To see the earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves a riders on the earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold—brothers who know now they are truly brothers.
One of my favorite GIFs of one of my favorite NASA visualizations to preview Monday’s It’s Okay To Be Smart and get you excited and all that jazz. Think you can guess what tomorrow’s vid is about?
Blue = sea salt Green = organics Red = dust White = sulfates
Check out the full NASA video below, featuring simulated global “stuff in the air” over a two year period on Earth. Ain’t Earth beautiful? (Even if, as in this case, it’s a 3 million processor-hour computer animation)
How strange and wonderful is our home, our earth, with its swirling vaporous atmosphere, its flowing and frozen liquids, its trembling plants, its creeping, crawling, climbing creatures, the croaking things with wings that hang on rocks and soar through fog, the furry grass, the scaly seas. To see our world as a space traveler might see it, for the first time, through Venusian eyes or Martian antennae, how utterly rich and wild it would seem, how far beyond the power of the craziest, spaced-out, acid-headed imagination, even a god’s, even God’s, to conjure up from nothing. Yet some among us have the nerve, the insolence, the brass, the gall to whine about the limitations of our earthbound fate and yearn for some more perfect world beyond the sky. We are none of us good enough for the sweet earth we have, and yet we dream of heaven.
NASA’s recent discovery of Kepler-186f, the first habitable Earth-sized planet is big news in humankind’s long search for extraterrestrial life.
A universe full of exoplanets: Thanks to the Kepler Space Telescope, which was launched in 2009 to hunt planets across the universe, we’ve managed to find around 1800 exoplanets so far, many of which have been discovered in just the last year or so.
First prize in Science’s Visualization Challenge (video category) went to this NASA video by Greg Shirah, Horace Mitchell, and Tom Bridgman. It shows Earth’s “climate engine” — the wind patterns and ocean currents that are powered by the sun.
Thus you can throw yourself flat on the ground, stretched upon Mother Earth, with the certain conviction that you are one with her and she with you. You are as firmly established, as invulnerable as she, indeed a thousand times firmer and more invulnerable. As surely as she will engulf you tomorrow, so surely will she bring you forth anew to new striving and suffering. And not merely ‘some day’: now, today, every day she is bringing you forth not once but thousands upon thousands of times, just as every day she engulfs you a thousand times over. For eternally and always there is only now, one and the same now; the present is the only thing that has no end.
Gemini 5 (officially Gemini V) was a 1965 manned spaceflight in NASA’s Gemini program. It was the third manned Gemini flight, the 11th manned American flight and the 19th spaceflight of all time (includes X-15 flights over 100 kilometres (62 mi)). It was also the first time an American manned space mission held the world record for duration, set on August 26, 1965, by breaking the Soviet Union’s previous record set by Vostok 5 in 1963.
Gemini 5 doubled the U.S space-flight record of the Gemini 4 mission to eight days. This flight was crucial because the length of time it took to fly to the moon, land and return would take eight days. This was possible due to new fuel cells that generated enough electricity to power longer missions, a pivotal innovation for future Apollo flights.
Mercury veteran Gordon Cooper was the first person to travel on orbital missions twice. He and Conrad took high-resolution photographs for the Defense Department, but problems with the fuel cells and maneuvering system forced the cancellation of several other experiments.
This was the first mission to have an insignia patch. After Gemini 3, NASA barred astronauts from naming their spacecraft. Cooper, having realized he had never been in a military organization without one, suggested a mission patch to symbolize the flight. NASA agreed, and the patches got the generic name of “Cooper patch.”