What would photographs of the night sky look like if other planets in our solar system replaced the Moon? This beautiful video by 3kingAmazing (remixed using a video by Brad Goodspeed) shows the answer.
New photographs of the moon by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera reveal that flags planted by Apollo astronauts are still “flying” after more than four decades. Each of the six manned Apollo missions planted flags at their landing sites, and it now appears that all but one — the flag planted by Neil Armstrong was blown over upon their departure — are still standing. The photographs were taken at different times of the day, and show small shadows rotating around the locations where the flags were planted.
What the flags look like, however, is a different question: they’ve probably experienced a good deal of deterioration due to the ultraviolet light and temperatures found on the surface of the moon.
Astrophotographer Laurent Laveder has a delightful series of photographs titled Moon Games that feature creative photographs shot as the moon hangs low over a hill. Laveder’s subjects play with the moon as if it’s a glowing sphere here on Earth. In one shot it’s a reading lamp, and in another it’s a framed art piece waiting to be hung. The photos are sure to make you want to find your own hill so you can play with the moon yourself! Read more…
There’s an abandoned McDonalds in California that’s stuffed with 48,000 pounds of 70mm tape. These tapes contain never-before-seen ultra-high-res photographs of the moon shot by the Lunar Orbiter project 40 years ago. Rather than ship the film back to Earth, scientists decided to scan them on the spaceship, beam them back losslessly, and then record the data onto magnetic tape. Not wanting to reveal the precision of its spy satellites, the US government decided to mark the images as classified. Read more…
Since November 2011 I’d been thinking about an astrophotography project: take a photo of the moon each day from full moon to full moon, then combine it into a seamless movie that looks as if someone had moved the sun around the moon for one minute. I found similar videos, but most were simulations done in software, or photographic ones that weren’t very smooth. Seemed simple enough, mostly because I didn’t see the complications that would come along with this project caused by… physics.
My plan involved setting the same exposure each night starting with the full moon, and let the moon’s dark side gradually move across its face while the lit side stayed about the same brightness. Adjust the photos’ angles to match each other, throw all of them into Final Cut Pro X and add cross dissolve transitions between them, and I’d get a smooth movie showing every phase of the moon. Read more…
Photographer Isaac Gutiérrez Pascual of Spain shot this beautiful photograph of the sky that contains four different subjects: birds, clouds, the Moon, and Venus. It was shot using a Canon 5D and a 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens. NASA writes,
[...] a crescent Moon and the planet Venus, on the far right, were captured during sunset posing against a deep blue sky. In the foreground, dark storm clouds loom across the image bottom, while a white anvil cloud shape appears above. Black specks dot the frame, caused by a flock of birds taking flight. Very soon after this picture was taken, however, the birds passed by, the storm ended, and Venus and the Moon set.
This past Sunday, Jupiter and Venus put on a show by lining up with our moon (a conjunction). Rick Ellis of Toronto, Canada managed to create the awesome photo of the event seen above by capturing 31 separate frames. Each photo was taken 5 minute apart and had an exposure time of 5 seconds.
NASA photographer Lauren Harnett captured this photograph of the International Space Station passing in front of the moon. What’s amazing is that it didn’t require any fancy astronomy equipment — Harnett was shooting from a parking lot using a Nikon D3S, 600mm lens, 2x teleconverter, heavy duty tripod and sandbag, and a remote shutter release. She shot at 1/1600, f/8, and ISO 2500 in burst mode, and then combined the resulting photographs into this one image.
During a 2001 launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, NASA photographer Pat McCracken captured this amazing photograph of the shuttle’s smoke plume casting a shadow across the full moon rising in the horizon.
[...] the Sun, Earth, Moon, and rocket were all properly aligned for this photogenic coincidence. First, for the space shuttle’s plume to cast a long shadow, the time of day must be either near sunrise or sunset. Only then will the shadow be its longest and extend all the way to the horizon. Finally, during a Full Moon, the Sun and Moon are on opposite sides of the sky. Just after sunset, for example, the Sun is slightly below the horizon, and, in the other direction, the Moon is slightly above the horizon. Therefore, as Atlantis blasted off, just after sunset, its shadow projected away from the Sun toward the opposite horizon, where the Full Moon just happened to be. [#]
We’ve featured photographs of paintings and candies captured in drops of water before, but photographer Markus Reugels‘ water drops double as planets. By photographing drops of water in front of images of Earth and the moon, he’s able to transform the liquid spheres into beautiful worlds. Read more…