drop. So, without further ado, let’s check them out!
I believe we’ve all seen the iconic image of Buzz Aldrin walking on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission. Neil Armstrong took it near the leg of the lunar module Eagle, and we can even catch a glimpse of it in the reflection of Aldrin’s visor. Michael Ranger had a fun idea – what if we could see exactly what Aldrin saw while his photo was taken? He took the reflection from the helmet, “unwrapped” it, and fixed the color, so we can now see what the scene looked like from the other side of that lens.
On 13 June 2021, the Hubble Space Telescope’s payload computer unexpectedly came to a halt. After more than a month of hard work to bring it back, the team has succeeded and our “window to the universe” is back in business. It even took its first two photos since the repair, and NASA shared them with the world to celebrate Hubble’s great comeback.