Posts Tagged ‘NASA’

Astronauts on the ISS Use a ‘NightPod’ to Stabilize Their Low-Light Photos

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Astronaut photographers on the International Space Station have been beaming quite a few photographs of Earth as of late, but have you ever wondered how they manage capture relatively sharp photographs of Earth’s cities at night?

The speed at which the ISS hurtles around our planet is indeed a major challenge for low-light photography, and astronauts in the past have tried to overcome it by using high-speed film or by doing some manual tracking (which is very hit-and-miss). Luckily, space shooters nowadays have a new special tool up their sleeve: the NightPod.
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Why We Did, In Fact, Land on the Moon: A Photography-Based Proof

One of the most vehemently argued conspiracy theories of all time is that, in 1969, NASA did not actually land on the moon. Many different breakdowns of the photo and video footage have been used to make this point (think: flag waving, missing stars, etc), leading most conspiracy theorists to argue that the great Stanley Kubrick actually filmed the moon landing in a television studio.

Writer/Director S.G. Collins, however, disagrees — and he’s got the photographic/videographic reasoning to prove it. Fair warning, Mr. Collins does drop the occasional curse word throughout the video and the humor may be a bit dry for some people’s tastes, but he does offer fairly conclusive evidence to back up his point: while the technology to land on the moon did exist in ’69, the technology to fake it did not.

(via Fstoppers)

Who is the Photographer Behind Photos Shot by the Curiosity Rover on Mars?

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We’ve written a number of posts regarding the NASA Curiosity rover’s photography on Mars, but have you ever wondered who it is that “presses the shutter”? If you have, you’re not alone. The Planetary Society recently received the question as well, and has published an official explanation from NASA:

It would be nice if the pictures took themselves. But it takes a village, it seems, to get a picture taken on Mars [...] for a single snap shot you might have the Geology Science Theme Group conceive and design it en masse; the PUL-1 plan it; the entire (on staff) Science Operations Working Group discuss it and include it in the daily plan, the PUL-2 actually write it, and the engineering uplink team review and approve it before the Ace hits the button to radiate it, with the sol’s command, bundle to the rover. That’s a group the size of a small village.

Camera operator Mark Lemmon also talks about how the team often goes to great lengths to nail lighting and composition. With so many resources drained into each photo, casual snapshots aren’t exactly Curiosity’s thing.

Who is the photographer behind Mars rover photos? Answer from Mark Lemmon [The Planetary Society]

The Last Man to Walk On the Moon Left His Camera for a Long-Term Gear Test

You may have heard that there are 12 Hasselblad film cameras sitting on the surface of the moon at this very moment, left there by astronauts who needed to lighten their vessel’s load as much as possible. However, did you know that at least one of those cameras was left there to test the durability of the gear?
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Black Marble: NASA Releases Incredibly Detailed Photos of Earth at Night

You’ve probably heard of The Blue Marble, an iconic photo of Earth captured in 1972 from 28,000 miles away by astronauts on the Apollo 17 spacecraft. Well, NASA has just released a number of photographs titled “Black Marble.” They offer the same perspective as the iconic photo, except these new images show what our planet looks like at night!
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An Arm’s-Length Self-Portrait Captured Millions of Miles Away

Facebook users here on Earth aren’t the only ones shooting arm’s-length self-portraits: NASA’s Curiosity rover over on Mars is doing it as well! Curiosity captured the image above a couple of days ago using its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), which is attached to an extendable robotic arm. The image is actually a composite of 55 separate photos shot using the 2-megapixel RGB color CCD camera.
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Stacked Star Trail Time-Lapse Created with Photos Shot from Space

We’re shared a couple of “stacked star trail” time-lapse videos over the past few months (see here and here), but those videos comprised nighttime photographs taken from the ground. Photographer Christoph Malin recently decided to try his hand at the technique, but instead of using his own earthbound photographs, he used NASA photographs shot from the International Space Station. The resulting video, shown above, features the stars drawing trails across the “sky” while the Earth creates light streaks down below.
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Beautiful Composite Photographs from 50 Years of Space Exploration

Over the past decade, photographer Michael Benson has worked as a self-assigned curator of the past 50 years of NASA’s interplanetary space exploration photography. His big idea is that the images produced during this period form an important chapter in the history of photography, so he wants to select and repackage images in a way that can appreciated by the general public. After browsing through massive numbers of RAW photos shot by space agencies, Benson composites and colorizes them into gorgeous wide-angle views showing what the locations would look like if the viewer were standing where the probe was.
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Photos of Astronauts Using DSLRs on the International Space Station

Earlier this month we shared some neat photos of astronauts using DSLRs while on spacewalks outside the International Space Station. In case you’re also wondering how the cameras are used inside the habitable satellite, we’ve carefully perused NASA’s 2Explore Flickr photo stream in search of those photos as well, and have collected them here in one place for your viewing pleasure. They’ve got some pretty nice gear up in the ISS… lucky astronauts.
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1909 Lincoln Penny Used to Calibrate the Mars Curiosity Rover’s Camera on Mars

Did you know that there’s US currency on Mars? It’s true: when NASA’s Curiosity rover was launched back on November 26, 2011, one of the things it carried with it was a penny from over a century ago. The 1909 Lincoln cent is part of the rover’s onboard calibration target used to check that the cameras are working properly.
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