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Space Science

Top 10 Astronomy Images of 2006 75

The Bad Astronomer writes "Astronomical observatories on the ground and in space return many terabytes of data every year. But which bytes are the best? I combed through thousands of pictures to find the Top 10 astronomy images of the year."
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Top 10 Astronomy Images of 2006

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  • A few others (Score:5, Informative)

    by Salvance ( 1014001 ) * on Thursday December 28, 2006 @06:36PM (#17393494) Homepage Journal
    Some of these were pretty good, but I would have liked to see some better shots ... I personally found Top 10 Best Space Stories of 2006 [space.com] more interesting, and some of the pics in Most Amazing Galactic Images ever [space.com] were pretty good too.

    Here's a couple other pics that I thought were top 10 material:
    Man in space [arrl.org]
    Earth from Satellite [wallpaper.net.au]
    • Re:A few others (Score:4, Insightful)

      by nacturation ( 646836 ) <nacturation@@@gmail...com> on Thursday December 28, 2006 @06:55PM (#17393644) Journal
      The ones in the article are all released in 2006 whereas the Most Amazing Galactic Images include prior years -- though I'd have to agree that many of those are truly spectacular to look at. What I found interesting about the badastronomy.com picks is that they all provide some fairly cool scientific insight behind them as to why they are top 10 picks. The image of the two galaxies colliding isn't all that special looking, but the explanation of how this provided convincing proof of the existence of dark matter makes up for the lack of visual wow-factor.
    • I dont agree with those two examples. The 2nd one, well go to MODIS and you can download 1000s of pictures like that. There is simply nothing that distinguishes it.

      Same for the Man in Space picture. Its above average in terms of composition, but there are scores of similar ones.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 28, 2006 @06:40PM (#17393526)
    And Mr. Legault lost the sight in one eye to snap that one at the perfect moment showing true commitment.
  • Not sure about #9 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Average_Joe_Sixpack ( 534373 ) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @06:42PM (#17393542)
    Pretty good list though I would add amateur astronomer Christopher Go's image of Oval BA "aka Red Jr." on Jupiter [nasa.gov]. This alerted amateurs and pros alike to set their sights on the new red spot.
  • Heh. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @07:02PM (#17393698)
    "That's no face, it's a butte!"

    (Oh, admit it - we're all juvenile here.)
    • I'm looking forward to the resolution of the next great controversy, the great Mars elbow [stupidstuff.org], or is it really an elbow...
  • I was totally rooting for Saturn. Such a good contender.
  • Saturn photo (Score:5, Informative)

    by NthDegree256 ( 219656 ) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @07:10PM (#17393754)
    Many of these were amazing - the sheer scale of some of these images never fails to floor me. The Saturn photo at the end, however, truly sent shivers down my spine at how beautiful it was. Naturally, I was crushed to find that the link to the larger version wasn't working.

    Luckily, the copy on APoD [nasa.gov] works fine. I thought I'd post it here in case someone else, like me, was looking to make a desktop out of this amazing photo.
    • The link works fine for me (of course, it's a local connection from here...). But we only have two T1's to serve the image to y'all, so I think you can understand why there might be some lag if everyone on Slashdot tries to get it at the same time.
      • I stand corrected. Typically, my above explanation would be true. In this case, it was a database error of some sort. Fixed now, the CICLOPS site works. (Or should, anyway.) Please try again as they just rolled out some updates that they'd love to have people test out.
        • It's working... But really ... fucking ... slowly.
          • Yeah, that's just the T1's now. Believe me, I know... I'm trying to read my email from home since we're snowed out of work here today and y'all are making it painful :)

            If the pattern of previous Slashdottings holds, it'll let up within a day or so.
    • For those of you wanting high quality and a connection that works:

      http://banshee.uchicago.edu/~nathanw/2230_6163_2.p ng [uchicago.edu]
      http://banshee.uchicago.edu/~nathanw/2230_6163_3.t if [uchicago.edu]
  • by edwardpickman ( 965122 ) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @07:11PM (#17393772)
    I was shocked by photos showing the rover. The rovers aren't that big so the resolution was amazing. I'd love to see some shots of the "tree" formation like that. The general belief is the are some form of ice crystals but they must be amazing looking. They were quite large on the lower res shots. Hard to say if there's any scientific value in sending a lander to the area, not enough sunlight for solar so it'd be harder to deal with, but I'd love to see CU shots of them. They have to be one of the wonders of the solar system.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by lottameez ( 816335 )
      Tangential to the topic at hand, but I saw the Rover IMAX at the new Air & Space museum out by Dulles. Spirit & Opportunity are an amazing technical and engineering achievement. I remember seeing this picture with the rover a few months ago but they didn't have the zoomed in version so I couldn't tell what was a rock and what was a rover (seems like there's a song in there somewheres).

