Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Virgin Galactic is recruiting pilots - apply now!

To our US readers, if you're a pilot with a deep interest in space or have NASA experience then Virgin needs you! They are now recruiting for the world's first three commercial spaceline pilots for their Virgin Galactic experience.
What an incredible job that would be - click here to apply!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Google celebrates Yuri Gagarin's 50th anniversary as the first man in space.

Check out Google today! Very pleased to see that they've honoured the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin, the first human to ever enter space. The USSR pipped the US to the post on this one and he orbited the Earth once on his 108 minute mission, returning home safely to become a national hero. Here's a little video from YouTube on his mission...

Monday, 11 April 2011

Small camera - BIG results!

Last month I took little M's advice and purchased a small camera to transport around easily with me to different Starlearner events. I went for the Canon Powershot SX210IS and I haven't looked back.
Over the weekend the moon looked incredible through my telescope so I started experimenting with my camera and I was pretty chuffed with the results. Check these out...
Two days later, you can see that the shadow has shifted and more sites are in view...

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Four iconic images from NASA - Endeavour, Discovery, Mars and Mercury!

Wow! This is Endeavour attached to its external fuel tanks ready and in position for its final space flight penned in for April 19th from the Kennedy Space Centre, Florida. It looks majestic in its floodlights.
Credit: Jim Grossman

Discovery comes safely home with it's crew after its 13 day mission to the International Space Station.
This was Discovery's 39th and final mission. It just looks like a normal plane doesn't it - amazing to think how far it's been and how well it's served us. 
Credit: Jack Pfaller

This is Chasma Boreale a long, flat-floored valley which cuts deep into Mars' north polar icecap. Its walls rise about 1400m above the floor. Where the edge of the ice cap has retreated, sheets of sand are emerging that accumulated during earlier ice-free climatic cycles. Winds blowing off the ice have pushed loose sand into dunes and driven them down-canyon in a westward direction. Such an incredible image constructed by NASA from their Thermal Emission Imaging System instrument on Mars Odyssey between 2002 and 2005.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

First ever obtained image from Mercury, the innermost planet during an orbit on March 29th 2011! Over the subsequent six hours, MESSENGER acquired an additional 363 images before downlinking some of the data to Earth. some of which is still continuing to come down...
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

To see all 31 images from March click here and enjoy!

Friday, 1 April 2011

Meteor Marvel - The Barringer Crater

Astronomy Magazine has an excellent article this issue on meteorites hitting the Earth - which is always a possibility but hopefully with today's technology we'll have a bit more warning of where to avoid! After reading it I just thought I'd share with you the link to the Barringer Crater site. It was formed when an iron meteorite measuring an estimated 50metres across hit Earth some 50,000 years ago causing an impact area of over 1.2km and 175m deep. You can visit the crater today (sometimes known as Meteor Crater or Canyon Diablo) so if you're ever in the US state of Arizona make the trip over to see it - believe me this is another holiday going on the list for Mrs M and me!