This view of Earth at night is a cloud-free view from space as acquired by the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership Satellite (Suomi NPP). A joint program by NASA and NOAA, Suomi NPP captured this nighttime image by the satellite’s Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). The day-night band on VIIRS detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe signals such as city lights, gas flares, and wildfires. This new image is a composite of data acquired over nine days in April and thirteen days in October 2012. It took 312 satellite orbits and 2.5 terabytes of data to get a clear shot of every parcel of land surface.
Also, here’s the trailer for Zero Dark Hour, the new film from Hurt Locker director Katherine Bigelow about the events of SEAL Team Six and the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. Slightly underwhelming, but I’m still looking forward to it.
With two prior DUIs, David Wheaton led cops along highways around western and northern Houston, at one point reaching 92 mph, the official limit for the micro-vehicle. Eventually Wheaton drove all the way to his driveway, where police arrested him without fuss. via
NASA asked the public to vote on their favourite images from more than 120 images in the online ‘Earth as Art’ collection acquired by the Landsat programme over the last 40 years. The winner was this image, called Van Gogh from Space due to its similarity to Van Gogh’s painting Starry Night. In the satellite photo, acquired on 13 July 2005, massive congregations of greenish phytoplankton swirl in the dark water around Gotland, a Swedish island in the Baltic Sea.
Finally, along with this Phil Plait write up (bookmark him!) is this really cool video from NASA detailing the recent observations of a giant planet 63 light years from Earth orbiting only 4 million kilometers from its sun. So close is this, that its atmosphere is being boiled and blasted away, streaming a tail of gas ‘behind’ it.
Fuck do I love the crazy/cool things out there for us to keep discovering. Keep it up Universe.
Whilst the music is somewhat of a pretty over-dramatic Inception knock-off (which consequently detracts from the overall message), this video just released from NASA demonstrates the complex multitude of stages that their 890 kilograms Curiosity rover will have to go through in order to land on Mars surface in August. Even ignoring the at times jarring music, this shit looks to be one awesome (and nail-biting) feat of engineering.
The Jet Propulsion Lab have developed a 250mm diametre omni-directional anchor that utilises an array of claws to help grip onto the rocky surface of asteroids, comets and cliff faces of Mars. This unique arrangement of these multiple microspines allows a unit to work under a lot of force in almost any angle (even hanging upside down). Be sure to check it out.
So while this technology is totally fucking awesome and obviously designed for the purpose of space exploration, I can’t help but imagine what practical applications this can have in society once the technology is refined. Hell, I just love the idea it’s one step closer to making those Tachikoma tanks from Ghost in the Shell a reality… or any kind of spider-bot in that regard.
Dunno why, but there’s a recurring moon thing going on here at the mo… Well, actually, there usually is anyway, but besides that point, here’s another moment from Apollo 16′s mission that NASA doesn’t promote often…
NASA have recently released several photos from their archives, taken during the flights of Gemini, the often overlooked tech testing phase that took place between the Mercury and the Apollo space program.
One haunting image in particular is that of doomed astronaut Ed White wrapped in shadows and looking uncannily like Brad Pitt for some reason (looked nothing like him in general). Anyhow, the rest of the images can be found here.