Tuesday, July 23

Mars-Rough Terrain

Rough Terrain

This is an overview of the planet Mars like you have never saw it before! In stunning HD, the HiRISE camera is one of the strongest camera’s ever to see another planet. If only “it” could speak. But it did, take a look.


Uploaded on Jan 25, 2012

HiRISE: High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment

The HiRISE camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is the most powerful one of its kind ever sent to another planet. Its high resolution allows us to see Mars like never before, and helps other missions choose a safe spot to land for future exploration.

NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASAs Science
Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. and is operated by the University of Arizona.


In Space, they don’t have things fall on the floor.


Sunday, July 14

The Earth Is Green


PicSpeed -1754111663

In our everyday life we deal with problems that impact not only us but every living thing on this planet. Science and technology go a long way in helping us solve these issues, but mankind has been busy thriving throughout Earth’s history and we have not been that picky about what we leave behind.

Be it wars over Earth’s resources, bad laws made by governments, the thirst for oil, terrorism, religion or bad choices by every single one of us, one thing that never changes and we can always count on so far is what’s beneath our feet. Terra-firma, and the Earth is green.

We are so lucky to be able to go outside under the big blue sky with cotton candy clouds and roll in the grass. Even having hay fever can’t be all bad, because pollen in the air is at least a sign that nature is working away, green plants are propagating and honey is being made.

We have fresh air to breath as the green plants busy themselves taking in carbon monoxide and expelling oxygen. There’s humidity in the air and the clouds are busy collecting it. When they become too heavy they release that moisture, growing more green areas on the planet and bringing precious drinking water to the surface and the life forms waiting below.

The third rock from the sun is a planet like no other in it’s class it’s one of a kind. It’s a jewel in space and like all things that are one of a kind one day it will become extinct. Scientists agree this will happen at some future date unless our star (the sun) dies or another catastrophe befalls us. Terra and all life on it is connected like a spider web. The web is woven and intricate and one day a strand is broken. Only one strand…

What we don’t consider seriously enough is that one strand is connected to other strands all over that spider web and if enough of them break, or a major part of the web is gone, that web will eventually weaken and fail.


Take a few seconds to consider this awesome animated Gif from NASA’s achieves of Earth. Doesn’t it fill you full of raw emotion? But it’s what you don’t see that makes it so important. That’s because like the astronauts (just not live) you are experiencing a representation of what it would be like to see the Earth from space and to experience The Overview Effect for yourselves.

Although 75% of the planet is a relatively unchanging ocean of blue, the remaining 25% of Earth's surface is a dynamic green. Data from the VIIRS sensor aboard the NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP satellite is able to detect these subtle differences in greenness. This video highlights our ever-changing planet, using highly detailed vegetation index data from the satellite, developed by scientists at NOAA. The darkest green areas are the lushest in vegetation, while the pale colors are sparse in vegetation cover either due to snow, drought, rock, or urban areas. Satellite data from April 2012 to April 2013 was used to generate these animations and images.

The Earth is green and green means go. As long as the surface remains a “go” it’s reassuring. However NASA has been releasing animated Gifs showing deforestation and de-greening of the Earth. Melting of the Polar Ice, glaciers and slash and burn agriculture.

Man’s puny reach outside of our solar system has brought many discoveries although many have yet to be proven or understood.

Although we think we have found other “earth-like” planets, these planets are still a far cry from the resources we have on our own planet and man’s dream of finding another planet to colonize is still just that.


Sunday, July 7

The Fugitive Rainbow



Five billion years ago a molecular cloud wandered through the cold vacuum of space until it was brought into contact with a moment of gravitational instability, which caused its free floating atoms of hydrogen and helium to destabilize and form clusters of dense matter. As the cloud collapsed a star was born, its core of thermo-nuclear fusion radiating out waves of light and energy across the void.

Stars Being Born & Dying

On a clear night, gazing up at the sky, we might chance upon these invisible waves of light. Their particles enter our eyes, penetrating the boundaries of our body to form an intangible bridge that unites us with the stars, eliding the gap between past and present, near and far. As they impact on our retina they stimulate our brain to perceive their source as a distant pinprick of effervescent white; one amongst millions that bespatter the black canvas of the sky with a spectrum of whites tinted with the palest of blues, reds, and yellows. But this tint is frequently overlooked; passed over for the more obvious constellation patterns that give order to the night sky. Yet for scientists these colors are highly significant; contributing to our knowledge of realities that we will never see: a star’s age, composition, and distance from the earth.

However, by day this subtle palette of starlight disappears, obliterated by the intense luminosity of our own star-the Sun. As our brains interpret the evidence from light that is gathered by our eyes the world becomes clothed in an array of rich colors; a seemingly impenetrable skin that lends our experiences a sense of solidity. But whilst it may provide the world with form, substance, and infinite variety, color is also subversive, allowing intimations of the intangible to enter this material reality.

