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Archive for the ‘Space’ Category

Watch “NASA | Solar Cycle” on YouTube

January 6th, 2013 No comments

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Happy New Years

January 1st, 2013 No comments

Happy New Years from Curiosity Rover

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A Time-lapse Photography Message From Astronauts to All Humankind for 2013 – PictureCorrect

January 1st, 2013 No comments

Link: PictureCorrect

Happy New Year from the ISS:

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Watch “Jewel in the Night — original music from the International Space Station” on YouTube

December 25th, 2012 No comments

Merry Christmas from the International Space Station!

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Starry Night

October 5th, 2012 No comments

The famous Van Gogh painting Starry Night has received a very modern makeover
From the Herald Sun
By Erinna Giblin
Oct 3, 2012

THE picture is iconic, inspiring artists, astronomers and lovers for generations. Now new tribute has been paid to Vincent Van Gough’s “Starry Night”

Astrophysics student Alex Parker’s work involves a lot of starry nights, focusing on the formation and evolution of planetary systems.

So when cloudy weather stopped the PhD student from exploring space from his office at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, he decided to get creative.

He moulded some of the stunning images from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope into an homage to Vincent Van Gogh’s famous 1889 painting, ‘Starry night’, using photo-mosaic software.

click on picture to see full (zoom-able) version

Alex Parker, a PHD astronomy student took Van Gogh’s 1889 painting, and built it back up from arguably humanity’s other most famous space portraits – those taken by the Hubble telescope over the last 20 years. Picture: Supplied

While the original artwork is set outside the painter’s asylum room window, where he was staying after a mental breakdown the year before at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, in France, Parker’s version is a lighter take on the awe-inspiring night sky.

Parker explained to Michele Banks at thefinchandpea.com :“The idea came up around the time of Hubble’s 22nd birthday, when I thought it would be neat to assemble a collage of a bunch of Hubble images from over its history.”

[Alternate to the original can be found HERE]

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Curiosity Update – Destination Mount Sharp

August 16th, 2012 No comments

Destination Mount Sharp

This image from NASA’s Curiosity rover looks south of the rover’s landing site on Mars towards Mount Sharp. This is part of a larger,high-resolution color mosaic made from images obtained by Curiosity’s Mast Camera.

In this version of the image, colors have been modified as if the scene were transported to Earth and illuminated by terrestrial sunlight. This processing, called “white balancing,” is useful for scientists to be able to recognize and distinguish rocks by color in more familiar lighting.

The image provides an overview of the eventual geological targets Curiosity will explore over the next two years, starting with the rock-strewn, gravelly surface close by, and extending towards the dark dunefield. Beyond that lie the layered buttes and mesas of the sedimentary rock of Mount Sharp.

The images in this mosaic were acquired by the 34-millimeter Mastcam over about an hour of time on Aug. 8, 2012 PDT (Aug. 9, 2012 EDT), each at 1,200 by 1,200 pixels in size.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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Morse Code On Mars

August 13th, 2012 No comments

From EDN
Doug Grant- 08.10.2012 August 10, 2012

Since everybody else is writing about the Curiosity Rover, I guess I need to write something about Mars—like the fact that there’s Morse code up there.

I’m not sure whether this got covered anywhere in the popular media, but the ARRL reported it a while ago.

If you look carefully at the treads on the wheels of the rover vehicle, you’ll notice the predominant, zigzag pattern, but you’ll also see a section of tread on each wheel that’s patterned with dots and dashes. The official word is that they serve as “visual odometry markers” that tell the mission controllers how far Curiosity has roved and let them verify that the rover’s wheels are indeed turning when the rover’s telemetry says it is moving. But I think they’re just a really, really cool hack that some ham on the development team at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena couldn’t resist. The dots and dashes spell out “JPL” in the surface dust on the Red Planet.

Detail of Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover with tread pattern that will leave an impression on the Martian surface spelling “JPL” in Morse Code (·— ·–· ·-··). Photo courtesy of NASA/JPL.

Yes, Morse code is alive and well. A while back, I had lunch with a professor and some of his grad students. The prof knew I was a ham and told his students that I could actually deode Morse code signals in my head. They were astonished, partly because they didn’t know Morse was still being used anywhere, and partly because a human could copy it without a computer.

Turns out there are a few other examples of Morse code that turn up in unlikely places. The next time you watch a baseball game being played at Fenway Park in Boston, look carefully at the white lines in the scoreboard on the left-field wall. You’ll spot some dots and dashes hiding in plain sight in two of the vertical stripes. They spell out “TAY” and JRY,” for Thomas A Yawkey and his wife, Jean R Yawkey; the Yawkeys were co-owners of the Red Sox for many years.

There is also a “Morse Code” wine in the shops; the specific varietal is spelled out in dots and dashes on the label. The next time you’re shopping for wine, bring along a ham to tell you what it is.

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Latest from Mars

August 12th, 2012 No comments

From: NASA

First Hi-Res Color Mosaic of Curiosity’s Mastcam Images

This image is the first high-resolution color mosaic from NASA’s Curiosity rover, showing the geological environment around the rover’s landing site in Gale Crater on Mars. The images show a landscape that closely resembles portions of the southwestern United States in its morphology, adding to the impression gained from the lower-resolution thumbnail mosaic released early in the week.

The colors in the main image are unmodified from those returned by the camera. While it is difficult to say whether this is what a human eye would see, it is what a cell phone or camcorder would record since the Mastcam takes color pictures in the exact same manner that consumer cameras acquire color images. The colors in a second version linked to the main image have been modified as if the scene were transported to Earth and illuminated by terrestrial sunlight. This processing, called “white balancing,” is useful for scientists to be able to recognize and distinguish rocks by color in more familiar lighting.

The parts of this mosaic that are most interesting to geologists include a section on the crater wall north of the landing site where a network of valleys believed to have formed by water erosion enters Gale Crater from the outside. They are also studying a section that looks south of the landing site that provides an overview of the eventual geological targets Curiosity will explore, including the rock-strewn, gravelly surface nearby, the dark dune field and the layered buttes and mesas of the sedimentary rock of Mount Sharp.

Geologists are also taking a close look at an area excavated by the blast of the Mars Science Laboratory’s descent stage rockets. With the loose debris blasted away by the rockets, details of the underlying materials are clearly seen. Of particular note is a well-defined, topmost layer that contains fragments of rock embedded in a matix of finer material.

This 79-image mosaic was acquired by the 34-millimeter Mastcam over about an hour of time on Aug. 8, 2012 PDT (Aug. 9, 2012 EDT). The full mosaic consists of 130 1,200 by 1,200 pixel full-color images, but this version includes all the images that have been returned to Earth so far. The black areas indicate images not yet returned by the rover.

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First Panorama from Mars

August 8th, 2012 No comments

From: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA16011

This is the first 360-degree panoramic view from NASA’s Curiosity rover, taken with the Navigation cameras. Most of the tiles are thumbnails, or small copies of the full-resolution images that have not been sent back to Earth yet. Two of the tiles near the center are full-resolution.

Mount Sharp is to the right, and the north Gale Crater rim can be seen at center. The rover’s body is in the foreground, with the shadow of its head, or mast, poking up to the right.

These images were acquired at 3:30pm on Mars, or the night of Aug. 7 PDT (early morning Aug. 8 EDT). Thumbnails are 64 by 64 pixels in size; and full-resolution images are 1024 by 1024 pixels.

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All the Pieces Found

August 7th, 2012 No comments

NASA has now located all the various components discarded during the Curiosity landing. See picture below:

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