Portal:Space/Selected picture

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


The layout design for these subpages is at Portal:Space/Selected picture/Layout.

  1. Add a new Selected picture to the next available subpage.
  2. Update "max=" to new total for its {{Random portal component}} on the main page.

Selected pictures list[edit]

Selected pictures: 1-10[edit]

Portal:Space/Selected picture/1

Color-composite image of the Pleiades from the Digitized Sky Survey
Credit: NASA, ESA, AURA/Caltech, Palomar Observatory

The Pleiades (also known as M45 or the Seven Sisters) is an open cluster in the constellation of Taurus. It is among the nearest to the Earth of all open clusters, probably the best known and certainly the most striking to the naked eye.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/2

Earthrise, as seen by Apollo 8
Credit: William Anders

"Earthrise," the first occasion in which humans saw the Earth seemingly rising above the surface of the Moon, taken during the Apollo 8 mission on December 24, 1968. This view was seen by the crew at the beginning of its fourth orbit around the Moon, although the very first photograph taken was in black-and-white. Note that the Earth is in shadow here. A photo of a fully lit Earth would not be taken until the Apollo 17 mission.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/3

Astronaut Bruce McCandless using a Manned Maneuvering Unit
Credit: NASA

A Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) is a jet pack (propulsion backpack that snaps onto the back of the spacesuit) which has been used on untethered spacewalks from NASA's space shuttle, allowing an astronaut to move independently from the shuttle. The MMU was used on three Shuttle missions in 1984. It was first tested on February 7 during mission STS-41-B by astronauts Bruce McCandless II (seen here) and Robert L. Stewart.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/4

Astronomical orders of magnitude
Credit: Dave Jarvis

An illustration of relative astronomical orders of magnitude, starting with the terrestrial planets of the Solar System in image 1 (top left) and ending with the largest known star, VY Canis Majoris, at the bottom right. The biggest celestial body in each image is shown on the left of the next frame.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/5

Pale Blue Dot
Credit: NASA/JPL

"Pale Blue Dot" is the name given to this 1990 photo of Earth taken from Voyager 1 when its vantage point reached the edge of the Solar System, a distance of roughly 3.7 billion miles (6 billion kilometres). Earth can be seen as a blueish-white speck approximately halfway down the brown band to the right. The light band over Earth is an artifact of sunlight scattering in the camera's lens, resulting from the small angle between Earth and the Sun. Carl Sagan came up with the idea of turning the spacecraft around to take a composite image of the Solar System. Six years later, he reflected, "All of human history has happened on that tiny pixel, which is our only home."


Portal:Space/Selected picture/6

Phases of the Moon
Credit: Tom Ruen

An animation of the phases of the Moon. As the Moon revolves around the Earth, the Sun lights the Moon from a different side, creating the different phases. In the image, the Moon appears to get bigger as well as "wobble" slightly. Tidal locking synchronizes the Moon's rotation period on its axis to match its orbital period around the earth. These two periods nearly cancel each other out, except that the Moon's orbit is elliptical. This causes its orbital motion to speed up when closer to the Earth, and slow down when farther away, causing the Moon's apparent diameter to change, as well as the wobbling motion observed.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/7

Pioneer plaque
Credit: Carl Sagan, Frank Drake, Linda Salzman Sagan

The Pioneer plaque, which was included on both Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 unmanned spacecraft, the first man-made objects to leave our solar system. Made from gold-anodised aluminium, the plaque shows the figures of a man and a woman along with several symbols that are designed to provide information about the origin of the spacecraft. However, the mean time for the spacecraft to come within 30 astronomical units of a star is longer than the current age of our galaxy.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/8

Animation of eruption from Tvashtar Paterae, taken from imagery from the New Horizons probe in 2007
Credit: New Horizons probe

An animation of an eruption by the Tvashtar Paterae volcanic region on the innermost of Jupiter's Galilean moons, Io. The ejecta plume is 330 km (205 mi) high, though only its uppermost half is visible in this image, as its source lies over the moon's limb on its far side. This animation consists of a sequence of five images taken by NASA's New Horizons probe on March 1, 2007, over the course of eight minutes from 23:50 UTC.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/9

TRACE image of sunspots

A TRACE image of sunspots on the surface, or photosphere, of the sun from September 2002, is taken in the far ultraviolet on a relatively quiet day for solar activity. However, the image still shows a large sunspot group visible as a bright area near the horizon. Although sunspots are relatively cool regions on the surface of the sun, the bright glowing gas flowing around the sunspots have a temperature of over one million °C (1.8 million °F). The high temperatures are thought to be related to the rapidly changing magnetic field loops that channel solar plasma.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/10

Astronaut Steve Robinson on a spacewalk, August 2005
Credit: NASA

Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) is work done by an astronaut away from the Earth and outside of his or her spacecraft. EVAs may be made outside a craft orbiting Earth (a spacewalk) or on the surface of the Moon (a moonwalk). Shown here is Steve Robinson on the first EVA to perform an in-flight repair of the Space Shuttle (August 3 2005).


