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 Black Hole was a somewhat un-Disney-like Disney film, released in 1979. My limited knowledge of what would actually happen if you fell into a black hole, courtesy of Dr. Stephen Hawking, leads me to believe that the action was highly accelerated in this film. But I can say with sincerity that as a kid this movie and the creepy scientist gave me the heebie-jeebies. The movie posters sure looked cool though!
Continue reading Black Hole Sunday
This afternoon I am going to run the first of a couple of posts that I have been kicking around for quite some time now, but just have never gotten around to. (Be sure to tune in next week for more!) The Professor’s User Input on the question of the current state of NASA and the future thereof reminded me of them. First up, when we remember back to the space race it’s culmination with the Moon landing, I think that we tend to view it as a period of triumph and success. But I think it is important to recall that at the time, the neither the success of these ventures nor the victory over the Russians in the Cold War were in any way assured. When it came to the Moon landing, did you ever wonder what sort of back up plans might have been in place in the event of mission failure?
The possibility had been considered that a problem with the lunar lander could have stranded the intrepid astronauts on the Moon, and a memo outlining actions to be taken and the speech that the president would make if such an unfortunate incident occurred were written. The previously unpublished documents were found by LA Times columnist Jim Mann, in a file titled, “IN THE EVENT OF MOON DISASTER.”
President Richard Nixon would have informed the country that night on television:
Before giving the speech, the President would have made telephone calls to the “widows to be” to offer condolences. After final goodbyes, and perhaps recommendations to the astronauts on how to close their lives, the plans called for Mission Control to “close down communications” with the Lunar Module. In a public ritual likened to burial at sea, clergyman would then have commended their souls to “the deepest of the deep”. (motherboard.vice.com)
Continue reading Mysteries of the Moon
“Wider than a mile, I’m crossing you in style some day…”
Image via teainabowl.tumblr.com.
But Techie, they only look about an inch or so apart!?!
Image from NASA, via huffingtonpost.co.uk.
After all, NASA did land on the Moon in the 60′s.
Image from NASA, via nerdcore.
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
Looks like I missed a Shutdown on Wednesday. So to make up for it, here is something nice to look at.
Image from airpigz.com.
Science fiction has long been a medium through which the boundaries of the world’s technology can be pushed. Have you ever wondered just what sort of things have been predicted, and wen? Or seen a certain idea pop up in a few differing stories, and wondered just when it first made a fictional appearance? The website Technovelgy.com (a play on technology and novel [both novel like a book and novel like a new idea. Witty, no?], with the tag ‘where science meets fiction’™)¹ has just the Timeline for you! Starting with Johannes Kepler discussing weightlessness in Somnium (The Dream) in 1634, and running all the way through a causality-violation device (or weapon)² from Singularity Sky by Charles Stross in 2003. You can see when the first use of terms like grok and crysknife occurred, or when someone first proposed a ray gun or reaction engine, complete with a excerpt from the book or story, in addition to links to other inventions from that particular tale, as well as links to other ideas from the same author. To give you an idea of quality of the timeline, I pulled out a few examples of sci fi innovators.
In 1867, Jules Verne proposed the concept of retro rockets, a booster that would retard or stop the progress of a spacecraft in From the Earth to the Moon:
This answer brought Barbicane back to his preparations, and he occupied himself with placing the contrivances intended to break their descent. We may remember the scene of the meeting held at Tampa Town, in Florida, when Captain Nicholl came forward as Barbicane’s enemy and Michel Ardan’s adversary. To Captain Nicholl’s maintaining that the projectile would smash like glass, Michel replied that he would break their fall by means of rockets properly placed.
Thus, powerful fireworks, taking their starting-point from the base and bursting outside, could, by producing a recoil, check to a certain degree the projectile’s speed. These rockets were to burn in space, it is true; but oxygen would not fail them, for they could supply themselves with it, like the lunar volcanoes, the burning of which has never yet been stopped by the want of atmosphere round the moon.
Barbicane had accordingly supplied himself with these fireworks, enclosed in little steel guns, which could be screwed on to the base of the projectile. Inside, these guns were flush with the bottom; outside, they protruded about eighteen inches. There were twenty of them. An opening left in the disc allowed them to light the match with which each was provided. All the effect was felt outside. The burning mixture had already been rammed into each gun. They had, then, nothing to do but raise the metallic buffers fixed in the base, and replace them by the guns, which fitted closely in their places.
Continue reading Science Fiction is the Mother of Invention