space

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Photography

Watch the Earth Rotate for 24 Hours in an Entrancing Timelapse Centering the Sky

June 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

With a camera peering out over the landscape of Tivoli, Namibia, Bartosz Wojczyński focused on the sky. The Polish photographer created a hypnotic timelapse spanning 24 hours that has a focal point in the atmosphere rather than on the land. Each minute, he snapped a frame that subsequently was looped 60 times to create the final 24-minute version that’s a mesmerizing look at Earth’s cycles.

According to PetaPixel, Wojczyński’s camera was attached to an SW Star Adventurer, which is designed to assist in celestial photography. For more of the photographer’s space-centric projects, head to YouTube.

 

 

 



Science

Explore 30 Years of Arresting Images Captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in a New Book

May 19, 2020

Anna Marks

NGC 6302 Bug, nebula classification: planetary, nebula position: 17h 13m, –37° 06′ (Scorpius), distance from Earth: 3,800 ly, instrument/year: WFC3/UVIS, 2009. Image © NASA, ESA, and Hubble SM4 ERO Team

It’s the 30th anniversary of the first launch of the Hubble Space Telescope—the first major instrument to be placed in outer space and arguably one of the greatest inventions in the history of scientific discovery. The newly released book, Expanding Universe: The Hubble Space Telescope, is a celebration of this milestone, in which readers come face-to-face with some of the most unimaginable images that the telescope has captured. It also features 30 new snapshots on wide glossy pages. 

Launched in April 1990, the telescope sits above the Earth’s rainclouds and polluted skies, which allows it to capture an unobstructed view of distant stars, galaxies, and planets that make up the rich tapestry of our solar system. Alongside the arresting images, the book features texts that unravel some of the most compelling questions of space and time, including words by photography critic Owen Edwards, Hubble astronauts Charles F. Bolden, Jr., John Mace Grunsfeld, and Zoltan Levay.

Dive into the galactical explorations by picking up a copy of Expanding Universe from Taschen or Bookshop.

 

NGC 7635 Bubble, nebula classification: star-forming, nebula position: 23h 21m, +61° 12′ (Cassiopeia), distance from Earth: 7,100 ly, instrument/year: WFC3/UVIS, 2016. Image © NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

NGC 2264 Cone, nebula classification: star-forming, nebula position: 06h 41m, +09° 25′ (Monoceros), distance from Earth: 2,500 ly, instrument/year: ACS/WFC, 2002. Image © NASA, H. Ford (JHU), G. Illingworth (UCSC/LO), M. CLampin and G. Hartiq (STScI), the ACS Science Team

Hubble repairmen, STS-103, December 27, 1999. From their perch 350 miles above Earth’s surface, astronauts Steven Smith and John Grunsfeld replace the gyroscopes in rate sensor units inside Hubble. Image © NASA and ESA

 

 



Design Science

Get a Meteorite-Speckled Slab of the Moon’s Surface Made with NASA Data

March 28, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © DeskSpace

Most of us will never get to touch the moon’s outer crust, but a new project by DeskSpace lets people pretend they’ve got a little portion of the crater-covered satellite sitting on their desks or hung up on their walls. Designed using data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Lunar Surface is a square piece of portland concrete that’s natural bubbles form ridges and dips that mimic the divets caused by meteorites.

The astronomical project commemorates humans’ first steps on the moon. “It was 50 years ago that the first Apollo landing took place. With such an important anniversary, we understand that space enthusiasts need special items for their collections,” DeskSpace said. There are just a few options left for purchase on Kickstarter, but you can stay up to date with future space-themed releases on DeskSpace’s site.

 

 



Animation Science

Frightening Animation Compares the Size of Asteroids in the Solar System to New York City

February 25, 2020

Grace Ebert

A new animation created by Alvaro Gracia Montoya of MetaBallStudio provides a terrifying look at the exceptional asteroids currently in the solar system. The video begins by comparing a human to one of the minor planets before revealing their enormity as the following asteroids quickly dwarf New York City in its entirety. 2008 TC3 is the smallest shown with a mean diameter of about 4.1 meters, while the largest is 1 Ceres, which has a mean diameter of about 939 kilometers.

If the sizes of the rock and mineral objects aren’t scary enough, the B612 Foundation concluded in 2018 that it’s “100 percent certain we’ll be hit, but we’re not 100 percent sure when.” That same year, Stephen Hawking wrote in his last book Brief Answers to the Big Questions that asteroids are the biggest threat to Earth. For a more calming animation, check out this comparison of tree heights. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 



Design

LEGO Releases 864-Piece International Space Station Set That’s Out of This World

February 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © LEGO

On February 1, LEGO launched a new Expert Creator that’s on a mission to explore outer space. Comprised of 864 pieces, the International Space Station set is equipped with a robotic arm for satellite deployment, a miniature dock, and two astronauts ready to traverse the built-in spacewalk. It also has eight movable solar panels, three cargo spacecrafts, and booklet detailing the history of the design. Fully built, the realistic model stands more than 7 inches high, 12 inches long, and 19 inches wide.

Christoph Ruge designed the kit as part of a proposal for the 10th anniversary of the iconic brand’s ideas program, which has released a variety of sets with themes like dinosaur fossils and The Flintstones. Get your own miniature spacecraft on LEGO’s site, and see if you can put it together in the 92 minutes it takes the real model to orbit the earth. (via designboom)

 

 



Art Craft

Celestial Beadwork by Margaret Nazon Depicts the Universe in Stylized Stitches

October 9, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Margaret Nazon has spent the past decade building intricate beadwork depictions of outer space. The colorful artworks, which balance representational and stylized aesthetics, are set on black fabric backgrounds and depict galaxies, planets, and nebulae. Initially inspired by images taken by the Hubble space telescope, Nazon’s celestial renderings are part of a life-long interest in beading. In an interview with Glenbow, the artist shared that she began beading at age 10, but found the density of traditional beadwork to be tedious.

The abstract nature of celestial images allows Nazon to be more interpretive and incorporate different materials like caribou bones and willow seeds, that have location-specific or cultural significance. Nazon is Tsiigehtchic, part of the Gwich’in community in what is now the Northwest Territories of Canada. The artist explained to Glenbow that because she is retired, she is able to dedicate significant portions of time to beading, and often rises at 4:30 to begin working. Nazon plans to continue experimenting, including merging her abstract beadwork with her seamstress skills to create artfully embellished apparel.

Nazon’s artwork was most recently exhibited at Glenbow in a group show, Cosmos, and A Beaded Universe at Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre. You can read more about her in the Glenbow interview, and explore Nazon’s portfolio on her website. (via Brainpickings)

 

 



Amazing Photography

Earth’s Rotation Visualized in a Timelapse of the Milky Way Galaxy by Aryeh Nirenberg

August 20, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Although the Earth rotates below the sky, aerial time-lapse videos often have the perspective of a celestial scene rushing above the ground. In this brief video by Aryeh Nirenberg, the Milky Way becomes completely stationary, highlighting specifically the Earth’s rotation. Nirenberg recorded the time-lapse with a Sony a7SII with the Canon 24-70mm f2.8 lens while using an equatorial tracking mount over a period of three hours. You can see more of his starscapes on Instagram and Youtube. (via Kottke)