Rainbows have long been associated with this incursion of otherness into the everyday, providing a moment of wonder that some have interpreted as a sign of divine covenant and promise. Others, however, have seen it as a natural phenomenon, and been inspired to analyze and understand it; to undertake experiments with water filled glass flasks and to sit in darkened rooms lit only by a narrow slit. In 1307 Theodoric of Freiberg, reflecting on his observations of dew-drops collected on a spiders’ web, traced the refracted path of light through the raindrop to the eye. And then, almost four hundred years later, Sir Isaac Newton’s experiments with prisms helped him to identify light as the source of color sensation, and allowed him to propose the spectrum of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet that even now is used to tame the apparently continuous colors of the rainbow.

Newton’s Opticka, which contained the results of his study of light and color, was published in 1704. Three hundred years later we now know light travels as electromagnetic waves and that the different primary colors of the spectrum are the result of the differing speeds of these wavelengths. We have also come to accept that an objects’ color is determined by its ability to reflect, scatter, or absorb these different wavelengths, whilst biologists have identified the three types of color sensitive receptors, or cones, in the eye that enable us to ‘see’ color. And more recently, neuro-biologists have even begun to chart the neural processes that transpose the raw data received by these cells into our color vision.

And yet the systematic theories of objective science cannot fully explain the actual, subjective experience of color. Outside the laboratory, in the artist’s studio it frequently behaves in ways that contradict the expectations and principles proposed by theory and experiment. As Ludwig Wittgenstein demonstrated in his book, Remarks on Color [1978], color defies the limitations of language, and disrupts our desire for universal principals. To every claim, there is a counter claim; a different color theory, an alternative color wheel. It is as elusive, and fleeting as a kingfisher’s darting, iridescent flight; a presence that cannot be pinned down, as can be seen in the inconclusive discussions by scientists, artists, and philosophers that have surrounded the identification of the primaries; those pure colors from which all others can be potentially mixed.

There have been many subjective contributions to this debate but none has proved decisively conclusive. The Roman author Pliny identified four primary colors, whereas Newton’s spectrum contained seven. There are three color receptors in the eye, which are sensitive to the three primary colors of light – red, green, and blue; these form an ‘additive’ triad which when mixed together equally become white. But then those who work with paint or dye replace the green with yellow, and these ‘subtractive’ primaries of red, yellow, and blue, or cyan, magenta and yellow, when equally mixed create a black or very dark, muddy brown. In the early twentieth century A.H.Munsell, Paul Klee and Johannes Itten each developed color theories that proposed five primaries, whilst Kandinsky worked with six.

The arbitrary nature of our color experience can be partially explained by the fluid nature of our environment, where the objective passage of light can be refracted and altered by the atmosphere through which it travels and the objects which may impede its path. What is produced as a result is the constantly changing world of color that bedazzles our eyes. But it can also be explained by recent discoveries made by molecular biologists studying the amino acids in the eye that affect and influence color vision. They have learnt that miniscule differences in these amino acids can occur between individuals, and as a consequence there is the potential for us all to perceive color slightly differently. We can therefore never hope to reach a fixed consensus in our investigation of color. For this we must look to that intangible space of light. It is here, in this invisible territory where color awaits its birth, that we find the possibility of a universal and objective language.

Source: Google search


Monday, June 3

Ambassador Of The Overview


Chris Hadfield posing on the ISS with new telescope.

Chris Hadfield’s stay in the ISS recently made him the most popular and well known astronaut since Neil Armstrong and Yuri Gagarin. His exploits while staying at the International Space Station made him an overnight sensation and permanent Space Ambassador to our planet.

His masterful manipulation of the press while on the ISS brought back more interest in space then the nation has seen in ages. Using social networks to detail his progress and showing incredible photos of Earth from space this Canadian astronaut captured the attention and love of the world.

Chris Hadfield’s stay lasted for five months on the the International Space Station and this mission saw him become the first Canadian to command the orbiting laboratory. This has been his third time in space and the last two times have been on the ISS.

The engineer and former test pilot from Milton, Ontario made his first trip to space in November 1995 when he visited the old Russian Space Station Mir. His second voyage was to the International Space Station in April 2001, when he also performed two space walks.

While Hadfield may be best remembered for his photography, live broadcasts and music from space his main purpose throughout the mission was performing more than 100 science experiments on the human body.

Chris Hadfield is outspoken about Peace and how the Overview Effect has colored his perspective as an astronaut and individual. He speaks of a love for the planet and hope for us all.

On January 2, Hadfield posted a picture of Latakia, Syria, online with the message: “Deceptively calm and beautiful, strife-torn on the shore on the sea. Peaceful from such a distance.”

He appealed for Peace from his perch in the sky, saying; “If people, I think, could see the perspective more clearly… (they would glean) that understanding of the fact that we’re all in this together,” he said.

“The perspective that we are subject to, that we are privileged enough to see directly with our eyes, is one I think would benefit everyone, to go around the world in just slightly over 90 minutes…you see it as one place,” Hadfield told a news conference streamed from the International Space Station.

“And so when we do look down on a place that is currently in great turmoil or strife, it’s hard to reconcile the inherent patience and beauty of the world with the terrible things that we can do to each other as people and can do to the Earth itself,” he said.

“Yes, there’s important territorial issues and important personal issues but at the same time with increased communication and with increased understanding comes  a more global perspective,” he added.

