Posts Tagged ‘space flight’
When looking up at the moon, it’s always this monochrome, barren disk in the night sky. The reverse view is something I still find rather wonderful and refreshing, despite having been around since the Apollo landings in the 1960s. Standing on the barren rock and looking up to a strangely coloured marble against a pitch black background — it looks so fake, yet it is a change of perspective that would do good for a lot of people on our planet when it comes to the ridiculous matters we fight for.
This is a video of Earth rise as seen by the Japanese space probe Kaguya currently orbiting the moon, taken on April 5, 2008.
I’m checking NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander website daily to get updates on the mission and new photos to look at. I find it really fascinating and quite a technological feat to shoot a complicated machine into space, have it travel millions of kilometers over periods of months or years and then land it on another planet. And it still works after everything it went through (well, sort of, there are already some minor problems.) Anyway, I was getting some of the latest photos from the site. The stereoscopic camera on Phoenix only shoots black and white photos, but there is an array of red, green and blue LEDs near the camera. This allows to shoot the scene three times, with different lighting and thus later on compose a colour picture. I tried this myself today with one of the pictures, but it’s of course only a very rough approximation, and nowhere a scientific process. It’s especially difficult since the photos aren’t labeled, so you don’t know with what colour light they were illuminated. I tried some reasoning, since the primary colour on Mars is red, the brightest photo of the series should be the red channel from my naive understanding and so on. The result is what you can see above.
This got me thinking about my favourite space pictures, so here’s a little rundown of some of them, in no particular order. Click on the images to view high-resolution versions.
I actually don’t read that many blogs on a regular basis. In fact, there are only three that I find myself returning to more than once a week:
- Your Webcomic is Bad and You Should Feel Bad – The name says it all. Four authors rip apart some of the worst webcomics out there. It’s not always funny. Their use of language might be debatable. Still, I find myself drawn to it every once in a while, to see what kind of abomination they managed to drag out of the ghetto of webcomics. I still would like to start a webcomic myself actually, I just don’t feel up to it, mainly concerning writing a story.
- Paleo-Future – I’m a sci-fi nut. So naturally I have to adore this blog. It’s showcasing pieces of past visions of the future, both in written and visual form. Most of the time, it’s ridiculous. But every once in a while, there are relatively accurate predictions among the entries. Also, it’s a nice source of inspiration, thanks to the weird retro art posted from time to time.
- Bernd Leitenberger(‘)s Blog – (German) While I may not agree with all of his standpoints, he does post interesting articles from time to time, mainly concerning space flight. If you can ignore the sloppy writing style, the articles on space probes and rockets on his website make for a really good read (for the technical minded) since he’s going into hardware details you will rarely find elsewhere on the web. Not that I understand all of it anyway, heh.