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“If I could come up with another absurd detail, I would”

Civilians in Abandoned McDonald’s Seize Control of Wandering Space Satellite (with NASA's silent blessing)
posted by Itaxpica on Aug 10, 2014 - 46 comments

Uncontrolled Orbital Lizard Sex Satellite

On July 18th, Russian researchers launched a Foton-M satellite in hopes of study how reptiles reproduce in a zero-g environment. They lost the ability to send commands to the biosatellite later that same day.
posted by quin on Jul 25, 2014 - 80 comments

Spy satellite images reveal Middle Eastern archaelogical sites

The Corona Atlas of the Middle East uses spy satellite imagery to reveal as many as 10,000 previously unknown archaeological sites.
posted by MoonOrb on May 3, 2014 - 8 comments

Space: The Final Demoscene

Revision Demoparty was held this past Easter weekend. It's considered to be a rebirth and spirital heir of the Breakpoint Demoparty, and, arguably the flagship "Demoscene" event of the year. A lot of groups and individuals bring their A game to show off the most inspiring, technically-intense and memorable demos to the world. Every year has highlights and it's a big deal when a brand new platform gets a demo, but this year, the wildest demo went in an entirely unexpected direction: space. [more inside]
posted by jscott on Apr 21, 2014 - 7 comments

Look! Up in the Sky! It's a dot! It's a speck! It's the ISS!

When can I spot the Space Station? The International Space Station can easily be spotted with the naked eye. Because of its size (110m x 100m x 30m) it reflects very much sunlight. This simple tool will tell you all of the opportunities you can view the ISS over the next ten days, along with a brightness index and a map tracing its transit across your local sky. The red line shows where the ISS is sunlit and visible. On the blue line the ISS is in the Earth's shadow and invisible or it is less than 10° above the horizon. [more inside]
posted by not_on_display on Feb 16, 2014 - 29 comments

Our year in weather, 2013 edition.

A one-year timelapse of global weather, described. [more inside]
posted by pjern on Jan 30, 2014 - 13 comments

Dark side of the Moon

Watch from Space as the Moon Orbits Around the Earth [more inside]
posted by bluefly on Dec 11, 2013 - 27 comments

That's no moon...

The 14th moon of the planet Neptune has been confirmed. New Scientist: "...its existence is an enigma. The object, known for now as S/2004 N1, is the first Neptunian moon to be found in a decade. Its diminutive size raises questions as to how it survived the chaos thought to have created the giant planet's other moons." [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Jul 15, 2013 - 12 comments

Russian rocket explodes in Kazakhstan

Russian rocket explodes after launch in Kazakhstan.    More photos and video (Russian). [more inside]
posted by stopgap on Jul 2, 2013 - 46 comments

The Long Swath

The Long Swath is a satellite image by NASA's Landsat Data Continuity Mission that captures, in a single continuous image, a strip of land 120 by 6,000 miles stretching from South Africa to Russia. The image can be explored in Gigapan, Google Earth, and fly-over videos and high resolution images.
posted by carter on May 19, 2013 - 7 comments

Landsat Annual Timelapse 1984-2012

Explore different views into this global timelapse built from global, annual composites of Landsat satellite images. Watch change across the planet's surface beginning as early as 1984. See Vegas grow! Rainforests Shrink! Coastlines expand, and lakes vanish!
posted by The Whelk on May 10, 2013 - 22 comments

Everybody was dressed in his or her best clothes.

in February, 1996, a rocket launch at Xichang failed. Smithsonian Air & Space publishes first-hand account. Xichang Satellite Launch Center at Wikipedia. Previously (comprehensive, highly reccommended).
posted by mwhybark on Jan 24, 2013 - 8 comments

Looking forward to hearing "The Song of General Kim Jong-Il"

Almost Everything You’ve Heard About the North Korean Space Launch Is Wrong
posted by Simon Barclay on Dec 21, 2012 - 41 comments

Pics or we didn't happen

The Last Pictures. In Billions of Years, Aliens Will Find These Photos in a Dead Satellite. Interview with artist Trevor Paglen (previously).
posted by homunculus on Oct 30, 2012 - 33 comments

Self-described as Classical MTV

Flipping through public access or PBS channels one might have seen Classic Arts Showcase with it's familiar ARTS bug. The 24-hour non-commercial free-to-air satellite channel broadcasts a repeated 8-hour mix of about 150 video clips weekly a mix of various classic arts including animation, architectural art, ballet, chamber, choral music, dance, folk art, museum art, musical theater, opera, orchestral, recital, solo instrumental, solo vocal, and theatrical play, as well as classic film and archival documentaries. The channel has no VJs and only silent interstitials encouraging the viewer to “...go out and feast from the buffet of arts available in your community.” [more inside]
posted by wcfields on Oct 16, 2012 - 7 comments

.... .. -.. . -. .. .-- .- -.- .- (HI DE NIWAKA)

.... .. -.. . -. .. .-- .- -.- .- (HI DE NIWAKA) If you see something flashing in the sky and it flashes with that morse sequence, it's not an UFO. It's the small (10cm cube) cubesat FITSAT-1 greeting us from the space with powerful LED morse flashes.
posted by elpapacito on Oct 5, 2012 - 11 comments

A long way from home

35 years ago today, Voyager 1 transmitted three images which NASA processed into a single frame of Earth and its moon. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Sep 18, 2012 - 49 comments

What the fuck has NASA done to make your life awesome?