Selected pictures: 11-20[edit]

Portal:Space/Selected picture/11

Kepler's Supernova
Credit: NASA

This Supernova remnant of Kepler's Supernova (SN 1604) is made up of the materials left behind by the gigantic explosion of a star. There are two possible routes to this end: either a massive star may cease to generate fusion energy in its core, and collapse inward under the force of its own gravity, or a white dwarf star may accumulate material from a companion star until it reaches a critical mass and undergoes a similar collapse. In either case, the resulting supernova explosion expels much or all of the stellar material with great force.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/12

Space Shuttle Atlantis launch plume
Credit: NASA/Fir0002

The launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis on STS-98, February 7 2001, at sunset. The sun is behind the camera, and the shape of the plume is cast across the vault of the sky, intersecting the rising full moon. The top portion of the plume is bright because it is illuminated directly by the sun; the lower portions are in the Earth's shadow. After launch, the shuttle must engage in a pitch and roll program so that the vehicle is below the external tank and SRBs, as evidenced in the plume trail. The vehicle climbs in a progressively flattening arc, because achieving low orbit requires much more horizontal than vertical acceleration.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/13

Sombrero Galaxy
Credit: NASA / STScI

The Sombrero Galaxy is a spiral galaxy in the Virgo constellation. It was discovered in the late 1700s. It is about 28 million light years away and is just faint enough to be invisible to the naked eye but easily visible with small telescopes. In our sky, it is about one-fifth the diameter of the full moon. M104 is moving away from Earth at about 1,000 kilometers per second.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/14

Eugene Cernan test drives the Apollo 17 lunar rover shortly after unloading it from the LM
Credit: Harrison Schmitt

Astronaut Eugene Cernan makes a short test drive of the lunar rover (officially, Lunar Roving Vehicle or LRV) during the early part of the first Apollo 17 extravehicular activity. The LRV was only used in the last three Apollo missions, but it performed without any major problems and allowed the astronauts to cover far more ground than in previous missions. All three LRVs were abandoned on the Moon.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/15

Olympus Mons
Credit: United States Geological Survey

A composite image of Olympus Mons on Mars, the tallest known volcano and mountain in the Solar System. This image was created from black-and-white imagery from the USGS's Mars Global Digital Image Mosaic and color imagery acquired from the 1978 visit of Viking 1.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/16

Space Shuttle Columbia at Launch Pad A, Complex 39, 12 April 1981.
Credit: NASA

A timed exposure of the first Space Shuttle mission, STS-1. The shuttle Columbia stands on launch pad A at Kennedy Space Center, the night before launch. The objectives of the maiden flight were to check out the overall Shuttle system, accomplish a safe ascent into orbit and to return to Earth for a safe landing.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/17

433 Eros asteroid
Credit: NASA

The asteroid 433 Eros was named after the Greek god of love Eros. This S-type asteroid is the second-largest near-Earth asteroid. This image shows the view looking from one end of the asteroid across the gouge on its underside and toward the opposite end.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/18

Milky Way
Credit: Spitzer Space Telescope

This infrared image shows hundreds of thousands of stars crowded into the swirling core of our spiral Milky Way galaxy. In visible-light pictures, this region cannot be seen at all because cosmic dust lying between Earth and the galactic center blocks our view.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/19

Orion Nebula
Credit: Hubble Space Telescope

A composite photo of the Orion Nebula, the closest region of star formation to Earth. It is composed of 520 separate images and NASA calls it "one of the most detailed astronomical images ever produced". The nebula is located below Orion's Belt and is visible to the naked eye at night. It is one of the most scrutinized and photographed objects in the night sky, and is among the most intensely-studied celestial features.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/20

STS-116 spacewalk
Credit: NASA

NASA astronaut Robert Curbeam (left) and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Christer Fuglesang participate in STS-116's first of three planned sessions of extra-vehicular activity (EVA) as construction resumes on the International Space Station. The landmasses depicted in the background are the South Island (left) and North Island (right) of New Zealand.


