I just saw the moon


Butter Rum
NASA's Galileo spacecraft acquired its highest resolution images of Jupiter's moon Io on 3 July 1999 during its closest pass to Io since orbit insertion in late 1995. This color mosaic uses the near-infrared, green and violet filters

This is a montage of New Horizons images of Jupiter and its volcanic moon Io, taken during the spacecraft’s Jupiter flyby in early 2007.

The Jupiter image is an infrared color composite taken by the spacecraft’s near-infrared imaging spectrometer, the Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array (LEISA) at 1:40 UT on Feb. 28, 2007. The infrared wavelengths used (red: 1.59 µm, green: 1.94 µm, blue: 1.85 µm) highlight variations in the altitude of the Jovian cloud tops, with blue denoting high-altitude clouds and hazes, and red indicating deeper clouds. The prominent bluish-white oval is the Great Red Spot. The observation was made at a solar phase angle of 75 degrees but has been projected onto a crescent to remove distortion caused by Jupiter’s rotation during the scan.

The Io image, taken at 00:25 UT on March 1st 2007, is an approximately true-color composite taken by the panchromatic Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), with color information provided by the 0.5 µm (“blue”) and 0.9 µm (“methane”) channels of the Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC). The image shows a major eruption in progress on Io’s night side, at the northern volcano Tvashtar. Incandescent lava glows red beneath a 330-kilometer high volcanic plume, whose uppermost portions are illuminated by sunlight. The plume appears blue due to scattering of light by small particles in the plume.

This true color mosaic of Jupiter was constructed from images taken by the narrow angle camera onboard NASA's Cassini spacecraft on December 29, 2000, during its closest approach to the giant planet at a distance of approximately 10 million kilometers (6.2 million miles).


Butter Rum
We are going into the infrared spectrum now and for a day or two with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope...please enjoy :spliff: :leaf:

Newborn stars, hidden behind thick dust, are revealed in this image of a section of the so-called Christmas Tree Cluster from Spitzer. The newly revealed infant stars appear as pink and red specks toward the center and appear to have formed in regularly spaced intervals along linear structures in a configuration that resembles the spokes of a wheel or the pattern of a snowflake. Hence, astronomers have nicknamed this the "Snowflake Cluster."

This is the Orion Nebula, an immense stellar nursery some 1,500 light-years away. This stunning false-color view spans about 40 light-years across the region, constructed using infrared data from the Spitzer. Compared to its visual wavelength appearance, the brightest portion of the nebula is likewise centered on Orion's young, massive, hot stars, known as the Trapezium Cluster. But the infrared image also detects the nebula's many protostars, still in the process of formation, seen here in red hues. In fact, red spots along the dark dusty filament to the left of the bright cluster include the protostar cataloged as HOPS 68, recently found to have crystals of the silicate mineral olivine within its protostellar envelope.

This infrared image from Spitzer shows the Helix nebula, a cosmic starlet often photographed by amateur astronomers for its vivid colors and eerie resemblance to a giant eye. The nebula, located about 700 light-years away, is in the constellation Aquarius.
In Spitzer's infrared view of the Helix nebula, the eye looks more like that of a green monster's. Infrared light from the outer gaseous layers is represented in blues and greens. The white dwarf is visible as a tiny white dot in the center of the picture. The red color in the middle of the eye denotes the final layers of gas blown out when the star died.

Massive stars can wreak havoc on their surroundings, as can be seen in this new view of the Carina nebula from Spitzer. The bright star at the center of the nebula is Eta Carinae, one of the most massive stars in the galaxy. Its blinding glare is sculpting and destroying the surrounding nebula.

Eta Carinae is a true giant of a star. It is around 100 times the mass of our sun and is burning its nuclear fuel so quickly that it is at least one million times brighter than the sun. It has brightened and faded over the years, and some astronomers think it could explode as a supernova in the not-too-distant future.

Such a tremendous outflow of energy comes at a great cost to the surrounding nebula. The infrared light from the star destroys particles of dust, sculpting cavities and leaving pillars of denser material that point back to the star. Spitzer’s infrared vision lets us see the dust, shown in red, as well as clouds of hot, glowing gas that appear green.


