STScI / Hubblesite
The gravitationally interacting pair of galaxies known as Arp 147 gets
the greeting-card treatment from the Hubble Space Telescope's team.
Are you looking for out-of-this-world greeting cards for the holidays? The folks behind NASA's Great Observatories have just the thing for budget-conscious do-it-yourselfers.
The Hubble Space Telescope is about as well-loved as Santa Claus, so the latest crop of Hubble holiday cards from the Space Telescope Science Institute should be a crowd-pleaser. Among this year's additions are last summer's popular "Stars and Stripes" picture as well as the "Perfect 10" image that was sent down just a few weeks ago after some remote-control repairs.
The Hubble team provides instructions for printing out the specially formatted imagery on standard-size photo cards or folded card stock. You can also take the files to a commercial printer and leave the job to the pros.
If you want to go green and save a tree, you can send one of the winter holiday e-cards offered by the Chandra X-ray Observatory Center. Lots of X-ray images from the orbiting Chandra telescope, another of NASA's Great Observatories, have been adapted for a variety of occasions - including Valentine's Day, for those who like to think ahead.
For the true do-it-yourselfer, how about adapting a picture of the Christmas Tree Nebula for your own purposes? You can snag the infrared image of your choice from the Spitzer Science Center's Web site (here's my favorite high-resolution version). Another picture from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is tailor-made for a holiday ornament theme.
Those who know their way around an image-processing program such as Photoshop can work some magic with the postcards provided by the European Space Agency's Hubble Web portal - and even get a head start on a do-it-yourself Hubble calendar (let's hope 2009 is available soon).
In fact, there's no reason why you couldn't adapt any of the imagery from our Month in Space slide show for framing or sending. Here are links to higher-resolution versions of November's finest:
- A view that's out of this world: Check out NASA Human Spaceflight for this shot of the shuttle Endeavour and much, much more.
- Planetary cradle:This Hubble image shows the reddish dust ring around the star Fomalhaut.
- Marred Mercury: A black-and-white study of the planet Mercury comes from the Messenger mission Web site.
- China's latest liftoff:Here's a larger version of China's Long March 2D launch photo.
- Alien dunes on Mars: Visit the HiRISE Web portal for pictures of alien dunes and more.
- Farewell, Victoria! The Mars rover Web site features this parting shot from Opportunity.
- Blast from the sun: Check out the SOHO Web site for STEREO's view of a solar disturbance.
- The wheeling sky:See a larger version of Kevin Clifford's time-exposure view of the heavens above a moving windmill.
- Hello, Earthlings:Here's a wider view of spacewalker Shane Kimbrough waving to the camera.
- Creepy Crab:Chandra's view of the Crab Nebula is probably more suited to Halloween than to Christmas.
- Saturn moon's skin: The Cassini imaging team's Web site provides snapshots from the orbiter's close brush with Enceladus.
- Japan puts missile defense to the test:Here's the bigger picture showing Japan's interceptor missile launch.
- The Milky Way's dark center: Check the European Space Observatory's Web site for a close-up look at the region surrounding our galaxy's central black hole.
- Oldie but goodie:MoonViews provides big pictures re-created from 42-year-old Lunar Orbiter data.
- Faraway fireworks: Hubble's view of the galaxy NGC 1569's central core is a festival of lights all by itself.
- Armadillo rising: The X Prize Foundation documents Armadillo Aerospace's prize-winning flight at the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge.
- Glaciers on Mars?Here's a closer look at what scientists think are buried glaciers on the Red Planet.
- A Hubble highlight:This Hubble picture is based on four-year-old data, but it's too good to resist during the holiday season.
- Swirls of life: NASA's Earth Observatory provides an awe-inspiring view of a ribbon of phytoplankton surrounding a Pacific island.
- A mystery glows: Don't miss Cassini's picture of Saturn's weird northern lights (and our story about them).
- India's moonshot: The Indian Space Research Organization relayed this picture of the moon's surface, as seen by an impact probe cast off from the Chandrayaan 1 orbiter.
- A perfect '10': We're back where we started with Hubble's sparkling image of the interacting galaxies collectively known as Arp 147.