Category Archives: Multiple media

Opening the space frontier and our eyes

Via comes a pointer to the video below by Christoph Malin who combines wonderful imagery of earth with a lecture by astronaut and former ISS crew member Don Pettit about taking photos from the station.

This is a tribute to the International Space Station Program as well as Dr. Don Pettit, NASA Astronaut and ISS Astrophotographer. It can not be emphasized enough, how Dr. Pettits innovative photographic work and his passion has changed the way we see earth from space. Accompanied with great info on the challenges of astrophotography aboard the ISS by Dr. Pettit, the shortfilm features a great compilation of 4 timelapses (“intro”, “startrails”, “fisheye” and “aurorae”). Now welcome aboard the ISS – enjoy stunning photography and timelapses from the Space Station!

Here is a posting by Malin about the making of the video: Earth from above – a little background info on my new ISS shortfilm documentary – Christoph Malin

“Making the invisible visible” – the ISS Image Frontier from Christoph Malin on Vimeo.

Coronal Rain falls fearsome hot upon the Sun

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory in space recorded this awesome event on the sun last July: NASA’s SDO Shows A Little Rain On the Sun – NASA – Feb.20.13

From the caption:

Eruptive events on the Sun can be wildly different. Some come just with a solar flare, some with an additional ejection of solar material called a coronal mass ejection (CME), and some with complex moving structures in association with changes in magnetic field lines that loop up into the Sun’s atmosphere, the corona.

On July 19, 2012, an eruption occurred on the sun that produced all three. A moderately powerful solar flare exploded on the Sun’s lower right hand limb, sending out light and radiation. Next came a CME, which shot off to the right out into space. And then, the Sun treated viewers to one of its dazzling magnetic displays — a phenomenon known as coronal rain.

Over the course of the next day, hot plasma in the corona cooled and condensed along strong magnetic fields in the region. Magnetic fields, themselves, are invisible, but the charged plasma is forced to move along the lines, showing up brightly in the extreme ultraviolet wavelength of 304 Angstroms, which highlights material at a temperature of about 50,000 Kelvin. This plasma acts as a tracer, helping scientists watch the dance of magnetic fields on the Sun, outlining the fields as it slowly falls back to the solar surface.

The footage in this video was collected by the Solar Dynamics Observatory’s AIA instrument. SDO collected one frame every 12 seconds, and the movie plays at 30 frames per second, so each second in this video corresponds to 6 minutes of real time. The video covers 12:30 a.m. EDT to 10:00 p.m. EDT on July 19, 2012.

Credit: NASA SDO
Music: “Thunderbolt” by Lars Leonhard, courtesy of artist.

Prof. Jim Bell talks about exploring Mars, the Moon, asteroids and more with rovers and landers

Here is a video of a public presentation by Prof. Jim Bell of Arizona State Univ. on planetary and deep space exploration. Lots of great pictures.

In this talk Professor Bell will review some of the recent highlights from Mars surface missions (especially the continuing adventures of the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers), discuss the kinds of up-close contact science measurements that can be done from such robotic vehicles, and talk about how the lessons learned from these missions can influence future Mars, asteroid, and comet rovers and landers.

More at



Space Engine – free 3D space simulation software

Via Ralph Ewig’s blog comes a pointer to the Space Engine, which is a

free space simulation software that lets you explore the universe in three dimensions, starting from planet Earth to the most distant galaxies. Areas of the known universe are represented using actual astronomical data, while regions uncharted by human astronomy are generated procedurally. Millions of galaxies, trillions of stars, countless planets!

Here is a video created by the Space Engine: