Sunday, September 2, 2007

Close-up of the Planet Mars


NASA's Hubble Space Telescope took this close-up of the red planet Mars when it was just 34,648,840 miles (55,760,220 km) away. This color image was assembled from a series of exposures taken between 6:20 p.m. and 7:12 p.m. EDT Aug. 26 with Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. The picture was taken just 11 hours before the planet made its closest approach to Earth in 60,000 years.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Earthrise at Christmas

Earth rise from Apollo 8

Thirty-five years ago this Christmas, a turbulent world looked to the heavens for a unique view of our home planet. This photo of "Earthrise" over the lunar horizon was taken by the Apollo 8 crew in December 1968, showing Earth for the first time as it appears from deep space.

Astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders had become the first humans to leave Earth orbit, entering lunar orbit on Christmas Eve. In a historic live broadcast that night, the crew took turns reading from the Book of Genesis, closing with a holiday wish from Commander Borman: "We close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you -- all of you on the good Earth."