space

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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)

 

 



Photography Science

140,000 Visuals of Outer Space are Free to the Public in NASA’s Image Library

June 12, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Backlit wisps along the Horsehead Nebula upper ridge are being illuminated by Sigma Orionis, a young five-star system just off the top of this image from the Hubble Space Telescope

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has created a library of 140,000 high definition files filled with photos, videos, and sound clips, all free and available for download. Visual and audio content of planets, moons, nebulas, and specific space missions, are searchable by file type. The library spans the last hundred years, and users can narrow searches to focus on any timeframe between 1920 and 2019. Each file also contains a thorough caption including the date and contextual information about the content. Explore the library on NASA’s dedicated website and see more updates from space on the Administration’s official Instagram. (via fubiz)

Composite image of southern Africa and the surrounding oceans captured by six orbits of the NASA/NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership spacecraft

Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory produced a matched trio of images of the central region of our Milky Way galaxy

Hubble space telescope captures vivid auroras in Jupiter’s atmosphere

This view from the Mast Camera (Mastcam) in NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover shows an outcrop with finely layered rocks within the ‘Murray Buttes’ region on lower Mount Sharp

Hubble space telescope captures Mystic Mountain in the Carina Nebula

This view of Jupiter was taken by Voyager 1. This image was taken through color filters and recombined to produce the color image

Moon – North Polar Mosaic, Color

 

 



Art

Radiant Flowers Overlook Lyon, France in New Mural by INTI

May 11, 2019

Andrew LaSane

For the Peinture Fraiche Festival, Chilean street artist INTI recently painted a large-scale mural on a building in Lyon, France. Titled “SOLEIL” (Blinded by the Light), the piece features a sun-shaped bouquet of flowers framing, obstructing, and fusing with the face of a cosmic figure that stands several stories tall.

The wall art uses INTI’s signature violet and orange-gold hues to draw the eye to the top of the building. Varied shades of orange give the flowers depth as they become the figure’s face and shirt. The purple of her neck provides a glimpse of space littered with plastics and other objects, and a closer look past the scissors and down the streaking grey tones of the arms reveals a bird clutched in one of the hands of the mysterious giant.

Click here for a film of the painting process shot by ChopEmDown Films, and follow INTI on Instagram for more behind-the-scenes and completed wall views.