NASA – Artofit https://www.artofit.org Discover Art inspiration, ideas, styles Thu, 15 Jul 2021 21:16:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.0.1 165698357 Everything You Need to Know About the Most Anticipated Solar Eclipse in US History https://www.artofit.org/2021/07/15/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-most-anticipated-solar-eclipse-in-us-history/ https://www.artofit.org/2021/07/15/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-most-anticipated-solar-eclipse-in-us-history/#respond Thu, 15 Jul 2021 21:16:38 +0000 https://www.artofit.org/?p=168598

Photograph by Luc Viatour / https://Lucnix.be

 

On August 21st, for the first time in 99 years, a total solar eclipse will cut through the entire continental United States. This year’s solar eclipse could be the most viewed celestial event in history. [source]

Roughly 12 million people already live in its main path (on August 21, all they have to do is step outside and gaze up) and another 78 to 88 million more Americans live within 200 miles of the eclipse’s trajectory. [source]

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2017 total solar eclipse!

 

I Want to See a Total Solar Eclipse

 
– NASA has created an interactive map that lets you find the path of the total solar eclipse closest to you
– You can view and download high-resolution maps by state of the path of the total solar eclipse here (also by NASA)
– NASA has an entire microsite dedicated to the event with tons of information: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/
– Great American Eclipse also has a TON of information on the event and the best places to view it across the United States
– They also have highly detailed maps and times of the total solar eclipse’s path here

 

 

Map by Great American Eclipse

 

You can see a partial eclipse, where the moon covers only a part of the sun, anywhere in North America. To see a total eclipse, where the moon fully covers the sun for a short few minutes, you must be in the path of totality. The path of totality is a relatively thin ribbon, around 70 miles wide, that will cross the U.S. from West to East. The first point of contact will be at Lincoln Beach, Oregon at 9:05 a.m. PDT. Totality begins there at 10:16 a.m. PDT. Over the next hour and a half, it will cross through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North and South Carolina. The total eclipse will end near Charleston, South Carolina at 2:48 p.m. EDT. From there the lunar shadow leaves the United States at 4:09 EDT. Its longest duration will be near Carbondale, Illinois, where the sun will be completely covered for two minutes and 40 seconds. [source]

 

Map by Great American Eclipse

 

What’s Going on Exactly?

 

On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun. Anyone within the path of totality can see one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights – a total solar eclipse. This path, where the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun’s tenuous atmosphere – the corona – can be seen, will stretch from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. [source]

This is a celestial event in which the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun for up to about three hours, from beginning to end, as viewed from a given location. For this eclipse, the longest period when the moon completely blocks the sun from any given location along the path will be about two minutes and 40 seconds. [source]

A total solar eclipse presents a rare opportunity to observe the corona and chromosphere, the two outer most layers of the sun’s atmosphere. Under normal circumstances, the bright yellow surface of the sun, called the photosphere, is the only feature we can observe. But during an eclipse, the moon blocks out that intense light. [source]

The corona is the outer atmosphere of the sun. It is made of tenuous gases and is normally hiding in plain sight, overwhelmed by the bright light of the sun’s photosphere. When the moon blocks the sun’s face during a total solar eclipse, the corona is revealed as a pearly-white halo around the sun. [source]

During a total solar eclipse, the normal rhythms of Earth are disrupted. The sudden blocking of the sun makes the day appear to be night in more ways than just the loss of light. The temperature drops and plants and animals react as if it is dusk – birds can be seen flying home to settle in for sleep in the middle of the day. [source]

 

 

Okay Just Tell Me When and Where To Go

 

 

 

 

How Do I View a Solar Eclipse Safely?

 

 

– Looking directly at the sun is unsafe except during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse (“totality”), when the moon entirely blocks the sun’s bright face, which will happen only within the narrow path of totality

– The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun; they transmit thousands of times too much sunlight

– Refer to the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters & Viewers page for a list of manufacturers and authorized dealers of eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers verified to be compliant with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard for such products

– Always inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched or damaged, discard it.

