Cool images from NASA

Voyage 2 Image of the Earth and moon
Voyage 2 Image of the Earth and moonCourtesy NASA
NASA has been filling my email inbox with some cool images of late. Here are some of my recent faves.

Juno image of Earth and moon
Juno image of Earth and moonCourtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI
For starters, check out these two images of the Earth and the moon – similar subject and faming separated by 34 years. The first picture represents the first time the Earth and moon were ever captured together by a spacecraft -- was recorded Sept. 18, 1977, by NASA's Voyager 2 when it was 7.25 million miles from Earth. The second photo is from the Juno spacecraft just a couple of weeks ago (August 26, 2011) and also shows the moon (right) and Earth (left) this time from 6 million miles from Earth. I am not sure why the image from 1977 and further away is better than the image from 2011 and closer, though I suspect it has something to do with the fact that the onboard camera for the Juno spacecraft is named JunoCam...ugh. (As an aside, you can follow Voyager 2 on Twitter, where it tweets updates on its distance from Earth.)

Irene, August 22, 2011
Irene, August 22, 2011Courtesy NASA

Irene, New York Landfall
Irene, New York LandfallCourtesy NASA/NOAA GOES Project

KatiaCourtesy NASA
Various images of recent and current hurricanes are awe-inspiring. A recent selection includes Hurricane Irene from the International Space Station as it was forming on August 22, another of Irene taken by the GOES-13 satellite 28 minutes before the storm made landfall in New York, and tropical storm Katia from August 31 as it was forming over the Atlantic Ocean.

Lastly, today NASA released images of the Apollo 12, 14 and 17 landing sites taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). I think they are super cool.Apollo 17 landing site
Apollo 17 landing siteCourtesy NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/ASU

We don’t have shuttles anymore, but NASA still is doing some amazing stuff.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Preston's picture
Preston says:

Hi Joe- Regarding the difference between the Voyager and Juno images, the reason is that Voyager's imaging cameras are basically powerful telescopes, while Juno's camera is not. The Voyager narrow angle camera, which captured that amazing view, has a field of view of under half a degree (~0.4 degrees, I think). JunoCam has a field of view about 140 times wider because it was designed to take amazing images when Juno gets VERY close to Jupiter. Juno does this every 11 days once it arrives at the giant planet in 2016.

The Earth-moon image released by the Juno mission was taken during instrument checkouts, just to make sure JunoCam is working properly. When the spacecraft gets to Jupiter the views will be incredible!

posted on Wed, 09/07/2011 - 11:53am
Joe's picture
Joe says:

Thanks Preston. I still think the name "JunoCam" has something to do with it also. Some sort of deep shame that poor camera feels due to its unfortunate moniker. ;)

posted on Thu, 09/08/2011 - 3:10pm
kamal's picture
kamal says:

that's really amazing.

posted on Thu, 12/15/2011 - 1:33pm

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