HAPPY EARTH DAY!
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
PHOTO: © NASA, 1984, Astronaut Bruce McCandless with Earth in Background
“Take your protein pills and put your helmet on. (…) Check ignition and may God’s love be with you.” (David Bowie, Space Oddity)
(thanks to Retronaut)
“Never regret thy fall, o Icarus of the fearless flight. For the greatest tragedy of them all is never to feel the burning light.” (Oscar Wilde)
“On August 31, 2012 a long filament of solar material that had been hovering in the sun’s atmosphere, the corona, erupted out into space at 4:36 p.m. EDT. The CME traveled at over 900 miles per second. It didn’t travel directly toward Earth, but did connect with Earth’s magnetic environment, or magnetosphere, causing aurora to appear on the night of Monday, September 3.” (NASA)
(thanks to / via: likeafieldmouse)
The First shots of Mars just after 1:30 am on August 5, after a night of harrowing anticipation, the rover touched down, and, almost immediately, began beaming back photos of the Red Planet.
Here, combined, are the first two full-resolution images of the Mars surface from the rover’s navigation cameras located on the “head” or mast of the craft. The rim of Gale Crater can be seen in the distance beyond the pebbly ground.
Find an amazing 360° Mars panorama here.
A ‘Blue Marble’ image of the Earth taken from the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA’s most recently launched Earth-observing satellite - Suomi NPP. This composite image uses a number of swaths of the Earth’s surface taken on January 4, 2012.
NASA has recreated the picture, without getting any farther than 581 miles (931 km) away, thanks to the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Satellite (Suomi NPP), which orbits the planet pole-to-pole rather than east to west. The relatively low altitude (compared to the Apollos at least) would make a full planetary profile impossible, but the ship was able to capture different high-def swatches of the planet and knit them together into a single image. To capture that shot for real, a spacecraft would have to be 7,918 miles (12,743 km) away. While the satellite has never journeyed nearly so far, it did do Apollo 17 one better, taking portrait-quality images of both Earthly hemispheres, including North America.
This is by now the highest resolution photograph of the Earth ever created.
A view of the eastern hemisphere of earth from space. NASA’s second ‘Blue Marble’ image was created from data acquired by a new instrument aboard the Earth-observing satellite Suomi NPP, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS).
HISTORY / APOLLO 17
Nothing quite matched the power of the pictures beamed back to Earth by the Apollo astronauts on their way to the moon. We’d been seeing our home planet from low-Earth orbit for a number of years by then. What was always missing were human eyes that got far enough away so that the planet’s entire, 360-degree face fit into frame. Once we had that perspective, we saw our world anew: a tiny, fragile bauble in an infinity of blackness, something manifestly worth taking better care of.
Of all the pictures shot on all the moon trips, it was an image from the final one - Apollo 17 - that made the greatest cultural impression. Dubbed ”Blue Marble,” the picture (which mission records suggest was taken by lunar module pilot Jack Schmitt) shows Africa and the Middle East, largely unobscured by clouds, from a distance of 28,000 miles (45,000 km):
crew: John W. Young and Michael Collins
Gemini established that radiation at high altitude was not a problem. Collins space-walked over to the dormant Agena at the end of a 15.24 meter tether, making Collins the first person to meet another spacecraft in orbit. He retrieved a cosmic dustcollecting panel from the side of the Agena, but returned no pictures of his close encounter — in the complicated business of keeping his tether clear of the Gemini and Agena, Collins’ Hasselblad camera worked itself free and drifted off into orbit.
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