I was just staring at my desktop background (sometimes I tune out accidentally, often for minutes at a time. I try not to do this over my keyboard, on account of the drooling) and realized how much I love it.
My desktop is a whole-sky view of the Milky Way (plus a few galactic neighbors), 800 million pixels encompassing pretty much every star and planet we can see from Earth. It’s a nice reminder of just how much muchness there is out there to check out, lest I ever feel bored. You can check out the full zoomable version here.
Think that’s a lot of stars? Just wait and see what happens when you zoom in on just one percent of our galactic home.
Have a science-y desktop background? I’d love to see it! Share them with a reblog or tag them #sciencedesktops
Here’s my very first attempt at photographing the moon!
All in all, I’m pretty satisfied with how it turned out. I took this shot last Thursday, March 28, just one day after the full moon. You can see the waning shadow beginning to creep in at the top. I got pretty lucky with the position of the moon, and the terminator (the line between light and dark) fell right across the moon’s Langrenus crater up there around the 12:30 position. Don’t worry, I didn’t know that off the back of my hand, I had to look it up. Langrenus is almost 3 km deep and about 130 km across, and with the sharp angle of the sunlight I was able to catch the back of the crater wall quite well. Of course, that was pure luck, since I was just shooting at a white dot in the sky.
A few photo nerd notes: Considering that I didn’t have a tripod with me (I shot this on top of a fencepost), this is only at 105 mm, and I had to turn the ISO way up, it turned out pretty nice. I need to get a lens that goes to 200 mm or beyond, bad. Inquire if you’d like to donate one :)
This shot from Cassini, of Saturn’s moon Mimas transiting the striped face of the gas giant, is just one of many breathtaking images collected for Michael Benson’s soon-to-be-gracing-space-nerd-coffee-tables-everywhere book, Planetfall: New Solar System Visions.
Time to update my Christmas list!
AstroAnarchy, the stellar art gallery run by astronomer J-P Metsavainio, just keeps sending my jaw straight down to the floor. If you missed his amazing experimental 3D animation previously, here’s what it’s all about:
Space photos are two-dimensional, but space is three-dimensional. How can we capture what it might be like to fly around a nebula, or a star cluster? Using simulations of the nebulas based on scientific data, depth is added to the shapes on your screen. A little flash of artistic flair ties up the loose ends. Check out the full animation gallery here.
The resulting GIFs are huge (like 7 MB), but always worth a look. Here’s the Pelican Nebula in the constellation Cygnus, as imagined in 3D:
Space photography, or, more accurately, the beautifully edited images that are obtained from telescopes like Hubble, seems to be everyone’s favorite sciencey thing to share online. For good reason, too.
Swiss photographer Fabian Oefner was able to make nebulae in his photo studio that you can barely tell from the real thing. Check the link above to find out how he did it, and for more awesome shots.
Previously: Hubble space photos - how they are made.
Source: Laughing Squid
What are “space cats”? You’ve probably never heard of them, thanks to heroes like Brant Widgeon. All that #spaceporn on your dash, cleaned up of this astronomical photobombing feline scourge.
Purring their way through the dark reaches of space, ruining the photographic majesty of the universe with their cute, furry little faces.
What would we do without him?