The Solar System Simulator
to simulate - as realistically as possible - what one would actually see from any point in the Solar System. The software looks up the positions of the Sun, planets and satellites from ephemeris files developed here at JPL, as well as star positions and colors from a variety of stellar databasees, and uses special-purpose renderers to draw a color scene. Texture maps for each of the planets and physical models for planetary rings have been derived (in most cases) from scientific data collected by various JPL spacecraft.' Far too complicated for me to even begin to understand, still I've always wondered what Saturn looks like
posted by RobertLoch
on Mar 27, 2002 -
Space, Here We Come!
The Chinese make significant progress in their quest for the stars. A good bit of background from Wired
explains that they're leveraging off of Russian tech but China still considered the program their #1 sci-tech advance last year
. As an aside, some nice spy pictures
are available of the Jiuquan Space Facility although I imagine it's been a developed a bit since then.
So, will getting a man into space signficantly change the world's opinion of China as it slowly evolves in a major world player? For Americans, will it be 1957
all over again
except the little beep beep
is replaced by a Chinese man waving back at them?
posted by warhol
on Mar 26, 2002 -
US Airways announces that for just 10 million frequent flyer miles, you can get a free trip to space! "There's just one catch: The rocket and the launch pad don't exist. So don't ask for time off quite yet."
posted by stew560
on Mar 13, 2002 -
Puzzling X-rays from Jupiter
"We weren't surprised to find x-rays coming from Jupiter." Other observatories had done that years ago. The surprise is what Chandra has revealed for the very first time: the location of the beacon -- surprisingly close the planet's pole -- and the regular way it pulses. (Via Fark.)
posted by Mwongozi
on Mar 7, 2002 -
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 -
and other space-based mindcontrol weapons would be banned under a bill introduced in the US House of Representatives by Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) last October. If it passes, can I take off my tinfoil helmet
posted by MrBaliHai
on Jan 14, 2002 -
is NASA's nifty new site where they'll be posting info on new planetary discoveries. It's a long shot, but hopefully this will lead to broader based public support for the space program.
posted by Optamystic
on Jan 9, 2002 -
An asteroid large enough to wipe out a country that was discovered a month ago will pass less than twice the Moon's distance from the earth. Meanwhile the British have selected a site for their near Earth object information centre
. Hopefully they will have a direct line to Bruce Willis, just in case.
posted by homunculus
on Jan 6, 2002 -
Secrets of the Cold War in Space.
Deep Cold is an website with detailed renderings, quicktime movies and information about the ideas and concepts being developed for both U.S. and Soviet presences in space during the cold war.
posted by moz
on Dec 7, 2001 -
The romance versus the reality of man in space.
According to this article, unless NASA gets an innoculation of a whole bunch of money, we are likely to be limited to maintaining no more than three longterm residents of the space station we are committed to building. How does this bode for our Star Trek vision?
posted by MAYORBOB
on Dec 5, 2001 -
has an interesting way of keeping their costs low. They do it "through mass production, and by putting the extensive assembly instructions and fact sheets ... online, rather than mailing them to you."
I think that's a great idea. That way if they want to revise some part of the instructions, or add schematics or notes or ideas from people who might have experienced problems, they can allow all
customers to see the new instructions without having to send recall notices or try to track exactly who owns their product. This gives a company the ability to hyperlink instructions with tons of additional information, as well as definitions and photographs. I really think all toy manufacturers should do this. It would also be great for furniture makers - Sauder and those places that make built-it-yourself desks and bookcases, etc. That way you could order that missing bolt or screw or broken piece of shelving directly from the manufacturer ...
posted by GatorDavid
on Dec 4, 2001 -
Chinese planning on going to the moon.
I know some would like to see the US return the moon. Some think it was all staged in a big hoax, but could a joint US/Chinese mission be possible by say 2010? What companies in China are working to make this possible? Would having Russia next door make the program any better? Personally, I'm glad to see someone will be returning to the moon.
posted by brent
on Nov 23, 2001 -
Leonid Meteor Shower
- Hot or Not? Was it a once-in-a-lifetime event, as was billed, or did you just find yourself standing out in the cold and looking straight up? I'm on my way outside right now to shiver & stare.
posted by kokogiak
on Nov 18, 2001 -
With the Mars Odyssey
about to finalize gravitational orbit tomorrow, you too can observe the surface of Mars via a simulcast
or through the NASA
website on October 30th. NASA is still searching for irrefutable evidence
that Mars could have supported an ecosystem
or more importantly life. Interesting.
posted by Benway
on Oct 23, 2001 -
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"
posted by crasspastor
on Sep 11, 2001 -
Just FYI, it's entirely possible for a human to survive exposure to the vacuum of space
for a limited time without any permanent damage -- as long as you expel all the breath from your lungs to avoid an embolism. Horrifying scenes of sudden explosive decompression or immediate freezing are, as far as I can tell, a myth. (In other words, Mission to Mars
got it wrong, 2001
got it mostly right. But that's no surprise now, is it?)
Link via BadAstronomy. Love that site.
posted by brownpau
on Aug 23, 2001 -
Germs from Jupiter? Viruses from Venus?
Nope, just live
space-borne bacteria discovered floating around Earth. "Although the bugs from space are similar to bacteria on Earth, the scientists said the living cells found in samples of air from the edge of the planet's atmosphere are too far away to have come from Earth." (via waldo.net)
posted by carobe
on Aug 2, 2001 -
Did the Viking landers find life on Mars 25 years ago?
Some scientists think so. I have too much faith in planetary scientists and
the newly minted field of exobiology, to believe this is a just a ploy to
rekindle waning public interest in space exploration. I think this is
genuine 20/20 hindsight coupled with better scientific understandings of life
existing in the extreme hinterlands of possibility. . .
posted by crasspastor
on Jul 30, 2001 -
My house's windows just rattled from a sonic boom, so that means the space shuttle's home again
. I kind of forget about these things until a little visceral something like that brings you back in touch. Int'l Space Station that much closer to completion. Living in the future is cooooool.
posted by logovisual
on Jul 24, 2001 -
: A hotel and resort destination on the Moon. Check out the Interior Design
. You will be able to skydive inside the tower!!
Do you think civilian flights to space will start by 2010 ? I sure hope so. I can't wait to see this planet from the outside with my own eyes.
posted by sikander
on Jul 12, 2001 -
"My body has learned that it can fly."
Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller fame) describes his experience in zero G, riding the "vomit comet" - a bare-bones 747 that goes up really fast and then comes down really fast, leaving you weightless for about 30 seconds. His letter is at time hilarious, at times pretty gross (they don't call it the vomit comet for nothing), but most of all, I found it kind of... well, inspiring. Now, more than ever, I want to go into space and experience zero G. (via memepool
posted by RylandDotNet
on Jun 22, 2001 -