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Rachel Gallery

Jupiter

March 8, 2006 - Credit: Conrad Jung Jupiter is a crowd-pleaser through even the smallest telescopes. Cloud bands are usually plain to see, and the famous Great Red Spot—a 400+ year old storm three times the size of the Earth—is a marvel even to glimpse. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Jupiter

Credit: Conrad Jung.

Jupiter

Credit: Conrad Jung.

Jupiter

Credit: Carter Roberts.

Jupiter

Credit: Carter Roberts.

Jupiter

Credit: Mark Gingrich.

M-13

The Milky Way Galaxy is surrounded by a "halo” of "globular” star clusters, like this one: the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules. This cluster is about 25,000 light years distant and about 150 light years across. In very dark skies, when the Moon is not present, it can even be seen with the unaided eye: a fuzzy knot about a third the diameter of the Moon. Globular clusters are among the oldest objects in the Universe, and made up of hundreds of thousands of very old stars—and near the center, the stars are packed together about 500 times more densely than in our Sun’s neighborhood of space! The Hercules cluster is believed to be at least 12 billion years old. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-27

Messier Object 27, also called the "Dumbbell Nebula," is a planetary nebula about 1,250 light years away. A planetary nebula is an expanding shell of gas shed by a Sun-massed star that has reached the end of its life on the Main Sequence. The Dumbbell was the first planetary nebula ever discovered, by Charles Messier in 1764. Credit: Bill Drelling and Paul Hoy.

M-42

This image was taken on January 14th, 2008. The Great Nebula in Orion is a vast cloud of gas and dust in which new stars are being born. Located at the middle of Orion’s Sword—a line of stars "hanging” beneath Orion’s Belt--this stellar nursery lies about 1270 light years away, and is about 30 light years across. From Earth, the nebula covers an area of the sky four times greater than the Full Moon. The visible part of the nebula, however, is actually a small part of a much larger cloud, which spans more than 10 degrees of the sky, covering half of the constellation of Orion. Credit: Exoplanets Team.

M-42: Orion Nebula

The Great Nebula in Orion is a vast cloud of gas and dust in which new stars are being born. Located at the middle of Orion’s Sword—a line of stars "hanging” beneath Orion’s Belt--this stellar nursery lies about 1270 light years away, and is about 30 light years across. From Earth, the nebula covers an area of the sky four times greater than the Full Moon. The visible part of the nebula, however, is actually a small part of a much larger cloud, which spans more than 10 degrees of the sky, covering half of the constellation of Orion. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-57: The Ring Nebula

The Ring Nebula is an example of a "planetary nebula”—though these objects have nothing to do with planets. Through early, low-powered telescopes, their circular shapes resembled planets. Planetary nebulae are formed when a Sun-like star begins to run out of fuel, inflates to become an enormous Red Giant star, and then blows its outer layers into space. The shell of gas, expanding and cooling, will eventually dissipate, and all that will be left of the original star is a compact, Earth-sized object known as a White Dwarf—the dead star’s remains. The Ring Nebula is believed to be about 2300 light years away and about one light year in diameter. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Mars

For a long time after the telescope was invented, astronomers’ view of Mars was of a simple orange disk, not even as detailed as in this picture. As more powerful telescopes were built, Mars’ surface features began to give hints about the nature of the planet. The light and dark markings, originally thought to be dry land and seas, are today known to be smooth plains and rough highlands. The hint of a white smudge turned out to be a polar ice cap similar to Earth’s. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Mars

For a long time after the telescope was invented, astronomers’ view of Mars was of a simple orange disk, not even as detailed as in this picture. As more powerful telescopes were built, Mars’ surface features began to give hints about the nature of the planet. The light and dark markings, originally thought to be dry land and seas, are today known to be smooth plains and rough highlands. The hint of a white smudge turned out to be a polar ice cap similar to Earth’s. Credit: Eric Cook.

Mars--August 11, 2003

For a long time after the telescope was invented, astronomers’ view of Mars was of a simple orange disk, not even as detailed as in this picture. As more powerful telescopes were built, Mars’ surface features began to give hints about the nature of the planet. The light and dark markings, originally thought to be dry land and seas, are today known to be smooth plains and rough highlands. The hint of a white smudge turned out to be a polar ice cap similar to Earth’s. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Moon - February 2009

The Moon as imaged through Chabot's Apogee 16E astronomical camera, through our 20-inch refractor, Rachel. Credit: Terry Galloway, David Birnbaum, and Derek Lenzi.

Moon - Gassendi Crater

Gassendi Crater is located at the northern edge of the Moon's Mare Humorum. After the impact event that formed the crater, it was filled with lava, and only the crater walls and central peaks remain visible. A smaller crater--Gassendi A--was formed at the edge of the larger by a subsequent impact event. Gassendi is almost 70 miles across at about a mile deep on average. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Moon: Bullialdus Crater, 4-26-2007

Credit: Conrad Jung.

