Space

Category archives for Space

Comet Tempel 1 Re-Visited

Recently my mind has been blown twice. First by listening to the first four songs on Funkadelic’s acid-drenched 1970 album Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow. Then by studying the above picture. It’s comet Tempel 1. Up close in interplanetary space. And it’s been visited twice by different space probes: first Deep Impact…

Dear Reader, remember the remote-controlled Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity? How long is it since the last time you thought of them? Spirit landed on Mars seven Earth calendar years ago today, Opportunity on 25 January — and at least Oppy still works fine! Spirit has sadly been stuck on the edge of a small…

Chiemgau Impact Hypothesis is Dead

Update 13 December: Florian at Astrodictum Simplex has translated the whole entry into German. Thank you, Florian! Update 21 December: German pop-sci web zine Scinexx reports on the poor status of the impact hypothesis and refers to this blog entry. They also mention a really weird idea of the CIRT’s that I hadn’t heard about:…

Shortly after my buddy Jeff Medkeff died in 2008, a joint book review of ours was published in Skeptic Magazine. Here we criticised a book by Alan Bond and Mark Hempsell, two aeronautics engineers, where they claimed that a 7th century BC cuneiform tablet from Mesopotamia described an asteroid striking the Austrian Alps in 3123…

Mitchell & Webb Fake the Moon Landing

Via Global Atheist and Lousy Canuck.

Monday Miscellany

Web gems have been sent my way. ASPEX, makers of scanning electron microscopes, offer to scan your sample for free and post the image on their site. Finally you can learn about the micro-structure of your tear-duct sleep gunk! Pablo Zalama Torres makes lovely replicas of archaeological pottery. An amateur volunteering for the Stardust @…

Distributed Sun-Staring

Human eyes and brains are still way, way better at image recognition than computers. There are many visual tasks that we do swiftly ourselves but that we can’t yet get machines to do reliably at all. In January of ’06 I blogged about the Stardust @ Home project where you can help identify particles of…

Jungle-Covered Impact Crater

The Vichada river in Colombia is a tributary of the Orinoco. In 2004 part-time geologist Max Rocca discovered that it skirts South America’s largest impact crater. It measures 50 km in diameter, nearly a third of the Chicxulub crater caused by the space rock that killed off the non-avian dinos. This image visualises two important…

Dear Reader, remember the remote-controlled Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity? How long is it since the last time you thought of them? Spirit landed on Mars six Earth calendar years ago today, Opportunity on 25 January — and both still work fine! Sadly, though, Spirit has been stuck on the edge of a small dust-filled…

Don’t Miss the Geminids

Tonight the Geminid meteor shower peaks. My wife and I were out last night and saw loads, about one big fat shooting star a minute. Don’t miss the year’s best meteor shower! It’s because the Earth passes through the sandy exhaust trail of a comet. Tomorrow night will be good as well.