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.


a textbook of magic: stars, over the sun, photographed by soho, 16th february 2016.

the plume in the first gif is an outburst from the solar corona. the 2nd gif shows image noise from the 1st gif; i’m under the impression that many of these flashes are protons emitted by the sun hitting the image detector.

image credit: nasa/soho. animation: ageofdestruction.


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.


image noise, photographed / not photographed by soho, 14th june 2015.

35 frames, photographed over 7.5 hours, with the subject of the images removed as much as possible; some traces of the background stars remain, however. near centre, elnath (beta tauri) is somewhat visible as a crescent. most of the noise is from charged particles hitting the image detector.

image credit: nasa/soho. animation: ageofdestruction.

a wishing well that all men call the world: earth against the stars, photographed by soho and dscovr, 18th november 2015.

a composite of real imagery: earth is photographed by dscover’s epic instrument (11 times over 22 hours), but epic exposures are too short to pick up stars; instead, i have used a starfield synthesized from soho images earlier in the year when the sun was moving through taurus and auriga, where the earth is now. the framing of the images and the apparent motion of the stars are also based on soho images. 

the numerous inaccuracies and creative slights of hand are mine.

image credit: nasa/soho, nasa/noaa. animation&composite: ageofdestruction. title: leonard cohen.

( i balance on a wishing well
that all men call the world
we are so small between the stars
so large against the sky
and lost among the subway crowds
i try to catch your eye -


sheba: surface of mars, photographed by mars express, 17th march 2007.

details of terra sabaea, north west of the hellas basin; between 23 and 33°s around 50°e. the image at centre (dark blue) is inside schaeberle crater.

monochrome image coloured with a composite of visible light images; the colour balance is not naturalistic.

image credit: esa. composite: ageofdestruction.

milky way, photographed by stereo b, 21st-22nd january 2007.

the plane of the galaxy around scorpius. the second brightest object in the image, above the galaxy, is antares. the very brightest, above and left, must be a planet - perhaps mars. the pair of bright stars that just sneak into frame at bottom right are alpha and beta centauri; one of the stars in the alpha centauri star system, proxima centauri, is the closest star to the sun.

18 frames over 22 hours. on january 21st, the spacecraft used a lunar gravity assist to escape the earth-moon system and enter a heliocentric orbit.

image credit: nasa/stereo. animation: ageofdestruction.


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.


surface of the moon, photographed by ranger 8, 20th february 1965.

centred around 1°n 20°e, on the southwest shore of the mare tranquillitatis (sea of tranquility).

10 photographs taken with the a (top) and b (bottom) cameras, during ranger 8′s descent toward impact on the lunar surface.

image credit: nasa, c/o lpi. animation: ageofdestruction.


maybe i dreamed about you too: Stars, photographed by Rosetta, September 2008.

Two views of deep space (6 frames, 7 frames) photographed in the month following Rosetta’s flyby of asteroid 2867 Šteins. Rosetta was more than 358 million km from the Sun at this point in its journey to comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

Image credit: ESA/MPS. Animation: AgeOfDestruction.