Just days after sharing the western evening sky with Venus in 2007, the Moon moved on to Saturn - actually passing in front of the ringed planet Saturn when viewed in skies over Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia. Because the Moon and bright planets wander through the sky near the ecliptic plane, such occultation events are not uncommon, but they are dramatic, especially in telescopic views. For example, in this sharp image Saturn is captured emerging from behind the Moon, giving the illusion that it lies just beyond the Moon’s bright edge. Of course, the Moon is a mere 400 thousand kilometers away, compared to Saturn’s distance of 1.4 billion kilometers. Taken with a digital camera and 20 inch diameter telescope at the Weikersheim Observatory in southern Germany, the picture is a single exposure adjusted to reduce the difference in brightness between Saturn and the cratered lunar surface.
Commander Chris Hadfield, a Canadian astronaut who has been living aboard the International Space Station since December, on Saturday tweeted another stunning photo of the Windy City from above.
I think I can see my house!
Chesley Bonestell (1888-1986) was a pioneer of astronomical and space art who helped popularize manned space travel. He is well known for his cover art for science fiction magazines, including Astounding Science Fiction (12 covers) and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (38 covers); and many books, such as The Conquest of Space; The Exploration of Mars; and Beyond the Solar System, that he illustrated in collaboration with several authors well known in the field of space exploration. Bonestell’s work also includes architectural paintings, scientific illustrations, and special effects matte paintings for films such as Destination Moon (1950), When Worlds Collide (1951) and War of the Worlds (1953).
ATTENTION folks, there is currently an astronaut posting to Tumblr from space. I repeat, there is a human being, that is currently in freakin’ SPACE, posting pictures (from said SPACE) to their Tumblr blog.
There are things, called words, that are failing me, about the other things, that I am feeling.
Expedition 35 Commander Chris Hadfield: You sir, are cooler than a polar bear’s toenails.
(He’s also on Twitter)
The following is the closing of a letter from International Space Station Commander Frank L. Culbertson, the only American not on Earth on September 11th, 2001, reflecting on the events of that morning. (the entire text can be found here)
Tears don’t flow the same in space…It’s difficult to describe how it feels to be the only American completely off the planet at a time such as this. The feeling that I should be there with all of you, dealing with this, helping in some way, is overwhelming. I know that we are on the threshold (or beyond) of a terrible shift in the history of the world. Many things will never be the same again after September 11, 2001. Not just for the thousands and thousands of people directly affected by these horrendous acts of terrorism, but probably for all of us. We will find ourselves feeling differently about dozens of things, including probably space exploration, unfortunately.
It’s horrible to see smoke pouring from wounds in your own country from such a fantastic vantage point. The dichotomy of being on a spacecraft dedicated to improving life on the earth and watching life being destroyed by such willful, terrible acts is jolting to the psyche, no matter who you are. And the knowledge that everything will be different than when we launched by the time we land is a little disconcerting. I have confidence in our country and in our leadership that we will do everything possible to better defend her and our families, and to bring justice for what has been done. I have confidence that the good people at NASA will do everything necessary to continue our mission safely and return us safely at the right time. And I miss all of you very much. I can’t be there with you in person, and we have a long way to go to complete our mission, but be certain that my heart is with you, and know you are in my prayers.
It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.
— Neil Armstrong
Rest In Peace
August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012
|Powered by web analytics software.|