In the Shadow of Saturn
In the shadow of Saturn, unexpected wonders appear. The robotic Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn drifted in giant planet’s shadow for about 12 hours in 2006 and looked back toward the eclipsed Sun. Cassini saw a view unlike any other. First, the night side of Saturn is seen to be partly lit by light reflected from its own majestic ring system. Next, the rings themselves appear dark when silhouetted against Saturn, but quite bright when viewed away from Saturn, slightly scattering sunlight, in this exaggerated color image. Saturn’s rings light up so much that new rings were discovered, although they are hard to see in the image. Seen in spectacular detail, however, is Saturn’s E ring, the ring created by the newly discovered ice-fountains of the moon Enceladus and the outermost ring visible above. Far in the distance, at the left, just above the bright main rings, is the almost ignorable pale blue dot of Earth.
It’s bad news for all you aspiring space tourists out there. Soon, the only ticket into space may be of the suborbital variety and nothing more ambitious, like actually flying into orbit. Earth is now surrounded by so much space junk that a leading expert on the issue has declared that we are at a “tipping point” — it may soon become too dangerous to venture into low-Earth orbit (LEO) through fear of having a manned spaceship punctured or a communications satellite trashed. [Read more]
Ian O’Neill on the nightmare scenario of the Space Age. Via: discoverynews
Dear universe - sorry for the humans.
On the up-side, best dumpster-diving spot ever?
(Grasping at straws to stay positive. It’s not working…)
Evidence of a Facebook Music Service Surfaces
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Space Shuttle Atlantis Prepares for Final Takeoff
Space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to take off on…
This video explains how particles originating from deep inside the core of the sun creates northern lights, also called aurora borealis, on our planet.
See an extended multimedia version of this video at forskning.no (only in Norwegian):
This video is produced by forskning.no in collaboration with the Department of Physics at the University of Oslo.
Production, animation and music: Per Byhring
Script: Arnfinn Christensen
Scientific advisors: Jøran Moen, Hanne Sigrun Byhring and Pål Brekke
Video of the northern lights: arcticlightphoto.no
Video of coronal mass ejection: NASA
This is beautiful.