I can tell from some of the galaxies… have you ever wondered just where exactly those awesome images of deep space from the Hubble come about? I always thought they where just images from a camera, but as it turns out, it isn’t quite that simple. Check out this video from the HubbleSiteChannel on YouTube where they show an accelerated look at the processing each image goes through.
Hubble images are made, not born. Images must be woven together from the incoming data from the cameras, cleaned up and given colors that bring out features that eyes would otherwise miss. In this video from HubbleSite.org, online home of the Hubble Space Telescope, a Hubble-imaged galaxy comes together on the screen at super-fast speed.
Continue reading This Looks Like a Photoshop…
The Elqui Domos in Chilé is designed with the astronomer in mind. Geodesic domes, skylights, and observatories are standard fare. Somebody with a decent knowledge of how to work a quality DSLR took some vacation photos. We then shamelessly stole them and posted them here. Enjoy.
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But Techie, they only look about an inch or so apart!?!
Image from NASA, via huffingtonpost.co.uk.
This annoying strip represents the distance of the Moon from Earth (to scale relative to the size of the bodies pictured). Hit the jump for a full size (12,000px +) version.
The ISS is in low Earth orbit, a mere 370km (230mi) above us is less than four times the height of the Kármán line – an imaginary point 100km (62mi) above us which is the lowest altitude that can be considered to be “in space”. There’s still some air up there, which is how some people have sent Lego and iPhones into what qualifies as space using a helium weather balloon.
Next out is things that we put there and appear to stay in the same place. Most commercial communications satellites are out here at almost 36,000km (22,000mi).
This is how far light, over-the-air broadcasts of Doctor Who, and your banal cell phone conversations travel in one second.
An Asteroid creatively named “2005 YU55″ passed this close to us in late 2011. In 2028, it will try to smash us again. If it does (0.001% chance of this happening) it will make a crater as wide as the Oakland bridge is long.
This delightful little guy is our Moon. He’s about 400,000km (250,000mi) away for now, but he’s not staying. He’s moving away about as fast as your fingernails grow – around 1½ inches per year. Fortunately for us, we’ll be long dead as the expanding Sun consumes both of us before he can leave.
Continue reading Startup: How Far Away Is The Moon
As we start out this new year, have you found yourself outside, looking up at the Moon, and wondering if some where, somebody else was looking at that same Moon? Or, perhaps, gazed upon it and wondered just how the Moon’s phases are going to look every day for the next year? Well, today you are in luck, because NASA has been kind enough to make this handy video showcasing just that! Check out the eccentricity in it’s movement, I never knew it did that!
Continue reading Going Through a Phase
The dream of space travel has been haunting the minds of puny humans for perhaps as long as we have been able to gaze up at the stars and the Moon. We have the privilege of knowing that just such an accomplishment is possible, but it has not always been this way. At the American Museum of Natural History, back in 1950, “the Museum’s Hayden Planetarium began accepting reservations for the first trip into space as part of a publicity campaign for its exhibition Conquest of Space. Letters poured in from around the world with requests to book trips to the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, and beyond, capturing the public’s passion and curiosity for space exploration.” The Planetarium has shared some of these letters on the web, so take a look at a sample, and check out the whole set on Flickr — The Hayden Letters Set.
Continue reading The Hayden Letters
Altair is about to run out of quality programming.
Image via highpowerrocketry.blogspot.com, from flixxy.com.
The Baltic Sea Millennium Falcon we wrote about a while back may have just been the beginning. Now, it seems, the concepts of Star Wars are being proven not by obsessed fanbois, but by SCIENCE!
Continue reading Star Wars In Real Life
The best of science fiction are those stories in which the science is creating a believable framework for the story.* That is not to say that those stories where the science is a giant leap, edging in on fantasy, aren’t enjoyable. But it is something special to be able to visualize the events of the story being achievable in just a few short years, if technological development and scientific investment progressed along the right path.
One such book is Arthur C. Clarke’s A Fall of Moondust, from 1961. Like many of Clarke’s stories it is told within a realm of fact and realism. Additionally the tale reflects an interesting take on the optimism of the ongoing space race. In the book, the optimistic piece is that Earth has built permanent bases on the Moon, as well as multiple space stations in orbit. The interesting aspect is that by the point in the timeline at which the story takes place, the fact that we are on the Moon is basically taken for granted, and considered no big deal. It is a little hard to imagine anyone in the early 1960s feeling blasé about being able to take a vacation to see the surface of the Moon.
Continue reading Toasters Reads: A Fall of Moondust