staceythinx:

These space colony concept drawings were the result of collaboration between Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill, the NASA Ames Research Center and Stanford University in the 1970’s. They held a series of space colony summer studies which explored the possibilities of humans living in giant orbiting spaceships. 

On December 4th, 1997, NASA launched Pathfinder, an unmanned mission to Mars which arrived seven months later on July 4th, 1997. The rover it carried, Sojourner, explored the red planet for a total of eighty days afterwards.

On December 4th, 1997, NASA launched Pathfinder, an unmanned mission to Mars which arrived seven months later on July 4th, 1997. The rover it carried, Sojourner, explored the red planet for a total of eighty days afterwards.

Illustrated here is a geologic map of Venus’s northern hemisphere, based off radar data from the Venera 15 and 16 orbiters, Pioneer Venus orbiter, and Earth-based radar telescopes. The colors indicate various features on the surface, such as plains in yellow and light green; mountains in purple, green and blue; and volcanoes in light red and pink. (View More Planetary Maps at the Telegraph)

Illustrated here is a geologic map of Venus’s northern hemisphere, based off radar data from the Venera 15 and 16 orbiters, Pioneer Venus orbiter, and Earth-based radar telescopes. The colors indicate various features on the surface, such as plains in yellow and light green; mountains in purple, green and blue; and volcanoes in light red and pink. (View More Planetary Maps at the Telegraph)

22 years ago today, on April 24th, 1990, NASA launched its Hubble Space Telesecope. However, soon after launch, it is realized that the telescope’s mirror was ground incorrectly, and the flaw was unable to be corrected until December 1993, during a shuttle mission.

22 years ago today, on April 24th, 1990, NASA launched its Hubble Space Telesecope. However, soon after launch, it is realized that the telescope’s mirror was ground incorrectly, and the flaw was unable to be corrected until December 1993, during a shuttle mission.

NASA’s longest-serving shuttle, Discovery, was transported from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center atop a Boeing 747 just after dawn this morning. After flying a victory lap around the capitol, it landed at Virginia’s Dulles International Airport, from which it will be moved to the Smithsonian Institution on Thursday.

(Photos via National Geographic)

Solar Eclipses Can (Slightly) Change Weather on Earth
It has been known that with the sun being partially (or fully) obscured by the moon, solar eclipses can result in about 5˚F cooler temperatures within they shadows, but evidence to whether it could alter the weather through these changes was fleeting, until a recent study.
The study, by Giles Harrison and Suzanne Gray of University of Reading, analyzed an August 1999 total solar eclipse that affected Europe. The duo gathered weather data from the eclipse’s path and compared it to a forecast that they had created, using pre-eclipse conditions and computer modeling, which did not factor in the possible change due to the eclipse.
According to their comparison, the areas affected experienced a decrease in wind of about 1.6 miles per hour and a direction change of about 20˚ more southerly. But don’t fret, their aren’t going to be any eclipse-related cyclones, like H. Helm Clayton claimed in 1901.

Solar Eclipses Can (Slightly) Change Weather on Earth

It has been known that with the sun being partially (or fully) obscured by the moon, solar eclipses can result in about 5˚F cooler temperatures within they shadows, but evidence to whether it could alter the weather through these changes was fleeting, until a recent study.

The study, by Giles Harrison and Suzanne Gray of University of Reading, analyzed an August 1999 total solar eclipse that affected Europe. The duo gathered weather data from the eclipse’s path and compared it to a forecast that they had created, using pre-eclipse conditions and computer modeling, which did not factor in the possible change due to the eclipse.

According to their comparison, the areas affected experienced a decrease in wind of about 1.6 miles per hour and a direction change of about 20˚ more southerly. But don’t fret, their aren’t going to be any eclipse-related cyclones, like H. Helm Clayton claimed in 1901.

Sally Ride became the first American woman in space on June 18th, 1983. Only a measly 20 years after the first Russian woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova. America, this is pathetic. Ladies, let’s show these men what we are really capable of! 

Sally Ride became the first American woman in space on June 18th, 1983. Only a measly 20 years after the first Russian woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova. 
America, this is pathetic. Ladies, let’s show these men what we are really capable of! 

Nine days ago, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory observed a solar flare resulting from another week of unusually high activity from our closest star. This particular flare rates as a M-class flare, on the scale based off of x-ray brightness, In this scale, there are three levels: X, M, and C; with X-class is most intense, an C is least intense. (via)

Nine days ago, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory observed a solar flare resulting from another week of unusually high activity from our closest star. This particular flare rates as a M-class flare, on the scale based off of x-ray brightness, In this scale, there are three levels: X, M, and C; with X-class is most intense, an C is least intense. (via)

Backyard Star Trails (by Joshua Bury)Description: 


Just decided the other night to try some star trails so I set my camera on a tripod in the backyard and set the interval timer and went to bed. This shot represents 6 hours of the Earth turning beneath the stars.
One thing to note, Polaris, the North Star, is not exactly lined up with the Earth’s rotational axis. It is about a half degree away from the pole. Because of this, for astrophotography at least, it is not accurate enough to align your telescope’s mount to Polaris for good tracking.
I boosted the saturation a little in this one to emphasize the wide range of colors displayed by the stars. (Also, for any nit-pickers out there, no I didn’t take or subtract darks, so yes, there are plenty of hot pixels in there.)

