Posts belonging to Category Space



Jupiter Over Ephesus

Here is a beautiful picture of Jupiter over the city of Ephesus.

Jupiter over Ephesus | Hadrianus Center

Astronomy Picture of the Day – July 18, 2008

Explanation:  Recorded late last month, this moving skyscape features Jupiter above the southeastern horizon and the marbled streets of the ancient port city of Ephesus, located in modern day Turkey. At the left is a temple dedicated to the Roman emperor Hadrian. The beautiful night sky also includes the arc of the northern summer Milky Way. Lights on the horizon are from the nearby town of Selçuk.

Endeavour Space Walk Pictures

Here are some great space walk pictures from the space shuttle Endeavour’s TST-118 mission in August 2007. (Click on the picture for a larger image.)

Space Shuttle Endeavour (Endeavor) | Mission TST-118 | August 2007

Space Shuttle Endeavour (Endeavor) | Mission TST-118 | August 2007

Can you imagine looking down on our planet from such a height? Just beautiful.

Click here for more International Space Station photos.
Click here for more Space related posts.

Solstice Moon Illusion

Do you want to see a giant moon? Step outside after sunset Wednesday night and look to the horizon on the east. You will see a huge moon rising into the sky.

Solstice Moon | Manchester, MD

The full Moon of June 18th is a “solstice moon”, coming only two days before the beginning of northern summer. This is significant because the sun and full Moon are like kids on a see-saw; when one is high, the other is low. This week’s high solstice sun gives us a low, horizon-hugging Moon and a strong Moon Illusion.

Sky watchers have known for thousands of years that low-hanging moons look unnaturally big. At first, astronomers thought the atmosphere must be magnifying the Moon near the horizon, but cameras showed that is not the case. Moons on film are the same size regardless of elevation … Apparently, only human beings see giant moons.

Are we crazy?

After all these years, scientists still aren’t sure. When you look at the Moon, rays of moonlight converge and form an image about 0.15 mm wide on the retina in the back of your eye. High moons and low moons make the same sized spot, yet the brain insists one is bigger than the other.

To learn more about the Solstice Moon Illusion, visit the Science & Nasa page.

Click links below for more Moon related posts:

Click here for more Space related posts.

Cassini Photos of Saturn

Here is a picture of Saturn backlit by the sun taken by the Cassini Spacecraft. Cassini is scheduled to complete its four-year prime mission on June 30th and will then enter its extended mission.

Saturn Backlit by the Sun | Cassini
                        (Click on the picture for larger version.)

Visit The Big Picture for eleven more stunning photographs of Saturn taken by the Cassini Spacecraft.

Powers of 10 Video

Here is a great video showing the relative sizes of things in the universe, first zooming out by powers of ten beyond the borders of our galaxy, and then zooming in by powers of ten right down to the quantum level. This short film was produced in the 1970’s by Charles and Ray Eames for IBM.

Video length: (9:02)

Related posts:

Anatomy of a Black Hole

Anatomy of a Black Hole

Check out this very neat and educational flash animation explaining the anatomy of a black hole. You can click through the presentation at your own pace. (HT: Presurfer)

Click here for more Space related posts.

The WorldWide Telescope

WorldWide Telescope Screen Shot

Look out Google Sky. Here comes The WorldWide Telescope. Here is the description from the WorldWide Telescope home page:

The WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a rich visualization environment that functions as a virtual telescope, bringing together imagery from the best ground and space telescopes in the world for a seamless, guided exploration of the universe.

WorldWide Telescope, created with Microsoft’s high-performance Visual Experience Engine™, enables seamless panning and zooming across the night sky blending terabytes of images, data, and stories from multiple sources over the Internet into a media-rich, immersive experience.

And here is the reaction from Dr. Roy Gould of the Harvard Center for Astrophysics:

“The WorldWide Telescope takes the best images from the greatest telescopes on Earth … and in space … and assembles them into a seamless, holistic view of the universe. This new resource will change the way we do astronomy … the way we teach astronomy … and, most importantly, I think it’s going to change the way we see ourselves in the universe.”

The WorldWide Telescope will be available free of charge to anyone with a computer in spring of 2008. Coming soon to a computer screen near you!

Related posts:

Lunar Eclipse over the Dome of the Rock

Lunar Eclipse over the Dome of the Rock Mosque in Jerusalem - February 21, 2008

“The Moon glows orange as it is seen above the Dome of the Rock Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City, during a total eclipse early Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008. The last total lunar eclipse until 2010 occurred Wednesday night, with cameo appearances by Saturn and the bright star Regulus on either side of the veiled full moon.” (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)

Click here for more photos of the lunar eclipse over at Yahoo Photos.

HT: BiblePlaces Blog

Click links below for more Moon related posts:

Click here for more Space related posts.

Relative Size and Distances of Planets in the Solar System

This is a follow-up to last month’s post: The Size of the Earth Compared to Other Objects in Space. The pictures in that post showed the relative sizes of the planets to each other (and the sun and beyond). But what about the actual distances in the solar system? Is there any way to visualize the vast amount of empty space between the planets and the sun? Here is a helpful illustration which reduces the sizes and distances involved by a factor of one billion (English and metric versions follow).