What the fuck has NASA done to make your life awesome?
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 14, 2012 - 71 comments

Christmas in June

The United States Department of Defense has generously "decided to give NASA two telescopes as big as, and even more powerful than, the Hubble Space Telescope." They apparently had some antiquated spy satellite hardware sitting around unused and unwanted. NASA still needs to find money to outfit them with recording instruments and pay a team to manage them, which may take 8 years
posted by crayz on Jun 4, 2012 - 69 comments

Earth From Above / Pale Blue Dot

Earth in perspective:
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Mar 17, 2012 - 10 comments

Satellite views of the world's largest slums

Satellite views of the world's largest slums
posted by Trurl on Feb 23, 2012 - 48 comments

Goddamn that's beautiful

The Blue Marble is a famous photograph of Earth, taken by the crew of Apollo 17 on December 7th 1972, as they traveled to the moon. On January 23th, 2012, the Suomi NPP satellite snapped a similar, high definition photo, called Blue Marble 2012. By sure to check out the other side of the Marble, how the photos were taken and a PDF that describes the NPP project.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Feb 3, 2012 - 22 comments

Look Out Below

Google Earth is a program where you can look at the Earth through aerial photos. At Google Earth Cool Places (GECplaces) you can find and share weird, cool, and beautiful places. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Dec 6, 2011 - 5 comments

V.I.L.E. henchmen are still nowhere to be seen

MeFi's own Alan Taylor brings us another crop of stunning aerial imagery from Google Earth, inviting you to guess what you're looking at. Now with multiple choice! (previously)
posted by theodolite on Nov 29, 2011 - 47 comments

Architecture of Fear

Trevor Paglen (aka Agent Plorver) has work featured in Belgium's z33 House for Contemporary Art's current exhibit, Architecture of Fear. Paglen's work includes tracking and photographing 189 classified American satellites in orbit around Earth as well as locating and photographing US-run 'black sites' in Afghanistan. We Make Money Not Art (previously w/r/t Architecture of Fear) sits down with Paglen over Skype for an interview.
posted by shakespeherian on Nov 21, 2011 - 5 comments

What Are These Mysterious Lines In China's Desert?

Some Google Earth enthusiasts have found a strange and unexplainable grid pattern in the middle of China's Gobi Desert.
posted by reenum on Nov 14, 2011 - 70 comments

GPS Artwork in Southeast Baltimore

GPX riding is a general term for using a GPS device to track and record location while riding a bicycle [previously on MetaFilter]. Combining this technology with a planned effort to create art is the premise behind Wallygpx. Think of the images as being akin to a giant etch-a-sketch.
posted by netbros on Nov 9, 2011 - 8 comments

Watch Your Head!

Some time late tonight or early tomorrow morning, NASA's UARS (a satellite deployed in 1991 to study the ozone layer) will fall to the Earth. The odds of it hitting you are about 1 in 20 trillion, but the odds of it hitting somebody somewhere is about 1 in 3,200. The Planetary Society Blog has a nice writeup as well. Follow along yourself with NASA or the Center for Orbital Reentry Debris Studies. [more inside]
posted by kmz on Sep 23, 2011 - 74 comments

Full screen weather map

Want to view weather fullscreen? Check out Weather Underground's Full Screen Weather Map. found via /r/boston [more inside]
posted by Cat Pie Hurts on Aug 27, 2011 - 20 comments

Observing Earth

We tend to think of blogs that showcase large images as a phenomenon of the past few years. But NASA's Earth Observatory has been posting its Image of the Day since April 1999 (when its first "large" image available for download was a 214 KB jpeg of the North Pole). Now, Image of the Day has downloads of images in multiple formats, most of which measure in megabytes, not kilobytes, and these stunning images of the earth's surface give context to the human activity down below: a toxic spill in Hungary, wildfires in Mexico, the growth of a coal mine in West Virginia, agriculture in Brazil, snowmelt flooding in Fargo, North Dakota, last year's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, artificial islands in Dubai, the aftermath of Japan's recent tsunami.
posted by ocherdraco on Apr 16, 2011 - 4 comments

America is dense and Europeans lack gravity

The GOCE satellite has completed its survey of the Earth's gravitational field. This visualisation of different gravitational potentials (the geoid) will help us understand earthquakes and the flow of ocean currents by comparing the actual height of the surface with the one predicted by the geoid. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Mar 31, 2011 - 11 comments

Declassifying The Big Bird

Via Secrecy News:
Millions of feet of film of historical imagery from intelligence satellites may be declassified this year, the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) said. "The NGA is anticipating the potential declassification of significant amounts of film-based imagery... in 2011," according to an NGA announcement that solicited contractor interest in converting the declassified film into digital format. It was published in Federal Business Opportunities on February 14, 2011. A copy is posted here (pdf).
[more inside]
posted by HLD on Feb 28, 2011 - 13 comments

Ouch!

