Travel posters are so retro, but also so very futuristic when NASA makes some of them, for exoplanets. The freshly released set includes three exoplanets, the Kepler-186f, HD 40307g, and the Kepler-16b. Of the set, Kepler-186f is remarkable because it falls within the habitable zone of its star, which is redder and cooler than our sun. Speaking of cool, the Kepler-16b is located in a binary star system, where you could see two suns in the sky at once, much like Tattooine in Star Wars. Enjoy these posters here, or if you would like one for your room, head on to the NASA website to download (much) higher resolution versions that would be totally awesome as posters.
The sky has immense beauty to show, and the talented cameraman has the skill to capture the beautiful glimpses that the universe shows us. Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest looks at numerous such photographs of astounding beauty to select a winner. The shortlist for this year’s photographs capturing the sky, space, and the rare phenomenon that are unlikely to be seen anytime soon.
We know the solar system is flat, so are several objects in the universe like galaxies, and, as the video points out, Saturn’s rings. So why in the world did our solar system turn out to be flat, with all the three dimensional space available? The video explains it well. This also reminds us of this other video we saw some time ago. It explains similar ideas well enough, although for a two dimensional medium with focus on gravity.
First asteroid to be sighted this year was the 2014 AA, and it was also the first asteroid to enter the Earth’s atmosphere this year. Interestingly enough, this is only the second time ever that we have managed to see an asteroid, before it hit the planet, the first such instance being in 2008.
India’s first mission to Mars, the Mars Orbiter (Mangalyaan) crossed the distance of the moon’s orbit this morning, making it the farthest object sent into space by India. A few days ago, the spacecraft looked back, and sent a postcard back home. This is the first image of Earth taken by the Mars Color Camera (MCC) aboard the Mars Orbiter Spacecraft. The image was taken on November 19, from an altitude of 67975 kilometers.
The suit Neil Armstrong wore when stepping onto the moon was made using cutting edge technology of that time. A good part of that technology and suit construction came from a bra manufacturer in Dover, Delaware. The suit had to live up to a whole range of specifications, a very important one being that it be capable of containing the pressure necessary to support life i.e. 3.75 pounds per square inch of pure oxygen.
This spectacular image is the result of the eruption of a magnetic filament of solar material. Captured in late September, the image shows a 200,000 mile long filament that erupted through the sun’s atmosphere, the corona. The ‘canyon of fire’ was formed where magnetic fields held the filament aloft before the eruption.
Astrophysics professor Kristine Larsen used clues and hints scattered through the books of J.R.R. Tolkein to create this model of the solar system of the Lord of the Rings universe. As is clearly visible, the solar system takes much inspiration from our own, except a few changes and the different names.
These beautiful images of the irregular and weird landscapes on Mars have been captured by the HiRISE probe. Mounted on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, HiRISE has sent back nearly 30,000 images of our red neighbor, some of them from the expected alien landscapes of a different world. A selection of 150 of these images has been collected into a book titled This is Mars.