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107 votes
Accepted

Which Apollo "mystery" was said to be finally solved by a better rendering engine?

NVIDIA rendered Aldrin descending to the surface and discovered that, just as the conspiracies claimed, it couldn't be reproduced with direct light from the sun as the sole light source. Of course, as ...
Tom Goodfellow's user avatar
79 votes
Accepted

This image of the Space Shuttle is truly beautiful, but is it real?

This image is very similar to the following image https://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/shuttle/sts-130/html/iss022e062672.html with the following description STS-130 Shuttle Mission Imagery ...
OON's user avatar
  • 1,684
55 votes
Accepted

Why are photos from Juno such low resolution?

Short answer: JunoCam is not a scientific instrument; It was put onboard solely to get some neat pictures. It is not necessary for the scientific mission, and is mostly there just for public interest....
Phiteros's user avatar
  • 5,626
44 votes

This image of the Space Shuttle is truly beautiful, but is it real?

A reverse image search (once you tell Google you're looking for the space shuttle, not base jump) brings you to the picture on Getty Images, which states: Space shuttle above Earth's atmosphere, ...
jcaron's user avatar
  • 957
29 votes
Accepted

Why was the imaging quality of the Voyager probes *much* better than the Pioneer probes despite being launched only 5 years later?

The 1960s and 1970s were a period of rapid technological development, so it's not actually surprising that the relatively new field of electronic imaging advanced so far in that five-year period. ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
28 votes
Accepted

Is this really an image of the sun, or an "artist's conception"?

You can find the image on Flickr. On August 31, 2012 a long filament of solar material that had been hovering in the sun's atmosphere, the corona, erupted out into space at 4:36 p.m. EDT. The ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
28 votes

Why was the imaging quality of the Voyager probes *much* better than the Pioneer probes despite being launched only 5 years later?

It is not only the progress in imaging over that period. Voyager was a more ambitious and expensive mission in general. The mass of Pioneer 11 was 259 kg, while that of Voyager was 825.5. That extra ...
Mark Foskey's user avatar
21 votes

Are there any photo(s) of International Space Station (ISS) captured from above its altitude?

Yes. Most craft, when docking with the ISS do a fly-around to survey the docking site. They can then frequently capture images of the ISS from the top view. Here is one from the Shuttle Atlantis taken ...
Brian Tompsett - 汤莱恩's user avatar
17 votes

Why is there never enough room on satellites to hold all the equipment needed?

Why is there never enough room on satellites to hold all the equipment needed? Welcome to Space Exploration SE! Because of the time involved from planning until completion of goals at the end of the ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
16 votes
Accepted

Why would thermal imaging be used to locate the Chandrayaan-2 lander?

It was not a thermal image at all. It is an optical image that has been captured by Orbiter of the lander spot and not thermal image as reported by others media houses. OHRC is same like our ...
jkavalik's user avatar
  • 5,128
16 votes

Why is there never enough room on satellites to hold all the equipment needed?

Perhaps there is an assumption that new photos of Earth taken from space would be inspiring, enlightening, and meaningful in some way. That was certainly true of the first photos that were taken, but ...
Steve Pemberton's user avatar
15 votes
Accepted

Why the thermal imaging of Mercury's surface requires a telescope on a jet flying through an eclipse?

Why not a satellite-based telescope to observe Mercury in the thermal infrared? Space-borne satellites that are designed to look at the Sun (e.g., SOHO) aren't instrumented to look in the thermal ...
David Hammen's user avatar
  • 74.9k
14 votes
Accepted

Why are spy satellites in elliptical orbits?

This is just an educated guess; I'm not connected with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, or any related agency. Europe is in the northern hemisphere, as is the Middle East and all of ...
David Hammen's user avatar
  • 74.9k
14 votes

Why is there never enough room on satellites to hold all the equipment needed?

You seem to have overlooked DSCOVR, which pretty much just stares at our planet. https://epic.gsfc.nasa.gov/
Organic Marble's user avatar
13 votes

Is this really an image of the sun, or an "artist's conception"?

