Tag: solar system

HEADLINE: Martians Build Two Immense Canals on Mars in Two Years!

From the The New York Times, August 27, 1911.


Read the full story here. Via Futility Closet.

Feeling full of yourself right now? Watch this and you’ll be sorted. #wearepuny #NASA


“When NASA’s Juno spacecraft flew past Earth on Oct. 9, 2013, it received a boost in speed of more than 8,800 mph (about 7.3 kilometer per second), which set it on course for a July 4, 2016, rendezvous with Jupiter.

One of Juno’s sensors, a special kind of camera optimized to track faint stars, also had a unique view of the Earth-moon system. The result was an intriguing, low-resolution glimpse of what our world would look like to a visitor from afar.

The cameras that took the images for the movie are located near the pointed tip of one of the spacecraft’s three solar-array arms. They are part of Juno’s Magnetic Field Investigation (MAG) and are normally used to determine the orientation of the magnetic sensors. These cameras look away from the sunlit side of the solar array, so as the spacecraft approached, the system’s four cameras pointed toward Earth. Earth and the moon came into view when Juno was about 600,000 miles (966,000 kilometers) away — about three times the Earth-moon separation.

During the flyby, timing was everything. Juno was traveling about twice as fast as a typical satellite, and the spacecraft itself was spinning at 2 rpm. To assemble a movie that wouldn’t make viewers dizzy, the star tracker had to capture a frame each time the camera was facing Earth at exactly the right instant. The frames were sent to Earth, where they were processed into video format. “

Video and text via NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Looks quite pleasant, no? Mars: 4 billion years ago.

By NASA Goddard, via @christina_ochoa

Saturn is awesome. That is all.



Data from Cassini. Image processing by Gordan Ugarkovic. Via Bad Astronomy.

This solar corona, a la solar eclipse, is truly amazing!

(O.K. This designates my previous instagram post to the “I’m not worthy” category!)





By Miloslav Druckmüller, via Colossal

Quick! Assign the letters JHMLCNVTURISEYAPO to the integers -8 to 8 and tell me what you get…

… a piece of brilliant recreational math from Lee Sallows.


S + U + N = 3 + 0 – 3 = 0
M + E + R + C + U + R + Y = -6 + 4 + 1 – 4 + 0 + 1 + 5 = 1
V + E + N + U + S = -2 + 4 – 3 + 0 + 3 = 2
E + A + R + T + H = 4 + 6 + 1 – 1 – 7 = 3
M + A + R + S = - 6 + 6 + 1 + 3 = 4
J + U + P + I + T + E + R = -8 + 0 + 7 + 2 – 1 + 4 + 1 = 5
S + A + T + U + R + N = 3 + 6 – 1 + 0 + 1 – 3 = 6
U + R + A + N + U + S = 0 + 1 + 6 – 3 + 0 + 3 = 7
N + E + P + T + U + N + E = -3 + 4 + 7 – 1 + 0 – 3 + 4 = 8
P + L + U + T + O = 7 – 5 + 0 – 1 + 8 = 9
E + R + I + S* = 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 = 10

Via Futility Closet

What if the moon was one of the other planets in the solar system? What would it look like?

Pretty freaking cool actually…


The moon















By Ron Miller, via My Modern Met.

A vintage look at life in our solar system

Awesome… and from 1939 by  Frank R. Paul,










Via Visual News

Asteroids are nature’s way of asking: How’s that space program coming along?

Phew! That was close…



Top graphic source unknown (but via Fresh Photons). Bottom graphic via NASA (great link explaining the recent flyby).

The sun is gorgeous? Yes, it is: especially when viewed under different wavelengths. #wow via @kejames



“Yellow-green light of 5500 Angstroms, for example, generally emanates from material of about 10,000 degrees F (5700 degrees C), which represents the surface of the sun. Extreme ultraviolet light of 94 Angstroms, on the other hand, comes from atoms that are about 11 million degrees F (6,300,000 degrees C) and is a good wavelength for looking at solar flares, which can reach such high temperatures. By examining pictures of the sun in a variety of wavelengths – as is done through such telescopes as NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) and the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) — scientists can track how particles and heat move through the sun’s atmosphere.”

Images and text from NASA, via @kejames.

Absolutely mesmerizing stop motion animation on the speed of the Earth’s rotation

SLOW DEREK from danojari on Vimeo.

