Enjoying EarthSky? Subscribe.

211,896 subscribers and counting ...

Andrew R. Brown
View larger. | NASA calls this image 'the mountainous shoreline of Sputnik Planum.' It's not a shoreline as on Earth, of course; it's a place where two kinds of ice meet. The mountainous region - informally named al-Idrisi mountains - is made of great blocks of Pluto’s water-ice crust. Some stand as much as 1.5 miles high. The mountains end abruptly at the shoreline of the informally named Sputnik Planum, where the soft, nitrogen-rich ices of the plain form a nearly level surface.   Read more about this image.

Closest Pluto images ever returned

New images from New Horizons’ July flyby of Pluto are among the sharpest of another world, other than those closely orbited or landed upon.

Image returned by Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity. Sol 1,174: Wednesday November 25, 2015.  The images on this page are from the rover's wide-angle NavCams (Navigational Cameras), which shoot in black-and-white.

Amazing new images from Mars rover

Awesome views, including some selfies, from the Mars Curiosity rover. The rover is looking across Gale Crater, approaching a large dune with ripples.

Image via New Horizons spacecraft on July 14, 2015.

Pluto, backlit

Crescent Pluto, acquired as New Horizons sped past in July on its way deeper into the Kuiper Belt.

View larger. | Image acquired by the Mars Curiosity rover on Friday 6th November 2015, via NASA / JPL / Malin Space Science Systems. Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity.

Amazing view across Mars’ Gale Crater

Another great glimpse of Mars – the world next door – from NASA’s Curiosity rover.

Image via NASA /JPL-Caltech/ESA Cassini spacecraft.

New Cassini images of Enceladus

Images from last week’s flyby of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, one of three planned for this month … the final close flybys of Enceladus with the Cassini spacecraft.

Pluto's moon Charon. Imaged July 14, 2015. Image via NASA / JHU-APL / SWRI. New Horizons spacecraft.

New images of Pluto’s moon Charon

Images released Friday, October 9. New Horizons acquired them when it swept past the Pluto system on July 14. The spacecraft’s data are still being returned.

ceres-HAMO-8-19-2015-close

New images from Dawn mission to Ceres

Dawn spacecraft has now moved to within about 900 miles (1,500 km) from the dwarf planet Ceres. See some early images from its new, closer orbit.

View larger. | Four images from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) were combined with color data from the Ralph instrument to create this enhanced color global view of Pluto. (The lower right edge of Pluto in this view currently lacks high-resolution color coverage.) The images, taken when the spacecraft was 280,000 miles (450,000 km) away, show features as small as 1.4 miles (2.2 km). Image via NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI.

First maps of Charon and Pluto

Many features on Charon informally named from science fiction, particularly Star Trek and Star Wars. Lord of the Rings, Stanley Kubrick also honored.

View larger. | Four images from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) were combined with color data from the Ralph instrument to create this enhanced color global view of Pluto. (The lower right edge of Pluto in this view currently lacks high-resolution color coverage.) The images, taken when the spacecraft was 280,000 miles (450,000 km) away, show features as small as 1.4 miles (2.2 km). Image via NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI.

Latest images of Pluto’s flowing ice

Latest images from NASA’s July 14, 2015 flyby of Pluto by the New Horizons spacecraft, showing evidence of an active surface on Pluto with flowing nitrogen ice.

View larger. |Never-before-seen night side of Pluto, seen as New Horizons swept past the planet in July, 2015.

First-ever look at Pluto’s night side

New image just released! A stunning snapshot of Pluto’s night side. The halo is from sunlight shining through the dwarf planet’s hazy atmosphere.