Butter Rum
More from Spitzer and a bonus at the end. The first image is one of my most favorites that I've found due to how many galaxies are in it.

This is the tip of the "wing" of the Small Magellanic Cloud galaxy dazzling in this new view from NASA's Great Observatories. The Small Magellanic Cloud, or SMC, is a small galaxy about 200,000 light-years way that orbits our own Milky Way spiral galaxy.

The colors represent wavelengths of light across a broad spectrum. X-rays from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory are shown in purple; visible-light from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is colored red, green and blue; and infrared observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope are also represented in red.

The spiral galaxy seen in the lower corner is actually behind this nebula. Other distant galaxies located hundreds of millions of light-years or more away can be seen sprinkled around the edge of the image...so many galaxies!!! Zoom in on this as much as you can...we almost should have a contest to see how many galaxies are in the picture, lol.

This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the Tarantula Nebula in three wavelengths of infrared light, each represented by a different color. The magenta-colored regions are dust composed of molecules called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are also found in ash from coal, wood and oil fires on Earth. The green color in this image shows the presence of particularly hot gas emitting infrared light at a wavelength of 4.5 micrometers. The stars in the image are mostly a combination of green and blue. White hues indicate regions that radiate in all three wavelengths.

The center of our Milky Way galaxy in infrared from Spitzer. Spitzer is able to cut throught the white "blob" that visible wavelength telescopes see when looking at the center of the Milky Way.

Not from Spitzer but from French photographer Thierry Legault. Look him up, he has many cool eclipse photos and many of different orbiting platforms like ISS and more.
Video from him showing the ISS transiting across the Sun...looking like a TIE Fighter.
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Butter Rum
I saw the moon and sun, hehe...some more from Thierry Legault.

Image of the solar transit of the International Space Station (ISS), taken from the area of Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman on January 4th 2011 at 9:09 UT, during the partial solar eclipse. Takahashi FSQ-106ED refractor on EM-10 mount, Canon 5D mark II. 1/5000s exposure at 100 iso. The image shows three planes in space: the Sun at 150 million km, the Moon at about 400000 km and the ISS at 500 km.

Image of the solar transit of the International Space Station (ISS) and Space Shuttle Atlantis during the STS-132 mission, taken from Niederbipp in Switzerland on May 22nd 2010 at 11h 14min 09s UT. Transit duration: 0.49s. ISS distance to observer: 390 km. Speed in orbit: 7.4km/s (26500 km/h or 16500 mph). Takahashi TOA-150 refractor (diameter 150mm, final focal 2500mm), Baader Herschel prism and Canon 5D Mark II. Exposure of 1/8000s at 100 ISO, extracted from a series of 16 images (4 images/s) started 2s before the predicted time.

Close-up crop

A couple Moon shots



Went to the dunes to spot the NEOWISE comet.
Took a few hits from the Tinymight before clouds disappeared. Tried to take a picture. Binoculars in one hand and smartphone in the other.
I think it turned out pretty amazing!



Butter Rum
Since comet NEOWISE is still in our skies, and to piggy-back on @Dio great shot, I wanted to see if one of NASA's probes had a good shot of it. So here is an image taken by the Parker Solar Probe. The twin tails of comet NEOWISE are clearly seen in this image from the WISPR instrument, which has been processed to increase contrast and remove excess brightness from scattered sunlight, revealing more detail in the comet tails.

The lower tail, which appears broad and fuzzy, is the dust tail of comet NEOWISE — created when dust lifts off the surface of the comet’s nucleus and trails behind the comet in its orbit. Scientists hope to use WISPR’s images to study the size of dust grains within the dust tail, as well as the rate at which the comet sheds dust.

The upper tail is the ion tail, which is made up of gases that have been ionized by losing electrons in the Sun’s intense light. These ionized gases are buffeted by the solar wind creating the ion tail that extends directly away from the Sun. The image appears to show a divide in the ion tail. This could mean that comet NEOWISE has two ion tails, in addition to its dust tail, though scientists would need more data and analysis to confirm this possibility.

