Posts Tagged ‘telescope’

NASA Packs 17-Ton Telescope in a Boeing 747 to Solve Catch-22 of Astrophotography

sofia_landing_in_hamburg_6-28-14_0

NASA is known for using some impressive optics for its telescopes. But with amazing optics come some logistical limitations.

Ground-based lenses used by NASA can be as massive as needed, but are limited due to atmospheric distortion. Those used in space-based telescopes such as Hubble, on the other hand, must be much smaller, capable of being launched into space and fixed on-the-fly. This leaves NASA with a little Catch–22.

A Catch-22 they’ve managed to find an answer to in the form of SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy): a Boeing 747 with a 17-ton telescope packed inside. Read more…

Amateur Astronomers Recreate Voyager 1 Time-Lapse of Jupiter 35 Years Later

In 1979, as Voyager 1 made its final approach towards Jupiter, it snapped a series of beautiful black-and-white images of the massive planet that, when converted into a time-lapse, showed the movement of Jupiter’s cloud bands for the very first time.

It’s iconic footage, astronomically speaking, which is why 7 Swedish amateur astronomers and astrophotographers set out to recreate it using their own ground-based telescopes. Read more…

Time-Lapse Captured with Solar Telescope Shows a Sunset in Magnificent Detail

Swedish astrophotographer Göran Strand uploaded a time-lapse to YouTube today that is anything but your run-of-the-mill sunset lapse. For one, he’s waited almost a full year to shoot this footage. For another, it was shot using a solar telescope, and so magnificently captures the sun in striking detail as it dips below the silhouette of the foreground landscape. Read more…

Two Photos of the Orion Nebula Show Just How Far Photography Has Come

orion133yearsannotatedsymesdraper1

The saying goes, “your cell phone has more computing power than all of NASA in 1969. NASA launched a man to the moon. We launched a bird into pigs.”

Thankfully, in addition to launching furious balls of feathers into evil swine, we also use our phones for taking photographs. And just as our phones have more computing power than all of NASA in 1969, our phones also have better imaging capabilities than many of the astrophotography endeavors of the past. Read more…

Behold the First Ever Image of a Planet and Its Star Over 63 Light Years Away

gemini1

Although it might not seem like much, the photo above might just be the most extraordinary image you have ever seen. Not because of crazy high megapixel count or amazing composition or even subject matter — we’ve seen images of planets orbiting stars before — but because it is the first ever image of a planet and its star over 63 light years away. Read more…

Spectacular Horsehead Nebula Photograph Almost Good Enough to Rival Hubble

horsehead2

Photography is hardly a cheap hobby to pick up, but even within photography, some branches are more expensive than others. And ranking pretty close to the ‘most expensive’ side of that line is astrophotography… at least the kind that will yield incredible photos like the one you see here by photographer Mike Hankey. Read more…

Time-Lapse Captures the Gorgeous Skies Over the Island of La Palma

There’s been a lot of gear talk today — both serious and comical in nature — so we thought we’d shift gears and share a little bit of inspiration in the form of a gorgeous time-lapse of the night sky over the Canary Islands. Read more…

New Telescope Cam Takes Highest-Ever Resolution Photos of the Night Sky

magao1

When it comes to visible light photos of the night sky, Hubble has been king. That’s because Earth-bound telescopes — even those with much higher-quality optical systems than Hubble — must deal with the blurring effects of our planet’s atmosphere.

A newly developed camera called VisAO, however, has done away with that problem, and in the process enabled astronomers to take the highest-resolution visible light photos ever captured of the night sky. Read more…

Camera Used For Stargazing Helps Detect Common Form of Sight Loss

Cardiff Camera

Here’s yet another example of how technology used in space can help us earthlings in other ways. A partnership between scientists at Cardiff University and the UK Astronomy Technology Center has yielded a prototype device that can help detect Age-Related Macular Degeneration (otherwise known as AMD) — a common form of sight loss — using camera technology designed originally for use on space telescopes.
Read more…

This 870-Megapixel Monster Camera Has 116 Sensors and Weighs 3 Tons

comparison

If Optimus Prime ever decided to retire from saving Earth and take up photography as a hobby, this is one camera he might consider using. Called the Hyper Suprime-Cam, it’s a 870-megapixel ultra-wide-field camera that stands 3 meters (~10 feet) high and weighs in at 3 tons. The comparison illustration above shows what the camera looks like next to a 5.2-foot-tall girl.
Read more…