Most Complete 3-D Map of Local Universe

Astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) have created a map of the universe called the 2MASS Redshift Survey. Taking more than 10 years to complete the map and it is what they call the most complete 3-D map of the local universe (more than 43,000 galaxies within 380 million light-years from Earth) ever created.


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Pale Blue Dot - Animation

Adam Winnik illustrator from Sheridan College in Ontario produced this animation for his final thesis piece.

The first time I heard this excerpt from Carl Sagan's book "Pale Blue Dot" it literally changed my life, and I hope it does for you too. Enjoy, says Adam Winnik.

Written and Narrated: Carl Sagan
Music: Hans Zimmer "You're So Cool"
Art and Animation: Adam Winnik

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Earth's Gravity Revealed

Above image looks like a giant potato, but it is actually our Earth. After just two years in orbit, European Space Agency's GOCE (Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer) satellite has gathered enough data to map Earth's gravity with unrivalled precision. Scientists now have access to the most accurate model of the 'geoid' ever produced to further our understanding of how Earth works.

A precise model of Earth's geoid is crucial for deriving accurate measurements of ocean circulation, sea-level change and terrestrial ice dynamics. The geoid is also used as a reference surface from which to map the topographical features on the planet. In addition, a better understanding of variations in the gravity field will lead to a deeper understanding of Earth's interior, such as the physics and dynamics associated with volcanic activity and earthquakes.

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Near Earth Objects

Near Earth Objects (NEOs) is an infographic project made by Zachary Vabolis Graphics designer / illustrator from Mechanicsville, MD. The data is actual data gathered from NASA's public records. Displayed are known near earth objects greater than 1000 meters in diameter and the dates that they will come closest to earth.

NEOs are comets and asteroids that have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth's neighborhood. Composed mostly of water ice with embedded dust particles, comets originally formed in the cold outer planetary system while most of the rocky asteroids formed in the warmer inner solar system between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

by Zachary Vabolis

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Microwave Map of Entire Moon Revealed

The first complete microwave image of the Moon taken by Chinese lunar satellite Chang'E-1 has been revealed. Chang’E-1 is China’s first scientific mission to explore planetary bodies beyond Earth and the on-board Lunar Microwave Radiometer has made it possible for the first time to globally map the Moon in microwave frequencies. Radar observations of the Moon are unable to provide thermal information, and microwave observations taken from Earth cannot reach the far side of the moon. So Chang'E-1's (CE-1) orbit was conducted at an altitude of 200km (124 miles) and allowed it to observe every location of the moon with a nadir view and at high spatial resolution.


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Twilight Zones

This chart shows the relationship between the angular elevation of the sun relative to the horizon and levels of twilight. The values are for the 24 hours between 1pm BST 12th August 2010 and 1pm BST 13th August 2010, and for the location Brighton in East Sussex (50.8° N 0.1° W). In equatorial regions, night and day breaks very much more quickly. In Brighton on this late summer day, sunset to full darkness took 2 hours and 22 minutes. By comparison, in Singapore (near the equator) the process took 1 hour 11 minutes.

A full listing of data for the two nights Dominic Alves tried to photograph Perseid meteors is at the foot of this description.

via Dominic Alves