Back to Jupiter...Juno took the four images used to produce this color-enhanced view on May 29, 2019, between 3:52 a.m. EDT and 4:03 a.m. EDT, as the spacecraft performed its 20th science pass of Jupiter. At the time the images were taken, the spacecraft was between 11,600 miles (18,600 kilometers) and 5,400 miles (8,600 kilometers) above Jupiter's cloud tops, above a northern latitude spanning from about 59 to 34 degrees.

This color-enhanced image was taken at 9:20 a.m. PST on Feb. 12, 2019 (12:20 p.m. EST), as the spacecraft performed its 18th close flyby of the gas giant planet. At the time, Juno was about 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometers) from the planet's cloud tops, above a latitude of approximately 55 degrees north.

A giant, spiraling storm in Jupiter’s southern hemisphere is captured in this animation from NASA’s Juno spacecraft. The storm is approximately 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometers) across. The counterclockwise motion of the storm, called Oval BA, is clearly on display. A similar rotation can be seen in the famous Great Red Spot at the top of the animation.

Juno took the nine images used to produce this movie sequence on Dec. 21, between 9:24 a.m. PST (12:24 p.m. EST) and 10:07 a.m. PST (1:07 p.m. EST). At the time the images were taken, the spacecraft was between approximately 15,400 miles (24,800 kilometers) and 60,700 miles (97,700 kilometers) from the planet’s cloud tops above southern latitudes spanning about 36 to 74 degrees.


Butter Rum
We have NEOWISE which won't return for nearly 7,000 years, and also ATLAS which we will never see again. Folks, how lucky are we to have these observatories in space, deep space probes, and awesome land based telescopes like Keck and the Extremely Large Telescope (yes that's what it's called) being built in the mountains of Chili.

NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, or STEREO-A spacecraft, captured these images of comet ATLAS as it swooped by the Sun from May 25 – June 1. During the observations and outside STEREO’s field of view, ESA/NASA’s Solar Orbiter spacecraft crossed one of the comet’s two tails.

In the animated image, ATLAS emerges from the top of the frame and approaches the Sun — off camera to left — against gusts of solar wind. Its dust tail, which reflects sunlight, appears white. Mercury is also visible as a bright dot emerging from the left against the stationary starfield. The vertical streaks in the image are artifacts created by saturation from bright background stars.

While STEREO recorded this footage, Solar Orbiter crossed one of comet ATLAS’s tails. Launched in February 2020, the spacecraft wasn’t scheduled to enter full science operations until June 15, but engineers adjusted Solar Orbiter’s testing schedule and turned on its four most relevant instruments for the encounter. It’s the first time a comet tail crossing by a spacecraft not designed to chase them was predicted in advance.

As material sheds from a comet’s nucleus, it leaves behind two tails: a thin ion tail, made of charged particles, and a more diffuse dust tail that reflects visible light. The ion tail always points away from the Sun regardless of the comet’s trajectory; the dust tail more closely follows the comet’s path. Solar Orbiter crossed the ion tail on May 31, some 27 million miles downstream and outside STEREO’s field of view. The team is still awaiting those results. It will fly through the remnants of the dust tail on June 6.

Comet ATLAS was discovered on Dec. 28, 2019 in images captured by the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System, or ATLAS robotic astronomical survey system in Hawaii. Comets are traditionally named after the instruments or person that discovered them. The comet follows an orbit that takes it past the Sun approximately every 6,000 years, though observations suggest the comet is currently disintegrating and is unlikely to return.

Back to the Juno probe...
Striking atmospheric features in Jupiter’s northern hemisphere are captured in this series of color-enhanced images from NASA’s Juno spacecraft.

An anticyclonic white oval, called N5-AWO, can be seen at center left of the first image (at far left) and appears slightly higher in the second and third images. A tempest known as the Little Red Spot is visible near the bottom of the second and third images. The reddish-orange band that is prominently displayed in the fourth and fifth images is the North North Temperate Belt.

