Far out space film made from NASA Apollo Archive images

Tom Kucy dug into the incredible motherlode of NASA's Project Apollo Archive of photos released last week to create this beautiful short film "Ground Control." Read the rest

A distinctive, discontinued telescope: the Edmund Scientific Astroscan


I am frequently asked about this beautiful telescope! People think it is a bong! The Edmund Scientific Astroscan sits in the center of my living room coffee table.

I have heard astronomy buffs screech like wounded monkeys at the idea of my actually using this telescope to view the skies. I'm no celestial connoisseur, and this beautiful post-modern masterpiece offers me all I need in an at-home or camping telescope. Screw telling you about the optics, how much magnification it offers (variable based on your eyepiece,) or any other technical data! Here is the important thing:

I love how it looks!

Several years ago, I asked Mark what telescope he'd recommend. He sent me a picture of this one and I bought it immediately. Only later did I find out he just liked how it looked, neither of us did a bit of research on its utility as a functional sky viewing telescope.

Honestly, it is fine. Here is a great video that'll tell you more than you need to know:

If you'd like to find an AstroScan, try eBay! Mine is a lovely, functional conversation piece. Do not attempt to use it as a water pipe. Read the rest

Rush Limbaugh: water on Mars is a leftist conspiracy


Who needs the Onion? "Don't know how long it's going to take, but this news that there is flowing water on Mars is somehow going to find its way into a technique to advance the leftist agenda." Read the rest

Water on Mars, NASA reveals

Dark narrow streaks called recurring slope lineae emanate from the walls of Garni crater on Mars. [NASA]

NASA says these streaks are proof that water flows on Mars. NASA

Well, this is big. NASA today revealed that new findings from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provide “the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars.” Read the rest

Latest Pluto image is most amazing yet


From NASA's New Horizons Image Gallery, this is described as a "high-resolution enhanced color view" of the distant world. Read the rest

Ian McDonald's "Luna: New Moon" - the moon is a much, much harsher mistress

We've projected our political and spiritual longings on the Moon since antiquity, and it's been a talismanic home to science fiction's most ambitious dreams for generations. But no one writes like Ian McDonald, and no one's Moon is nearly so beautiful and terrible as Luna: New Moon.

Scale model of the solar system in Nevada's Black Rock Desert


“On a dry lakebed in Nevada, a group of friends build the first scale model of the solar system with complete planetary orbits: a true illustration of our place in the universe.” A film by Wylie Overstreet and Alex Gorosh [HT: Mark Day]

Read the rest

What happens to an astronaut's body during a year in space

NASA astronaut and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko are halfway through the year they are spending in space. Above is a NASA chart with some fun facts about what Kelly will experience.

“I think the legacy of this mission will be based on the science of having us in space for a year,” Kelly said. “The great data we collected, what we learned about being in space for this long and how that will help our journey to Mars someday.”

Below, NASA's mini-documentary "A Year In Space" narrated by Lando, er, Billy Dee Williams:

Read the rest

Stunning oil paintings of astronauts and rockets


Brooklyn-based artist Michael Kagan creates oil paintings of astronauts and other space-themed subjects. They are indeed out of this world. Read the rest

A better solution for astronauts who drink their own piss


Aquaporin A/S made this new small and lightweight filter that uses aquaporins, membrane proteins, to turn urine, sweat, and wastewater into drinkable water. Read the rest

Mars colony planned


Space sailor Buzz Aldrin and the Florida Institute of Technology are planning to colonize Mars within 25 years.

More specifically, he’s shooting for 2039, the 70th anniversary of his own Apollo 11 moon landing, although he admits the schedule is “adjustable”.

He envisions using Mars’ moons, Phobos and Deimos, as preliminary stepping stones for astronauts. He said he dislikes the label “one-way” and imagines tours of duty lasting 10 years.

“The Pilgrims on the Mayflower came here to live and stay. They didn’t wait around Plymouth Rock for the return trip, and neither will people building up a population and a settlement” on Mars.

Read the rest

Hubble captures shimmering, luminous Twin Jet Nebula

Bipolar planetary nebulae occur when a twin star system lies at the center, forming beautiful wing-like symmetrical lobes. The Hubble team estimates this translucent beauty occurred only 1200 years ago. Read the rest

Yet another Martian UFO found, say UFO enthusiasts


Mars Curiosity Rover has spotted many interesting things on its mission, like this UFO, a tiny Millennium Falcon type star freighter, heavily modded for use on Mars. Read the rest

Fantastic video of Pluto fly-by made from still images


Astronomical artist Björn Jónsson stitched together still images captured by the New Horizons spacecraft as it flew past the dwarf planet Pluto last month. Read the rest

Podcast: Ian McDonald talks about Luna: New Moon (also coming to CBS!)

Science fiction titan Ian McDonald's forthcoming novel Luna: New Moon is the subject of the latest installment of the always-great Coode Street podcast (MP3). Read the rest

WATCH: NASA JPL tests gecko-inspired grippers in zero gravity


NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory just released a video of their latest adhesion technologies designed for use in space. Read the rest

The design story of NASA's "worm" logo, sadly retired


Over at Display, Graphic designer Richard Danne tells the story of the fantastic "worm" logo he and partner Bruce Blackburn created for NASA in 1974. It was used for almost twenty years until the NASA administrator Dan Goldin unfortunately reinstated the previous "meatball" logo, developed in 1959. Read the rest

More posts