"The Childe...More restless than the swallow in the skies..." -Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

Saturday, March 10, 2012

My Cosmos Highlights for March 2012

I enjoyed some wonderful images recently thanks to being on the right space-related email lists. Here are three:

Image credit: NASA/ESA/JPL-Caltech/IRAM

The above is a composite view of the Orion nebula. You are looking at infrared data from the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory. This has been combined with data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The different colors indicate temperature, with blue being the warmest and red the coolest. Beautiful! This is what results when you make the commitment to put telescopes up above the blurring atmosphere.
Click here for the full caption.

This next image may seem ordinary by Saturnian standards. But keep in mind you are looking at a picture taken in January from a spacecraft circling the gas giant
this very moment.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Titan, Saturn's rings and the Cassini spacecraft orbit the solar system's most photogenic world! The more we learn about other planets, the more we are able to understand our own through comparison and contrast. Can you find the smaller moon Prometheus in this picture? Click here for the full caption.

Lastly, let's take a look at the east coast of North America. I'm up for any opportunity to put the politics of the day in their rather tiny place.

Image Credit: NASA

Starting in the lower right at Long Island, can you venture on and find Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and also the Washington D.C. area? Were you, a friend, or family member in any of these places on February 6, 2012? If so, there you/they are! Thanks go to the Russian space vehicles for providing a nice foreground (not to mention getting us Americans and our camera up there).

Treat yourself to the full-size version by clicking here.

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