Elysium Mons

This image shows a cross section of Elysium Mons, including the entire summit caldera of the Martian volcano. It’s taller than Mt. Everest, standing about 12.6 km (41,000 ft) above its base and about 14.1 km (46,000 ft) above the Martian datum. It’s only the third tallest Martian mountain in terms of relief and the fourth highest in elevation.

Image Credit: NASA


Callisto is the one of the Galilean moons of Jupiter, the second largest. Its surface is old, showing the highest coverage by impact craters of any large body in the Solar System, but it has no volcanoes or large mountains. Callisto’s surface is one large ice-field, littered with cracksand craters from billions of years of collisions. This picture was taken in 2001 by the Galileo spacecraft.

Image Credit: NASA

An Isolated Galaxy

The loneliest of galaxiesMCG+01-02-015’s unsentimental naming befits its position within the cosmos: it is a void galaxy, located in an almost empty gap between local groups of galaxies. If our galaxy, the Milky Way, were as isolated, we would not even have known of the existence of other galaxies until the development of strong telescopes and detectors in the 1960s. (Instead, some of our neighboring galaxies such as Andromeda and the Magellanic Clouds can be seen by the naked eye.)

BTW, those three bright stars with the cross-shaped diffraction spikes are in the foreground. They’re near by in the Milky Way.

Image Credit: NASA


This Voyager 2 color image of the Uranian satellite, Miranda is a composite of three shots taken through green, violet, and ultraviolet filters from the narrow angle camera. It is the best color image of Miranda returned to date. Miranda, just 480 km across, is the smallest of Uranus’ five major satellites. It was taken in 1986 during Voyager 2’s fly of Uranus.

Image Credit: NASA

Early Images From Landsat 9

Landsat 9 is a joint mission of NASA and the U. S. Geological Survey. It was launched on 27 September, and has been going through its initial set of on-orbit testing. NASA has released some of the first pictures taken by the satellite’s two imaging systems. They are the Operational Land Imager 2 (OLI-2), which detects visible, near-infrared and shortwave-infrared light in nine wavelengths, and the Thermal Infrared Sensor 2 (TIRS-2), which detects thermal radiation in two wavelengths to measure Earth’s surface temperatures and its changes.

Data from both systems are shown above. The TIRS-2 images are on the right.

I was part of the design team for TIRS-2. My principal contribution was the design and testing of the power supples for the Main Electronics Box and the Focal Plane Electronics (the IR imaging detectors). I started working on TIRS-2 in February, 2016, and my part of the team delivered our hardware at the end of 2018. It’s nice to see data coming back to Earth.

Image Credit: NASA

Zooming in on CW Leonis

CW Leonis is a carbon star, a luminous red giant, whose atmosphere contains more carbon than oxygen. It’s believed to be in a late stage of its life, blowing off its own sooty atmosphere to eventually form a white dwarf.

Video Credit: ESA / Hubble, NASA, Dark Energy Survey / DOE / FNAL / NOIRLab / NSF / AURA, Digitized Sky Survey 2, E. Slawik, N. Risinger, M. Zamani
Music: tonelabs – Happy Hubble (tonelabs.com)
Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)