From left to right, this sequence of images was taken between 9:54 p.m. and 10:11 p.m. PDT on July 15 (12:54 a.m. and 1:11 a.m. EDT on July 16), as the spacecraft performed its 14th close flyby of Jupiter. At the time, Juno’s altitude ranged from about 15,700 to 3,900 miles (25,300 to 6,200 kilometers) from the planet's cloud tops, above a latitude of approximately 69 to 36 degrees.

This extraordinary view of Jupiter was captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft on the outbound leg of its 12th close flyby of the gas giant planet.

This new perspective of Jupiter from the south makes the Great Red Spot appear as though it is in northern territory. This view is unique to Juno and demonstrates how different our view is when we step off the Earth and experience the true nature of our three-dimensional universe.

Juno took the images used to produce this color-enhanced image on April 1 between 3:04 a.m. PDT (6:04 a.m. EDT) and 3:36 a.m. PDT (6:36 a.m. EDT). At the time the images were taken, the spacecraft was between 10,768 miles (17,329 kilometers) to 42,849 miles (68,959 kilometers) from the tops of the clouds of the planet at a southern latitude spanning 34.01 to 71.43 degrees.

This image of Jupiter’s iconic Great Red Spot and surrounding turbulent zones was captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft.

The color-enhanced image is a combination of three separate images taken on April 1 between 3:09 a.m. PDT (6:09 a.m. EDT) and 3:24 a.m. PDT (6:24 a.m. EDT), as Juno performed its 12th close flyby of Jupiter. At the time the images were taken, the spacecraft was 15,379 miles (24,749 kilometers) to 30,633 miles (49,299 kilometers) from the tops of the clouds of the planet at a southern latitude spanning 43.2 to 62.1 degrees.
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Butter Rum
I love this first image. If I can get a good shot of it with cellphone and binoculars, I will post, but doubtful due to clouds all the time (sunshine state?, lol). Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) was captured two mornings ago rising over Stonehenge in the UK.

This video details Comet NEOWISE from Italy rising over the Adriatic Sea. The time-lapse video combines over 240 images taken over 30 minutes. The comet is seen rising through a foreground of bright and undulating noctilucent clouds, and before a background of distant stars.

This image of Jupiter’s southern hemisphere was captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft as it performed a close flyby of the gas giant planet on Dec. 16, 2017.

Juno captured this color-enhanced image at 10:24 a.m. PST (1:24 p.m. EST) when the spacecraft was about 19,244 miles (30,970 kilometers) from the tops of Jupiter’s clouds at a latitude of 49.9 degrees south — roughly halfway between the planet’s equator and its south pole.

This image of Jupiter’s swirling south polar region was captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft as it neared completion of its tenth close flyby of the gas giant planet.

The “empty” space above and below Jupiter in this color-enhanced image can trick the mind, causing the viewer to perceive our solar system’s largest planet as less colossal than it is. In reality, Jupiter is wide enough to fit 11 Earths across its clouded disk.

The spacecraft captured this image on Dec. 16, 2017, at 11:07 PST (2:07 p.m. EST) when the spacecraft was about 64,899 miles (104,446 kilometers) from the tops of the clouds of the planet at a latitude of 83.9 degrees south — almost directly over Jupiter’s south pole.

The spatial scale in this image is 43.6 miles/pixel (70.2 kilometers/pixel).

Colorful swirling cloud belts dominate Jupiter’s southern hemisphere in this image captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft.

Jupiter appears in this color-enhanced image as a tapestry of vibrant cloud bands and storms. The dark region in the far left is called the South Temperate Belt. Intersecting the belt is a ghost-like feature of slithering white clouds. This is the largest feature in Jupiter’s low latitudes that’s a cyclone (rotating with clockwise motion).

This image was taken on Dec. 16, 2017 at 10:12 PST (1:12 p.m. EST), as Juno performed its tenth close flyby of Jupiter. At the time the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 8,453 miles (13,604 kilometers) from the tops of the clouds of the planet at a latitude of 27.9 degrees south.

