Space and science and stuff.

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intrepid: Earthrise, photographed from Apollo 12, November 1969.

5 Hasselblad photographs, taken from lunar orbit, between 18th and 21st November.

Image credit: NASA/JSC, c/o LPI. Animation: AgeOfDestruction.


Nice graphic from the American Chemical Society’s Reactions page to mark the 45th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing.

Cave with Aurora Skylight 
Image Credit & Copyright: Ingólfur Bjargmundsson

Explanation: Yes, but have you ever seen aurora from a cave? To capture this fascinating juxtaposition between below and above, astrophotographer Bjargmundsson spent much of a night alone in the kilometer-longRaufarhólshellir lava cave in Iceland during late March. There, he took separate images of three parts of the cave using a strobe for illumination. He also took a deep image of the sky to capture faint aurora, and digitally combined the four images later. The 4600-year old lava tube has several skylights under which stone rubble and snow have accumulated. Oh — the person standing on each mound — it’s the artist.

Source: APOD


Such an Angry, Red Scarp


45 Years Ago Today: First Humans Land on the Moon

Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that landed the first humans on the Moon, Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC. Armstrong became the first to step onto the lunar surface six hours later on July 21 at 02:56 UTC. Armstrong spent about two and a half hours outside the spacecraft, Aldrin slightly less, and together they collected 47.5 pounds (21.5 kg) of lunar material for return to Earth. A third member of the mission, Michael Collins, piloted the command spacecraft alone in lunar orbit until Armstrong and Aldrin returned to it just under a day later for the trip back to Earth.

Launched by a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Florida, on July 16, Apollo 11 was the fifth manned mission of NASA’s Apollo program. The Apollo spacecraft had three parts: a Command Module (CM) with a cabin for the three astronauts, and the only part that landed back on Earth; a Service Module (SM), which supported the Command Module with propulsion, electrical power, oxygen, and water; and a Lunar Module (LM) for landing on the Moon. After being sent toward the Moon by the Saturn V’s upper stage, the astronauts separated the spacecraft from it and traveled for three days until they entered into lunar orbit. Armstrong and Aldrin then moved into the Lunar Module and landed in the Sea of Tranquility. They stayed a total of about 21½ hours on the lunar surface. After lifting off in the upper part of the Lunar Module and rejoining Collins in the Command Module, they returned to Earth and landed in the Pacific Ocean on July 24.

Broadcast on live TV to a world-wide audience, Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface and described the event as “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” 



Fundamental Studies in Droplet Combustion and FLame EXtinguishment in Microgravity (FLEX-2)

The Flame Extinguishment - 2 (FLEX-2) experiment is the second experiment to fly on the ISS which uses small droplets of fuel to study the special spherical characteristics of burning fuel droplets in space. The FLEX-2 experiment studies how quickly fuel burns, the conditions required for soot to form, and how mixtures of fuels evaporate before burning. Understanding how fuels burn in microgravity could improve the efficiency of fuel mixtures used for interplanetary missions by reducing cost and weight. It could also lead to improved safety measures for manned spacecraft.

  • More information: here

Credit: Reid Wiseman/NASA


claudette: Surface of Mars, photographed by Mars Express, 10 April 2008.

On the Vastitas Borealis. Believe this image runs about 660 km from 79°N 55°E to 68°N 62°E.

Composite of 3 visible light images for colour and one monochrome for detail. Colour balance is not naturalistic.

Image credit: ESA. Composite: AgeOfDestruction.


I think we can all relate!

I’ve actually never been disappointed by observations. Sure I’ve seen loads of gorgeous photos and all, and it would be cool to see that stuff and all. But I remember when a few months back I saw the Orion Nebula for the first time it was just this blurry bluish thing and it was still pretty damn awesome. I mean I was just looking at a nebula. It was there. I was directly looking at it through a telescope. It wasn’t just a picture anymore. How AWESOME is that? So sure, don’t expect to see the same stuff you’ll see in heavily processed photos, but don’t doubt for an instant that the reality will still be really freaking cool.


A NASA probe recently spotted the dazzling Pan-STARRS comet as it hurtled through space against the backdrop of a distant galaxy. Learn more!



The world’s highest resolution visualization system, created by NASA

Moffatt Field, Mountain View, California, USA | by Alex Stoll

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