– Always supervise children using solar filters

– Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the sun

– Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device

– Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury

– If you are within the path of totality, remove your solar filter only when the moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark. Experience totality, then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to look at the remaining partial phases

– Outside the path of totality, you must always use a safe solar filter to view the sun directly

– If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Put your eclipse glasses on over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them

– Visit NASA for complete safety and eclipse viewing information

 

 

I’m busy that day, when can I see the next Total Solar Eclipse in the US?

 

 

I still don’t see what the big deal is

 

In a recent conversation with VOX, Ernie Wright, who creates data visualizations and eclipse maps for NASA summed it up perfectly:

 

You suddenly feel as though you can see the clockwork of the solar system. Where you think you lived doesn’t look like the same place anymore. We kind of know — in the back of our minds — that we live in a giant ball and it revolves around a hot ball of gas, and we’re floating in space. But you don’t really believe it until you see something like a total solar eclipse, where everything is all lined up and you go whoaaa. Other planets pop out. You got instant nighttime. And you can see Mercury and Venus usually. And sometimes Mars and Jupiter. … It looks like the pictures from the textbook. It’s not entirely a science thing anymore. … It’s mostly a thing where you have a better appreciation of where you are in the solar system. [source]

 

Photograph by Luc Viatour / https://Lucnix.be

 

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NASA Has Already Released An Epic Gallery of Eclipse Photos Including an ISS Photobomb https://www.artofit.org/2021/07/15/nasa-has-already-released-an-epic-gallery-of-eclipse-photos-including-an-iss-photobomb/ https://www.artofit.org/2021/07/15/nasa-has-already-released-an-epic-gallery-of-eclipse-photos-including-an-iss-photobomb/#respond Thu, 15 Jul 2021 20:16:14 +0000 https://www.artofit.org/?p=168573

Photograph by NASA/Joel Kowsky

 

North American was treated to a solar eclipse today and those fortunate to be within the narrow 70 mile wide ‘path of totality’ were able to witness a total solar eclipse in all its splendour.

If you weren’t able to sneak outside or didn’t have the appropriate eye wear, NASA has just shared an amazing gallery of solar eclipse photos for everyone to enjoy. If you want to see any of the images in a higher resolution just click the link beneath any photo.

 

1.

Photograph by NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

 

A total solar eclipse is seen on Monday, August 21, 2017 above Madras, Oregon. A total solar eclipse swept across a narrow portion of the contiguous United States from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. A partial solar eclipse was visible across the entire North American continent along with parts of South America, Africa, and Europe.

 

 

2.

Photograph by NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

 

The Diamond Ring effect is seen as the moon makes its final move over the sun during the total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017 above Madras, Oregon.

 

 

3.

Photograph by NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

 

The Bailey’s Beads effect is seen as the moon makes its final move over the sun during the total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017 above Madras, Oregon.

 

 

4.

Photograph by NASA/Bill Ingalls

 

The Moon is seen as it starts passing in front of the Sun during a solar eclipse from Ross Lake, Northern Cascades National Park, Washington on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017.

 

 

5.

Photograph by NASA/Bill Ingalls

 

The Moon is seen passing in front of the Sun during a solar eclipse from Ross Lake, Northern Cascades National Park, Washington on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017.

 

 

6.

Photograph by NASA/Joel Kowsky

 

The International Space Station, with a crew of six onboard, is seen in silhouette as it transits the Sun at roughly five miles per second during a partial solar eclipse, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 near Banner, Wyoming. Onboard as part of Expedition 52 are: NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson, Jack Fischer, and Randy Bresnik; Russian cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Sergey Ryazanskiy; and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Paolo Nespoli.

 

 

7.

Photograph by NASA/Joel Kowsky

 

This composite image, made from seven frames, shows the International Space Station, with a crew of six onboard, as it transits the Sun at roughly five miles per second during a partial solar eclipse, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 near Banner, Wyoming.

 

 

8.

