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.
If you love astrophotography, here’s a real treat. Royal Observatory Greenwich has just announced the magnificent shortlisted images of its 2021 Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest. The photos were taken all over the globe, and even beyond: there’s even a photo of the sunset on Mars. So without further ado, let’s dive in and enjoy this gorgeous selection of images.
Did you manage to catch the partial solar eclipse yesterday? Did you wonder what it looked like from space? NASA shared an interesting video that shows what the Earth looked like during the eclipse. It shows the moon’s shadow cast on our planet and it’s pretty cool to see the eclipse from a totally different perspective.
Since its launch, the Hubble Space Telescope has produced some amazing imagery. But a new picture was just released to celebrate its 31 year anniversary that’s just incredible. The giant ultra-bright star, AG Carinae, exists 20,000 light-years from Earth. It’s 70 times larger than our sun and around a million times brighter than our Sun.
But right now – at least, from our perspective 20,000 light-years away on Earth – it’s in a battle with itself. Its huge mass has gravity pulling everything inwards while radiation is pushing everything outwards with a level of force that we mere mortals can’t even begin to comprehend. It sure does result in a beautiful image, though.
Hubble has taken quite a lot of stunning images over its three-decade-long existence. And recently, it took managed to capture a photo of the asteroid 16 Psyche in the most detailed image so far. What’s special about it? Well, one of the things that make it special is that it contains iron and nickel worth around $10,000 quadrillion. For comparison, that’s 70,000 times the global economy.
But, this is a first. As you may recall, on December 21st, we have a once in 800 years event when Jupiter and Saturn appeared especially close in the night sky. Unlike any earthly photos that we have seen, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) captured a stunner image from space.
The great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn has been all over the news over the last few days. And if you were lucky enough to have clear skies, you could have observed it or take some photos. Photographer Jason De Freitas used this rare opportunity to take some photos, and he created something quite unique. He managed to capture the ISS trail between Jupiter and Saturn during the conjunction – and he did it on film.
Exploring space requires a whole lot of high-tech gear. But there’s something you’ll find on space missions that also connects all of us on DIYP: cameras. In this video, Scott Manley guides you through the history of cameras in space. From 1961 to the more recent years, these were the cameras astronauts used to capture iconic space photos.
Despite five repair missions it has gone through, the Hubble telescope has made it to the age of 30. NASA already share the stunning photo it took on its birthday back in April, but the celebration isn’t over yet. To mark Hubble’s 30th anniversary, NASA has added 30 more breathtaking photos to the already impressive collection.
Images of space are valuable for researchers to find out more about our solar system, our galaxy, and way beyond. But us regular folks enjoy them as well because they’re often quite an eye candy. The European Space Agency’s Gaia observatory has just released the most precise and detailed 3D map of the Milky Way to date. It doesn’t only look gorgeous of course, but it also takes the astronomers to both the future and the past of our galaxy.