Bubble Planet 1

Planetary Bubbles

Bubble Planet 1

Bubble Planet 15All photos courtesy of Jason Tozer

These stunning photographs are not of distant gas planets. They are close-up shots of soap bubbles captured by photographer Jason Tozer. Tozer uses a giant dome of perspex to illuminate the reflective surface and blows through a straw to excite the surface of each bubble. His bubble making recipe is ten parts distilled water, one part washing up soap, and a bit of glycerine. All of the colors and details are genuine as Tozer very rarely relies post processing or the use of filters. A bunch more very high-resolution shots can be found below.
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Hubble eXtreme Deep Field

Hubble eXtreme Deep Field

Hubble eXtreme Deep Field
Image courtesy of NASA

NASA has recently released a new Deep Field image called eXtreme Deep Field (XDF) that improves on the older Ultra Deep Field (UDF) image. The XDF is the deepest image of the sky ever obtained and reveals the faintest and most distant galaxies ever seen. This image is a composite of nearly ten years worth of photographic exposures taken by the Hubble Space Telescope – over 2,000 photographs totaling 22.5 days worth of total exposure time. Nearly everything you see in the picture is a galaxy containing billions of stars.

The new full-color XDF image reaches much fainter galaxies and includes very deep exposures in red light from Hubble’s new infrared camera, enabling new studies of the earliest galaxies in the universe. The XDF contains about 5,500 galaxies even within its smaller field of view [than the UDF]. The faintest galaxies are one ten-billionth the brightness of what the human eye can see.

The universe is 13.7 billion years old, and the XDF reveals galaxies that span back 13.2 billion years in time. Most of the galaxies in the XDF are seen when they were young, small, and growing, often violently as they collided and merged together. The early universe was a time of dramatic birth for galaxies containing brilliant blue stars extraordinarily brighter than our sun. The light from those past events is just arriving at Earth now, and so the XDF is a “time tunnel into the distant past.” The youngest galaxy found in the XDF existed just 450 million years after the universe’s birth in the big bang.

Click on the image above for the gigantic 1.4MB image. And keep looking up.

Little Planet

24 Hour 360 Degree Little Planet

Visualizing an entire day on a single photo, photographer Chris Kotsiopoloulos captured this amazing stereographic projection in Sounio, Greece. The photo consists of hundreds of photos, taken during a mammoth 30-hour photo shoot, digitally stitched together to represent an entire rotation of the Earth. Images taken at night compose the bottom half of the picture, with star trails lasting as long as 11 hours. Contrasting, images taken during the day compose the top of the image, with the Sun being captured once every 15 minutes.

Little Planet

Chris Kotsiopoloulos has also provided a detailed tutorial on how this picture was made.
Via Colossal

Colfax Avenue, 1972

Colfax Avenue, 1972

Colfax Avenue, 1972Photo Credit: Bruce McAllister

This photo is from the Documerica Project (1971-1977) put together by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA hired freelance photographers to capture images relating to environmental problems, EPA activities, and everyday life in the 1970s. The images taken for the project can now be found in the U.S. National Archives.

Colorful/Super Moon

Photo credit: Noel Carboni

The image above, click it for a wallpaper sized version, is a composite of 15 exposures digitally stitched together. According to photographer Noel Carboni:

Looking through the viewfinder I swept across the surface in a zig-zag fashion, trying for about 1/3 overlap between frames. I triggered the shutter with my TC80-N3 remote timer/controller. I did the stitching by hand in Photoshop.

Since it was taken at the camera’s most noise-free setting (ISO 100), the data is very accurate, and thus I was able to strongly increase the saturation via Photoshop’s Image – Adjust – Hue/Saturation function.

The fascinating color differences along the lunar surface are real, though highly exaggerated, corresponding to regions with different chemical compositions. And while these color differences are not visible to the eye even with a telescope, moon watchers can still see a dramatic lunar presentation tonight thanks to a fluke of orbital mechanics that brings the moon closer to Earth than that it has been in more than 18 years. At its peak, the supermoon of March 2011 may appear 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than lesser full moons. However, to the casual observer, it will probably be hard to tell the difference.