"A mission scientist with NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, Natalie Batalha hunts for exoplanets — Earth-sized planets beyond our solar system that might harbor life. She speaks about unexpected connections between things like love and dark energy, science and gratitude, and how "exploring the heavens" brings the beauty of the cosmos and the exuberance of scientific discovery closer to us all
". (Audio link of interview at top left corner of page, other relevant links at bottom of page)
posted by Brandon Blatcher
on Feb 17, 2013 -
"Space is big
. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space. " -- Douglas Adams [more inside]
posted by SpacemanStix
on Dec 2, 2010 -
The Known Universe takes viewers from the Himalayas through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang. Every star, planet, and quasar seen in the film is possible because of the world's most complete four-dimensional map of the universe, the Digital Universe Atlas that is maintained and updated by astrophysicists at the American Museum of Natural History. The new film, created by the Museum, is part of an exhibition, Visions of the Cosmos: From the Milky Ocean to an Evolving Universe, at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan through May 2010.
posted by srboisvert
on Dec 19, 2009 -
One of the hardest things for people to understand about the universe is just how big it is
. There are three approaches typically used in describing its size. The first, the song, was pioneered by Monty Python
(NSFWish, wireframe of naked woman) and then done just as masterfully by the Animaniacs.
The second, the zoom method has been featured twice before
here on the blue. The third method is the comparison
method (skip to 1:30, unless you like looking at a image of the solar system with terrible distorted orbits), yielding some truly beautiful
videos (this one found via the fantastic Bad Astronomy
blog). These videos go, at most, as far as looking at the local cluster or the Virgo Supercluster. There are two videos that attempt to show the size of the entire universe, one unsuccessfully
(although with great music) and one successfully
. (Warning, all links except the first one, are to YT videos). [more inside]
posted by Hactar
on Jul 1, 2009 -
An Interactive Space Simulator
"Smash planets together, introduce rogue stars, and build new worlds from spinning discs of debris. Fire a moon into a planet or destroy everything you've created with a super massive black hole. You can simulate and interact with our solar system: the 8 planets,160+ moons, and hundereds of asteroids, the nearest 1000 stars to our Sun, and our local group of galaxies." [31Mb, Windows only, sorry, but see inside for similar Mac and Linux apps] [more inside]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken
on Jul 11, 2008 -
is a skill pretty much taken for granted now, but it wasn't
. Accurate maps were once prized state secrets, laborious efforts that cost a fortune and took years (or even decades) to complete.
How things have changed. (Yours now, $110
) It took almost 500 years to map North America, but it's only taken one tenth of that to map just everything else. In the last 50 years, we've been able to create acurate atlases of two planets
and one moon
(with a second
in the works). Actually, we've done a lot more than that
. We're actually running out of things to map.
posted by absalom
on Jan 27, 2005 -
Are there other universes?
It's mind-boggling to imagine how this might be so, but some scientists think it's possible. But if there's no way to detect something, does it really exist?
posted by Prawn
on Feb 12, 2002 -