Startdown: Ask and Ye Shall Receive


Here it is, for cruisintime on this Moon-day!


Video by Andrew Walker, via laughingsquid.


Om Nom Nom

Several hours after being eaten, the moon appeared to emerge from the Arecibo radio telescope, quickly quelling a new-born myth; but, gave rise to more questions than it answered.



This Looks Like a Photoshop…

Hubble Photos

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, 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…


Startup: Hotel for Stargazers

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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Shutdown: All About Perspective

But Techie, they only look about an inch or so apart!?!


Image from NASA, via


Startup: How Far Away Is The Moon

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


Going Through a Phase

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


Startup: He’s Gone, Get Over It


The Hayden Letters

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


Rot Your Brain

Altair is about to run out of quality programming.


Image via, from