Earth, Jupiter and Venus from the skyline of Mars!
Reblogged from Travel By Folding A Map.
IF YOU DON’T GET THIS JOKE
I am so tempted to write this on my keyboard.
I am writing this on a sticker and it’s going on the keyboard. Immediately.
im in love.
If only my keyboard weren’t black so I could write on it :(
This is happening.
Space Shuttle Discovery.
Photo credit: Larry Tanner, USA
I don’t know what other life exists out there in space.I just find it amazing that we managed to build machines that brought us to the moon and beyond.
Always makes me wonder if from outer space they could not have done the same and visited us. I mean are we REALLY the only creatures in the whole infinity of this (or other) universe(s)?
You can watch the planets, moons and asteroids of our solar system move in proportional time with this awesome visualiser. Set the date and speed, as well as the model (Copernican or the pre-Renaissance Tychonian/geocentric model) and watch the physics happen. Unfortunately, it doesn’t depict the degradation of orbits over time, nor does the sun explode when set a few billion years in the future. Still cool, though!
On the morning of January 31, 1961, a 5-year-old chimpanzee named “Ham” ate a breakfast of baby cereal, condensed milk, vitamins, and half an egg. Then the playful 37-pound primate went out into the Cape Canaveral light and made aeronautic history: Aboard a NASA space capsule — and traveling almost 160 miles above the Earth — he became the first chimp in space. The launch’s success helped ratchet up even further the already-frantic contest for scientific supremacy between the U.S. and the Soviet Union — and briefly made Ham something of a star. Here, on the 50th anniversary of that momentous, 16-minute “headlong trip through outer space’s underbelly” (as Time magazine called the flight), LIFE.com presents rare and previous unpublished photographs taken before, during, and after Ham’s wild ride.
Above: A previously unpublished picture by LIFE photographer Ralph Morse of Ham and a handler, January 1961.
The Big Picture - Challenger disaster: remembered
On January 28, 1986, at 11:38 a.m., EST, the space shuttle Challenger lifted off Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The entire crew of seven was lost in the explosion 73 seconds into the launch. Today, on the 25th anniversary of this national tragedy, we honor in memory the brave crew who gave their lives for the exploration of space. Sharon Christa McAuliffe, a New Hampshire social studies teacher, was NASA’s choice for the first teacher in space. Because McAuliffe was our local astronaut, she is featured heavily in this post, but we honor all seven on the anniversary of a nation’s great loss. — Paula Nelson (34 photos total)
When you live in a city, it’s easy to forget that we are surrounded by the greatest show in the Universe: The Universe itself. This sky comparison chart is the sad proof of that.
Sadly, missing the awe-inspiring show of all those planets, stars, and galaxies dancing around us is the price humans had to pay for having observed it in the first place:
“When our prehistoric ancestors studied the sky after sunset, they observed that some of the stars were not fixed with respect to the constant pattern of the constellations. Instead, five of them moved, slowly forward across the sky, then backward for a few months, then forward again, as if they couldn’t quite make up their minds. We call them planets, the Greek word for “wanderers.” These planets presented a profound mystery. The earliest explanation was that they were living beings. How else to explain their strange looping behavior. Later they were thought to be gods, and then disembodied astrological influences. But the real solution to this mystery is that the planets are worlds, that the Earth is one of them, and that they all go around the sun according to precise mathematical laws. This discovery has led directly to our modern global civilization.” A Personal Voyage — Harmony of the World, by Carl Sagan
Keep Looking Up
Beautiful, aren’t they? Like illustrations in a book. Only these are real. No one drew them. These exist. And there are at least 200 billion of them. The nine images above are just a few of our galactic neighbors, millions of light years away. They may seem obvious to us now, but not even a hundred years ago their existence was in doubt.
Under the only magnifications possible until the 20th century, most notably until the 100-inch telescope on Mount Wilson in California was built, these fuzzy objects were considered outlying parts of our own galaxy - clouds of gas, perhaps. Other nebulae (“planetary nebulae”, or supernova remnants) had been proven to exist within the Milky Way, and the assumption was that “spiral nebulae” were similarly on the edge of our galaxy, which might just be the edge of the universe.
A great debate about the make up of the universe went on well into the 1920s, when Edwin Hubble, charting Cepheid variable stars in the Andromeda “nebula” with the Mount Wilson scope, showed that their distance from us was something near a million light years - much too far to be part of our own Milky Way. Finally proven to be immense conglomerations of stars millions of light years away, they were termed what Immanuel Kant had first called in 1755 the idea of separate Milky Ways: island universes.
Although that term eventually fell out of favor, I’ve always preferred it to galaxy, which sounds like a car model. Galaxy actually comes from the Greek galaktos, literally “milk” (the shared root of our words lactate, lactation, lactic). The myth is that Zeus, desiring his mortal-born son Heracles to have godlike powers, allowed him to suckle on his divine wife Hera’s breast, which, when discovered, caused her to push the baby away, and the resulting spurt of milk created the Milky Way. I think island universe, in addition to separating itself from this mythological nonsense, better communicates the immense solitude of galaxies, surrounded as they are by the vast emptiness of intergalactic space. It also makes me feel like there’s an implied sense of life in those galaxies.
Pause one of those images up there. Imagine that’s our galaxy: dusty disc, spiral arms, supermassive blackhole in the center. Zoom in and pick out one of the tiny pinpricks of light in that whirling disc. It’ll be hard to choose; there are billions. Got it? Now imagine that’s our Sun. And around that sun, visualize our planetary system, a whirling disc too. Along that elliptical plane, on a tiny blue planet circling a tiny yellow star, is, as Carl Sagan wrote, “everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was.”
A humbling thought, to say the least. Humankind is nothing. NOTHING to the Universe. We’re a flicker on a speck on a mote. We’ve been lucky enough, thanks to several cosmic coincidences, to not only arise as life, but evolve to intelligence (relatively speaking), and remain protected from the myriad catastrophes surrounding us. Our relatively stable star; our location in the “Goldilocks Zone” of the Solar System (not too hot, not too cold); the axial tilt of the Earth causing seasons; the tidal forces of an overly-large satellite (the result of an unlikely collision between a Mars-sized planetoid and the proto-Earth) creating the right conditions for life; Earth’s strong magnetic field protecting us from radiation; Jupiter, playing gravitational center field, catching our would-be asteroid strikes; the Moon, playing goalie, planting its far side firmly in the face of incoming shots: if it weren’t for these, and a billion other random events, no one would be here at all.
It seems incredibly unlikely that all of the dominoes would fall just so, but they have. And in fact, that’s why we’re here. It’s not a coincidence if these are the prerequisites for intelligent life arising. But as unlikely as it seems, when you’re faced with images like these, how can you not imagine that this has happened countless times, not just in our galaxy, but in the nearly infinite number of other galaxies out there? How can you not believe that right now a vast multitude of individuals across the universe are contemplating images just like these, images that may even include our galaxy, and are attempting to understand their place in the universe - no different than us?
Lets be friends, K?