Via Drawn.ca

The sun: it’s pretty and vaguely reminds me of SEM pictures of cellular things

Am I right?



By Alan Friedman, via Colossal

This counts as one of the most riveting videos I’ve ever seen #curiosity #watchitnow via @BenLillie

I bet those 7 minutes must have been terrifying. Oh, and science FTW!!!

Via @BenLillie

This is freaking brilliant. Jupiter Red Spot Embroidery.


By pardalote, via Thinx

Interesting facts about Uranus. #funny


Artist unknown. Via IFLS.

One of the earliest Mars images was a digitally reconstructed paint-by-numbers.


“A “real-time data translator” machine converted a Mariner 4 digital image data into numbers printed on strips of paper. Too anxious to wait for the official processed image, employees from the Telecommunications Section at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, attached these strips side by side to a display panel and hand colored the numbers like a paint-by-numbers picture. The completed image was framed and presented to JPL director, William H. Pickering. Mariner 4 was launched on November 28, 1964 and journeyed for 228 days to the Red Planet, providing the first close-range images of Mars.”


Close up (Dan Goods)


Color Key (Spencer Mishlen)


Side by side comparison of drawn image and actaul image (JPL/Caltech)

Text and images from NASA/JPL/Dan Goods, via Wired.

Vintage National Geographic Images


Charles Bittinger, Eclipse of the Sun by the Earth, 1930s


Vittorio Sella, A Cascade of Weathered Ice Spills From the 14 Square Mile Glacier, Karagour Glacier, Caucasus Mountains, Russia, 1910s


Pierre Mion, Habitat in Space, 1970s


On display at the Steven Kasher Gallery until February 16th, 2013

Beyond Earth: A Poster Series #beautiful









Unfortunately, it looks like they are now only available as screen wallpapers. By Stephen Di Donato.

Sun Power – lovely illustrations by Don Madden






By Don Madden, via myvintagebookcollectioninblogform.blogspot.ca, via Stacy Thinx.

Sciencegeek Advent Calendar Extravaganza! – Day 10


You can watch the movie in its entirety at Youtube.


Here is the plot as described on Wikipedia. Note that there is no mention of Curiosity or of NASA generally. Presumably, the sequel will rectify this…

“The story involves the people of Mars, including Momar (“Mom Martian”) and Kimar (“King Martian”). They’re worried that their children Girmar (“Girl Martian”) and Bomar (“Boy Martian”) are watching too much Earth television, most notably station KID-TV’s interview with Santa Claus in his workshop at the North Pole. Consulting the ancient 800-year-old Martian sage Chochem (a Yiddish word meaning “genius”), they are advised that the children of Mars are growing distracted due to the society’s overly rigid structure; from infancy, all their education is fed into their brains through machines and they are not allowed individuality or freedom of thought.

Chochem notes that he had seen this coming “for centuries”, and says the only way to help the children is to allow them their freedom and be allowed to have fun. To do this, they need a Santa Claus figure, like on Earth. Leaving the Chochem’s cave, the Martian leaders decide to abduct Santa Claus from Earth and bring him to Mars. As the Martians could not distinguish between all the fakes Santas, they kidnapped two children to find the real one. Once this is accomplished, one Martian, Voldar, who strongly disagrees with the idea, repeatedly tries to kill Santa Claus along with two kidnapped Earth children. He believes that Santa is corrupting the children of Mars and turning them away from the race’s original glory.

When they arrive on Mars, Santa and the children build a factory to make toys for the children. However, Voldar and his assistants, Stobo and Shim, sabotage the factory and change the programming so that it makes the toys incorrectly. Meanwhile, Dropo, Kimar’s assistant, has taken a great liking to Santa Claus and Christmas, puts on one of Santa’s spare suits and starts acting like Santa Claus. He goes to the toy factory to make toys, but Voldar mistakes him for Santa and kidnaps him.

When Santa and the children come back to the factory to make more toys, they discover the machines have been tampered with. Voldar and Stobo come back to the factory to make a deal with Kimar, but when they see the real Santa Claus they realize that their plan has been foiled. Dropo, held hostage in a cave, tricks his guard Shim and escapes. Kimar then arrests Voldar, Stobo and Shim. Santa notices Dropo acts like him, and says that Dropo would make a good Martian Santa. Kimar agrees to let Dropo be the Martian Santa Claus and sends Santa and the children back to Earth.”

(see more of Popperfont’s Sciencegeek Advent Calendar Extravanganza here)


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