I knew Chris Hadfield was made for great things when in quick time he became a huge Internet sensation. He alone made NASA, the Earth and the ISS more interesting and attainable for everyone and in my opinion has been the best Ambassador of space and the Overview Effect we have could ever have.

From Hang Outs on Google Plus to experiments in space for school children Chris Hadfield single handedly brought space and space exploration back to the front burner of the world’s attention. Where we take it next is up to us but I hope Chris Hadfield has something to say about it all. 

Chris Hadfield recorded an album of his music and made the first music video from space while on the ISS and is now on Terra Firma safe and sound.

"If we imagine the Overview for ourselves, forget our petty differences, self-importance, love of money and understand how fragile our existence has become on this planet we may yet have a chance to fulfill our promise to save the Earth .” ♦Bekkie Sanchez

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Tuesday, April 23

3 Years Of The Sun In 3 Minutes

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If the earth is important to us for our survival just think what we’d do without the sun. The sun is our daily source of daylight. Sunlight keeps many plants alive by supporting the photosynthesis process and is a major source of Vitamin D for humans.

The sun is the most important object to Earth. Without the sun, life could not exist. There would be no heat, and all of the oceans would be frozen. There would be no light, and all plants would die. There is almost nothing more important to Earth than the sun.

The sun is an averaged-sized type G star and is middle-aged at about five billion years. Yet within our home solar system, the sun contains more than 99% of all matter. As for its size, about 915 Jupiter's could fit in side of it, as could about 1,206,885 earths.

Now NASA is giving us a chance to view something we can’t see for ourselves, our sun in all it’s glory. The Solar Dynamics Observatory has been watching the sun for three years now and this is truly an amazing view.

In the three years since it first provided images of the sun in the spring of 2010, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has had virtually unbroken coverage of the sun's rise toward solar maximum, the peak of solar activity in its regular 11-year cycle.

SDO's Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) captures a shot of the sun every 12 seconds in 10 different wavelengths. The images shown here are based on a wavelength of 171 Angstroms, which is in the extreme ultraviolet range and shows solar material at around 600,000 Kelvin. In this wavelength it is easy to see the sun's 25-day rotation as well as how solar activity has increased over three years.

During the course of the video, the sun subtly increases and decreases in apparent size. This is because the distance between the SDO spacecraft and the sun varies over time. The image is, however, remarkably consistent and stable despite the fact that SDO orbits the Earth at 6,876 miles per hour and the Earth orbits the sun at 67,062 miles per hour.

Such stability is crucial for scientists, who use SDO to learn more about our closest star. These images have regularly caught solar flares and coronal mass ejections in the act, types of space weather that can send radiation and solar material toward Earth and interfere with satellites in space. SDO's glimpses into the violent dance on the sun help scientists understand what causes these giant explosions -- with the hopes of some day improving our ability to predict this space weather.

There are several noteworthy events that appear briefly in this video. They include the two partial eclipses of the sun by the moon, two roll maneuvers, the largest flare of this solar cycle, comet Lovejoy, and the transit of Venus. I included the times below.

This video shows three years of the sun at a pace of two images per day.

00:30;24 Partial eclipse by the moon

00:31;16 Roll maneuver

01:11;02 August 9, 2011, X6.9 Flare, currently the largest of this solar cycle

01:28;07 Comet Lovejoy, December 15, 2011

01:42;29 Roll Maneuver

01:51;07 Transit of Venus, June 5, 2012

02:28;13 Partial eclipse by the moon

More information about this video, as well as full HD version of all four wavelengths and print-resolution stills are public domain and can be viewed and downloaded at:http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a010000/...
Sources: YouTube and Internet

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Saturday, April 20

Earth Day 2013



Earth Day is celebrated just once every year but that doesn’t mean on that day you decide to pick up a piece of trash, say Happy Earth Day and it’s over. That’s the problem with people’s attitudes about the Earth. However immediate action is not always the answer because before action must come understanding.

From space, the astronauts tell us, national boundaries vanish, the conflicts that divide us become less important and the need to create a planetary society with the united will to protect this "pale blue dot" becomes both obvious and imperative.

While there are some groups like “The Overview Institute” spreading the astronauts word about the overview and this need to have a united planetary society I still feel like they are trying to sell space travel more than the ideas behind this exciting effect. Make no mistake they do have a lot of good information to read there.

The group I want to recommend are the “Planetary Collective” the people who brought us the short film “Overview.” They are in the process of making a full length film about the Overview Effect called “Continuum” and this is what they have to say about it.

“The planet is in crisis. The root of the environmental and social crises facing humanity is the misperception that we are separate-from each other, the planet, and the cosmos as a whole. The solution to this crisis can be found in an emerging worldview that points to our interdependence.

The CONTINUUM feature-length documentary will explore this worldview, weaving together perspectives and ideas from some of the key theorists and thinkers in the fields of cosmology, environmentalism, sustainability, social theory, anthropology, and systems dynamics, telling the story of where we have come from, where we are now, and the possibilities for our future.

Featuring TALKING HEAD INTERVIEWS with key experts, stylish and clear MOTIONGRAPHICS, and an innovative VISUAL NARRATIVE the film frames our planetary crisis in a unique way, at the same time showing how awesome our planet is.

