Monday, September 8, 2008

Asteroids, Imagery, Star Trek, and Water Bears

Space Rocks

From The Asteroid Belt

Asteroid Steins
Asteroid Steins seen from a distance of 800 km, taken by the OSIRIS imaging system from two different perspectives. The effective diameter of the asteroid is 5 km, approximately as predicted. At the top of the asteroid (as shown in this image), a large crater, approximately 1.5-km in size, can be seen. Scientists were amazed that the asteroid survived the impact that was responsible for the crater.

Another Satellite is Launched

Delta 2 Rocket w/ GeoEye-1 Satellite
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - A super-sharp Earth-imaging satellite has been launched into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base on the Central California coast.
This new satellite will provide high resolution views of objects as small as a house cat, from 423 miles away in orbit. The real cool thing is they will be available through Google. If you think looking at your house from space was cool before with Google Maps and Google Earth, this is going to be great. Incidentally, if you haven't tried, "street view", in Google Maps, it's a lot of fun. You virtually "stand" in the middle of the street looking at your house. You can turn around 360° and see your neighbors houses, up and down the street, and across the street, from right in front of your house. This new satellite should make that even more interesting.

Anyone Can Fly A Radio Controlled Helicopter
No experience required

You can do this helicopter stunt now!
Computer assists you to to be helicopter pilot.

In 10 minutes, a computer algorithm developed by Stanford University scientists learned, and then flawlessly replicated, more than 20 years of radio-controlled helicopter expertise.

"The goal was to take an off-the-shelf helicopter and write a program to fly it as good as an expert," said Adam Coates, one of the scientist involved in the project.

"We are now more accurate and consistent than an expert human-piloted helicopter," said Pieter Abbeel, another Stanford scientist involved with the project.

Does this take the fun out of it?

Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations.

When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong.
- George Carlin

Who Knew this is Star Trek's birthday?

Space, the final frontier

That's right folks, it was September 8, 1966 that Star Trek made it's TV debut. It seems like yesterday. I was living in Houston at the time. I didn't have a TV in my place, so I would watch Star Trek at one of my band members places. This was before VCR's, so if you missed an episode, you missed it.

Hurricane Ike 3 Day Forecast

[Image of 3-day forecast, and coastal areas under a warning or a watch]

It still looks like it could hit New Orleans

Sara Palin's idea of a good time in Alaska
Maybe she should go hunting with Dick Cheney.
In early 2007, Palin's administration approved an initiative to pay a $150 bounty to hunters who killed a wolf from an airplane in certain areas, hacked off the left foreleg, and brought in the appendage. Ruling that the Palin administration didn't have the authority to offer payments, a state judge quickly put a halt to them but not to the shooting of wolves from aircraft.

Comets sometimes disguised as asteroids

Photograph of comet West by John LaBorde
An asteroid cruising through the solar system six years ago seemed just another silent ship sailing in the eternal darkness, until it flared up with the startling brightness of a comet's halo.

Just like that, the space rock known as NEO 2001 OG108 was re-classified as C/2001 OG108 in 2002, from asteroid to comet. Scientists now suspect that 5 to 10 percent of other Near Earth Objects (NEOs) may also be comets lurking in disguise as asteroids.

Earth Creature Survives in Space

Water Bear, AKA Tartigrade
The tardigrades were aboard the FOTON-M3 spacecraft launched by the European Space Agency in September 2007 and were exposed to open space conditions, the scientists reported today. They were examined upon return to Earth.Most survived exposure to the vacuum and cosmic rays, and some even survived the exposure to the deadly levels of solar UV radiation, which are more than 1,000 times higher than on the surface of the Earth.The survivors "could reproduce fine after their space trip," according to a statement released today by Cell Press, the journal that published results of the test.

Today's relatively appropriate song;
Ground Control to Major Tom
-David Bowie


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