Selected pictures: 21-30[edit]

Portal:Space/Selected picture/21

Credit: The Apollo 17 crew

"The Blue Marble" is a famous photograph of Earth. NASA officially credits the image to the entire Apollo 17 crew — Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans and Jack Schmitt — all of whom took photographic images during the mission. Apollo 17 passed over Africa during daylight hours and Antarctica is also illuminated. The photograph was taken approximately five hours after the spacecraft's launch, while en route to the Moon. Apollo 17, notably, was the last manned lunar mission; no humans since have been at a range where taking a "whole-Earth" photograph such as "The Blue Marble" would be possible.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/22

James Webb Space Telescope
Credit: NASA/MSFC/David Higginbotham/Emmett Given

Six beryllium mirror segments of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) undergoing a series of cryogenic tests at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The JWST is a planned space telescope that is a joint collaboration of 20 countries. It will orbit the Sun approximately 1,500,000 km (930,000 mi) beyond the Earth, around the L2 Lagrange point. It is expected to launch in 2018.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/23

Uranus as from Voyager 2 in 1986
Credit: NASA/JPL/Voyager 2 mission

Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun and the fourth most massive in the Solar System. In this photograph from 1986 the planet appears almost featureless, but recent terrestrial observations have found seasonal changes to be occurring.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/24

Planet Mars
Credit: NASA

Mars, the fourth planet from the Sun, is named after the Roman god of war because of its blood red color. Mars has two small, oddly-shaped moons, Phobos and Deimos, named after the sons of the Greek god Ares. At some point in the future Phobos will be broken up by gravitational forces. The atmosphere on Mars is 95% carbon dioxide. In 2003 methane was also discovered in the atmosphere. Since methane is an unstable gas, this indicates that there must be (or have been within the last few hundred years) a source of the gas on the planet.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/25

Solar eclipse of 11 August 1999
Credit: Luc Viatour

The solar eclipse of August 11, 1999, as seen from France. This was the most viewed total eclipse in human history, although some areas offered impaired visibility due to adverse weather conditions. The path of the Moon's shadow began in the Atlantic Ocean, before traversing Cornwall, northern France, southern Germany, Austria, Hungary and northern Serbia. Its maximum was in Romania, and it continued across the Black Sea, Turkey, Iran, southern Pakistan and India.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/26

The Day the Earth Smiled
Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / SSI

This is a photo taken of Saturn and its rings on The Day the Earth Smiled. The Day the Earth Smiled refers to the date July 19, 2013, on which the Cassini spacecraft turned to image Saturn, its entire ring system, and the Earth during an eclipse of the Sun, as it had done once before during its previous nine years in orbit. The name also refers to all the activities associated with that event. Conceived by the Cassini imaging team leader and planetary scientist Carolyn Porco, the concept called for all the world's people to reflect on our place in the cosmos, to marvel at life on Earth, and, at the time the pictures were taken, to look up and smile in celebration.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/27

A long prominence/filament of solar material erupting out into Space from the Sun's corona.
Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

On August 31, 2012 a long filament of solar material that had been hovering in the sun's atmosphere, the corona, erupted out into space at 4:36 p.m. EDT. The coronal mass ejection, or CME, traveled at over 900 miles per second. The CME did not travel directly toward Earth, but did connect with Earth's magnetic environment, or magnetosphere, causing aurora to appear on the night of Monday, September 3. Pictured here is a lighten blended version of the 304 and 171 angstrom wavelengths.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/28

Descent from the Summit of 'Husband Hill'
Credit: NASA

A panoramic view of Husband Hill, one of the Columbia Hills in Gusev crater, Mars, which are close to the landing site of NASA's Spirit rover. It was named in honor of Rick Husband, the commander of the Space Shuttle Columbia when it disintegrated upon atmospheric reentry.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/29

A laser pointed towards the centre of the Milky Way.
Credit: ESO / Yuri Beletsky

Snapped in mid-August 2010, this photo of ESO's Paranal Observatory, Chile shows a laser being fired from the laser guide star facility at Yepun, one of the four Unit Telescopes of the Very Large Telescope (VLT). Yepun’s laser beam crosses the southern sky and creates an artificial star at an altitude of 90 km high in the Earth's mesosphere. The Laser Guide Star (LGS) is part of the VLT’s adaptive optics system and is used as a reference to correct the blurring effect of the atmosphere on images. The colour of the laser is precisely tuned to energise a layer of sodium atoms found in one of the upper layers of the atmosphere. When excited by the light from the laser, the atoms start glowing, forming a small bright spot that can be used as an artificial reference star for the adaptive optics. Using this technique, astronomers can obtain sharper observations.


Portal:Space/Selected picture/30

Animation showing apparent retrograde of Mars
Credit: Eugene Alvin Villar

Animation of the night sky showing the apparent retrograde motion of the planet Mars in August and September of 2003 in the constellation Aquarius. The time period depicted spans from June 15, 2003 to November 18, 2003 in 2-day increments where each day is at 00:00 UTC. All stars brighter than 5.0 magnitude are shown and labelled. The animation period also encompasses the time that Mars was at its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years.



Feel free to add related featured pictures to the above list. Other pictures may be nominated here.