Using cutting-edge cinematography and techniques like time lapse, slow motion, and macro- photography, we will build a visual narrative that emphasizes the beauty and complexity of the natural world, the relationship between humanity and the environment, and the inspiring organizations and projects appearing around the world to confront and transform our current planetary crises.”

My hope is when this comes out and people see it at the movies that we will finally have the full awareness it will take for us to bring this new united planetary society to a global reality. 

When I discovered The Overview Effect it was like a door opened in my mind that had previously only been opened a crack and with it came a flood of realization that the Earth was much more than I ever imagined it was. It gave me a new understanding and feeling about the ground I walk on and the world I live in that I’m anxious to share with everyone.

“On the outside, in-between all of us and everything else.” Chris Hadfield

You can start as I did by learning about it. Watching just two videos completely changed my way of thinking about how I look at everything and one of those was “Overview.” Still, the Overview Effect is all fine and well for the astronauts that have experienced it but what about us Earth bound terrestrials?

“We may not be astronauts, and have not yet experienced our planet from space but we are human beings and as such can relate to each other all the experiences that man finds there.” Bekkie Sanchez

The great thing is that anyone can learn about The Overview Effect and once enough people do perhaps we can then demand that the government stop it’s control when it comes to the environment and we can start in earnest to do what really needs to be done to rejuvenate our planet and it’s resources.

I don’t have all the answers to tell you how to start an international planetary society to protect the Earth but it’s imperative that we start to try. I urge you to take the time to learn more about the astronauts point of view and each other. I feel that if more people could find the “Overview” within themselves, then together we can start to create a cleaner and healthier world for everyone.

Earth becomes what it has been since the beginning of time, a small planet with it’s own atmosphere hanging in space with a star warming it’s surface. A planet subject to meteors, the sun dying or even a catastrophe on the surface of the planet like a super volcano. Not to mention climate changes or acid rain.

Mother Earth isn’t called “mother” because she gave birth to us, she’s called that because without her we would all perish.


Thursday, April 18

Earth Day Approaches

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As Earth Day approaches I cringe because I feel we are failing to comprehend the Overview of our planet’s real problems. Yet I have hope that united we can and will work to eradicate those problems.

We must adopt an International effort like we have in space and practice it here on the surface. I feel it could bring about real change that could shape our lives in a positive way.

Without the Overview Effect we do not experience what the astronauts feel. The camaraderie of being in cramped quarters in space is certainly not the same here on Earth. But we can learn from sharing those experiences with the astronauts as they relate them to us.

Never before have we lived in such an age of information with the Internet and Google. Using these tools like a sharp knife one can find such wonders as views of Earth from the ISS, videos of celestial delights from YouTube, 3D digital reconstructions from NASA, Gifs of space and the descriptions of the astronauts themselves that have experienced the Overview Effect.

With so much information at our finger tips we find ourselves making smarter choices about the kinds of things that impact our lives and in doing so live better lives. Unfortunately better lives are not going to save us if we insist on using up everything on Earth.

Living better lives for us should mean we have more time and money to help other’s who don’t or to recycle. That we are out doing what we can to help save animals and teach right from wrong to our children. Unfortunately the people fighting “the good fight” are few and far between. There’s a lot of tongue wagging going around but there are too many people not doing enough.

Take the case of animals in 2013 and this is just the tip of the iceberg.


Unlike the mass extinction events of geological history, the current extinction challenge is one for which a single species-ours-appears to be almost wholly responsible.

So animal’s surely aren’t benefiting from us being smarter and having more technology. And animal cruelty is on the rise. With cutbacks to services emergency support for all animal’s in 2013 is nil. People committing crimes against animals aren’t being prosecuted because there’s no animal officers to even deal with them to get them to court.

I heard about animal’s like dogs and cats being rounded up and eaten in other counties but was shocked to see on the news that a Bay Area restaurant was serving lion meat in tacos and showed people eating it on TV smacking their lips. Another restaurant is serving lion steak and demand is growing.

Can’t anyone see that this demand for lion meat will fuel the lion farms and bring about the end of the lion more quickly? Do we really want to “eat” them into extinction or should we leave them languish in farms where they surely suffer before they die?

This is only one example of the situations we face in the upcoming years when it comes to the Overview of our planet. If we had the sense to not eat the lion in the first place we wouldn’t cause our own problems. This is where I salute the vegetarians of this world.

My thoughts are many and may be wandering around some, but all these things and weigh heavy on my mind as I helplessly watch what’s going on in the world before Earth Day. Sometimes ecologically I feel we have lost our minds as I take in some of the madness.

People are still starving, wars are still being fought, homeless people still sleep on the streets and the rest of us mostly work our butt’s off to survive but watch this video of the Overview from the ISS and tell me it doesn’t move you. That is doesn’t give you hope and make you feel good.

Despite everything I believe there are things we can do but we can’t do them alone. I have to wonder what could it really be like? Can we really do it?

We can sure keep trying!

Earth Day is Monday, April 22nd.

