Moon Photography 101

armstrongcamera

Are you planning on taking a trip to the Moon? If so, you'll want to create a commemorative photo album.  

The moon is a pretty desolate place and the truth is, you just don’t have a whole lot to work with. You’ve got moon dust, some craters and if you’re lucky, you’ve got some shadow and light.

Read the rest

Explore the solar system in an immortal transhumanist body

sundogs

The space exploration game Sun Dogs comes with a promising description: "Sun Dogs is about exploring our inner solar system, altering your body, and embracing death." After playing, I deem it accurate. Read the rest

NASA looks directly at the sun so you don't have to, and it's gorgeous

latest_1024_0304

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in orbit keeps a constant vigil on the Sun to help us understand how solar variations impact life on Earth. Launched in 2010, the SDO is part of NASA's Living With a Star (LWS) Program. NASA just released this magnificent 4K video shot by the SDO of our star's nuclear fire. It's titled "Thermonuclear Art."

Read the rest

Kim Stanley Robinson's "Aurora": space is bigger than you think

Robinson_Auroroa_HC
Kim Stanley Robinson's Aurora is the best book I read in 2015, and by "best" I mean, "most poetic" and "most thought provoking" and "most scientific," a triple-crown in science fiction that's practically unheard of. I wouldn't have believed it possible, even from Robinson, had I not read it for myself.

Astronomer, NASA advisor, and serial sexual harasser Geoff Marcy to resign from UC Berkeley

Geoffrey Marcy, possibly contemplating his next victim. [NASA photo]

Geoff Marcy, a famous and respected American astronomer, has announced his intention to step down as a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley, according to an email obtained by BuzzFeed News.

Marcy also works with NASA on the search for extraterrestrial life, via the NASA Kepler Mission.

Buzzfeed first broke today's news of Marcy's plans to step aside. It is the first real fallout he's facing from sexual harassment claims that the reported victims say were ignored for years.

Why would those claims be ignored by UC Berkeley? Because Marcy is kind of a big deal in the field of astronomy, and his name meant money for the struggling California academic institution. Read the rest

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

tumblr_m1k3bvMUu61r01w8mo1_1280

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

War_of_the_Worlds_pg_141

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

PLUTO

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

LUNA
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

yaoGAr

“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

body_in_space_20150914_web
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

kagan_008

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.jpg__800x600_q85_crop

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

buzz-aldrin

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

More posts