Categories
Mindsets Science and nature Travel and places

Earth’s 5 continents

My daughter informed me that, according to her teacher, there are 5 continents:

  1. The Americas (because North and South America are connected)
  2. Africa
  3. Australia
  4. Europe
  5. Asia (no comment on how connected Europe and Asia are)

Antarctica is apparently just a really big block of ice …

The world really has changed since I was at school … 🌎

Update: One of my colleagues pointed out that there are a few ways to count the continents (SPOILER: Each method includes Antarctica).

Categories
Science and nature

Our home on a cloudy day in May 1969

May 18, 1969 - Apollo 10 View of the Earth
A view of Earth from 36,000 nautical miles away as photographed from the Apollo 10 spacecraft during its trans-lunar journey toward the moon. While the Yucatan Peninsula is obscured by clouds, nearly all of Mexico north of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec can be clearly delineated. Image Credit: NASA

One of the many things I like about having a Chromecast is seeing images like this beautiful photograph of our home planet on a cloudy day in May 1969, courtesy of NASA’s Image of the Day initiative.

Source: NASA

Categories
Photography Science and nature

Spellbound by views of Earth from the ISS

I am just spellbound by views of Earth from the ISS. I shared some of the videos and photos that mesmerized me the other day on Stuff To Teach Our Kids:

http://stufftoteachourkids.org/2017/01/seeing-our-planet-from-the-international-space-station/

I thought those videos and images were spectacular and then I stumbled across 4K footage from the ISS that blew my mind (even on our “normal” HD TV). Take a look at these:

and

Just amazing. It drives home what a beautiful planet we share and how wonderful it is to have resources like this available to us.

Categories
Events and Life Science and nature

A reminder about our perceived differences

A spectacular reminder that our perceived differences are just that.

NASA astronaut Doug Wheelock tweeted this photo with the caption “It’s Tuesday; And you’re beautiful; And it’ll be exactly the same tomorrow…only Wednesday.” .

If you love photos like this, be sure to take a look at this collection:

Categories
Mindsets

They’re all third world problems

The Shower Thoughts subreddit occasionally has some really funny observations and comments. I really enjoyed this one about third world problems:

Not everything people post there is funny but there are more than a few gems.

Image credit: Blue Marble – 2002 by the NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center, licensed CC BY 2.0

Categories
Science and nature

Looking back to see the Moon passing over the Earth

NASA released images of the Moon passing over the Earth that looks unreal … literally. We are used to photos of the Moon from our vantage point down here and on its own. This almost looks like an illustration, especially when you consider that the side of the Moon we see in this photo is the “dark side” we almost never see from Earth.

This animation still image shows the far side of the moon, illuminated by the sun, as it crosses between the DISCOVR spacecraft’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) camera and telescope, and the Earth – one million miles away.

According to NASA’s blog post titled “From a Million Miles Away, NASA Camera Shows Moon Crossing Face of Earth” –

The images were captured by NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), a four megapixel CCD camera and telescope on the DSCOVR satellite orbiting 1 million miles from Earth. From its position between the sun and Earth, DSCOVR conducts its primary mission of real-time solar wind monitoring for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The blog post explains that the photos are actually composites from “three separate monochrome exposures taken by the camera in quick succession”. The Flickr post also mentioned that the telescope that took these photos with a four megapixel CCD camera! I was wondering about the colour distortion on the right edge of the Moon (more visible in the still photo) and the post explains as follows:

Combining three images taken about 30 seconds apart as the moon moves produces a slight but noticeable camera artifact on the right side of the moon. Because the moon has moved in relation to the Earth between the time the first (red) and last (green) exposures were made, a thin green offset appears on the right side of the moon when the three exposures are combined. This natural lunar movement also produces a slight red and blue offset on the left side of the moon in these unaltered images.

Here is a cool video made from the still images:

And then, when you look in the other direction far off into space, you see amazing sights like this image of a storm in the Lagoon Nebula in the Sagittarius constellation:

Stormy seas in Sagittarius

Images from the NASA Goddard Flight Center, licensed CC BY 2.0

Categories
Photography

Seeing the stars from the International Space Station

This is a striking view from the ISS. Two things stand out for me. The first is how many more stars you can see from space and the second is that bubble around our planet, out atmosphere.