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Wednesday, April 10

Is Somebody Singing

Chris Hadfield is singing and playing his part of the song in the Copula. The Copula is the round viewing area you see (with the Earth as a backdrop) (above) and where a lot of pictures are taken for us to view.
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Published on Feb 12, 2013

The Barenaked Ladies, a children's choir, and the commander of the International Space Station. Put them together and what do you get? The first space-to-earth musical collaboration.
The song, "I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing) was commissioned by CBCMusic.ca and The Coalition for Music Education with the Canadian Space Agency to celebrate music education in schools across Canada.

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The words to “ISS, Is Somebody Singing” 

On solid fuel and wires
Turn the key and the light the fires.
We’re leaving Earth today
The rockets burning bright
We’ll soon be out of sight
And orbiting in space
Pushed back in my seat
Look out my window
There goes home

That ball of shiny blue houses everybody anybody ever knew

So sing your song I’m listening out where stars are glistening
I can hear your voices bouncing off the moon
If you could see our Nation from the international space station
You’d know why I want to get back soon (get back soon)

Eighteen thousand miles an hour
Fueled by science and solar power
The oceans racing past
At half a thousand tons
Ninety minutes Moon to Sun
A bullet can’t go half this fast

Floating from my seat
Look out my window
There goes Home (There goes home)
That brilliant ball of blue
Is where I’m from, and also where I’m going to

So sing your song I’m listening out where stars are glistening
I can hear your voices bouncing off the moon
If you could see our Nation from the international space station
You’d know why I want to get back soon (get back soon)

All back and white just fades to grey
Where the sunrises sixteen times a day
You can’t make out borders from up here
Just a spinning ball within a tiny atmosphere (atmosphere)

Pushed back in the seat
Look out my window
Here comes home (ho-ho-home)
What once was fueled by fear
Now has fifteen Nation orbiting together here.

So sing your song I’m listening out where stars are glistening
I can hear your voices bouncing off the moon
If you could see our Nation from the international space station
You’d know why I want to get back soon (get back soon)

You’d know why I want to get back soon (getting back to you)
You’d know why I want to get back soon (getting back to you)
You’d know why I want to get back soon (getting back to you)
You’d know why I want to get back soon

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This song can put me in a good mood as soon as I hear it, how can it not? This is the only song that describes this experience, The Overview Effect and what it means. Seeing the Earth from the ISS with no boundaries, hanging there so small and fragile in space must be highly emotional. Being on the ISS is an experience not many of us will ever have. It’s important that we have astronaut's like Chris Hadfield to illustrate and share these unknown experiences with us who are forever earthbound. 

“Nature lies deep within the Earth, and the Earth runs deep within our veins. It is the true nature of every atom of our existence.” Bekkie Sanchez

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Wednesday, March 27

Alien Creature Swims Past International Space Station


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I find this incredibly difficult to believe but I did see it with my own eyes. I have also read quotes and stories from astronauts who have been up there in the station and have said some strange things about alien life forms.

The hard part is getting any of them to talk about it. Astronauts are very tight lipped about unusual things they see in space. And most of them will take those stories to the grave with them.

Not all astronauts have their lips sewn shut about alien creatures. This is what Astronaut Gordon Cooper had to say about it; "I believe that these extra-terrestrial vehicles and their crews are visiting this planet from other planets. Most astronauts were reluctant to discuss UFOs." Astronaut Gordon Cooper lived from 1927-2004.

Since Cooper passed on I could find no more references to aliens made by astronauts. I even looked up quotes from a bunch of other astronauts and the quotes were great but no go on the alien sightings or conjuncture.

Take a look and tell me what you see.


Source: StephenHannardADGUK

Published on Mar 15, 2013

Incredible footage of a translucent type entity caught briefly on NASA's live stream of the International Space Station. The footage cuts off due to NASA pulling the plug on the transmission and replacing it with the infamous static bar screen. If this is genuine footage then it proves yet again that NASA have failed to inform the people of the world that life exists outside planet Earth, albeit in this case, a possible protean life form or invertebrate. Footage submitted via my website by Henry Grantham.

The first thing I noticed is the sound was bad on this video. Sorry about the obnoxious buzz this causes. You don’t need the sound on anyway there’s no speaking.

Whatever it is in the video, it swims in space like a fish. So it would be swimming in a vacuum with no air and it’s freezing cold in space. These aren’t the only things that bother me about it.

Needless to say I’m underwhelmed. I would like to hear what you think about it and if you do indeed believe in alien’s from outer space? Why haven’t the astronauts met them yet? Even on the moon they found signs of no life forms.

What if one of these days we did find a life form in space (alien or otherwise?) How exciting that would be! For now I’m still an unbeliever about extraterrestrials in space but I will wait and see.

“When you head on out to the Moon, in very short order you get a chance to look back at the Earth, that horizon slowly curves around in upon himself, and all of sudden you're looking at something that is very strange, but yet is very, very familiar, because you're beginning to see the Earth evolve.” Astronaut: Gene Cernan

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Sunday, March 24

Learning To Fly


I remember when I first heard this song. What a feeling came over me and still does to this day. When I was a child I used to dream about flying all of the time and in my own mind, I really could fly!

