Tag: solar system

Remember that time when NASA received a parking ticket for landing on an asteroid?

Yes, this happened.

In 2001, when its NEAR Shoemaker space probe landed on asteroid 433 Eros, NASA received a $20 parking ticket from Gregory W. Nemitz, who had claimed ownership of the asteroid 11 months earlier.

Spoiler alert: Nemitz took this to court, where it was finally dismissed in 2005.

Text from Futility Closet. Read more here. Image via wikipedia.

Free to print posters from NASA’s JPL are beautiful (and awesome)!

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 7.32.53 PM

From JPL, NASA. The below is my favourite one (although the artist’s name isn’t on the document – anyone know who it is?)


Also some back story to the “Grand Tour” idea here.

Beautiful video by Wylie Overstreet and @GoGoGorosh on the scale of the solar system. Definitely worth checking out.

By Wylie Overstreet and Alex Gorosh.

Jupiter in high resolution equals “Death Star.”


From reddit user quadcem, Boing Boing.

This short video on space and the possible future: in a word, perfection.

Like the link says: Watch this in the dark, full screen (definitely full screen), in HD, and with head phones. Truly gorgeous…

By Erik Wernquist, via io9.

I can’t even… So beautiful… So makes me wish I could go to space…

Wow (click on the image for a larger image).


This is:

a near-infrared, color mosaic from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows the sun glinting off of Titan’s north polar seas. While Cassini has captured, separately, views of the polar seas and the sun glinting off of them in the past, this is the first time both have been seen together in the same view.

The sunglint, also called a specular reflection, is the bright area near the 11 o’clock position at upper left. This mirror-like reflection, known as the specular point, is in the south of Titan’s largest sea, Kraken Mare, just north of an island archipelago separating two separate parts of the sea.

For a better look, please go to this link.

From NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab

The illustrations for “Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space” are gorgeous!




imageGen (1)


Art by Ben Newman. From Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space (amazon), via Brain Pickings

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

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