Photograph by NASA/Bill Ingalls

 

The Moon is seen passing in front of the Sun during a solar eclipse from Ross Lake, Northern Cascades National Park, Washington on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017.

 

 

9.

Photograph by NASA/Bill Ingalls

 

This composite image, made from 4 frames, shows the International Space Station, with a crew of six onboard, as it transits the Sun at roughly five miles per second during a partial solar eclipse, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 from , Northern Cascades National Park in Washington.

 

 

10.

Photograph by NASA/Bill Ingalls

 

The International Space Station, with a crew of six onboard, is seen in silhouette as it transits the Sun at roughly five miles per second during a partial solar eclipse, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 from Ross Lake, Northern Cascades National Park, Washington.

 

 

11.

Photograph by NASA/Goddard/Rebecca Roth

 

View of the partial solar eclipse from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md on Monday, August 21, 2017.

 

 

12.

Photograph by NASA/Joel Kowsky

 

The Moon is seen passing in front of the Sun at the point of the maximum of the partial solar eclipse near Banner, Wyoming on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017.

 

 

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After Two Decades in Space, Cassini is About to Crash Into Saturn. These are the Final Images https://www.artofit.org/2021/07/15/after-two-decades-in-space-cassini-is-about-to-crash-into-saturn-these-are-the-final-images/ https://www.artofit.org/2021/07/15/after-two-decades-in-space-cassini-is-about-to-crash-into-saturn-these-are-the-final-images/#respond Thu, 15 Jul 2021 15:59:45 +0000 https://www.artofit.org/?p=168404  

After two decades in space, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is nearing the end of its remarkable journey of exploration. Having expended almost every bit of the rocket propellant it carried to Saturn, operators are deliberately plunging Cassini into the planet to ensure Saturn’s moons will remain pristine for future exploration—in particular, the ice-covered, ocean-bearing moon Enceladus, but also Titan, with its intriguing pre-biotic chemistry.

On Sept. 15, 2017, the spacecraft will make its final approach to the giant planet Saturn. Cassini will dive into the planet’s atmosphere, sending science data for as long as its small thrusters can keep the spacecraft’s antenna pointed at Earth. Soon after, Cassini will burn up and disintegrate like a meteor.

 

Cassini by the Numbers

 

In April 2017, Cassini was placed on an impact course that unfolded over five months of daring dives—a series of 22 orbits that each pass between the planet and its rings. Called the Grand Finale, this final phase of the mission has brought unparalleled observations of the planet and its rings from closer than ever before.

Every week, Cassini has been diving through the approximately 1,200-mile-wide (2,000-kilometer-wide) gap between Saturn and its rings. No other spacecraft has ever explored this unique region.

Cassini’s final images will have been sent to Earth several hours before its final plunge, but even as the spacecraft makes its fateful dive into the planet’s atmosphere, it will be sending home new data in real time. Key measurements will come from its mass spectrometer, which will sample Saturn’s atmosphere, telling us about its composition until contact is lost.

Below you will find some incredible images Cassini has recently taken. The current predicted time for loss of signal on Earth is 4:55 a.m. PDT (7:55 a.m. EDT) on Sept. 15, 2017. For more information visit the Official Mission Website

 

1. Staggering Structure

Photograph by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

 

[June 4, 2017] This view from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows a wave structure in Saturn’s rings known as the Janus 2:1 spiral density wave. Resulting from the same process that creates spiral galaxies, spiral density waves in Saturn’s rings are much more tightly wound. In this case, every second wave crest is actually the same spiral arm which has encircled the entire planet multiple times.

This wave is remarkable because Janus, the moon that generates it, is in a strange orbital configuration. Janus and Epimetheus (see “Cruising Past Janus”) share practically the same orbit and trade places every four years. Every time one of those orbit swaps takes place, the ring at this location responds, spawning a new crest in the wave. The distance between any pair of crests corresponds to four years’ worth of the wave propagating downstream from the resonance, which means the wave seen here encodes many decades’ worth of the orbital history of Janus and Epimetheus.