“The man who has no imagination has no wings.” Muhammad Ali

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Learning To Fly Lyrics

Into the distance, a ribbon of black
Stretched to the point of no turning back
A flight of fancy on a windswept field
Standing alone my senses reeled
A fatal attraction is holding me fast
How can I escape this irresistible grasp?
Can't keep my eyes from the circling sky
Tongue-tied and twisted just an earthbound misfit, I
Ice is forming on the tips of my wings
Unheeded warnings, I thought I thought of everything
No navigator to find my way home
Unleadened, empty and turned to stone
A soul in tension, is learning to fly
Condition grounded but determined to try
Can't keep my eyes from the circling skies
Tongue-tied and twisted just an earthbound misfit, I
Friction lock...
Set...Mixture...Rich propellers...Fully forward flaps...Set...Ten degrees...
Full gauges and suction-check
Gas set to maximum percent-recheck
Flight instruments...
Altimeters-check both
Navigation lights–on
Perimeter lights-on
Confirm 3-8 Echo ready for departure
Hello again, this is now 129.4
129.4, its to go.
You make commence your take-off, winds over 10 knots.
Easy on the brakes. Take it easy, it's gonna roll this time: just handle the power gradually, and it...
Above the planet on a wing and a prayer,
My grubby halo, a vapor trail in the empty air
Across the clouds I see my shadow fly
Out of the corner of my watering eye
A dream unthreatened by the morning light
Could blow this soul right through the roof of the night
There's no sensation to compare with this
Suspended animation, a state of bliss
Can't keep my mind from the circling skies
Tongue-tied and twisted just an earthbound misfit, I

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While daydreaming (which was most of the time) the thought never occurred to me that it was impossible to fly. I had a vivid imagination where I could not only imagine things but “see them” and although it got me in trouble plenty of times it took me places that I will never be able to go again as an adult.

I spent many a day lying in the grass staring at the clouds and flying my flight of fancy. If anyone cared, I was indeed soaring with the birds.

I only wish now that I could go into space and spend just a moment on the International Space Station so that I could see what all who went before me saw; the Earth as it really is; the not so big blue marble in spinning in space.

With all of my talents and thirst for learning I could have been an astronaut and learned to really fly but unfortunately my parents never mentioned the word “college” nor did I ever receive much encouragement to do anything with my life. I left home early but I was resourceful and took care of those things myself. Now at my age the imagination part still works but it’s much too late for me to become an astronaut.

I’m glad we have the astronaut’s knowledge to fall back on, they have really been “up there” and reading their experiences and listening to their stories make flying (or at least imagining what it’s like,) possible for us all.

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.” Albert Einstein

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Sources: YouTube, BrainyQuote, Internet

Due to sound quality I picked a video with no picture on purpose.

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Tuesday, March 12

Curiosity Finds Signs Of Life On Mars



NASA’s Curiosity rover holding the first sample of powered rock. 

At 1pm today there was a press conference by NASA LIVE stream about a rock that Curiosity Rover drilled into, that they think may now show that at one time there was indeed primitive life on the surface of Mars.

On Feb. 8th Curiosity, using it’s arm mounted hammering drill, drilled deeper into the rock at the John Klein outcrop then any robot had ever drilled before on the surface of Mars.


The area within Gale Crater where Curiosity collected it’s first sample by John Klein Rock.

The sample was collected from the 2.5 inch hole and two weeks later the rover transferred the gray rock powder into the 2 onboard instruments called Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) and Sample Analysis at Mars (or SAM.)

What was in the sample was exhilarating because some of the key ingredients for life was found. These new findings and what it could mean has everyone talking anew about life on Mars. This is something NASA scientists have been searching for, after much debate on the subject in the past. Now, it looks like they have their proof.

The rock dust sample shows traces of sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon. The fine grained rock also contains clay minerals, suggesting a long ago ocean that was salty and neutral, a place that was habitable. A place that had everything that primitive microbes needed to live.

Due to problems with the A and B side computer modules and a Mars bound solar eruption, further analysis of the rock powder sample has had to be put on hold. Engineers plan to upload two software patches later this week, then reassess when full mission operations can resume, officials said.

On August 5th Curiosity landed inside the Gale Crater starting on a two year surface mission to determine if Mars could have ever supported microbial life on it’s surface. It’s main destination is rock deposits at the base of Mount Sharp.

Mars Rover announcement at 1pm, NASA live press conference.

My hope is the same as NASA’s, that they find even more signs of life on Mars and I can’t wait to see what else they find out about this new and exciting discovery and what it might mean to us.

“Mars is there, waiting to be reached.” Buzz Aldrin

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Friday, March 8

International Women’s Day



An IWD doodle from Google.

Happy International Women’s Day to all of my fellow women near and far! Although women’s rights have made leaps and bounds in my lifetime I still don’t feel we are making the strides that we should to be equal to men.

Why don’t we have a woman as president yet? Maybe when we finally have a woman in the White House will I feel better about the way things still stand. To me, the presidency is a “man’s club” and I don’t think I will live long enough to see a woman president but I hope to.

When I look back at the last year one thing that comes to mind is we finally saw women in the military get full combat duty. Women are sorely needed in the military yet it’s also been “male orientated” since the beginning of time. Being in combat wouldn’t be something I’d want to do but the important thing is that we have the right to do so.

