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.

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