Ok, for all you intergalactic travelers out there, it’s the Location Earth Dog Tag, a lovely dog tag style pendant engraved with several methods of locating Earth in the galaxy. That way, when you hitch a ride on that friendly alien spacecraft, you’ll be able to give them good directions. There’s even an alien abduction money-back guarantee if you’re not returned safely to Earth! All for only $12.99
I didn’t get a chance to blog this earlier because of our slow internet connection in San Juan, but NASA’s 2 new cloud monitoring satellites, CloudSat and Calipso, were successfully launched Friday morning after some difficulties they delayed their originial launch date. What’s cool about these satellites is that they are carrying instruments that can view clouds in 3D, which will hopefully give scientists new perspectives on how clouds and airborne particles like aerosols impact weather and climate.
This site is probably not new to some of you, but I think it is worth a post. The USGS, conjunction with NASA, offers access to global imagery of a number of planets and moons through its Map-a-Planet site. The navigation on the viewers is a little clunky, but it’s a cool way to explore some of the data and imagery that have been acquired for some of our nearest celestial neighbors, and you can make your own custom maps of the data
Tomorrow (Wednesday) there will be a total or near-total solar eclipse that will be visible in parts of Europe, Africa, and South America (see this guide from MSNBC). For the rest of us, however, NASA and the Exploratorium will be offering a live satellite broadcast of the eclipse from Side, Turkey, starting at 5am Eastern US Standard Time Wednesday. Over 90 museums, planetariums and other sites around the world will be broadcasting the eclipse, and the video will be streamed live over the Internet via MSNBC.com, NASA, and other outlets. EclipseLive.com will also be offering their own coverage.
In a cool twist, the Exploratorium will be streaming the total eclipse into the virtual world of Second Life, the online virtual world game, where a developer has created a virtual version of the Roman-era ampitheatre where NASA will be broadcasting from.
So, if you can get up at that hour, or for those of you in Europe and Asia where it will be much later in the day, check out the eclipse without the danger of damaging your eyes!
SETI@home is an attempt to search for extraterrestrial signals through the use of a distributed computing model, using processing power of millions of volunteer’s computers. To date they have proceeded through grants and donations, however this year they have begun their First Annual Donation Drive. This is an interesting use of technology and a more addictive screen saver than flying toasters. If you are interested in adding to the existing computing power or to their fund raiser head over to the SETI@home site
Way cool for space nuts out there like me…. Google Mars!Ã‚Â It’s just like Google Local, except with data from Mars.Ã‚Â There’s a nice elevation dataset and some interesting visible data as well.Ã‚Â Of course you can’t search for pizza joints in the area, but hey, it’s a step in the right direction!
Nasa is reporting this after that their Cassini probe has discovered what appears to be liquid water errupting “Old Faithful” style from the surface of Enceladus.Ã‚Â As everyone is probably aware, water is the key to life… As the director of the imaging program said, “… we have significantly broadened the diversity of solar system environments where we might possibly have conditions suitable for living organisms.”Ã‚Â Pretty exciting news!
The Japanese Advanced Land Observation Satellite (nicknamed “Daichi’) was launched on January 24th, after two delays for technical problems. According to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), The satellite will be used for mapping and to monitor disasters and environmental change around the world.
Continuing last week’s podcast “space theme”, CNN has this story about astronomers using new techniques to discover the most Earth-like planet found yet. From the story, “an international team has detected a cold planet about 5-1/2 times more massive than Earth — still small enough to be considered Earth-like — orbiting a star about 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius (The Archer), close to the center of the Milky Way.” Now THAT’S remote sensing!
Ok, bad joke… but still exteremely interesting to those of us fascinated with space!