Life on Venus? Phosphine gas has been detected in the cloud decks of our nearest neighbour, Venus. The presence of this gas is seen as „biosignature" i.e. an indicator of the possible presence of life. It has been detected in a region within the atmosphere that is considered to potentially be habitable. Check out the source for more information.
From Earthrise to the black hole: astronomy’s most famous images.
Photographs from history that capture humanity’s exploration of the heavens.
20 July 1969
One of the most iconic views of Earth, taken from the Apollo 11 spacecraft as it orbited the moon. Describing the scene, the astronaut Neil Armstrong said: ‘It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small’ | This caption was updated on 11 April 2019 to correct the date the picture was taken, photograph: Nasa.
21 July 1969
Buzz Aldrin, the lunar module pilot for the first moon landing, poses on the lunar surface. The footprints of the astronauts are clearly visible in the soil. Neil Armstrong took the picture with a 70mm Hasselblad lunar surface camera Photograph: American Photo Archive/Alamy
25 February 1979
This dramatic view of Jupiter’s great red spot and its surroundings was obtained by the Voyager 1 space probe
Photograph: JPL/Nasa/UIG/Getty Images
14 February 1990
Often referred to as ‘the pale blue dot’ image, this picture was taken when Voyager 1 was 4bn miles (6.4bn km) from Earth and 32 degrees above the ecliptic plane. Earth is a mere point of light, just 0.12 pixels in size when viewed from that distance. The fuzzy light is scattered sunlight because Earth was close to the sun (from the perspective of Voyager)
6 January 2004
The first colour image of Mars taken by the panoramic camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. It was the sharpest photograph ever taken on the surface of the planet
25 September 2012
Called the eXtreme Deep Field, or XDF, this photo was assembled by combining 10 years of Hubble space telescope photographs taken of a patch of sky at the centre of the original Hubble Ultra Deep Field. By collecting faint light over many hours of observation, the telescope revealed thousands of galaxies, both nearby and very distant, making it the deepest image of the universe ever taken at that time
Photograph: Hubble space telescope/Nasa/ESA
24 July 2015
A combination of images captured by the New Horizons space probe, with enhanced colours to show differences in the composition and texture of Pluto’s surface
10 April 2019
The first image of a black hole, captured by the Event Horizon telescope (EHT) – a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration. The shadow of a black hole seen here is the closest we can come to an image of the black hole itself, a completely dark object from which light cannot escape
Photograph: EHT Collaboration/UCL