Three months after New Horizons flew close to Pluto this summer, NASA released
this image of Pluto's crescent. Taken from 11,000 miles away using New Horizon's Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera, the picture shows Pluto's deep layers of hazy atmosphere. On the right, sunlit side of the photo is the icy plain Sputnik Planum accompanied by the Norgay Montes and Hillary Montes. NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI
A Space Disaster, Remembered
In 1996, the European Space Agency lost the Ariane 5 rocket — and the entire Cluster mission — because of a software error. Though Cluster went up in smoke, the agency successfully relaunched the mission just four years later. Artist Sascha Mikloweit took photos of the original debris which the ESA collected after it fell to Earth.
3-D Print A Hairdo
Normally, 3-D printing results in hard plastic, but these Carnegie Mellon engineers managed to print soft, hair-like bristles. Inspired by the fine strands that pull between a dollop of hot glue and the glue gun, the researchers designed a system to quickly pull the 3-D printing nozzle and the printed object sideways away from each other. This transforms the hot plastic into a fine hair.
The Yamaha Motobot met the world at the Tokyo Motor Show this week. Motobot is a motorcycle-riding robot that isn’t quite as good a rider as a human yet, but is getting better. High-speed motorcycling requires control and accuracy, and Yamaha hopes that by creating a robot with those capabilities, they can use that technology to create safer motorcycles.
Pluto’s Crescent: The Full Picture
Three months after New Horizons flew close to Pluto this summer, NASA released this image of Pluto’s crescent. Taken from 11,000 miles away using New Horizon’s Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera, the picture shows Pluto’s deep layers of hazy atmosphere. On the right, sunlit side of the photo is the icy plain Sputnik Planum accompanied by the Norgay Montes and Hillary Montes.
A Van Gogh Garden
A Minnesota artist has replicated the famous Van Gogh painting Olive Trees by planting 1.5 acres of farmland with a vegetable garden. This “painting” is made of squash, watermelons, and other veggies as well as carefully placed rocks and dirt to add texture. Travelers flying into the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport will be able to see the art from above.
Filmmaker Cedar Wright captured an image of climber Brad Gobright on a ropeless climb in Eldorado Canyon. Located in Boulder County, CO. “Eldo” (as it is commonly known) features more than 500 rock climbing routes along its sandstone cliffs.
Blimp On The Loose
A surveillance blimp escaped from a military compound in Maryland in October. The 200-ft long aircraft floated over to Pennsylvania, chaperoned by two fighter jets for security. By the time it finally grounded, the blimp had taken a 3-hour-long journey that downed multiple power lines. It remains unclear how the blimp broke loose.
Jet Set Fashion
Louis Vuitton treated its guests at Paris Fashion Week to a show of futuristic fashion featuring fabrics with images of GE jet engine parts. Additionally, fan blades and metal exhaust pipes found their way down the runway as parts in bags and other accessories.
When Rain Water Meets Ocean Waves
Flood water from the devastating rains in South Carolina this month has now made it out to the Atlantic Ocean, carrying with it sediment and fertilizer. The NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite captured the runoff as it met the ocean current. Climatologists can use images like this to better understand wind and water patterns.
The Driest Place On Earth Blooms
The Atacama Desert in Chile typically receives little to no rain each year, but the effects of El Niño this year changed that. Some parts of the desert received 14 years worth of typical rainfall in just one day, resulting in a sea of pink flowers.