 

 

2. Saturn-lit Tethys

Photograph by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

 

Cassini gazes across the icy rings of Saturn toward the icy moon Tethys, whose night side is illuminated by Saturnshine, or sunlight reflected by the planet. This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 10 degrees above the ring plane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on May 13, 2017.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 750,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 140 degrees.

 

 

3. Top of the World

Photograph by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

 

These turbulent clouds are on top of the world at Saturn. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured this view of Saturn’s north pole on April 26, 2017 — the day it began its Grand Finale — as it approached the planet for its first daring dive through the gap between the planet and its rings. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 166,000 miles (267,000 kilometers) from Saturn.

Although the pole is still bathed in sunlight at present, northern summer solstice on Saturn occurred on May 24, 2017, bringing the maximum solar illumination to the north polar region. Now the Sun begins its slow descent in the northern sky, which eventually will plunge the north pole into Earth-years of darkness. Cassini’s long mission at Saturn enabled the spacecraft to see the Sun rise over the north, revealing that region in great detail for the first time.

 

 

4. Dreamy Swirls on Saturn

Photograph by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

 

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft gazed toward the northern hemisphere of Saturn to spy subtle, multi-hued bands in the clouds there. The images were acquired on Aug. 31, 2017, at a distance of approximately 700,000 miles (1.1 million kilometers) from Saturn.

This view looks toward the terminator — the dividing line between night and day — at lower left. The sun shines at low angles along this boundary, in places highlighting vertical structure in the clouds. Some vertical relief is apparent in this view, with higher clouds casting shadows over those at lower altitude.

 

 

5. Colorful Structure at Fine Scales

Photograph by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

 

These are the highest-resolution color images of any part of Saturn’s rings, to date, showing a portion of the inner-central part of the planet’s B Ring. The view is a mosaic of two images that show a region that lies between 61,300 and 65,600 miles (98,600 and 105,500 kilometers) from Saturn’s center.

The material responsible for bestowing this color on the rings—which are mostly water ice and would otherwise appear white—is a matter of intense debate among ring scientists that will hopefully be settled by new in-situ observations before the end of Cassini’s mission.

The different ringlets seen here are part of what is called the “irregular structure” of the B ring. The narrow ringlets in the middle of this scene are each about 25 miles (40 kilometers) wide, and the broader bands at right are about 200 to 300 miles (300 to 500 kilometers) across. It remains unclear exactly what causes the variable brightness of these ringlets and bands

This image was taken on July 6, 2017, with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera. The image was acquired on the sunlit side of the rings from a distance of 47,000 miles (76,000 kilometers) away from the area pictured.

 

 

6. Good Old Summer Time

Photograph by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

 

Saturn’s northern hemisphere reached its summer solstice in mid-2017, bringing continuous sunshine to the planet’s far north. The solstice took place on May 24, 2017. The Cassini mission is using the unparalleled opportunity to observe changes that occur on the planet as the Saturnian seasons turn.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 17 degrees above the ring plane. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on April 17, 2017 using a spectral filter which preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 939 nanometers. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 733,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) from Saturn. Image scale is 44 miles (70 kilometers) per pixel.

 

 

7. Prometheus and the Ghostly F Ring

Photograph by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

 

The thin sliver of Saturn’s moon Prometheus lurks near ghostly structures in Saturn’s narrow F ring in this view from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Many of the narrow ring’s faint and wispy features result from its gravitational interactions with Prometheus (86 kilometers, or 53 miles across).

Most of the small moon’s surface is in darkness due to the viewing geometry here. Cassini was positioned behind Saturn and Prometheus with respect to the sun, looking toward the moon’s dark side and just a bit of the moon’s sunlit northern hemisphere.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 13, 2017. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 680,000 miles (1.1 million kilometers) from Saturn. Image scale is 4 miles (6 kilometers) per pixel.

