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ripples: Crab Nebula, photographed by Hubble, autumn 2005.

10 images in 558 nm (green) light, September-December 2005.

The Crab Nebula is a cloud of gas 11 light years across, created by the collapse and explosion of a giant star in 1054 AD (a Type II supernova). At the centre of the nebula is a neutron star, the Crab Pulsar, the incredibly dense remnant of the original star; 1.5 to 2 times the mass of the Sun, but only 30 km across. Intense solar wind from the pulsar creates visible ripples in the surrounding nebula.

From Proposal 10526. Some more gifs of the Crab Nebula seen by Hubble.

Image credit: NASA/ESA/STScI. Animation: AgeOfDestruction.

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alanis: Clouds and shadows on Mars, photographed by Mars Express, 24th May 2012.

Between 28 and 36°S, 284°E, on the arc of highlands that surround the southeast Solis Planum. The crater split between the 2nd and 3rd images is Voeykov, about 75 km across, named for climatologist and geographer Alexander Ivanovich Voeykov (1842-1916). The small, deep crater toward bottom left of the 4th image is Los, named for a village of about 400 people in Gävleborg County, Sweden.

Composite of 3 visible light images for colour, and 5 monochrome images for animation. Colour is not balanced naturalistically, and the slightly psychedelic colours of the clouds are a result of mismatches between the images where the clouds have moved between exposures.

Image credit: ESA. Composite: AgeOfDestruction.

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hannah: Surface of Mars, photographed by Mars Express, 25th November 2005.

Image runs from 32°S 201°E about 710 km due south across the Terra Sirenum highlands to 44°S 201°E. The Sirenum Fossae run across the top of the 2nd image. The 5th and 6th images show a central section of the 300 km-wide Newton Crater, including what looks like part of the central peak complex (notice dunes, dark blue, on the left hand side).

Composite of 3 visible light images for colour, and one monochrome image for detail. Colour balance is not naturalistic.

Image credit: ESA. Composite: AgeOfDestruction.

hex: Saturn’s north pole, photographed by Cassini, 3rd April 2014.

The hexagon is an atmospheric vortex, the shape apparently created by interaction of winds circling the pole at different speeds. Each side of the hexagon is about 13,800km long, wider than Earth.

10 images taken over about a quarter of a Saturnian day, which is about 10 hours and 40 minutes long.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/SSI. Animation: AgeOfDestruction.

borealis: Jovian aurora, photographed by Hubble Space Telescope, spring 2005.

Looking at the north pole of Jupiter. I believe that the bright dots at bottom left are the origins of magnetic flux tubes to Europa and Ganymede, and the bright streak at right is the link to Io.

From Visit 3 of Proposal 10140.

Image credit: NASA/ESA/STScl. Animation: AgeOfDestruction.

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te coule un drôle de regard: Surface of Mars, photographed by Mars Express, 23rd December 2008.

1°N to 14°S, 64°E on the Terra Tyrrhena. For scale, Verlaine Crater - divided between the 5th and 6th images - is about 40 km across. The crater at bottom left of the 7th image is only a few degrees north of this gif.

Verlaine Crater is named after Verlaine, a village of about 3,500, rather than the groundbreaking queer poet Paul-Marie Verlaine (1844-1896). Curiously the IAU record the village as being in France, while it appears to be in the largely French-speaking Walloon Region of Belgium.

Composite of 3 visible light images for colour, and 1 monochrome image for detail. 

Image credit: ESA. Composite: AgeOfDestruction.

tick: Neptune and Triton, photographed 5 times by Hubble Space Telescope, August 2002.

Note that Triton has a retrograde orbit, opposite to the direction of the planet’s spin. More gifs. More Neptune. More Triton.

Contrast decreased for reasons of art.

[From Proposal 9393].

Image credit: NASA/ESA/STScI. Animation: AgeOfDestruction.

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shannon: Surface of Mars, photographed by Mars Express, 28th October 2005.

Image runs from 63°S 205°E on the Terra Sirenum about 830 km due south to 78°S 205°E among the Ultima Scopuli. The crater seen in the 5th and 6th images is Reynolds (Osborne Reynolds, engineer & physicist, 1842-1912; see also: Reynolds number).

Composite of 3 visible light images for colour, and one monochrome image for detail. 

Image credit: ESA. Composite: AgeOfDestruction.

just a little heartache: Departing the Moon, photographed by Apollo 17, December 1972.

Showing the terminator on the lunar farside. The peaked crater at left is Tsiolkovskiy, again.

No date and time information attached to these images, but presumably just after escape from lunar orbit at midnight on the 16th.

Image credit: NASA/JSC/ASU. Animation: AgeOfDestruction.

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gwen: Surface of Mars, photographed by Mars Express, 22nd August 2007.

Image runs southwest from 71°S 56°E, just south of the Dorsa Brevia, to 80°S 34°E, just west of the Promethei Rupes; about 615 km. The dunes (dark blue) in the 4th image are inside Main Crater (Robert Main, astronomer, 1808-1878).

Composite of 3 visible light images for colour, and one monochrome image for detail. Colours are relative, not naturalistic.

Image credit: ESA. Composite: AgeOfDestruction.

moth: Comet and solar corona, photographed by SOHO, April 2004.

Comet Bradfield (C/2004 F4) at and just after perihelion. This animation uses 23 images taken 17th-19th April, about one every two hours. At its closest, the comet was about 25 million km from the sun (16% of the Earth-Sun distance).

C/2004 F4 was discovered by William Bradfield, amateur astronomer and prolific comet hunter: The most prolific comet hunter of all was Jean-Louis Pons (1761-1831) with 37; the second William Robert Brooks (1844-1921) with 26; Bradfield has discovered 18.

The most prolific comet detecting instrument, incidentally, is SOHO, with more than 2,500 discoveries.  

Image credit: NASA/ESA/GSFC. Animation: AgeOfDestruction.

inanna: Venus, photographed 11 times by Venus Express, 20th March 2008.

Looking up at the south pole. The terminator (line between night and day) appears to move right; this is actually a result of the movement of the spacecraft. However, if you look closely, the clouds around the pole seem to move relative to the terminator. These images cover (precisely) 4 hours, and Venus’s atmosphere is usually said to rotate in 4 or 5 days (much faster than the turning of the planet itself), so we might expect to see the clouds move 12-15° around the pole during this gif.

From mission day 700. Images have been resized and the disc of the planet brightened.

Image credit: ESA. Animation: AgeOfDestruction.

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substitute: Surface of Mars, photographed by Mars Express, 31st May 2007.

84°S 280°E to 75°S 266°E; the top (southernmost) of the image shows the terminus of the Australe Scopuli, fading into Parva Planum.

The vivid violet areas at the bottom of the 3rd and 4th images are where the red channel was blown out; I used the infrared image for this, rather than the (visible) red light image because the latter was even more glitched.

Image credit: ESA. Composite: AgeOfDestruction.

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