Arty Awesomeness Featured Photoworthy Science & Technology

The Blue Marble Through the Years

On December 7th in 1972, far far above our heads, Apollo 17 blasted off from the Earth on its way to the Moon. About five hours into the journey, the spaceship was 45,000 kilometres away and at the point where it was facing the Earth, the astronauts onboard took photos of our planet. One of those photos (AS17-148-22727) which showed a fully-illuminated Earth looked like a glass marble to the astronauts, and is famously called The Blue Marble.

NASA has continued The Blue Marble series with similar photos in 2000, 2002, 2007, 2010, and the two most recent images date from just a few days ago. The initial image was captured by the Earth-observing satellite Suomi NPP and focussed on North and Central America. Due to popular demand NASA released a second image, this time displaying Africa, Saudi Arabia, and India to the east. Have a look at these two amazing images after the jump.

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Symphony of Science: Onward to the Edge!

If you enjoyed John Boswell’s Ode to the Brain, you may like this too. Since 2009, the composer has been creating the Symphony of Science set of videos with the aim of teaching the fundamentals of science through the medium of music.

In Onward to the Edge, the twelfth installment in the series, a trio of auto-tuned scientists wax lyrical about space exploration and the wonders of the solar system.

For more info about the project, visit Symphony of Science.

[via Brain Pickings]

Arty Awesomeness Featured Photoworthy Science & Technology

In the Shadow of Saturn

You might not believe it, but this is an actual photograph reported to have been taken back in 2006 as the Cassini space probe sheltered in the shadow of Saturn. It was 2.2 million kilometers away from the gas giant when it took the photograph.

Astronomy Photo of the Day explains the image thus:

The robotic Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn drifted in giant planet’s shadow for about 12 hours in 2006 and looked back toward the eclipsed Sun. Cassini saw a view unlike any other.

First, the night side of Saturn is seen to be partly lit by light reflected from its own majestic ring system. Next, the rings themselves appear dark when silhouetted against Saturn, but quite bright when viewed away from Saturn, slightly scattering sunlight, in this exaggerated color image.

Hit the jump to see the full image.

Arty Awesomeness Featured Science & Technology Video Clips

The Best Vantage Point Ever!

Thanks to the advent of portable high definition camera and high speed Internet, we are now able to see views that only a handful of extremely lucky and highly-trained individuals get to experience.

Dr. Justin Wilkinson from NASA’s astronaut team serves as a tour guide as he takes us on a a special trip around our globe. The seven-minute journey is seen from the lofty perch of space, and is compiled from footage taken by various astronauts over the years. From the distinctive red sand dunes of the Namib Desert to a swirling hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean to the majestic Amazon River, check out What an Astronaut’s Camera Sees below.

[via My Modern Metropolis]

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A Sense Of Scale

Space is huge and the planets that occupy the solar system are pretty gosh darn big aren’t they? There have been quite a few images on the Internet that compare the relative sizes of these planets, and artist Brad Goodspeed adds his perspective to it in his creative video entitled Scale.

After watching a lunar eclipse, Goodspeed wondered how large the Earth would look like it were there in place of the moon. He shows this in his video along with all the other planets, as if they orbited our world as the moon does. There are reportedly some small errors with Goodspeed’s calculations (you boffins can read that here) but that doesn’t take away from the sense of scale he is trying to show in the video. Check it out below.

[via Ufunk]

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Here Be Asteroids

Douglas Adams once said, “Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the drug store, but that’s just peanuts to space.” We’re discovering new spacey things all the time as seen in this fantastic visualization that captures in time-lapse the asteroid discoveries over the past 30 years. It starts off with slow with less than 10000 discoveries in the early 80s but more waves become visible with technological advances in the decades that follow.

As asteroids are discovered, they are highlighted white and change colour depending on whether their orbit crosses that of Earth (called “earth crossers” and shown in red) or approaches Earth (shown in yellow). All other asteroids are highlighted in green.

See Asteroid Discovery From 1980 – 2010 below.

[via Buzzfeed]

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Black Rain

Black Rain is a short film by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt from the art duo, Semiconductor. They sourced the images from the satellites used in NASA’s STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) mission that traced the flow of energy and matter from the Sun to Earth.

Working with STEREO scientists, Semiconductor collected all the HI image data to date, revealing the journey of the satellites from their initial orientation, to their current tracing of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Solar wind, CMEs (coronal mass ejections), passing planets and comets orbiting the sun can be seen as background stars and the milky way pass by.

Have a look at Black Rain below.

[via CreativeApplications]

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Go For Launch: Awesome NASA Time-Lapse Video

Launched on April 5th and having landed on April 20th, Discovery’s flight STS-131 marks the longest mission for the orbiter. During the six week that photographers Scott Andrews, his son Philip Scott Andrew, and Stan Jirman spent in and around the Orbiter Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, they took thousands of photos of the staff preparing Discovery for the mission.

The photographers condensed their shots into a glorious four-minute time-lapse video that chronicles Discovery’s trip from the processing facility to the pad, and eventually to the launch itself. It’s quite amazing to watch – there isn’t any audio on the clip,so we’d suggest Black Sabbath’s Into the Void as a good accompaniment. Check out Go For Launch! below.

BONUS: While we’re on on the topic of NASA, two of their satellites have been monitoring the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The movement of the spill has been captured in images which since been compiled into a time-lapse video. See that after the jump.

Awesomeness Featured Photoworthy Science & Technology

Spectacular Solar Images and Videos

On February 11th, NASA launched the the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), a spacecraft designed to study our sun. It’s on a five-year mission gathering data that will aid scientists to better understand how solar activity affects our climate and our lives. The highly advanced SDO is said to take images that are 10 times better than current HD TVs and will be sending back a whopping 1.5 terabytes of data back to Earth each and every each day!

The solar-observing spacecraft has been beaming back early images and videos and they look quite amazing. Have a look for yourself, after the jump.

Arty Awesomeness Featured Science & Technology Video Clips

Toshiba’s “Space Chair” Ad Campaign Soars to New Heights

My mind usually switches off during ad breaks on the TV, I don’t want to be reminded for the 20th time that I can save a rand on feminine pads at my local super market. Perhaps if you sent something into space and video-taped it, I may take an interest.

For their Space Chair ad campaign, electronics manufacturer, Toshiba, did just that to advertise their new REGZA SV LCD TV series. Using a helium balloon, they sent a biodegradable chair to the edge of space and filmed the journey with their own ultra-compact HD camera. Have a look at the ad below.

How awesome was that? The tag line was great – “Armchair viewing, redefined” – pretty cool, no? Hit the jump to see the making of video and some trivia about the project.