Category Archives: Features
Do you need a new calendar? Of course you do, the year’s almost over. (And if you’d forgotten, well.. you’re welcome.) Of course if you’re reading this post you’re most likely a fan of space exploration, and so you’ll need a calendar that’s going to entertain your fascination about space for a whole year.
This one is it.
If you can’t see the annular eclipse occurring tonight from where you are, you can watch it LIVE here on LITD! The feed above (providing it’s not over capacity) will be aired from Petroglyph National Monument in New Mexico, beginning at 9 pm Eastern time — right in prime U.S. viewing location! You won’t need to purchase plane tickets or any special eyewear to watch the eclipse safely from your own computer.
Viewable from the western US, the Pacific and eastern Asia, the eclipse will feature a “ring of fire” at totality created by the Moon passing in front of the Sun — but at a distance where the Sun is not completely covered. (As a result there’s still a lot of UV radiation coming from the Sun, so as always don’t observe the Sun directly without adequate protection.. find out how to safely view eclipses here.)
The video is provided by LiveStream, the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Find more links to live eclipse feeds on Universe Today here.
Can’t see the video below? Click here.
Here’s a new video from the folks at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD that will make you fall in love with the Universe…for the first time, or all over again.
It’s a good reminder that, even though the shuttles are retired, NASA still has its eyes set on the stars (and planets, and moons, and asteroids, and of course on our own little blue world!)
NASA dreams big science. Come for the cool, stay for the music, take away a sense of wonder to share. It’s six minutes from Earth to forever, and you can see it here!
This video is public domain and can be downloaded at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?10958
Can’t see the video below? Click here.
If you’re a fan of space, you may have seen the BBC/Science Channel series “Wonders of the Universe”, hosted by the award-winning physicist Brian Cox. Professor Cox’s natural enthusiasm for astronomy is nothing short of infectious, and his explanations of far-out concepts help bring the amazing mysteries of our Universe down to Earth for anyone to understand and enjoy… and now he and HarperCollins UK are bringing it to your iPad and iPhone!
Twitter released the video above today to promote the latest version of its mobile browsing app. I’m not sure why they made a new version, whether it’s to compete with other social media platforms or just offer up a change of scenery, but one thing I know for certain: the video recognizes its community of space fans and shows just how cool we really are. It even includes astronaut Ron Garan’s (@Astro_Ron) latest video from the space station! So cool.
Thanks Twitter, for helping bring us all together… fans, scientists and astronauts alike. You’ve really made a lot of dreams come true.
Can’t see the movie below? Watch on YouTube here.
Here’s an enchanting video by the European Southern Observatory highlighting the discoveries of their Very Large Telescope (VLT) array, high in the mountains of the Atacama Desert in Chile. The Atacama is the driest place on Earth, far from the light pollution of major cities, and thus provides the clearest, darkest skies allowing these massive telescopes to peer deep into the universe. The discoveries they have made have been nothing short of groundbreaking.
The skies over the ESO sites in Chile are so dark that on a clear moonless night it is possible to see your shadow cast by the light of the Milky Way alone.
The images are beautiful, the music – James Newton Howard’s score from Lady in the Water – is beautiful, even the telescopes themselves are beautiful, with their futuristic, spartan geometries and perfectly engineered forms. They look like another generation’s science fiction but they’re very much science fact, for this generation and hopefully many more to come.
Also check out ESO’s recent video from their VISTA telescope, zooming into the Sculptor Galaxy…read more on Universe Today.
Originally posted on June 19, 2010.
On April 12, 1961 – a mere five decades ago – Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was launched aboard his Vostok-1 spacecraft, becoming the first human in space. Alone, he was the first person ever to look down upon our planet from orbit. He was only 28 years old.
Today the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of this historic event, the point in time when mankind broke free of Earth’s atmosphere and officially became a spacefaring species. Many have followed the path into space, but Yuri was the first. His actions transcended whatever political climate may have existed at the time or come afterward…in effect Yuri was, during his his brief time in space, all of us.
To commemorate this, film production company The Attic Room teamed up with the European Space Agency, NASA and YouTube to produce and distribute a movie filmed from orbit aboard the International Space Station. The beautiful footage of our planet as seen from orbit was combined with quotes from Yuri himself, and attempts to portray the route taken by Gagarin during his 108-minute trip around the Earth.
By matching the orbital path of the Space Station, as closely as possible, to that of Gagarin’s Vostok 1spaceship and filming the same vistas of the Earth through the new giant cupola window, astronaut Paolo Nespoli, and documentary film maker Christopher Riley, have captured a new digital high definition view of the Earth below, half a century after Gagarin first witnessed it.
Weaving these new views together with historic, recordings of Gagarin from the time, (subtitled in English) and an original score by composer Philip Sheppard, we have created a spellbinding film to share with people around the world on this historic anniversary.
– From the FirstOrbit.org website
The film can be viewed in its 1-hour and 39-minute entirety below, or on YouTube.
It’s a beautiful trip around our planet, and one must remember that although most of us are familiar with the views of Earth from space, fifty years ago it was something that was very new to humans. The emotions that Gagarin must have experienced on that April day are hard to imagine…but this film does a great job at showing us the wonders that greeted him high above the planet.
I saw for the first time the earth’s shape. I could easily see the shores of continents, islands, great rivers, folds of the terrain, large bodies of water. The horizon is dark blue, smoothly turning to black. . . the feelings which filled me I can express with one word: joy.
— Yuri A. Gagarin, Life magazine, 21 April 1961.
Thanks to The Attic Room, ESA and NASA, Astronaut Paolo Nespoli and all the Expedition 26/27 crew members who helped make the film possible. And, of course, thanks to Yuri for his bravery and ability to do what no one had ever done before, and opening the path into space for the rest of humanity.
(Looking for a way to celebrate Yuri’s flight? There’s currently 486 events in 72 countries around the world in honor of Yuri’s Night! Click here for details about an event near you!)
ALSO: check out some great historic photos of Yuri and the equipment that got him into space in this National Geographic image slideshow!