 

 

8. Jets from a Distance

Photograph by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

 

Enceladus’ intriguing south-polar jets are viewed from afar, backlit by sunlight while the moon itself glows softly in reflected Saturn-shine. Observations of the jets taken from various viewing geometries provide different insights into these remarkable features. Cassini has gathered a wealth of information in the hopes of unraveling the mysteries of the subsurface ocean that lurks beneath the moon’s icy crust.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 13, 2017. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 502,000 miles (808,000 kilometers) from Enceladus and at a sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 176 degrees.

 

 

9. So Far from Home

Photograph by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

 

With this view, Cassini captured one of its last looks at Saturn and its main rings from a distance. The Saturn system has been Cassini’s home for 13 years, but that journey is nearing its end.

When the spacecraft arrived at Saturn in 2004, the planet’s northern hemisphere, seen here at top, was in darkness, just beginning to emerge from winter. Now at journey’s end, the entire north pole is bathed in the continuous sunlight of summer.

Images taken on Oct. 28, 2016 with the wide angle camera using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this color view. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 870,000 miles (1.4 million kilometers) from Saturn.

 

 

To its very end, Cassini is a mission of thrilling exploration. Launched on Oct. 15, 1997, the mission entered orbit around Saturn on June 30, 2004 (PDT), carrying the European Huygens probe. After its four-year prime mission, Cassini’s tour was extended twice. Its key discoveries have included the global ocean with indications of hydrothermal activity within Enceladus, and liquid methane seas on Titan.
 
While it’s always sad when a mission comes to an end, Cassini’s finale plunge is a truly spectacular end for one of the most scientifically rich voyages yet undertaken in our solar system. From its launch in 1997 to the unique Grand Finale science of 2017, the Cassini-Huygens mission has racked up a remarkable list of achievements.

 

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Cassini’s Final Full Image of Saturn https://www.artofit.org/2021/07/15/cassinis-final-full-image-of-saturn/ https://www.artofit.org/2021/07/15/cassinis-final-full-image-of-saturn/#respond Thu, 15 Jul 2021 13:59:01 +0000 https://www.artofit.org/?p=168328

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Jason Major

 

After two decades in space, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft made its final plunge into the giant planet on September 15, 2017. Seen above is the final full image of Saturn, made from raw images acquired by Cassini on September 13, 2017. According to Jason Major:

“These images are uncalibrated for color but were acquired in visible-light RGB filters. The mosaic comprises 11 color composites, each a stack of three images taken in red, green, and blue channels. They were adjusted for brightness and color to be fairly uniform across the whole view.” [source]

 

If you’re interested in learning more about Cassini’s incredible journey and mission be sure to check out our previous post: After Two Decades in Space, Cassini is About to Crash Into Saturn. These are the Final Images

 

via Jason Major on Flickr

 

 

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The First and Only Family Photo on the Moon https://www.artofit.org/2021/07/15/the-first-and-only-family-photo-on-the-moon/ https://www.artofit.org/2021/07/15/the-first-and-only-family-photo-on-the-moon/#respond Thu, 15 Jul 2021 10:42:49 +0000 https://www.artofit.org/?p=168247

Photograph by NASA/John W. Young

 

In April of 1972, astronaut Charles Duke became the tenth and youngest person (at 36y 6m 18d), to ever walk on the Moon. As the Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 16, Duke and crew commander John Young spent an incredible 71 hours on the lunar surface.

During his unforgettable time on the moon Duke also left a family portrait on the lunar surface, snapping a photo of the photo as proof.

 

Photograph by NASA/Charles Duke

 

The photo remains on the moon to this day and is the first and only family photo ever to be placed on the lunar surface. On the back of the photo Duke wrote:

“This is the family of astronaut Charlie Duke from planet Earth who landed on the moon on April 20, 1972.”

 

Photograph via Charles Duke

 

In an interview with Business Insider, Duke provided a clearer photo of the portrait he left on the moon. On the far left is his oldest son, Charles Duke III, who had just turned seven. In the front in red is his youngest son, Thomas Duke, who was five. Duke and his wife, Dorothy Meade Claiborne, are in the background.