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What is International Women’s Day? I’m glad you asked.  

After more than 100 years, International Women’s Day draws millions to commemorate the advancements made in human rights and to discuss the challenges women continue to face in politics, education, employment, and other areas of daily life.

However, International Women’s Day originally was a communist movement and commemorated the working rights protests led by female garment workers. Many seem to forget the holiday’s ties to the working rights movement in the United States and the Socialist Party.

The origins of the holiday can be traced back to March 8, 1857, when garment workers in New York City staged a protest against inhumane working conditions and low wages. The police attacked the protesters and dispersed them, but the movement continued and led to the creation of the first women’s labor union.

Fast forward to March 8, 1908: 15,000 women marched in New York City for shorter work hours, better pay, voting rights, and an end to child labor. The slogan “Bread and Roses” emerged, with bread symbolizing economic security and roses for better living standards.

In May of 1908, the Socialist Party of America declared that the last Sunday in February would be National Women’s Day. The first National Women’s Day was celebrated on Feb. 28, 1909 in the United States.

International Women’s Day (then International Working Women’s Day) was introduced during the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen, Denmark. Clara Zetkin, a German socialist, suggested a holiday honoring the strike of garment workers in the United States. The proposal received unanimous approval from the 100 women from 17 countries.

The proposal did not give a fixed date of observance, but in the first years International Women’s Day was observed on different days in March. In 1911, Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland supported the holiday on March 19, with more than a million men and women rallying.

In New York on March 25th, 1911 there was a fire at The Triangle Waist Company killing 146 young immigrant workers. The silent protest march gathered more than 100,000 people. The incident led to the creation of the Factory Investigating Commission, which included Francis Perkins, who would become the first female secretary of labor, and labor union activists.

International Women’s Day was first celebrated in 1911 in four European countries, which held rallies drawing thousands of supporters. Until the 1970s, the day was largely recognized in Europe, but the significance of the day began expanding after 1975, when the United Nations made March 8 the official date.

In the US there will be races, walks and celebrations of all sorts in almost every state, but although it’s a national holiday women will still be expected to go to work today or play hooky. Although celebrated this holiday is not listed on calendars and I had to add it myself.

In Washington at 11am there will be a parade to commemorate those lost in the War on Women, to be followed by a tribute to those still stationed overseas in the Mommy Wars. There will be a tug of war, the burning of the bras, cake and all kinds of celebratory fun.

Many women in China will have a half-day off of work in honor of International Women’s Day, and some employers even shower their female employees with gifts.

In Indonesia, one local organizer is sharing a song she wrote called More than a Diamond, which celebrates Indonesian women. The idea is to have young students learn the song, and sing it together every March 8 and April 21, the dates of Indonesia’s Women’s Day.

In Fiji, women’s rights organizations are bringing together young girls to talk about the importance of strong female characters in popular culture and fiction.

The University of Canterbury in New Zealand, meanwhile, will host a breadth of panel discussions, open to the public, on women in the media, politics, and business to honor the date.

So all you guys out there, come and celebrate our greatness with us! Remember that without us, this world would be a lot less exciting and very empty.

Source: Wikipedia, Christian Monitor, NY Times, Google

 photo 01-1.gifTo all my friends here and in other countries; a rose, to hope for better living standards for all women tying to work and raise children in todays world economy. “Solidarity sisters unite!”

Wednesday, March 6

An Overview Of Earth 2011

Either at night or during the day the view of Earth from onboard the International Space Station looks spectacular. The lights, the storms, the sparkling water, it’s fortunate that the astronauts witness this so that we may see and hear about it.
We can watch this for ourselves and even if not comprehending the full meaning of the overview effect, at least we can say we saw what it was like on video.

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Time lapse sequences of photographs taken with a special low-light 4K-camera
by the crew of expedition 28 & 29 onboard the International Space Station from
August to October, 2011.
Shooting locations in order of appearance:
1. Aurora Borealis pass over the United States at night.
2. Aurora Borealis and eastern United States at night.
3. Aurora Australis from Madagascar to southwest of Australia.
4. Aurora Australis south of Australia.
5. Northwest coast of United States to central South America at night.
6. Aurora Australis from the southern to the northern Pacific Ocean.
7. Halfway around the world.
8. Night pass over central Africa and the Middle East.
9. Evening pass over the Sahara Desert and the Middle East.
10. Pass over Canada and central United States at night.
11. Pass over southern California to Hudson Bay.
12. Islands in the Philippine Sea at night.
13. Pass over eastern Asia to Philippine Sea and Guam.
14. Views of the Mideast at night.
15. Night pass over Mediterranean Sea.
16. Aurora Borealis and the United States at night.
17. Aurora Australis over Indian Ocean.
18. Eastern Europe to southeastern Asia at night.
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I thought we could compare the same type of earth surface footage only digital, by Adobe Aftereffects-Realistic Earth.
A video with some rotating earth footage. The pictures were 6400x3200 pixels large. For the Flares I used, video copilots optical flares and for the music, Pro Scores.
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I like to see the Earth spinning with the clouds passing over it as the land spins underneath. The lights are just fantastic, especially when seeing one side of the Earth dark and the other with the Sun on it.
I get dizzy watching these videos so as much as I’d like to experience space it’s better left to professionals like the astronauts. It makes me wonder though, how long before a person will be able to go up in space for a few hours for the view?
Source: YouTube & Wikipedia
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Tuesday, March 5