Moon: Copernicus Crater, 4-26-2007

Credit: Conrad Jung.

Moon: Copernicus Crater, 3-29-2007

Credit: Conrad Jung.

Moon--2006

Credit: Conrad Jung.

Moon

The Moon is about 3474 kilometers in diameter and orbits the Earth at a distance of about 384,000 kilometers. Our world’s only companion, the Moon is believed to have been created when a large, Mars-sized planet collided with the Earth about 4.5 billion years ago, forming from the material blasted away by the impact. The many craters visible on the Moon’s surface were formed by asteroid impacts that mostly occurred three billion or more years ago. Credit: Michael Maloon.

Moon: Plato Region

Credit: Conrad Jung.

Moon: Plato Crater

Plato crater is sometimes called a "walled plain” because its circular rim encloses a flat, smooth, almost featureless plain and lacks the typical central peak of many impact craters. After being formed, about 3 billion years ago, Plato filled with lava, which cooled to the smooth, dark basalt plain we see today. Only a few smaller impact craters have been gouged out of the plain by younger impacts. Plato crater is 101 kilometers across and about 1 kilometer deep. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Moon: Apennine Mountains

Somewhere between 3.84 and 3.87 billion years ago, a large asteroid or comet struck the Moon and formed the huge impact basin called Mare Imbrium (the "Sea of Rains”) and uplifted a tall mountain range, the Apennine Mountains, with peaks rising more than 5 kilometers above the floor of the basin. A spot within this range, and next to a large lava channel, was chosen as the landing site for Apollo 15. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Moon: Apennine-Archimedes Region

Stretched across the bottom of this picture is the 600 kilometer long and up to 5 kilometer high Apennine Mountain Range, skirting the vast flat basalt plain of Mare Imbrium (the "Sea of Rains”), an ancient impact basin. The prominent, flat-floored bowl in the upper part of the picture is Archimedes Crater, an impact crater measuring 82 kilometers across. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Moon: Clavius Crater

One of the largest and oldest craters on the Moon, Clavius Crater measures about 225 kilometers across and was formed by an asteroid impact probably 4 billion years ago. Though it is well-preserved, Clavius shows its age by the many smaller craters within it formed by impacts that happened later. Clavius is large enough for the unaided eye to see: one or two days after the Moon’s First Quarter phase, Clavius is noticeable as a notch in the day-night separating line (the "terminator”) in the Moon’s southern regions. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Moon: Copernicus Crater

Copernicus crater was formed by an impact about 800 million years ago, which gouged out this 93 kilometer wide, 3 kilometer deep bowl and blasted material over 800 kilometers across the surrounding lunar landscape—visible today as rays of "ejecta” fanning out from the crater. The Apollo 12 astronauts, who landed about 300 kilometers south of Copernicus, collected some of this material, which is what allowed scientists to figure out the crater’s age. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Moon: Craters Catharina, Cyrillus, and Theophilus (left to right)

Credit: Conrad Jung.

Moon: Eratosthenes Crater

Credit: Conrad Jung.

Moon: Hadley Rille

Credit: Conrad Jung.

Moon: Hygynus-Triesnecker

Credit: Conrad Jung.

Moon: Straight Wall

Once called the "Straight Wall” and believed to be a long, abrupt cliff, the "Straight Fault” is one of the Moon’s most prominent fault lines, running 115 kilometers from end to end. Far from being an abrupt drop off, the Straight Fault is actually a gradual slope, rising about 300 meters from the foot of the slope to the top. The best time to view the Straight Fault is around sunrise and sunset, local lunar time, when the shadows it casts make it appear most prominent. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Moon: Tycho Crater

Credit: Conrad Jung.

Saturn: April 5, 2009

Credit: Conrad Jung.

Saturn: February 15, 2008

Credit: Conrad Jung.

Saturn: March 22nd, 2007

Credit: Conrad Jung.

Saturn: February 10, 2006

Credit: Conrad Jung.

Saturn

Credit: Bill Drelling.

Saturn

Credit: Conrad Jung.

Saturn

Credit: Conrad Jung.

Saturn--November 2000

Credit: Carter Roberts.

Saturn--December 2000

Credit: Conrad Jung.

Saturn--January 2002

From when it was first observed through a telescope, the planet Saturn has given a unique experience to observers. Its magnificent system of rings, originally described as "jug handles” and thought to be a pair of moons, were later identified as objects that circled, but did not touch, the planet. Over 280,000 kilometers in diameter, a single kilometer thick, and made of billions of pieces of ice ranging from house-sized to dust grains, Saturn’s ring system has ever been a thing of beauty and mystery. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Venus

The planet Venus, seen in its Quarter phase. Only Venus and Mercury, the two planets closer to the Sun than Earth, can be observed to have lunar-like phases, from Full to Quarter to the thinnest of crescents. It was this observation that Galileo used as evidence to confirm Copernicus’ Sun-centered model of the Solar System, with all the planets revolving around the Sun instead of the Earth. Credit: Mark Gingrich.