Yuri Gagarin, first cosmonaut, proud owner of a beautiful smile that trascends decades old photos, amazing man.
YTMND’s presentation of our future in all its horrifying glory.
November 26, 1922: Archaeologists Enter King Tut’s Tomb
On this day in 1922, British archaeologists Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon were the first to enter King Tut’s tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings.
Carter discovered a step leading to a mud-brick door that revealed a passageway to the untouched, four-room tomb for more than 3,000 years. The excavation yielded thousands of cultural objects and the most fascinating was a stone sarcophagus containing three coffins and the mummified body of teenage King Tut.
Discover the treasures of King Tut’s tomb with Secrets of the Pharaohs’ interactive game and tour of the sacred, ancient artifacts.
Photo: Howard Carter opens the innermost shrine of King Tutankhamen’s tomb near Luxor, Egypt which one of carter’s water boy found the steps down to (The New York Times/Wikimedia Commons).
I am a certified Mars Rover pilot, and you can be too.
(Thanks to Mission To Mars 3D, anyway)
Chances are, if I polled 100 people on whether they’d like to command a space mission to Mars, or pilot a six-wheeled rover as if it were the universe’s most advanced remote-controlled vehicle (I mean, it has a nuclear power source, for cryin’ out loud), 99 of them would say HELL YES. I don’t know what the other person would be thinking, honestly.
Well, you can do that now. Thanks to a collaboration between the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and Mozilla’s Ignite competition, you can simulate a future trip to the red planet inside your browser with the Mission to Mars 3D Experiment.
This educational game/tool challenges you to plan and carry out two missions off the bat. First, you devise a rocket launch scheme to send an emergency resupply payload to a science colony on Mars, using a planetary orbit simulator. After you master “the slingshot”, you pilot a Mars Curiosity rover clone, using its onboard instruments to locate a good spot to drop a greenhouse module. I decided to launch my mission using the private SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, and had it arrive at Mars on my birthday … in 2038.
I’ll be old, but what a birthday present, eh?
The folks behind the project told me that the 3D platform is completely open source (their GitHub page) and missions can be remixed, but I haven’t played with that part yet. Teachers will enjoy the educational resources attached, because face it, this beats the physics lesson you had planned this week.
Oh yeah … and this is especially appropriate since India just launched a Mars mission today, and it was beautiful (more info on that from Emily Lakdawalla at The Planetary Society):
Young Charlie Chaplin without makeup. I think so.
This Is the Most Detailed Image of the Universe Ever Captured
NASA has just published the most detailed view of the Universe ever taken. It’s called the Extreme Deep Field—or XDF for short. It took ten years of Hubble Space Telescope photographs to make it and it shows some the oldest galaxies ever observed by humans, going 13.2 billion years back in time.
It’s a mindblowing, extremely humbling view. Not only for what it shows, but for what it doesn’t show. While this image contains about 5,500 galaxies, it only displays a tiny part of the sky, a ridiculously small slice of the Universe. As you can see in the image below (make sure to expand it to see it complete), the photo only focus on a small area of the constellation Fornax.
This illustration compares the angular size of the XDF field to the angular size of the full moon. A finger held at arm’s length would appear to be about twice the width of the moon in this image.
This graphic shows (click to expand) the foreground (galaxies less than 5 billion light years away from us), background (between 5 and 9 billion years ago) and very far background galaxies (more than 9 billion years), which are “one ten-billionth the brightness of what the human eye can see.
Click Here to download the full image (13mb TIFF image)
About a year ago, we originally posted this. Far and away our most successful post, still getting hundreds (if not thousands) of notes every day.
Isn’t Physics, and more generally Science, just awesome?
Do cosmic caterpillars turn into cosmic butterflies? If only …
Solar Eclipse on Mars
This sort of eclipse, where the nearer body doesn’t quite cover the sun, is called an annular eclipse, after the Latin word for “ring-shaped”.
These sort of annular astronomical coincidences happen on Earth, too, since our distance from the moon changes throughout each body’s elliptical orbit. Beautiful stuff:
Curiosity is becoming quite the skywatcher. Last month it aimed its camera up and captured Mars’ two moons in one shot!
Decode the solar rainbow palette using this handy guide. Each wavelength tells scientists different things about solar physics, the various elements and the layers at which they reside.
And here’s a nice solar spectrum GIF, because.
Best scale of the universe since this video version of the scale of the universe.
From more than 40 countries and 30 U.S. states, people around the world shared more than 1,400 images of themselves as part of the Wave at Saturn event organized by NASA’s Cassini mission. That event on July 19, 2013, marked the day the Cassini spacecraft turned back toward Earth to take our picture as part of a larger mosaic of the Saturn system. The images came via Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Google+ and email. The mission has assembled this collage from the shared images, using an image of Earth as the base image.
People around the world shared more than 1,400 images of themselves as part of the Wave at Saturn event organized by NASA’s Cassini mission on July 19 — the day the Cassini spacecraft turned back toward Earth to take our picture. The mission has assembled a collage from those images. The collage is online here.
"Thanks to all of you, near and far, old and young, who joined the Cassini mission in marking the first time inhabitants of Earth had advance notice that our picture was being taken from interplanetary distances," said Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "While Earth is too small in the images Cassini obtained to distinguish any individual human beings, the mission has put together this collage so that we can celebrate all your waving hands, uplifted paws, smiling faces and artwork."
The images came from 40 countries and 30 U.S. states via Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Google+ and email.
From its perch in the Saturn system, Cassini took a picture of Earth as part of a larger set of images it was collecting of the Saturn system. Scientists are busy putting together the color mosaic of the Saturn system, which they expect will take at least several more weeks to complete. The scientists who study Saturn’s rings are poring over visible-light and infrared data obtained during that campaign.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
This collage almost crosses the “too cheesy” line, but not quite.
It is truly awesome to remember that, over a billion kilometers from Earth, there resides something built by humans, something so technologically advanced, so scientifically successful, so inspiring, that we were able to turn it around and take a selfie.
There’s some symbolism in there, and I like it. I think.
Of course, you probably don’t want to hear the part about the astronomically small chance that Cassini’s camera actually registered a photon from your waving hand, right? Because, well, this guy calculated the odds.
Newspaper boys pose in front of a bank in Jersey City, 1912.
Detroit-born Photographer Mark Laita explores social and cultural clashes between different social backgrounds by juxtaposing people of United States in his stunning series “Created Equal”. By contrasting social inequality, Laita invited the viewers to think about how and why they took these different directions.People born equal but turned out totally different in real life. Mark Laita in his photo series compare different people from all walks of life such as a bank robber and a policeman, a high school dropout and a college graduate, a company president and a janitor etc. It took almost 8 years for Mark Laita to complete the project.(Click the photos to see the captions)1. Amish Teenagers / Punk Teenagers2. Marine / War Veteran3. Vegetarian / Butcher, 1999 / 20044. College Graduate / High School Dropout5. Indigent Couple / Wealthy Couple6. Rock Band / Polka Band, 2006 / 20067. Baptist Minister / Ku Klux Klan8. Catholic Nuns / Prostitutes9. Homeless Man / Real Estate Developer10. Gang Member / Mafioso