 

Photograph by NASA

 

As to the motivation for placing the photo, Business Insider explains:

When Duke was training to be an Apollo astronaut, he spent most of his time in Florida. But his family was stationed in Houston. As a result, the children didn’t get to see much of their father during that time.
 
“So just to get the kids excited about what dad was going to do, I said ‘Would y’all like to go to the moon with me?’” Duke said. “We can take a picture of the family and so the whole family can go to the moon.”

 

The Americas as seen from Apollo 16 on the way to the Moon

 

 

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Just Some Astronauts Watching Star Wars: The Last Jedi in Space https://www.artofit.org/2021/07/14/just-some-astronauts-watching-star-wars-the-last-jedi-in-space/ https://www.artofit.org/2021/07/14/just-some-astronauts-watching-star-wars-the-last-jedi-in-space/#respond Wed, 14 Jul 2021 23:39:03 +0000 https://www.artofit.org/?p=167907

Photograph via Astronaut Mark T. Vande Hei/NASA

 

How cool is this? For a recent movie night onboard the International Space Station, the crew were treated to a screening of the newest Star Wars film, The Last Jedi. NASA astronaut and flight engineer for International Space Station Expeditions 53 & 54, Mark T. Vande Hei tweeted out a photo of the movie night, adding:

Space Station movie night, complete with “bungee cord chairs”, drink bags, and a science fiction flick!

 

 

via Astronaut Mark T. Vande Hei on Twitter

 

 

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What Tokyo Looks Like at Night from the International Space Station https://www.artofit.org/2021/07/14/what-tokyo-looks-like-at-night-from-the-international-space-station/ https://www.artofit.org/2021/07/14/what-tokyo-looks-like-at-night-from-the-international-space-station/#respond Wed, 14 Jul 2021 18:19:40 +0000 https://www.artofit.org/?p=167763

Image Credit: NASA

 

In this photo, we see what Tokyo looks like at night as pictured from the International Space Station orbiting 261 miles (420 km) above. This photo was taken in February 2021.

 

via NASA

 

 

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Humans Just Flew the First Ever Aircraft on Another Planet https://www.artofit.org/2021/05/17/humans-just-flew-the-first-ever-aircraft-on-another-planet/ https://www.artofit.org/2021/05/17/humans-just-flew-the-first-ever-aircraft-on-another-planet/#respond Mon, 17 May 2021 19:36:40 +0000 https://www.artofit.org/?p=167495

 

On Monday, NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter became the first aircraft in history to make a powered, controlled flight on another planet.

NASA Associate Administrator for Science, Thomas Zurbuchen, announced the name for the Martian airfield on which the flight took place.

“Now, 117 years after the Wright brothers succeeded in making the first flight on our planet, NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter has succeeded in performing this amazing feat on another world,” Zurbuchen said. “While these two iconic moments in aviation history may be separated by time and 173 million miles of space, they now will forever be linked. As an homage to the two innovative bicycle makers from Dayton, this first of many airfields on other worlds will now be known as Wright Brothers Field, in recognition of the ingenuity and innovation that continue to propel exploration.”

 

 

The solar-powered helicopter first became airborne at 3:34 a.m. EDT. Altimeter data indicate Ingenuity climbed to its prescribed maximum altitude of 10 feet (3 meters) and maintained a stable hover for 30 seconds. It then descended, touching back down on the surface of Mars after logging a total of 39.1 seconds of flight. NASA is promising more adventurous flights in the days ahead as Ingenuity will be commanded to fly higher and further as engineers seek to test the limits of the technology.

 

 

Perseverance touched down with Ingenuity attached to its belly on February 18th. The GIF above shows each step of the Ingenuity helicopter deploying from the belly of NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover from March 26 to April 3, 2021. The final image shows the helicopter on the ground after the rover drove about 13 feet (4 meters) away.

