The artist concept depicts multiple-transiting planet systems, which are stars with more than one planet. The planets eclipse or transit their host star from the vantage point of the observer. This angle is called edge-on.
Image Credit: NASA
Combined the requests of “astronaut monkey” and “astronaut eating mexican food”.
Life on Mars
These three illustrations were made by an artist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1975 and reflect then-current ideas about our neighboring planet. Mars orbits the sun at a greater distance than Earth and is much colder. It has a thin atmosphere with a lot of carbon dioxide and is very dry. Not a good place for Earthly life.
These images may have been influenced by scientists who thought Martian life might have been silicon-based, rather than carbon-based as on Earth. The stumpy life-forms are all fairly simple, and look a bit like 1970s-era home furnishings.
(via: Wired Science)
Happy Holidays, Soviet Space Race Style!
Beginning in the late 1950s with the launch of Sputnik, spaceflight often featured in Soviet holiday cards. The Soviet Communists were officially atheists, but they kept St. Nick and many of the trappings of Christmas by shifting them over to the Orthodox New Year. Christmas trees, for example, became New Year trees. In the holiday card above, a cosmonaut helps a Russian Santa with his holiday duties. The spacecraft is, of course, entirely fanciful; it looks like something from a fairground ride. As we will see tomorrow, Soviet-era holiday cards often featured real spacecraft.
(via: Wired Science)
There’s something wonderful about Marvin Bileck’s minimal illustrations for All About the Stars.
M2-9: "Minkowski’s Butterfly" processing by Judy Schmidt
Minkowski 2-9, abbreviated M2-9 is a planetary nebula that was discovered by Rudolph Minkowski in 1947. It is located about 2,100 light-years away from Earth in the direction of the constellation Ophiuchus.
This is the first image of Saturn’s ultraviolet aurora taken by the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) on board the Hubble Space Telescope in October 1997, when Saturn was a distance of 810 million miles (1.3 billion kilometers) from Earth. The new instrument, used as a camera, provides more than ten times the sensitivity of previous Hubble instruments in the ultraviolet. STIS images reveal exquisite detail never before seen in the spectacular auroral curtains of light that encircle Saturns north and south poles and rise more than a thousand miles above the cloud tops.