English measurement version:

One way to help visualize the relative sizes in the solar system is to imagine a model in which everything is reduced in size by a factor of a billion. Then the model Earth would be about 0.5 inches in diameter (the size of a grape). The Moon would be 11.8 inches (about a foot) from the Earth. The Sun would be 5 feet in diameter and 500 feet (about a city block) from the Earth. Jupiter would be 6 inches in diameter (the size of a large grapefruit) and 5 blocks away from the Sun. Saturn (the size of an orange) would be 10 blocks away; Uranus and Neptune (lemons) 20 and 30 blocks away. A human on this scale would be the size of an atom but the nearest star would be over 25,000 miles away.

Metric version:

One way to help visualize the relative sizes in the solar system is to imagine a model in which everything is reduced in size by a factor of a billion. Then the model Earth would be about 1.3 cm in diameter (the size of a grape). The Moon would be about 30 cm (about a foot) from the Earth. The Sun would be 1.5 meters in diameter (about the height of a man) and 150 meters (about a city block) from the Earth. Jupiter would be 15 cm in diameter (the size of a large grapefruit) and 5 blocks away from the Sun. Saturn (the size of an orange) would be 10 blocks away; Uranus and Neptune (lemons) 20 and 30 blocks away. A human on this scale would be the size of an atom but the nearest star would be over 40,000 km away.

Source: An Overview of the Solar System

Related posts:

Total Lunar Eclipse – February 20, 2008

Total Eclipse of the Moon - February 20, 2008

Don’t miss the total lunar eclipse tonight. The entire event will be visible from North and South America tonight (Feb 20) and from Western Europe, Africa, and western Asia early tomorrow morning (Feb 21). You can expect the moon to change dramatically in color during the eclipse, from bright orange to blood red to dark brown and perhaps a very dark gray.

A lunar eclipse takes place when the moon passes through a portion of the earth’s shadow. A total lunar eclipse takes place when the earth blocks all direct sunlight from reaching the moon. A lunar eclipse can only take place when the moon is full.

Here is the schedule for tonight’s eclipse (Eastern Standard Time):

    08:43 pm – Partial Eclipse Begins
    10:01 pm – Total Eclipse Begins
    10:26 pm – Mid-Eclipse
    10:51 pm – Total Eclipse Ends
    12:09 am – Partial Eclipse Ends

You can find more information on the eclipse plus a schedule for other time zones at the NASA Eclipse Home Page.

Full-Sized Lost in Space Robots For Sale

Lost in Space Robot Full Size Replicas

“Danger, danger, Will Robinson!” Oh, how I loved this show when I was a kid! It sparked my imagination and gave me a taste for science fiction, adventure, space and fantasy that I still enjoy today. We have all three seasons on DVD, and I enjoyed re-watching them with my boys when they were younger.

Of course, the Lost in Space Robot was one of the main attractions of the show, along with the adventurous Will and the villainous Dr. Smith. My boys still have a toy version of the Robot, but now B9Creations has announced the production and sale of Full Size, Limited Edition, Fully Licensed Replicas of the famous Lost in Space Robot.

They have really gone all out to make these as authentic-looking as possible. The parts are all based on the original molds. You can activate the Robot by remote control. Functions include turning the Robot’s torso left/right, directing the Robot’s voice to respond “Affirmative/Negative” and activating the Robot’s soil sampling sequence. The Robot also comes with over 500 voice tracks by Richard Tufeld, the voice of the original Robot. And here is a neat feature: it has a functional power pack. Pulling the Robot’s “power pack” will shut down the Robot with the “Aaghhhhhh…” sound, just as it did in the TV series.

However, with a price tag of $24,500 I won’t be buying one of these anytime soon. At least the price includes shipping!

HT: Instapundit

The Size of the Earth Compared to Other Objects in Space

Here are some great pictures showing the size of the earth in comparison to other objects in space. I shared these in church yesterday as part of a sermon on Psalm 8. You can click on the pictures to see a larger version.

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:3-4)

1. Earth compared to the smaller planets (Venus, Mars, Mercury and Pluto):

Earth compared to smaller planets (Venus, Mars, Mercury and Pluto)
 

2. Earth compared to the larger planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune):

Earth compared to larger planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune)
 

3. The larger planets compared to the Sun:

The larger planets compared to the Sun
 

4. Our Sun compared to Sirius, Pollux and Arcturus:

Our Sun compared to Sirius, Pollux and Arcturus
 

5. Sirius, Pollux and Arcturus compared to Rigel, Aldebaran, Antares
    and Betelgeuse:

Sirius, Pollux and Arcturus compared to Rigel, Aldebaran, Antares, and Betelgeuse
 

                     Recommended Books on Astronomy

                           
 
                           

Order the all New Kindle Fire here!

Amazon Kindle Fire
Privacy

Related posts:

____________________________________________________________

Did you find this post helpful? Click to subscribe by email or feed reader so that you don’t miss any future posts.