cosmicvastness:

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 2014 August 3
Dark Shuttle Approaching 
What’s that approaching? Astronauts on board the International Space Station first saw it in early 2010 far in the distance. Soon it enlarged to become a dark silhouette. As it came even closer, the silhouette appeared to be a spaceship. Finally, the object revealed itself to be the Space Shuttle Endeavour, and it soon docked as expected with the Earth-orbiting space station. Pictured above, Endeavour was imaged near Earth’s horizon as it approached, where several layers of the Earth’s atmosphere were visible. Directly behind the shuttle is the mesosphere, which appears blue. The atmospheric layer that appears white is the stratosphere, while the orange layer is Earth’s Troposphere. 
This shuttle mission began with a dramatic night launch. Tasks completed during this shuttle’s visit to the ISS included the delivery of the Tranquility Module which contained a cupola bay window complex that allows even better views of spaceships approaching and leaving the space station.

cosmicvastness:

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 2014 August 3

Dark Shuttle Approaching 

What’s that approaching? Astronauts on board the International Space Station first saw it in early 2010 far in the distance. Soon it enlarged to become a dark silhouette. As it came even closer, the silhouette appeared to be a spaceship. Finally, the object revealed itself to be the Space Shuttle Endeavour, and it soon docked as expected with the Earth-orbiting space station. Pictured above, Endeavour was imaged near Earth’s horizon as it approached, where several layers of the Earth’s atmosphere were visible. Directly behind the shuttle is the mesosphere, which appears blue. The atmospheric layer that appears white is the stratosphere, while the orange layer is Earth’s Troposphere.

This shuttle mission began with a dramatic night launch. Tasks completed during this shuttle’s visit to the ISS included the delivery of the Tranquility Module which contained a cupola bay window complex that allows even better views of spaceships approaching and leaving the space station.

(via cillianonymous)

fuckyeahfluiddynamics:

Earth is not the only planet in our solar system with auroras. As the solar wind—a stream of rarefied plasma from our sun—blows through the solar system, it interacts with the magnetic fields of other planets as well as our own. Saturn’s magnetic field second only to Jupiter’s in strength. This strong magnetosphere deflects many of the solar wind’s energetic particles, but, as on Earth, some of the particles get drawn in along Saturn’s magnetic field lines. These lines converge at the poles, where the high-energy particles interact with the gases in the upper reaches of Saturn’s atmosphere. As a result, Saturn, like Earth, has impressive and colorful light displays around its poles. (Image credit: ESA/Hubble, M. Kornmesser & L. Calçada, source video; via spaceplasma)

(via sagansense)

thedragoninmygarage:

“Since, in the long run, every planetary civilization will be endangered by impacts from space, every surviving civilization is obliged to become spacefaring—not because of exploratory or romantic zeal, but for the most practical reason imaginable: staying alive… If our long-term survival is at stake, we have a basic responsibility to our species to venture to other worlds.”

Carl Sagan

thedragoninmygarage:

Since, in the long run, every planetary civilization will be endangered by impacts from space, every surviving civilization is obliged to become spacefaring—not because of exploratory or romantic zeal, but for the most practical reason imaginable: staying alive… If our long-term survival is at stake, we have a basic responsibility to our species to venture to other worlds.

Carl Sagan

(via sagansense)

sixpenceee:

A graduate student has created the first man-made biological leaf. It absorbs water and carbon dioxide to produce oxygen just like a plant. He did this by suspending chloroplasts in a mixture made out of silk protein. He believed it can be used for many things but the most striking one is the thought that it could be used for long distance space travel. Plants do not grow in space, but this synthetic material can be used to produce oxygen in a hostile environment. (Video)

(via satisfymythirstysoul)

Celebrate Fall with Amazing Leaf Art!

teded:

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When TED-Ed animators were tasked with animating a lesson about detritus, they challenged themselves to make all of the visuals out of dead stuff. It sure helped that they had a library of dried leaves to work with!

Check out these lovely little leaf creatures, and get inspired to make your own:

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And, thanks to the power of animation, they were able to bring a vast collection of dead stuff back to life!

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'Tis officially the season! Go grab some fallen leaves of your own, and see what kinds of creatures you can bring to life. Happy foraging, and happy first day of fall!

From the TED-Ed Lesson Dead stuff: The secret ingredient in our food chain - John C. Moore

(via sagansense)

sagansense:

Congratulations to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for successful insertion of their spacecraft into Mars’ orbit!!!

So proud of this entire team. India and the ISRO have just made history as the first - before China and Japan, who have both failed in their attempts - to join the ESA and Soviet Union regarding a successful spacecraft rendezvous with the red planet. This is huge.

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India joins the U.S., the European Space Agency and the former Soviet Union in the elite club of Martian explorers. China and Japan have so far failed to accomplish this. India is the first country to achieve this on its first attempt. It is also the first Asian country to reach Mars successfully.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)

imageLearn more about the Mars Orbiter Mission (and the scientific achievements/firsts to come)…