      BTW, the rest of that museum is totally like mecca for any nerd.

      -1 Rambling.
    • I want to see hi-res images of the "banyan trees" as well as the "spiders" at the south pole. There are some pretty good guesses on what these are, but half-meter resolution images might put the speculation to rest.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tablizer ( 95088 )
      I was shocked by photos showing the rover. The rovers aren't that big so the resolution was amazing. I'd love to see some shots of the "tree" formation like that. The general belief is the are some form of ice crystals but they must be amazing looking. They were quite large on the lower res shots.

      I assume you are talking about these:

      http://mmmgroup.altervista.org/e-trees.html [altervista.org]

      The new orbiter is about 5-to-10 times clearer than the one that took those "tree" photos. It has a big-ass camera, so if it can get
    • by mrbcs ( 737902 )
      They can get photos like this of the rover on Mars, but can't get us any pics of the junk we left on the moon? Pics like these would certainly end the debate on whether we (humans) actually went to the moon or not. NASA? Are you hiding something? Inquiring minds want to know!
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by iainl ( 136759 )
        NASA actually remembers putting the landers there. It's pretty damn sure it did so. So spending millions of taxpayer dollars to put a camera in low orbit just to remind itself doesn't seem like a good idea.

        The high-res pictures of Mars are giving us real scientifically interesting data, though. Getting pics of the rovers are just a nice bonus.
  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @08:08PM (#17394140) Journal
    I've studied Astronomy at Masters level. I'm glad an Astronomer put these together instead of just some random artist who would have just picked the most pretty ones. There's still some leaning towards the aesthetic mind you - and there's a lot of science that isn't spectacular but is revolutionary none the less. Number 9 and number 5 are the least scientifically interesting to me, though artistically/photographically and from the point of view of timing I can see why they were included.

    I'm not surprised at quality here though. Bad Astronomy is an awesome web site.
    • by khallow ( 566160 )
      Actually, I found number 5 to be very interesting. With an interferometer array of small telescopes, one should be able to get very impressive silhouettes of objects passing in front of the Sun despite atmospheric distortion. You might even be able to use these images to examine orbiting man-made structures for damage or just to spy on what someone else is doing.
  • I wonder... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Swimport ( 1034164 )
    I wonder how much the Hubble pictures cost on a per picture basis.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I can't believe the priorities of these "astronomers".Wasting precious resources to get fuzzy pictures of things that are so far away they have no relevance to real peoples problems here on Earth.Problems like Global Warming, Genetically Modified Foods,free legal access to women's healthcare-abortion,affordable day care,poverty, that fascist smirking unelected Chimp in the White House.gay rights, racism,gun control,PEACE,ANIMAL RIGHTS,TEACHER PAY,rape, pornography, sexism.That money should be spent here-dea
    • by Knutsi ( 959723 )

      I wonder how much the Hubble pictures cost on a per picture basis.
      Infinitely less than it would cost us not to build outselves a world-view based on the real universe rather than our ancient comsologies and illusions.
      • Infinitely less than it would cost us not to build outselves a world-view based on the real universe rather than our ancient comsologies and illusions.
        I dont think out ancient illusions are going any where any time soon....
  • Some beautiful and amazing shots compiled for our viewing pleasure, Phil. Thanks for sharing. Number 5, the phenomenal short exposure shot of the sun with Atlantis and ISS silhouette, seems to have some other dark patches near 2 o'clock and 8:30 near the edge. Sunspots or something else caught in silhouette (or me hallucinating)?
  • Anyone know of an alternate link?
  • I appreciate all the hard work, but was a comb [timrusstribute.com] the best tool to use for searching?
  • But was I alone in being a little dismayed by the Mars rover image?

    I mean... we've been so successful in cluttering up our OWN planet... Should we really be that happy about developing the ability to leave tracks and random pieces of machinery lying around a DIFFERENT one?

    • Yes, we should. As far as we know, we are the only life in the universe. Unless you are one of the very few people in the world that thinks life is bad, the spreading of life to other worlds so that it can survive is perhaps the most important task of life on Earth. I know a robot isn't life, but it was made by life. It is a construct that shows that we were there. It shows that a collection of cells brought together by evolution can create something to cross a vast, to us, distance across the desolat
    • Dude Mars has plenty of room for our crap. Anyways in 300 years it will have a recycling station. Chill. Enjoy the show.

We are not a loved organization, but we are a respected one. -- John Fisher