Beautiful Weather Above


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The atmosphere is made up of several layers and the layer closest to Earth is the troposphere. Most of the clouds you see in the sky are found in the troposphere, and this is the layer of the atmosphere we associate with weather.
Extending up to 10 miles above Earth's surface, the troposphere contains a variety of gases: water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and others. These gases help retain heat, a portion of which is then radiated back to warm the surface of Earth.
The term weather is the state of the atmosphere at a given time, place and geographic location. Weather forecasts provide an estimate of the conditions we expect to experience in the near future and are based on statistical computer models of similar conditions from previous weather events.
Temperature, amount and form of airborne moisture, cloudiness, and strength of wind are all different components of our weather. When the gases in the troposphere have light from the Sun pass through them we get a glimpse of unusual weather and light phenomena that can be colorful and extreme.


Mirages occur when light is refracted to produce an image of an object or the sky where it is not. It is most commonly seen on hot surfaces, such as the pavement, or in a desert.


Moon Bow

A moon bow is like a rainbow only much rarer, only seen at night when the moon is low and full to almost full. They are also called lunar rainbows and there can be double moon bows. Moon bows are created by the light of the moon and water droplets which is why they need an almost full moon to be viewed. They form on the part of the sky opposite from the moon, and are often faint compared to other rainbows.


Like rainbows haloes are formed around the Sun due to moisture (in this case ice crystals) being refracted from the Sun’s rays in the upper atmosphere. Sometimes two or more areas of the circle or arcs surrounding the Sun will be brighter, forming what we call Sun Dogs. Haloes can also form around the Moon, and occasionally around the brighter stars and planets like Venus.

Pyro Cumulus Clouds
Another heat related phenomenon, pyro cumulus clouds form the fast and intense heating of an area to create conjecture, which in turn creates a cumulus cloud. Volcanoes, forest fires, and nuclear explosion (in the form of a mushroom cloud) are all prime examples of pyro cumulus clouds.
Belt Of Venus
The belt of Venus is a phenomenon that occurs during dusty evenings, or from pollution when a band of pinkish or brownish sky will appear between the sky and the horizon.
Fire Rainbow
A fire rainbow is an extremely rare phenomenon that occurs only when the Sun is high allowing it’s light to pass through high-altitude cirrus clouds with a high content of ice crystals.
Noctilucent Clouds
Noctilucent clouds are atmospherically high clouds that refract light at dusk when the Sun has already set, illuminating the sky with no seeming light source.

Colored Moon
Due to different atmospheric issues, the moon will occasionally appear tinged with a color, such as blue, orange, or red. Excess smoke, dust, and eclipses can cause the moon to change color.
Aurora Borealis
Aurora Borealis are charged particles from the Sun that have reached the Earth's upper atmosphere and become excited. They are more typically seen closer to the poles and during the equinoxes of the year.
Green Ray
Also known as the Green Flash. This occurs very briefly before total sunset and after sunrise. It appears as a green flash above the Sun that lasts very briefly, generally only a few moments. It is caused by refraction of light in the astrosphere.
Mamalus Clouds
These odd-shaped clouds are often associated with a storm front, especially one involving a thunderstorm. It's not completely understood how they form, but they are beautiful to behold. They almost looks like waves, as if you were under the water looking up at the waves breaking overhead.

To see a rainbow we need sunshine and falling rain. A rainbow is caused by the Sun shinning on moisture droplets, most commonly in a post-rain atmosphere. Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to see them because the Sun must not be too high. Rainbows are always opposite the Sun and their centers are below the horizon at the antisolar point. The lower the Sun the higher is the bow.


Kelvin-Helmhltz Clouds
Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds resemble breaking waves in the ocean. They are usually the most developed near mountains or large hills. Wind deflected up and over a barrier, like a mountain, continues flowing through the air in a wavelike pattern.
Hurricanes form in the tropics over warm ocean water and die down when they move over land or out of the tropics. These storms are called hurricanes in the Atlantic and typhoons or tropical cyclones in other areas of the world.
Cumulonimbus Clouds
During thunderstorms, very warm, moist air rises into cold air and as this humid air rises, water vapor condenses, and forms huge cumulonimbus clouds. You can see clouds like this from very far away.
A tornado begins in a severe thunderstorm called a super cell. The wind coming into the storm starts to swirl and forms a funnel. Also called twisters or cyclones the air in the funnel spins faster and faster and creates a very low pressure area which touches the Earth and is often encircled by a cloud of debris and dust.


Lenticular Clouds
Lenticular clouds seem to stay in one place. Air moves up and over a mountain, and at the point where the air goes past the mountaintop the lenticular cloud forms, and then the air evaporates on the side farther away from the mountains.
There are too many types of clouds, weather and atmospheric anomalies to mention here but I hope you learned something along the way. We deal with weather everyday on our planet and weather can be deadly but also beautiful.


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