The spatial scale in this image is 5.6 miles/pixel (9.1 kilometers/pixel).


Well-Known Member
Apparently there's some major controversy in the world of astrophotography regarding one set of photos that may have been somewhat artistically enhanced!
I haven't got a clear view towards the east but I believe it should be moving to our evening skies soon.


Butter Rum
I've come across a lot of NEOWISE photos that don't look "natural" to me. Even the Stonehenge one I posted I am a little uncertain. I will tell everyone this, all the Juno images are "enhanced" from the raw data...in fact most of the great pics we see from Hubble, Spitzer, Chandra, etc are all enhanced in some way so we humans can interpret them better.


Butter Rum
Comet NEOWISE is visible in an aurora-filled sky in this photo by Aurorasaurus Ambassador Donna Lach. The photo was taken early on July 14, 2020, in western Manitoba, Canada. The purple ribbon-like structure to the left is STEVE, an aurora-related phenomenon discovered with the help of citizen scientists working with the Aurorasaurus project. The bright streak near the top of the image is a meteor.

The first images from ESA/NASA’s Solar Orbiter, including the closest pictures ever taken of the Sun.

Solar Orbiter is an international collaboration between the European Space Agency, or ESA, and NASA, to study our closest star, the Sun. Launched on Feb. 9, 2020 (EST), the spacecraft completed its first close pass of the Sun in mid-June.

Hubble Captures Vivid Auroras in Jupiter’s Atmosphere

These images of Jupiter's Great Red Spot were made using data collected by the Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini Observatory on April 1, 2018. By combining observations captured at almost the same time from the two different observatories, astronomers were able to determine that dark features on the Great Red Spot are holes in the clouds rather than masses of dark material.

Upper left (wide view) and lower left (detail): The Hubble image of sunlight (visible wavelengths) reflecting off clouds in Jupiter’s atmosphere shows dark features within the Great Red Spot.

Upper right: A thermal infrared image of the same area from Gemini shows heat emitted as infrared energy. Cool overlying clouds appear as dark regions, but clearings in the clouds allow bright infrared emission to escape from warmer layers below.

Lower middle: An ultraviolet image from Hubble shows sunlight scattered back from the hazes over the Great Red Spot. The Great Red Spot appears red in visible light because these hazes absorb blue wavelengths. The Hubble data show that the hazes continue to absorb even at shorter ultraviolet wavelengths.

Lower right: A multiwavelength composite of Hubble and Gemini data shows visible light in blue and thermal infrared in red. The combined observations show that areas that are bright in infrared are clearings or places where there is less cloud cover blocking heat from the interior.

This image of Jupiter’s turbulent southern hemisphere was captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft as it performed a close flyby of the gas giant planet on Dec. 21, 2018.

This new perspective captures the notable Great Red Spot, as well as a massive storm called Oval BA. The storm reached its current size when three smaller spots collided and merged in the year 2000. The Great Red Spot, which is about twice as wide as Oval BA, may have formed from the same process centuries ago.

Juno took the three images used to produce this color-enhanced view on Dec. 21, between 9:32 a.m. PST (12:32 p.m. EST) and 9:42 a.m. PST (12:42 p.m. EST). At the time the images were taken, the spacecraft was between approximately 23,800 miles (38,300 kilometers) to 34,500 miles (55,500 kilometers) from the planet’s cloud tops above southern latitudes spanning 49.15 to 59.59 degrees.
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Capo di tutt'i capi
Thank you @CrazyDiamond. Love this stuff, especially the pics. I find it amazing that a probe can get that close to the sun and not disintegrate. Same with Juno, I would have thought anything that close to Jupiter would get sucked right in. Shows what I know.

A few years ago I learned that humans had landed a few probes on the surface of Venus. They were the Venera probes sent out by Russia back in the 1970's. And at least one probe lasted long enough to send back some images from the surface of Venus. The probes all quickly succumbed to the heat and pressure on the surface. Very cool.



