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Posts Tagged ‘space’

Awe Arousing Appearance of Aurora

September 17, 2011 Leave a comment

I love aurorae. Possibly one of the most beautiful and spectacular natural phenomena to grace this planet.

Astronaut Ron Garan recently posted a fantastic photo of an aurora from Earth’s orbit on his Twitter feed:

One of the last pictures I took #FromSpace #Aurora - southern lights - dancing with #Orion 9/14/11 18:48 GMT

Makes me feel like a 9 year old kid again, wishing he could be an astronaut when he grows up.

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Last Shuttle Launch and A Comet Across the Sun’s Bow

July 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Some cool stuff happening in and around space these last couple days.

This video from the Solar Dynamics Observatory shows a comet streaking across the face of the Sun!!

And of course, the final shuttle launch EVER happened earlier today.

Screen grab of video from NASA website.

No More Tears in Heaven

May 25, 2011 Leave a comment
File:Astronaut-EVA.jpg

Photo: NASA/JPL

Drew Feustel, an astronaut currently in space with the crew of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, had a small problem with his spacewalk on Wednesday.

Some anti-fog solution he had rubbed onto his visor started to flake off during the spacewalk. Since the anti-fog solution is really just dish soap, it caused a problem because it flaked off into his eye.

If you have ever gotten soap in your eye, you know its terrible, terrible sting.

Aside: I used to put dish soap on my glasses when I played hockey so they wouldn’t fog up. I didn’t realize this was a “space-age” solution.

So poor Drew’s eyes started to water. But because of the lack of gravity, the tears would not fall down, they just sort of hung around on his eyeball.

“Tears in space don’t run down your face,” he said, according to lead spacewalk officer Allison Bollinger

“They actually kind of conglomerate around your eyeball,” Bollinger recounted.

Eventually, he was able to rub his eye on a device inside his helmet to release the fluid from the surface of his eye.

So disaster averted. This indeed sounds like one of the ultimate #firstworldproblems

Sweet Photo of Shuttle Launch Goes Viral

May 19, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve been out of the loop for a few days, and look at the cool stuff I miss!

Stefanie Gordon was on a plane heading from New York to Florida on Monday, May 16. She was fortunate enough to look out her window and see an amazing sight: the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour.

Space Shuttle Endeavor from Delta flight 2285 - Photo by Stefanie Gordon

The photo has since appeared in a plethora of news outlets, including MSNBC, Time, and CBS.

You can also see a short video of the launch by Stefanie on TwitVid. 

She has written about the experience and the ensuing media barrage of attention on her blog, ‘Not a Typical Girl’, which you should definitely check out. In short, the experience sounds quite overwhelming,

This whole viral situation has completely caught me off guard. I never thought anything of the magnitude my photo would have when I sent an innocent tweet moments after I landed in West Palm Beach. I am still in shock about it all.

Well congratulations to Stefanie for her internet notoriety. Hopefully it will lead to good things for her!

Keep those cell phone cameras handy, cause you never know…

Mars Rover ‘Opportunity’ Seen From Orbit

March 10, 2011 Leave a comment

I thought this was pretty cool.

The Mars Exploration Rover ‘Opportunity’ was captured in this image from the Mars Reconnasaince Orbiter while it was studying a crater.

The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter acquired this color image on March 9, 2011, of "Santa Maria" crater, showing NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity perched on the southeast rim. - Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Click for High-Resolution Version - Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Opportunity has been working on Mars since 2004, even though its initial mission length was only supposed to be 3 months.

Pretty damn impressive if you ask me.

What Does NASA Have to Say about the Meteorite “Bacteria”?

March 7, 2011 Leave a comment

If you’ve been following the drama around the Richard Hoover article in the Journal of Cosmology about fossilized alien bacteria in a meteorite, you may have been wondering what NASA thinks about all this.

I mean, Hoover works for NASA. They should have said something, right? Wouldn’t they want to get in on this publicity if they could?

Well the reaction has been less than positive. My review of the paper is that it is flimsy at best, and crap at worst.

But NASA did release a statement today about the paper. Via Spaceref:

“NASA is a scientific and technical agency committed to a culture of openness with the media and public. While we value the free exchange of ideas, data, and information as part of scientific and technical inquiry, NASA cannot stand behind or support a scientific claim unless it has been peer-reviewed or thoroughly examined by other qualified experts. This paper was submitted in 2007 to the International Journal of Astrobiology. However, the peer review process was not completed for that submission. NASA also was unaware of the recent submission of the paper to the Journal of Cosmology or of the paper’s subsequent publication. Additional questions should be directed to the author of the paper.” – Dr. Paul Hertz, chief scientist of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington

So they are basically saying that Hoover tried to publish this work a few years ago, and it didn’t make the cut. So NASA is distancing themselves from this claim as much as possible.

No one would be happier than me if evidence of alien life was discovered. But it hasn’t.