Tag Archives: stars

Ray Bradbury reads his poem – “If Only We Had Taller Been” (1971)

Sci-fi author Ray Bradbury reads his space travel-themed poem “If Only We Had Taller Been” in this 1971 video posted yesterday by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Also in the scene are Arthur C. Clarke, Walter Sullivan, Carl Sagan and Bruce Murray

 

“hoping an inch of good is worth a pound of years”

 

// Thx – Laughing Squid

Scientists estimate billions of habitable planets in the Milky Way

Using results from the High Accuracy Radical Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) at the European Southern Observatory, the scientists say there are likely tens of billions of planets in the Milky Way galaxy alone that may be able to sustain life.

They estimate that one hundred of those planets are in the sun’s immediate neighborhood — which in space-speak is 30 light years away.

**The fastest known technology allows us to travel 1 light year in ~100 years

The generally accepted (though perhaps shortsighted) definition of a planet that can sustain life is one that has a mass between one and 10 times that of Earth, as well as a rocky surface, and the ability to sustain liquid water — meaning the planet’s surface temperature is neither too hot that water would evaporate nor too cold that it would freeze.

Although there are no planets that meet those criteria in our own solar system, the report suggests that they are common around other stars.

via LA Times

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Biggest full moon of the year – this Saturday night!

The largest full moon of 2012 happens this Saturday, but it’s OK if you don’t really notice. The moon doesn’t really get bigger, it just gets closer to Earth.

At 8:40 p.m. Pacific Time on Saturday, according to the Griffith Observatory Sky Report, the moon will be at its closest point in its orbit to the Earth this year. (Accounting for the time zone difference, European moon-watchers will see it Sunday.) To be precise, Earth and moon will be just 221,801 miles apart — more than 17,000 miles closer than average.

NASA’s Science News calculates the moon’s appearance Saturday will be “as much as 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full moons of 2012.”

Some call what’s known as a perigee full moon a “supermoon.”

via LA Times

 

“Folklore holds that all kinds of wacky things happen under the light of a full moon. Lunacy (modern word for insanity) comes from the Latin word for Moon.”

The possible Galactic Core of our Universe (photo)

A globular cluster is a spherical collection of stars (like our Sun) that orbits a galactic core as a satellite. Globular clusters are very tightly bound by gravity, which gives them their spherical shapes and relatively high stellar densities toward their centers.

Here is one of those globular clusters:

Messier 9, seen here in a recent image from the Hubble Space Telescope, is twice as old as our Sun, and made up of stars that are among the oldest in our galaxy.

About 8 Billion years old, the more than 250,000 stars of Messier 9 are enriched with far fewer heavier elements than the Sun. Elements crucial to life on Earth, like oxygen and carbon, and the iron at Earth’s core are rare in Messier 9.

via C|Net

 

Thx to Dave Shroeder

WhichFlicks? – Browse Netflix Instant Watch movies and TV shows on an elegant interface

WhichFlicks is a website that allows you to sort through thousands of movies and television shows on Netflix. With that many options there is always something to watch the trouble is finding it.

With this website you have the ability to sort by Netflix Stars, Rotten Tomato Ratings, date, genre, audience (MPAA rating), and by people (actors, directors).

It is a far superior way to find something to watch, compared to the native Netflix search and recommendation system. It compares very well to Instant Watcher, a site that provides a similar service. Which Flicks is definitely easier and cleaner to use, while Instant Watcher has many more lists and details.

The best unique feature in Which Flicks is the “Upcoming” movies section. I really enjoy this section because Netflix doesn’t often promote its future content.

The stars as viewed from the International Space Station

Multitudinous stars but what is really awesome are the shots or Earth. The atmosphere glows faintly while the surface is lined with an array of lights, lightning storms, and mountains.

Makes me feel like we are an advanced civilization, even a planet in a Star Wars movie (that’s Coruscant for you geeks).

Timelapse videos depicting the stars from low earth orbit, as viewed from the International Space Station. Images edited using Adobe Lightroom with some cropping to make the stars the focal point of each shot, and with manipulation of the contrast to bring out the stars a bit more.

The video plays best if you let it load a bit first.

Via interesting, video at Vimeo

Happy Leap Day! – Here’s some little-known facts about leap years

You probably know that 2012 is a leap year. And that means that this year we get an extra day on February 29th.

Well, leaplings (people born on Leap Year Day of a previous year) finally get to celebrate their actual birthday.

Epipheo shows you how, based on astronomy, the Gregorian Calendar uses leap year to keep us in tune with the sun, the stars, and the universe.