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10 Artful Black & White Images from NASA's New Archive

By Guan Tan

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
 
Herschel Sees The Sun

Titled 'Herschel Sees The Sun' and dated 25th November 2005, this seems to be an image photographed from the Herschel Space Observatory. The 3,400 kilograms Observatory was launched in 2009 to a four year mission. It pictures Saturn's moon, Mimas against Saturn's rings. Mimas was discovered by William Herschel in 1789.

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Serene Saturn

Dated on the 4th February 2015, this still image of Saturn was taken from the Cassini-Huygens unmanned spacecraft launched in 1997. NASA notes that Saturn's "atmosphere is a fast-moving and turbulent place with wind speeds in excess of 1,100 miles per hour (1,800 km per hour) in places. The lack of a solid surface to create drag means that there are fewer features to slow down the wind than on a planet like Earth."

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NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
 
Sun-striped Saturn

Dated 31st January 2005, this image was captured by the Cassini-Huygens unmanned spacecraft as well. The black orb in the foreground is likely to be Saturn's moon, Mimas. Saturn boasts the biggest and brightest rings of all planets. According to NASA, the imposing flat ring is made of ice and rock particles of varying sizes. The origins of its ring remains a mystery, though in 2011 Robin Canup theorised that it might have been a former moon ripped up by Saturn's gravity.

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NASA
 
Earth Between the Rings of Saturn

Photographed last week, 12th April 2017, the little white speck nestled in the middle of this image is Earth's south Atlantic Ocean, as seen from Saturn – 1.4 billion kilometres away.

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NASA/JPL
 
Uranus

Dated 8th January 1999, this image was photographed by NASA's 1977 space probe Voyager 2, which has been on mission for the 40th year now.

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NASA/JPL/Caltech
 
Messier 101

Photographed by 2003 ultraviolet space telescope, Galaxy Evolution Explorer GALEX, this image depicts a pinwheel galaxy, named Messier 101. The galaxy was discovered way back in 1781. While there are spiral arms to the galaxy, only the central region is visible at low powers. Messier 101 is one of nine galaxies to the M101 group.

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NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
 
Mars

Dated yesterday, 20th April 2017, this image was photographed by NASA's 2005 multipurpose spacecraft, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. It pictures an impact crater's residual lava plain, which cools, shrinks, resulting in surface cracks over time.

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NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
 
Dust Devil Tracks on Mars

Photographed by the 1996 Mars Global Surveyor MGS, these are tracks left behind by dust devils around a sand dune. Also dubbed the "dancing devil", dust devils are strong gusts of whirlwinds. They are often vertical towers of wind in sunny conditions. While there are dust devil occurrences on Earth, the ones on Mars are likely to be fifty times bigger in magnitude.

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NASA/JPL
 
Earth

Photographed on the 11th December 1990 by the 1989 unmanned Galileo spacecraft, which flew past Earth and Venus to arrive at its mission base, Jupiter. Beneath the swirly white clouds is South America.

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NASA
 
Astronaut Edward H. White II

Pilot of the Gemini IV, Edward H. White II on a extra-vehicular activity above Earth. Alongside command pilot, Astronaut James A. McDivitt, the pair went on a four-day orbit around Earth. In this image, NASA notes that White is clad in a specially-designed spacesuit, where the "helmet is gold plated to protect him against the unfiltered rays of the sun. He wears an emergency oxygen pack, also. He is secured to the spacecraft by a 25-feet umbilical line and a 23-feet tether line, both wrapped in gold tape to form one cord. In his left hand is a Hand-Held Self-Maneuvering Unit (HHSMU) with which he controls his movements in space."

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