Backyard Star Trails (by Joshua Bury)
Description: 

Just decided the other night to try some star trails so I set my camera on a tripod in the backyard and set the interval timer and went to bed. This shot represents 6 hours of the Earth turning beneath the stars.

One thing to note, Polaris, the North Star, is not exactly lined up with the Earth’s rotational axis. It is about a half degree away from the pole. Because of this, for astrophotography at least, it is not accurate enough to align your telescope’s mount to Polaris for good tracking.

I boosted the saturation a little in this one to emphasize the wide range of colors displayed by the stars. (Also, for any nit-pickers out there, no I didn’t take or subtract darks, so yes, there are plenty of hot pixels in there.)

Solar Eclipse in China, 2008 (by ╬Thomas Reichart ╬)

Solar Eclipse in China, 2008 (by ╬Thomas Reichart ╬)

moderation:

NASA Jet Stream Study Will Light up The Night Sky
—
High in the sky, 60 to 65 miles above Earth’s surface, winds rush through a little understood region of Earth’s atmosphere at speeds of 200 to 300 miles per hour. Lower than a typical satellite’s orbit, higher than where most planes fly, this upper atmosphere jet stream makes a perfect target for a particular kind of scientific experiment: the sounding rocket. Some 35 to 40 feet long, sounding rockets shoot up into the sky for short journeys of eight to ten minutes, allowing scientists to probe difficult-to-reach layers of the atmosphere.
In March, NASA will launch five such rockets in approximately five minutes to study these high-altitude winds and their intimate connection to the complicated electrical current patterns that surround Earth. First noticed in the 1960s, the winds in this jet stream shouldn’t be confused with the lower jet stream located around 30,000 feet, through which passenger jets fly and which is reported in weather forecasts. This rocket experiment is designed to gain a better understanding of the high-altitude winds and help scientists better model the electromagnetic regions of space that can damage man-made satellites and disrupt communications systems. The experiment will also help explain how the effects of atmospheric disturbances in one part of the globe can be transported to other parts of the globe in a mere day or two.
(via NASA)

Wait, are these launching merely 2 hours from my house?? I wish I could be home :(

moderation:

NASA Jet Stream Study Will Light up The Night Sky

High in the sky, 60 to 65 miles above Earth’s surface, winds rush through a little understood region of Earth’s atmosphere at speeds of 200 to 300 miles per hour. Lower than a typical satellite’s orbit, higher than where most planes fly, this upper atmosphere jet stream makes a perfect target for a particular kind of scientific experiment: the sounding rocket. Some 35 to 40 feet long, sounding rockets shoot up into the sky for short journeys of eight to ten minutes, allowing scientists to probe difficult-to-reach layers of the atmosphere.

In March, NASA will launch five such rockets in approximately five minutes to study these high-altitude winds and their intimate connection to the complicated electrical current patterns that surround Earth. First noticed in the 1960s, the winds in this jet stream shouldn’t be confused with the lower jet stream located around 30,000 feet, through which passenger jets fly and which is reported in weather forecasts. This rocket experiment is designed to gain a better understanding of the high-altitude winds and help scientists better model the electromagnetic regions of space that can damage man-made satellites and disrupt communications systems. The experiment will also help explain how the effects of atmospheric disturbances in one part of the globe can be transported to other parts of the globe in a mere day or two.

(via NASA)

Wait, are these launching merely 2 hours from my house?? I wish I could be home :(

expose-the-light:

The planets of the solar system imagined as human (and canine) characters

The manga Hetalia personifies nations as a group of constantly bickering characters. Artist Irene Flores has done something similar for the solar system, minus the bickering, with cheerful characters based on the eight planets, plus Pluto.

Flores has been creating these original characters for an unnamed project. Perhaps a children’s book or a comic? I love how she’s translated each celestial body into a distinct character — elegant Saturn, Jupiter and his large family of moons, fleet-footed Mercury. Pluto, as the dwarf planet, gets to be the solar system’s dog (although perhaps it’s just a play on the Disney character). She also has an additional illustration below, with the Earth and two unnamed characters, whom I suspect are Earth’s moon and the sun.

Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to see what Flores has in store for these characters as her project grows.

[Irene Flores via The Uniblogger]

Oh goodness, I love this. Pluto as a dog is perfect, Uranus as a jaded preteen, and Venus as a bombshell who could actually kill you within seconds. OH, AND EARTH HAS A BAND-AID, no doubt symbolic of the fact that our little planet has quite a few boo-boos nowadays from our environmental negligence. I give this an A+ for attention to detail.

NASA launched Columbia for the first time on April 12, 1981 with Robert L Crippen and John W Young aboard the space shuttle. During their mission, they orbited Earth 37 times, landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California on April 14. (via)

NASA launched Columbia for the first time on April 12, 1981 with Robert L Crippen and John W Young aboard the space shuttle. During their mission, they orbited Earth 37 times, landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California on April 14. (via)