Indian satellite rocket explodes after launch.
posted by Taft on Dec 25, 2010 - 50 comments

Happy 40th anniversary, mankind.

Moon Landing Tapes Found! [more inside]
posted by sexyrobot on Jul 2, 2009 - 93 comments

Google Earth Typography

The alphabet in satellite imagery of Slavonia. [via]
posted by parudox on Jun 29, 2009 - 7 comments

Hacking the Sky

Hacking the Sky: Robert Simpson writes astronomy tools for use with Google Earth, Google Sky, and Twitter.
posted by Upton O'Good on Mar 4, 2009 - 5 comments

Is LEO too Crowded?

"They ran into each other. Nothing has the right of way up there. We don't have an air traffic controller in space. There is no universal way of knowing what's coming in your direction." An unprecedented collision of two orbiting satellites yesterday highlights the increasing threat of space junk.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Feb 11, 2009 - 51 comments

Inauguration from Space!

The GeoEye-1 (aka "The Google Satellite") took pictures of the inauguration from 423 miles up. The crowds of over a million around the Capitol and spilling up the Mall and around the city are a sight, even from space. GeoEye also offers a gallery of other impressive high-resolution satellite shots, including themed sections ranging from world universities (featuring great shots of the Head of the Charles Regatta) to natural disasters.
posted by blahblahblah on Jan 20, 2009 - 41 comments

The Earth Observatory

Earth, observed. Standout photographs from NASA's Earth Observatory website.
posted by homunculus on Jan 14, 2009 - 11 comments

How To Find Yourself In One Easy Step

Approximately two years ago, James Kim died after he and his family were stranded, snowbound, in their car on the Oregon coast (Previously, previously, and (selflink) previously). But what if he'd had a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)? [more inside]
posted by scrump on Oct 30, 2008 - 36 comments

Baghdad Nights

Baghdad nights: evaluating the US military ‘surge’ using nighttime light signatures (PDF). A team of UCLA geographers using satellite imagery to track the amount of light emitted in Baghdad at night found that electricity use in Sunni neighborhoods fell prior to the surge and never returned, indicating that ethnic cleansing by Shiite militias drove the Sunnis away before the surge began and was largely responsible for the subsequent decrease in violence. [Via Passport]
posted by homunculus on Sep 23, 2008 - 33 comments

Weather World 2010

The Weather World 2010 project at UIUC began as a comprehensive meteorology tutorial designed for a high school/undergraduate level. It has since expanded to include guides to remote sensing and reading weather maps. (Some highlights include optical effects, severe storms, and the basics of weather forecasting.) For folks in the US, it also has current surface and satellite imagery for a number of different atmospheric properties.
posted by Upton O'Good on Jul 13, 2008 - 6 comments

Mother Nature is an abstract artist

30 Incredible Abstract Satellite Images of Earth "From 400 miles away, the earth transforms into abstract art. The global landscape is impressionist, cubist and pointillist." Nice NASA images from 2000, downloadable as wallpaper.
posted by CunningLinguist on Jul 9, 2008 - 16 comments

Geospatial Technologies and Human Rights

Satellites Document War, Destruction From Outer Space. The AAAS's Geospatial Technologies and Human Rights Project uses high-resolution satellite photography to detect and call attention to human rights violations.
posted by homunculus on Jun 15, 2008 - 13 comments

TV Pirate Tells All

Christopher Tarnovsky, smartcard programmer, gives a fascinating insider account of his years in the cloak-and-dagger world of satellite TV piracy. Tarnovsky began as a satellite pirate himself before being hired by a DirecTV contractor to develop anti-piracy electronic countermeasures; he was allegedly responsible for the "Black Sunday" attack on DirecTV pirates. [more inside]
posted by whir on May 31, 2008 - 13 comments

World Where's Waldo

NPR article on World Where's Waldo Link to the website A Canadian woman made a giant waldo and put it on top of her house and is waiting for the google earth satellites to pick him up.
posted by majikstreet on Apr 16, 2008 - 14 comments

Neither technology nor magic was sufficiently advanced.

Arthur C. Clarke, author of 2001, inventor of the telecommunications satellite and the only reason most geeks can find Sri Lanka on a map, has died shortly after celebrating his 90th birthday.
posted by Skorgu on Mar 18, 2008 - 292 comments

I Am The Eye In The Sky

Discoveries made using satellite imagery, particularly via Google Earth, have made headlines in the blue and green before. Increasingly high-resolution photos, combined with obsessive interest, have lead inevitably to the next step: interpretation and analysis of spots on the Earth's surface for which information is restricted, censored, or classified, such as the preparedness of military defenses in North Korea and Iran, or the viability of Saudi Arabia's next big oil play. Of course, not all mapping is benevolent.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Mar 13, 2008 - 9 comments

Video of USA193 satellite being shot down

A video has been posted showing the shooting down of satellite USA193 high over the Pacific! [more inside]
posted by 6am on Feb 21, 2008 - 54 comments

Travelling by mouseclick

The most interesting spots on Google maps.
posted by desjardins on Dec 14, 2007 - 33 comments

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