Agnostic views & images I like

Thoughts about things on the web

Posts Tagged ‘NASA

I love images that have some kind of drama attached!

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It’s a gigantic star, some 20 times the mass of our Sun, that has been knocked about in space by a neighboring supernova and here is the latest image capture from NASA files:

And here is its official description:

A huge star ejected from a binary system has been photographed slamming headlong through a barrier of cosmic dust, creating a shockwave that shines in brilliant yellow in infrared views.

The star, called Zeta Ophiuchi, is a stellar behemoth with about 20 times the mass of our sun and would be 65,000 times brighter if it weren’t surrounded by a thick blanket of dust. It is about 4 million years old and is 460 light-years away from Earth. The star is zooming through space at a whopping 54,000 mph (nearly 87,000 kph), according to NASA scientists.

NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, called WISE, caught the massive star plowing through thick dust to create what scientists call a “bow shock” – a shockwave that precedes stars as they move through space much like the ripple raised by the front of a boat traveling through water.

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These kinds of dramatic images are one of the most accessible aspects of astronomy that give NASA their best public image. But is it worth those big budgets?

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2011/01/26 at 16:37

Photos during repair of the ISS during the latest spacewalk

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Some photos take on a special sense because of the perspective of the photo. Here’s a great example from the latest NASA space shuttle‘s cruise to add equipment to the International Space Station ISS:

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/12/06 at 08:17

Yesterday it was images of fowl, but today

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it’s a still skitched from a NASA video of our Galaxy:

Here’s a link to the video!



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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/11/11 at 04:36

New NASA Space rocket

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Clipped and copied from NY Times Science Tuesday!

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — For first time since 1981, the rocket that took off Wednesday from a launching pad at the Kennedy Space Center here was not a space shuttle.

With a clearing in a partly cloudy sky, the Ares I-X rocket — a prototype of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s next-generation Ares I rocket — zipped off at 11:30 a.m., heading east over the Atlantic Ocean.

After rising through blue sky for two minutes, the first stage expended its fuel at an altitude of more than 25 miles, separated and parachuted into the ocean. After separation, the dummy second stage spun around before plunging into the ocean. The final Ares I rocket is to have a second-stage engine and a crew capsule to carry four astronauts into orbit to the International Space Station.

As tall as a 32-story building but with a first stage only 12 feet wide, the Ares I-X looked skinny and top-heavy. Yet it flew as envisioned.


Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/10/29 at 07:03

An image of cosmic chaos in space

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Here’s how the NASA experts explain this image:

Chaos at the Heart of Orion
NASA’s Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes teamed up to expose the chaos that baby stars are creating 1,500 light years away in a cosmic cloud called the Orion nebula. This striking composite indicates that four monstrously massive stars, collectively called the “Trapezium,” at the center of the cloud may be the main culprits in the Orion constellation, a familiar sight in the fall and winter night sky in the northern hemisphere. Their community can be identified as the yellow smudge near the center of the image.

I am always dazzled by these images. Mostly what tickles my imagination is the science, technology and engineering that supports the delivery of this image to my humble iMac. I can’t help remember my first contacts with computers, IBM 650, 1401 and 1410. I was hands on in those early IT days. But at no time could I imagine what I experience now with my 20″ monitor, full color, the Internet and organizations like NASA that make my computer experience just that much better.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/08/09 at 13:34

A neat view of Earth nearly 100km in space during Apollo 11 flight in July 1969

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Neil Armstrong works at the LM in one of the f...
Image via Wikipedia

I clearly recall being in our apartment in Quebec City when Neil Armstrong began the moonwalks.

About a month later I was in Algeria, part of a team of consultants preparing to work with Sonatrach, the state oil company.

A second more dreamy image of earth from the Apollo 11 flight to the moon:

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/07/15 at 12:24

Mt. Fuji snapped from the International Space Station

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This is a rare image. Not many people get to visit the ISS with a camera. This image comes from NASA files:

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/06/28 at 08:21