Butter Rum
Thank you @BabyFacedFinster for the kind words. You got me thinking with your post of Venera. In my opinion, a great achievement by the Soviet Union. It is no small feat to endure the pressure on Venus, which it eventually succumbed to. And they did it many times, first with hard landings (which is unbelievable to me to withstand that AND the pressure) and soft landings, and orbiters...as did NASA later. Your post also got me to go look up Solar Orbiter and Juno specs for how they survive.

So dropping some text on you all...I will post some pics later on, maybe tomorrow as I'm tired now.

The Solar Orbiter is designed to withstand a distance of just 0.27 AU from the Sun's surface, almost three-quarters of the total distance from Earth to the Sun. That may seem far, it is still 26 million miles, but this is no mean feat. Temperatures at that distance can reach some 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, 13 times what any satellite in Earth orbit could experience.

The side facing the sun is just 0.05 mm thick – about the width of a human hair – this front surface is made from strong but light titanium alloy. It had to keep the same color during years of exposure to intense solar flux, including high ultraviolet radiation so they settled on black, to keep its thermo-optical properties stable over the mission lifetime. This black coating is called Solar Black. The coating was developed using a pigment based on charred bones. It had to be electrically conductive, to prevent any build-up of static from interaction with the solar wind, which might do damage to the spacecraft by discharging. Lastly, there could be no out-gassing or shedding of particles, which might endanger the mission’s instrument lenses, mirrors and sensitive surfaces.

On the other surfaces, "Solar White" is employed on various parts of the spacecraft including heat-dumping radiator panels, solar array edges, and its instrument boom. The Solar White could not bond directly to metal so Solar Black was bonded to those surfaces as well and the Solar White applied on top. It also has an electrically conductive layer to get rid of excess electrical charge buildup.

On to Juno and how it's instruments are protected from Jupiter's extreme radiation...

Most of Juno's most critical and sensitive instruments are housed in the Juno Radiation Vault is a compartment inside the Juno spacecraft that houses much of the probe's electronics and computers, and is intended to offer increased protection of radiation to the contents as the spacecraft endures the radiation environment of Jupiter. It is roughly a cube, with walls made of 1 cm thick (1/3 of an inch) titanium metal, and each side having an area of about a square meter (10 square feet). The vault weights about 200 kg (500 lbs). Inside the vault are the main command and data handling and power control boxes, along with 20 other electronic boxes. The vault reduces the radiation exposure by about 800 times, as the spacecraft is exposed to an anticipated 20 million rads of radiation. It does not stop all radiation, but significantly reduces it in order to limit damage to the spacecraft's electronics. The wires that lead out from the vault also have increased protection; they have a sheath of braided copper and stainless steel. Some other components used tantalum metal for shielding in Juno, and while lead is known for its shielding effect, it was found to be too soft in this application.

Text from me and various sources.

Edit: Had time for some pics but no description. If you all don't want me putting the detailed descriptions, or you want just a brief description, let me know.

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Capo di tutt'i capi
So cool! The concept that a probe could be in those extreme locations, but were once in a storage shed on Earth is amazing to me.

By the way, I am also looking for Neo. I tried two days ago but had a few barriers. The treeline, the clouds, and my ability to use the telescope that was given to me several years ago. I believe I was looking at it with eyes though. It has been cloudy since.

After a quick search I did find that there is a Neo location app available for the iphone. You just aim the phone in the sky and it marks the location for you. Found another for constellations and planets also. Such a great tool for novices like me.


Well-Known Member
I saw the comet last night, low in the NW. :D
Different news feeds and apps all gave different locations, plus I have about 20 degrees of mountain in that direction. (I got an ISS flyby alert while I was out but I think it was at about 15 degrees). But I saw something fuzzy and sure enough, there it was! Definitely saw the tail too, though binoculars but I couldn't find it with the telescope 🔭 - I'll be better prepared tonight.
Awesome to actually see it though.
I had a good look at Mars too, later on. Equally awesome to think there's a mission already on its way, and two more big explorations to come :tup:
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