Distant World

photography, space

It’s full of stars!

photography, space

It's full of stars!

Tonight I wanted to give another try at backyard astrophotography. Being in town, there’s quite a bit of light pollution but 20 seconds with the 14mm still give pretty decent results after some tweaking. It’s really full of stars!

 

The Moon and Jupiter

photography, space
Moon meets Jupiter

The Moon meets Jupiter, the closest they will be until 2026

If the sky is clear and you can see the moon, you will see exactly this right now. The bright spot above the moon is Jupiter, the closest the both will appear to be until next time in 2026. I just took this picture from my own backyard in Toronto, fifteen minutes ago. Click the picture for full size.

The transit of Venus seen from space, in HD and pure awesomeness

space

Yup, NASA, you take better pictures than me.

 

Transit of Venus

photography, space

 

2012 Transit of Venus

2012 Transit of Venus

The transit of Venus from my front porch. Projected from century-old binoculars onto a poster. Bit blurry but you can see Venus very clearly as well as some Sun spots.

[edit] adjusted image for proper orientation – forgot it was projected upside-down in the rush! *facepalm*

What the Space Shuttle booster saw

space

This video is exceptional for several reasons: it’s a complete flight sequence shot from the Space Shuttle boosters, from take-off to landing, from multiple angles and it’s in HD, and the sound has been remastered by Skywalker Sound. Make sure you watch till the end, when you can see the other booster crashing in the ocean just a few hundred feet from the one the camera’s riding.

Awesome.

via Kottke

Sunset on Mars

photography, space

Sunset on Mars

WOW… just wow. This stunning picture is composed of many images downloaded from the Opportunity rover that’s been roaming the surface of Mars for several years now. Absolutely beautiful!

The individual frames for this image were taken and downlinked a few weeks ago, but it took Don Davis many hours of meticulous labor to assemble it into this beautiful postcard from Mars. Take a moment to be the rover, standing there, covered with fine red dust, on a cold day in Martian winter, the yellow Sun taking its light with it as it sinks behind you.

via The Planetary Society

How NASA Solved a $100 Million Problem for Five Bucks

space

How do you read a digital display when you’re an astronaut siting on top of a giant vibrating rocket blazing through the atmosphere at mach 20? Good question and NASA is lucky to have plenty of teams they could consult to solve issues.

A few years ago, back when the Constellation Program was still alive, NASA engineers discovered that the Ares I rocket had a crucial flaw, one that could have jeopardized the entire project. They panicked. They plotted. They steeled themselves for the hundreds of millions of dollars it was going to take to make things right.

And then they found out how to fix it for the cost of an extra value meal.

Great example of lateral thinking here, akin to what happened in the 60’s when astronauts needed pens that could function in zero gravity. The Americans had a company spend a bazillion dollars to develop a pressurized ink ballpoint pen while the Soviets used pencils.

via GIZMODO – How NASA Solved a $100 Million Problem for Five Bucks.