Humans have been looking to the heavens for as long as we have had stories to tell about them. But the way we look up has come quite far in the past 400 years, since Galileo Galilei first pointed a spyglass to the sky.
In honor of the 400th anniversary of the telescope, Popular Science looks back on the top 10 observatories on Earth and beyond.
If you've been following the status of Arctic sea ice for the past few years, hearing scientists herald the potential coming of an ice-free Arctic summer may sound like old news. But according to researchers at NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colo., this year, sea ice at the top of the globe may be even more vulnerable to melting than in the past.
This photo of Mount Redoubt, caught in mid-eruption, was taken from a height of 423 miles, on March 30, 2009 as the GeoEye-1 satellite moved from north to south over Alaska at a speed of 4 miles per second. Since the amount of area is so large, the ground resolution of this image is 2 meters.
What do you get when you ask a former Disney animator and veteran NASA climate geomorphologist to help explain global change?
How about cartoon satellites and a laser that can write your name on Titan?
Using gaming technology, animators and programmers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory designed a 3-D, browser-based program that lets people fly along with 15 NASA Earth observation satellites in real time. The program, called "Eyes on Earth 3-D," requires a plugin that's compatible with almost any Web browser.
Look out! says NASA. Three crew members evacuated the International Space Station earlier today. What could have caused such action? Garbage. A 13-centimeter-wide piece of space junk was projected to come within 4.5 kilometers of the space station. Not willing to take any risks, NASA told the crew to jump ship.
There's no denying that Google Earth has changed the way we view our planet's landscape. With a click of your mouse, you can "fly" around your own neighborhood, zooming in from space to street level. Curious about volcanoes? Dart over to the east coast of the Big Island of Hawaii and at times you can actually see the steam where lava enters the ocean. You can even explore the whitewater rapids on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.
But it was Google Earth's "Ocean" layer that recently caused quite a stir among 3D geeks.
The GeoEye satellite continues its stunning photo series
By Bjorn CareyPosted 02.09.2009 at 3:55 pm 3 Comments
Here are a couple more from our favorite eye in the sky.
Both half-meter resolution images were snapped from space by the GeoEye-1 satellite, which also took those fantastic pics of the National Mall on Inauguration Day.