 

 

The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter’s carbon fiber blades can be seen in this video taken by the Mastcam-Z instrument aboard NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover. The four blades are arranged into two 4-foot-long (1.2-meter-long) counter-rotating rotors that can spin at roughly 2,400 rpm. The helicopter weighs about 4 pounds (1.8 kilograms) on Earth, and about 1.5 pounds (0.68 kilograms) on Mars. It stands 1.6 feet (0.49 meters) high.

 

 

The 4-pound (1.8-kg) rotorcraft is intended to demonstrate whether future exploration of the Red Planet could include an aerial perspective. This first flight was full of unknowns. The Red Planet has a significantly lower gravity – one-third that of Earth’s – and an extremely thin atmosphere with only 1% the pressure at the surface compared to our planet. This means there are relatively few air molecules with which Ingenuity’s two 4-foot-wide (1.2-meter-wide) rotor blades can interact to achieve flight.

 

 

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter took this shot while hovering over the Martian surface on April 19, 2021, during the first instance of powered, controlled flight on another planet. It used its navigation camera, which autonomously tracks the ground during flight.

 

 

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Their Last Photo on Earth Before Life on the ISS for 6 Months https://www.artofit.org/2021/05/17/their-last-photo-on-earth-before-life-on-the-iss-for-6-months/ https://www.artofit.org/2021/05/17/their-last-photo-on-earth-before-life-on-the-iss-for-6-months/#respond Mon, 17 May 2021 18:36:28 +0000 https://www.artofit.org/?p=167461

 

What would you do on your last day on Earth for 6 months? Going to the beach and listening to the waves with your crew has got to be up there! The four-astronaut team arrived at the International Space Station on April 24th aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule ‘Endeavour’, becoming the first crew ever to be propelled into orbit by a rocket booster recycled from a previous spaceflight.

The Endeavour capsule, also making its second flight, was launched into space on Friday atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

On board were two NASA astronauts – mission commander Shane Kimbrough, 53, and pilot Megan McArthur, 49 – along with Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, 52, and fellow mission specialist Thomas Pesquet, 43, a French engineer from the European Space Agency.

 

via Astronaut Thomas Pesquet on Twitter

 

 

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In 1969 Michael Collins Took This Photo of Every Single Human But Himself https://www.artofit.org/2021/05/17/in-1969-michael-collins-took-this-photo-of-every-single-human-but-himself/ https://www.artofit.org/2021/05/17/in-1969-michael-collins-took-this-photo-of-every-single-human-but-himself/#respond Mon, 17 May 2021 18:06:20 +0000 https://www.artofit.org/?p=167438

 

NASA astronaut Michael Collins, who stayed behind in the command module of Apollo 11 on July 20, 1969 while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin travelled to the lunar surface to become the first humans to walk on the moon, passed away on Wednesday April 28, at age 90, his family said.

Selected as part of NASA’s third group of 14 astronauts in 1963, Collins flew in space twice. His first spaceflight was on Gemini 10 in 1966, in which he and Command Pilot John Young performed orbital rendezvous with two spacecraft and undertook two extravehicular activities (EVAs, also known as spacewalks). On the 1969 Apollo 11 mission he became one of 24 people to fly to the Moon, which he orbited thirty times. He was the fourth person (and third American) to perform a spacewalk, the first person to have performed more than one spacewalk, and, after Young, who flew the command module on Apollo 10, the second person to orbit the Moon alone. [source]

Collins took the photo above of the Apollo 11 lunar module “Eagle” as it returned from the surface of the moon to dock with the command module “Columbia”. A half-illuminated Earth hangs over the horizon. Every single human but Collins is in this photo, which is pretty damn cool.

His strongest memory from Apollo 11, he said, was looking back at the Earth, which he said seemed “fragile.”

“I really believe that if the political leaders of the world could see their planet from a distance of 100,000 miles, their outlook could be fundamentally changed. That all-important border would be invisible, that noisy argument silenced,” he said.

Rest in peace Mr. Collins.

 

 

via NASA

 

 

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