ESA Video: Guide to our Galaxy

ESA released this video Guide to our Galaxy:


This virtual journey shows the different components that make up our home galaxy, the Milky Way, which contains about a hundred billion stars.

It starts at the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way and with the stars that orbit around it, before zooming out through the central Galactic Bulge, which hosts about ten billion stars.

The journey continues through a younger population of stars in the stellar disc, home to most of the Milky Way’s stars, and which is embedded in a slightly larger gaseous disc. Stars in the disc are arranged in a spiral arm pattern and orbit the centre of the Galaxy.

The discs and bulge are embedded in the stellar halo, a spherical structure that consists of a large number of globular clusters – the oldest population of stars in the Galaxy – as well as many isolated stars. An even larger halo of invisible dark matter is inferred by its gravitational effect on the motions of stars in the Galaxy.

Looking at a face-on view of the Galaxy we see the position of our Sun, located at a distance of about 26 000 light-years from the Galactic Centre.

Finally, the extent of the stellar survey conducted by ESA’s Hipparcos mission is shown, which surveyed more than 100 000 stars up to 300 light-years away from the Sun. In comparison, ESA’s Gaia survey will study one billion stars out to 30 000 light-years away.

More and more opportunities for student projects to reach space

Opportunities are opening up rapidly for students from high school to grad school to see their own space science and satellite projects reach space.

For example, NanoRacks offers access to the International Space Station for both science experiments on the station and to launch Cubesats from the station : Right This Way to the Space Station – Air & Space Magazine

Here is a video of 3 satellites released from the ISS this week:


And on Tuesday evening, an Orbital Sciences rocket orbited 28 Cubesats, many of which were built by students groups including one in high school:

Here’s a video of the launch of the Minotaur rocket  from Wallops Island, Virginia:

Video: “Blade Runner The Aquarelle Edition”

Swedish artist Anders Ramsell has created a handmade watercolor version of the movie Blade Runner: Blade Runner, as recreated in 12,597 gorgeous watercolor paintings – io9 –

From the caption:

This animation consists of 12 597 handmade aquarelle paintings, each painting is approximately 1,5*3cm in size. Together they form my 35 minute long paraphrase on the motion picture Blade Runner (1982) by Ridley Scott.

To see original paintings check:

Like on Facebook:…

Visit Anders Ramsell Site:

Follw on Twitter:

“Blade Runner – The Aquarelle Edition” follows the original movie´s storyline but I have taken the liberty to change a lot of things. It was never my intent to make an exact version of the movie, that would fill no purpose. Instead I wanted to create a something different and never before seen — “The Aquarelle Edition”.

…So this one is dedicated to everybody with any kind of heart. Enjoy!

All sound belongs to Warner Bros.

Video: NASA workshop on proposals for asteroid program

Here is the initial session of a recent workshop on proposals submitted for NASA’s asteroid initiative:

NASA TV coverage of the plenary session of the NASA-hosted public workshop at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston to examine 96 of the ideas submitted to the recent Request For Information on ways to accomplish the agency’s asteroid initiative