Archive for the ‘Cosmos (vol 2.4)’ Category
(via NASA.gov, 1/25/2012) “A ‘Blue Marble’ image of the Earth taken from the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA’s most recently launched Earth-observing satellite – Suomi NPP. This composite image uses a number of swaths of the Earth’s surface taken on January 4, 2012. The NPP satellite was renamed ‘Suomi NPP’ on January 24, 2012 to honor the late Verner E. Suomi of the University of Wisconsin.
Suomi NPP is NASA’s next Earth-observing research satellite. It is the first of a new generation of satellites that will observe many facets of our changing Earth. Suomi NPP is carrying five instruments on board. The biggest and most important instrument is The Visible/Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite or VIIRS.”
Funding in flux? Assert your agency’s relevance by offering iPhone and iPad apps!
Don’t get us wrong… we love NASA. And we love apps. And the two, really, are a match made in the heavens.
Below are a few of the applications that the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration has made available for free download:
The NASA App HD: From satellite tracking to live NASA TV, the app delivers an extensive selection of dynamically updated mission information, images, videos and Twitter feeds from NASA right on your iPad.
3D Sun for iPhone: A major solar flare erupts on the sun. Before long, your phone chirps in your pocket to let you know! Pulling out your phone, you see a 3D view of the sun — a digital reconstruction of satellite images freshly downloaded from NASA’s “STEREO” satellites.
Lunar Electric Rover Simulator App for iPhone:
You don’t need a driver’s license, but you still need to buckle up as the Simulator gives you a glimpse of what it might be like to support the activities of a functioning Lunar Outpost.
We suspect these tools were quickly ushered through the Apple App Store approval process…Now, to get iPads into the hands of every school-aged child so the wonders of the universe unfold at their touch…
View all of NASA’s iPhone and iPad apps at
The good people of Sky & Telescope report that tonight, Monday, September 20, Jupiter will be its brightest in quite some time. The planet is especially close to earth at a mere 368 million miles away.
…But it remains nearly this close and bright (magnitude -2.9) throughout the second half of September… Also, according to legendary planetary observer Richard Schmude, Jupiter is an additional 4% or so brighter than usual because one of its brown cloud belts has gone missing.
Today, Glimpse celebrates the Hubble Space Telescope’s 20 remarkable years in orbit! Check out our Cosmos issue, where we offer a reflection on the HST’s invaluable contributions to our knowledge of the Universe.
What is your favorite Hubble image? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
We’re channeling Carl Sagan for this week’s “perspective check,” since it never hurts to take a step back once in a while.
Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar”, every “supreme leader”, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
When taking a different route to the office just won’t cut it, Glimpse recommends checking out the TwitPics of astronaut Soichi Noguchi (@Astro_Soichi) for a fresh perspective. Noguchi is a flight engineer on the International Space Station (ISS) who has been sending daily photos of the breathtaking view out his window to his 140, 000 followers on Earth. The view might be of the volcano, Sakurajima, erupting in Japan. It might be clouds drifting slowly over the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Zambia. Maybe it’s the bright streets of Moscow at night or the beautiful pastel shallows off the coast of Sudan.
Today’s pic: A vibrantly colored lake in Peru, near Machu Pichu.
This Monday’s New York Times ran an amusing article by Dennis Overbye, cheekily titled,”Reaching for the Stars When Space Was a Thrill.” And space was thrilling during (when else?) the years of the Cold War/Space Race that began when Russia put Sputnik in orbit and the world was overcome with a strange mix of emotion that was one part awe and one part paranoia. A perfect recipe in the eyes of advertisers. What could possibly be better than the opportunity to prey on the consumer’s excitement and fear–at the same time!
The article discusses a fascinating new book by Megan Prelinger called, Another Science Fiction: Advertising the Space Race 1957-1962. The book is a collection of entertaining and odd advertisements that employ hokey images of space exploration to sell anything from insurance to cash registers to missile components. They even anticipate the consumer’s needs for the day when we would all abandon terra firma. An ad from The Marquardt Corporation shows an anatomical diagram of a human floating through space in a man-sized bell jar, since, of course, humans will need to construct their own protected ecosystem in the less-than-hospitable environment of space.
But does contemporary media’s lack of these wildly quirky images really point to our deflated enthusiasm for the Cosmos? Sure, there’s an undeniable thrill that accompanies the prospect of the unknown. And sure, we know leagues more about our Universe now than we did when we watched the speck that was Sputnik move across the sky. But a craze is just that. It’s a cultural fad that speaks of something other than our natural fascination with the stars, which, as the contributors of Glimpse‘s Cosmos issue assure us, was always and will always continue to be part of our human experience.
It was there for many centuries within Maya communities where, as Susan Milbrath explains, the brilliant stars were believed to be the very souls of the dead. It’s there for today’s armchair astronomers who navigate the surface of the Moon and Mars, thanks to Ross Beyer and others who expanded the possibilities of Google Earth™. It’s there for Kimberly A. Jameson and Jon Lomberg who speculate about consciousnesses beyond Earth, and suggest methods for visual communication with what/whoever may be out there.
Our wonderment and curiosity about the cosmos does still manifest in the pages of glossy publications, but it’s tempered with what we’ve learned, and grounded by our not-so-fantastical ambitions for what may come next. And the notion of what may come next, as the authors of the newly released Cosmos issue know, is a truly thrilling one.
As the old proverb goes, women hold up half the sky. And this month, we at Glimpse tip our hats to the women who have helped make the sky and what’s beyond it more tangible, and its wonders more comprehensible than ever before.
This March, the release of our Cosmos issue coincides with the celebration of Women’s History Month! The number of women entering the field of astronomy in the United States and internationally is steadily climbing, and Glimpse would like to step back and appreciate the stellar accomplishments of the women throughout history who’ve paved the way.
One of the Cosmos issue’s “RetroSpect” features reflects on the life and work of Williamina Fleming, a maid-turned-“woman computer” for the Harvard Observatory, where day in and day out, she and her (all-female) staff provided careful analyses of astronomical data. But Astronomy remembers Ms. Fleming as much more than a number-cruncher. With no formal education in the field and in the face of social and financial adversity, she was the first American woman to be inducted into the Royal Astronomical Society in 1906.
And what, exactly, were the feats that earned her the honor?
Explore the pages of Cosmos and see…
It seems that we at Glimpse aren’t the only ones interested in the dialogue between Eastern and Western cosmology. The Rubin Museum of Art in New York is currently featuring an exhibiton through May 10th, 2010 titled, “Visions from the Cosmos: From the Milky Way to an Evolving Universe.” The show juxtaposes 70 works from both hemispheres that include sculpture, paintings, manuscripts, rare books and prints, and photographs taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.
In a recent review of the exhibition for the New York Times, Ken Johnson noted, “Close study and creative interpretation may reveal surprising parallels between Eastern and Western cosmologies.”
We’re with you, Ken. Our forthcoming issue, Cosmos, will continue to investigate these cosmic commonalities between hemispheres. Stay tuned…
It’s a breathtaking sight, looking down at a glowing Earth. An ominous one, too.
For those of us living inside the glow who can only look upward, the brilliant stars are becoming less so. They’re fading behind streetlights and porchlights and lamplights and headlights. And in Glimpse‘s forthcoming Cosmos issue, Scott Kardel wants them back.
Kardel spends his days (and starry nights) at Palomar Observatory, where astronomers dodge terrestrial lights to capture cosmic ones. Stay tuned for “Dimming the Lights” in March 2010 for reasons why not to be scared of the dark.
(The Cosmos issue scheduled for blastoff! in 5..4…3…)