I'm posting these images as a supplement @Hobbes's accepted answer and @TildalWave's comments (which includes links to these images). I started reading some of those links. The gallery is a good ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
13 votes
Accepted

Stripe of high def imagery on Google Moon

The Moon part of Google Earth was published in 2009, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11. So, it didn't have access to the wonderful photo imagery of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter ...
kim holder's user avatar
  • 21.4k
13 votes

Why is there never enough room on satellites to hold all the equipment needed?

We have a large number of sources taking photos of our planet. This includes: low-altitude Earth observation satellites (Landsat, SPOT, Maxar). These take high-resolution photos of a small area at a ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
12 votes

This image of the Space Shuttle is truly beautiful, but is it real?

Some further information on the manipulation or possible genuine situation can be had by analyzing the perspective in the image. I measured the length of the orbiter as 49 pixels and the diameter of ...
jpa's user avatar
  • 2,536
12 votes

Help me understand these tweeted images of JWST moving through Orion!

I've made the picture and I try to answer the questions or clarify : First picture (tweet) shows a cropped image of a usual stacked startrail image. So the first image is a simple overlay of all ...
Blixbuller at skysurfer77x's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

When can we (public) expect to see the first optical images of Jupiter from the Juno spacecraft?

There's an interesting Planetary Society article about this: What to expect from Junocam We won't be able to see spectacular views of Jupiter's belts and zones from Jupiter orbit until the very end ...
Andy's user avatar
  • 5,178
11 votes
Accepted

Could an ISS astronaut photograph something like this 1km "Van Gogh" if they knew it was there?

I like @PearsonArtPhoto's answer, though the considerations about exposure time may not be correct. I was looking for something more visual. The website states an area of 0,53m² of the Van Gogh image,...
sweber's user avatar
  • 771
11 votes
Accepted

Why would the James Webb Space Telescope need adaptive optics outside the atmosphere?

The primary and secondary mirrors on JWST can be adjusted: Launching a mirror this large into space isn’t feasible. Instead, Webb engineers and scientists innovated a unique solution – building 18 ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
11 votes
Accepted

Was an onboard camera during a rocket launch ever pointing to the side rather than down?

Most cameras on a rocket launch are there for a sound engineering reason. They look down at the engines of the rocket, or up to the second stage, or out to the solar panels, or down inside the ...
CuteKItty_pleaseStopBArking's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Hovering Carbonite! Why do these satellite videos of Earth appear to be made from a geostationary location?

@BowlOfRed's comment nailed it. I'd thought about making an optical flow version but time does not allow, so I've just used screenshots and imageio found here. It looks like the spacecraft was ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
10 votes
Accepted

Units of "pixels" in a research paper on digital streak formation for optical payloads

$$L_{st} =\frac{f \ v_{t, a} \ \tau}{\cos(\theta_{obj}) \ d \ p}$$ where tau is the exposure time, $f$ is the focal length, $v_{t,a}$ is the averaged value of the object's tangential velocity in the ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
9 votes
Accepted

Any imagery from Shuttle Columbia's SILTS pod on the internet?

Wikipedia has one image that is attributed to the SILTS pod: Source Unfortunately, the metadata doesn't give any clue as to where it came from, or where more might be found. I just happened to be ...
Bret Copeland's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

How did Skylab's electrographic ultraviolet camera work?

Similarly to night vision devices, the light sensitive part is the photocathode, which releases electrons when hit by photons. The electrons at the photocathode are accelerated by the -25 kilovolt ...
szulat's user avatar
  • 773
8 votes
Accepted

Were panoramic images taken during Apollo 15 planned and trained before on Earth?

Unsurprisingly, yes. The book "Science Training History of the Apollo Astronauts" mentions training for photographic panoramas in several places. (These quotes may not be specific to Apollo 15 but it'...
Organic Marble's user avatar

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