The entire evolution of the moon is a story of catastrophes. Carl Sagan
This is the first gif I ever saw. It was on AOL back when version 2.0 was new. That’s nearly five years after the event it depicts.
N.A.S.A.’s Hevelius lander transmitted this image to Earth after landing successfully on Saturn at about 1:30 A.M. E.D.T.
Current Potential Habitable Exoplanets
via Planetary Habitability Lab, University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo
NASA’s ambition in 1971 was to build a fully reusable Space Shuttle which it could operate much as an airline operates its airplanes. The typical fully reusable Shuttle design in play in 1971 included a large Booster and a smaller Orbiter (image at top of post), each of which would carry a crew.
The Booster’s rocket motors would ignite on the launch pad, drawing liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen propellants from integral internal tanks. At the edge of space, its propellants depleted, the Booster would release the Orbiter. It then would turn around, reenter the dense part of Earth’s atmosphere, deploy air-breathing jet engines, and fly under power to a runway at its launch site. Because it would return to its launch site, NASA dubbed it the “Flyback Booster.” It would then taxi or be towed to a hanger for minimal refurbishment and preparation for its next launch.
The Space Shuttle Orbiter, meanwhile, would arc up and away from the Booster. After achieving a safe separation distance, it would ignite its rocket motors to place itself into Earth orbit. After accomplishing its mission, it would fire its motors to slow down and reenter Earth’s atmosphere, where it would deploy jet engines and fly under power to a runway landing. As in the case of the Booster, the Orbiter would need minimal refurbishment before it was launched again.
Unlike an expendable launcher – for example, the Saturn V moon rocket - a fully reusable Space Shuttle would not discard spent parts downrange of its launch site as it climbed to Earth orbit. This meant that, in theory, any place that could host an airport might become a Space Shuttle launch and landing site.
NASA managers felt no need for a new launch and landing site; they already had two at their disposal. They planned to launch and land the Space Shuttle at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on Florida’s east coast and Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), California. Nevertheless, for a time in 1971-1972, a NASA board reviewed some 150 candidate Shuttle launch and landing sites in 40 of the 50 U.S. states. A few were NASA-selected candidates, but most were put forward by members of Congress, state and local politicians, and even private individuals.
The Space Shuttle Launch and Recovery Site Review Board, as it was known, was chaired by Floyd Thompson, a former director of NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. The Board got its start on 26 April 1971, when Dale Myers, NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, charged it with determining whether any of the candidate sites could host a single new Shuttle launch and landing site as versatile as KSC and VAFB were together. The consolidation scheme aimed to trim Shuttle cost by eliminating redundancy.
Be sure to check out the link, if only for the retro artwork. Some are by Don Lauer, but most have a signature I can’t read (it looks like “Mirtren”).
With a diameter of approximately 3,280 miles (5,260 km), Ganymede is the 4th largest solid body in the Solar System, the largest to orbit a planet.
This picture gives you an idea of what we would see if Ganymede orbited Earth at the distance of the Moon. Ganymede’s tidal influence on Earth’s seas would be almost the same as the Moon’s, but its face when full would take up 2¼ times as much sky as a full Moon and shine 10½ times as brightly.
The picture is a combination of a photograph I took of the half-lit Moon over a water tower in Davenport and a photograph the Galileo Spacecraft took of the half-lit Ganymede. It isn’t completely accurate, because Ganymede’s high albedo would drown out most of the features of the half facing the Sun, and the other half would be partly illuminated by earthshine. The colors in the source image are also enhanced, and probably wouldn’t look as vivid to a real observer.
Illustration by David A. Hardy for an ice cave on Pluto, first published in The New Challenge of the Stars by Sir Patrick Moore in 1978. I’ve posted a scan of it before, but this is a better copy.
This painting was inspired by a photograph from Captain Scott’s Antarctic expedition.
the moon looked like this earlier
“Hostile World” by Richard Bizley, an astronomy and paleontology illustrator with some interesting sci-fi visions.
This is an artist’s illustration of a brown dwarf star recently discovered by researchers from University of Arizona. It has an unusual outer atmosphere with liquid drops of iron and other exotic compounds. #astronomy #space #science #aas
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
This is an artist’s illustration of what the hydrocarbon lakes on Titan might look like, complete with patches of methane ice, which might float atop these lakes. It would be an amazing landscape to explore. Some day… #space #titan #astronomy
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/USGS
Here’s what Mars would look like covered in water, and green with life. This cool image was rendered by Kevin Gill based on Mars elevation data. #mars #space #astronomy