Posts tagged: a still more glorious dawn
Chris and Tom, helmet lights doing their best to light the universe on the dark side of the Earth.
San Francisco and California wine country - a favourite place on Earth.
The Greek islands, like delicate shattered eggshell pieces.
In the image, red indicates clouds at lower altitudes, with green representing higher altitude
An enormous hurricane raging at Saturn’s north pole has an eye 2,000km (1,250mi) across - big enough to cover the UK 12 times over.
The striking images of the storm were snapped from a height of 420.000km (260,000mi) by the Cassini spacecraft, which arrived at Saturn in 2004.
They were captured in red and infrared wavelengths and have been false-coloured to show detail.
Scientists say the hurricane’s winds reach a staggering 150m/s (330mph).
But they do not know just how long the storm has been brewing.
When Cassini first arrived, the north pole was in darkness; it was winter in the planet’s 29-Earth-year annual cycle.
Now it has taken some of its first sunlit images of the pole, which has not been seen since the Voyager 2 craft last sent pictures on its fly-by in 1981.
Andrew Ingersoll, a member of the Cassini team based at the California Institute of Technology in California, US, said: “We did a double take when we saw this vortex because it looks so much like a hurricane on Earth.”
“But there it is at Saturn, on a much larger scale, and it is somehow getting by on the small amounts of water vapour in Saturn’s hydrogen atmosphere.”
The team believes the hurricane to be “stuck” at the pole, forced northward by winds in the same way hurricanes tend to move north on Earth.
Cassini caught sight of an even larger storm in 2006 - the first time a hurricane had been seen on another planet.
Toronto, Ontario. Interesting the different things that become more visible at night.
There’s a lot of debris floating around in space, and researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab are using supercomputers, optical sensors and other technology to track even small objects that could damage important satellites.
John Henderson, a space scientist at LLNL, explains:
“Everybody uses GPS to get from here to there. We have satellite television, we have weather reports, farmers use satellite data for monitoring crops. If you have a piece of satellite debris whacking into a satellite, in the worst case you now lose that capability. In February of 2009, that actually happened where there was an Iridium communications satellite that collided with a dead Russian Kosmos satellite and so that basically took out a $100 million dollar satellite.
There’s somewhere between 100,000 to 200,000 pieces of debris that we would like to be tracking. And so the supercomputing capabilities that we have here at Livermore are one way to keep track of that.”
Space Haircut. Dr. Tom doing a nice, surgical job of trimming, working around the science experiment temp. sensor.
Photographers always talk about perspective. It doesn’t get more perspective than this: first ever photo of the Earth and the Moon in the same frame, 1977. Taken by Voyager 1.