What you see above is the first satellite photo of the contiguous 48 states of the United States. It was created in 1972 for NASA by a US agriculture department division, and comprises 595 cloud-free photos captured by NASA’s first Earth Resources Technology Satellite.
All the photos were captured from the same altitude of 560 miles and at the same lighting angle, allowing the images to be seamlessly stitched together into a giant 10×16-foot photo map of the US. You can find a larger version of the image here.
(via Internet Archive via Laughing Squid)
Ten years ago, on January 14, 2005, NASA landed its Huygens probe onto the surface of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. To commemorate the event, NASA released the above video that takes us on a 1,000,000,000x journey from a zoomed out photo of Saturn and the moon and into the closest photos captured by Huygens.
The image above may seem like some kind of artist rendering, but it’s an actual true color photograph showing Saturn, its rings, and one of its moons. Click here for a full-resolution version of the photo.
On April 1st, 1995, the Hubble Telescope captured a photograph that became one of the most iconic space photos ever captured. Titled, “Pillars of Creation,” the image shows the gigantic columns of interstellar gas and dust of the Eagle Nebula 6,000 light years away.
Now, 20 years after that image was created, scientists have recreated that image using the same space telescope (shown above).
NASA has released the largest and sharpest photograph ever made of the Andromeda Galaxy, the nearest spiral galaxy to ours that contains an estimated 1 trillion stars. The new image (above is a crop showing a portion of it) weighs in at 1.5 gigapixels (i.e. 1.5 billion pixels); it’s so big that you would need 600HD televisions to display the entire digital photo.
Photographs captured from the International Space Station have gotten a lot of press in recent years, especially as social networking has helped to share them with a wider audience. Quite a few time-lapses have been made as well using those photos.
Usually those videos are created by video editors who combine all kinds of photos found on space agency websites. The video above is a bit different: it was created with photos captured by a single person: astronaut Alexander Gerst.
Astronaut and photographer Chris Hadfield recently paid a visit to the At-Bristol science center in the UK. In the 8-minute video above, Hadfield shares a little about what it’s like to photograph the world from the International Space Station. He also attempts some recreations of his space photos using various objects and a macro camera kit.
Seeing and photographing an aurora is probably on many a photographer’s bucket list, but only a handful of people have ever had the opportunity to witness the phenomenon in person from space.
In order to offer a taste of this beauty to us non-astronaut folk, Selmesfilms created the time-lapse video above with photographs captured from the International Space Station. Be sure to watch it in high-definition and in full screen. Enjoy.
(H/T Laughing Squid)
Check out this gorgeous short film in which NASA astronaut Don Pettit shares what it was like to photograph Earth from orbit in the International Space Station. During his time aboard the station, Pettit became one of the most prolific astronaut photographers in the history of space exploration — one time he clogged up data transfers for three days with photos from a 30-minute shoot.
Back in June, we reported that a company called Planet Labs is working to improve the efficiency of satellite photography by using a large number of tiny satellites instead of a single satellite.
Company co-founder and CEO Will Marshal recently gave a TED Talk (shown above) that sheds some light on what the company is doing.