UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


Snapshots from space history

UCL is the only UK host of a NASA Regional Planetary Image Facility (RPIF). On top of this, it has a long tradition in astronomy, geology and planetary science.

This website showcases a small selection of the historic space pictures in the RPIF, many of them never published online before, others only ever in low resolution.

Walter Goodacre's incredibly detailed 1910 map of the Moon

The first photo taken of the Earth, from the Moon, in 1966

Original prints of images and data from the Viking 1 and Mariner 9 probes which travelled to Mars in the 1970s


Early close-up imaging of the surface of Phobos, made in 1977

The original handmade mosaic images of Io and Ganymede, made by Voyager 1 in 1979

Images from and of the surface of Venus, captured by the Soviet Union in 1982

Magellan thumb…

Mapping of Venus from space, from the 1990-1994 NASA Magellan mission


Artist's impression of the Mariner 10 probe, which visited Mercury in 1974

This website has been launched as part of the Festival of the Planets and the European Planetary Science Congress 2013.

All pictures on this site can be reproduced freely - for guidance, see our usage guidelines.

Contact: Communications and Marketing Manager, Mathematical and Physical Sciences Faculty Office, 020 7679 7964 or maps.communications@ucl.ac.uk