“When a few of the space pioneers sat down to sketch out how a practical space camera should look one of them had suddenly exclaimed: ‘That's starting to look like my Hasselblad’." NASA originally didn’t think much of space photography until Walter Schirra brought his Hasselblad 500C along on his Sigma 7 Mercury flight. Impressed by the results, NASA responded by commissioning the Hasselblad Data Camera, a stripped-down HasselBlad 500EL that accompanied all Apollo missions to the moon. In the hands of moonwalking astronauts, the Data Camera’s custom medium format film and Zeiss Biogon 5.6/60mm lens captured images of remarkable clarity, color, and sometimes composition. What's your favorite? [warning: frameset - try the "Full Hasselblad Magazines" link].
It's like Google Maps...for space. Wikisky is a draggable, zoomable, web-based star map. And if you click on a star or other object, it brings up a page with all the information you could want on it, including recent articles and astrophotos that contain that object. And it does lots more. Go explore.
Have you ever wondered what a solar eclipse would look like from space? The STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) has just sent back its view (awe-inspiring video included). It has also sent back some gorgeous pictures of our sun (and the McNaught Comet). For more media, check out the other galleries (including some 3D images). For more about the project, see NASA's STEREO homepage. Be sure to also stop by the Johns Hopkins University STEREO Page, where you can download a mission guide (pdf), view animations, watch a video of the launch, or even make your own papercraft STEREO model (pdf). You can also learn more in six minute segments with their series of short educational videos.
The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Over half a million photographs of Earth taken from orbit by astronauts, from 1961 through the present. The ability of the astronauts to rapidly identify interesting phenomena allows them to capture events as they occur, like volcanic eruptions, floods, and hurricanes, or take advantage of the angle of the sun to highlight specific features, like the pyramids or Mount Everest.
A hoop, to draw the Earth's shadow: illustrating yesterday's partial lunar eclipse with a hoop and some creative camera positioning. Start here and work your way towards the painter. Via Spaceweather. More photos of the eclipse on Flickr.
Chicago's current archetectual and artistic showcase, Millenium Park seems to be causing some problems. The pedestrian bridge was closed because the hardwood used to build it can not take the salt used to remove ice from pedestrian walkways. But it also seems that the massive sculpture Cloud Gate aka "The Bean" is a copyright elephant in public space. Park security are shaking down photographers for permits. As is typical, the copyright shakedown appears to be less about protecting the rights of the original artists, and more about the rights of the distributor (in this case, the city's desired monopoly on postcards and prints). See boing boing for editorializing and Slashdot for the typical herd reaction.
A beautiful photograph of Earth Some eye candy to cheer up your Friday
The first images from the Spitzer Space Telescope, formerly known as the Space Infrared Telescope Facility and renamed after astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer, Jr., were released on Thursday. Launched on August 25, it obtains images by detecting the infrared energy radiated by objects in space, and it will drift behind the Earth as the planet orbits the sun.
The Best of Hubble Its mission will end in 2010. Four years later it will re-enter the atmosphere and burn up. Many astronomers are calling for Hubble to be refurbished and its mission extended to 2020. Here are some of it's best pictures.
Breathtaking Hubble picture of the Sombrero Galaxy (also identified as M104). The Hubble Heritage team took the original images during May and June of this year using the Advanced Camera for Surveys and multiple color filters. They then stitched 6 images together to make the final composite image.
Step above it all for a moment, and take a look at stunning images of the planet as seen through the eyes of the Landsat-7 satellite. Select an area of the globe, or view an index of the images.
The most detailed map of Mars ever produced. Brought to you by Malin Space Science Systems. The images were captured from The Mars Global Surveyor. They really are incredibly clear. I'm trying find the Mars Face. No luck yet though. (Click image to zoom in)
Reflections on a Mote of Dust "We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam." Carl Sagan "Pale Blue Dot"
Zooooom in from space! Very cool views of our planet
Maha Kumbh Mela from space I know it has been covered, but this kinda thing always gives me goosebumps...
A striking photo of The Sigma Orionis star cluster where the astronomers have found 18 "planets" which are not orbiting around any central star. On the same note, you may want to visit the new planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. My mother was not impressed by the New Hayden Planetarium when she visited NY this summer. I thought the Rose Center was a real life version of the Hawking book, The Illustrated A Brief History of Time. The book was a much better experience.
This reminded me of one of the stupidest things I've ever seen. Once on vacation in Eastern Oregon, there was a total eclipse of the moon, just like this one. And some people nearby were taking photographs of it. Flash photographs. The round-trip time to the moon at the speed of light is 3 seconds and I wouldn't even want to calculate the attenuation caused by 320,000 miles of range. Sometimes it seems as if some people are completely and totally clueless about what they're doing.
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