Photo of awesomeness

posted in astronomy with 2 comments

I originally set out this blog to be of things I generally found cool, but I’m such a self-centered ass that it turned entirely into a photoblog. One thing in paticular I wanted to cover was everything and anything to do with space. Space as you all know, is an incredibly amazing place that throws up things that manage to humble me on a daily basis. GRBs, photos of extrasolar planets, and even videos of Lady Sun.

Or a photo of Io. I think I’ve ranted about this moon before. I do know that some of my favourite photos from the Jupiter system is of this moon, if only because it’s such a dynamic, exotic and entirely lethal place. Half the crap in Jupiter’s radiation belts was spewed forth from it’s volcanoes. It’s features have visibly changed between the Voyager missions and New Horizon’s flyby last month. The surface is entirely covered with what’s basically a metre-thick layer of sulphur that gives the moon it’s distinctive colour. Eruptions from Pele, Loki and Tvashtar can bee seen from Earth.

But back to the photo at hand. This was snapped by New Horizons from 2.3 million kilometres, while travelling at 82,800 km/h. What’s more amazing is that this was by a semi-autonomous probe whose trajectory was precisely mapped several years about by a bunch of geeks sitting in a room. If that’s not “extreme photography,” I’d like to know what is, seeing as it’s very akin to flying by Earth from ten times the distance to the moon and photographing Europe with such detail that you can pick out individual cities:


(Stolen from APoD)

I think it’s an amazing picture. Oh for sure it’s as processed as most photos are, the original is a little hazy. But it doesn’t change the fact that this probe sent back this image while under those conditions.

Keep up the eye candy, NASA.

by Mark -
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