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Anything related to science in the news or in learning.

Written By: Gary on May 5, 2012 No Comment

This stellar planetarium in your pocket is an application called Star Walk, and it’s only 99 cents on the iPhone, this is normally $2.99 and worth it for the price (the cheapest I’ve ever seen). It’s also available for the iPad for $1.99 (which is much cheaper than the usual $4.99).

starwalk.pngThis is listed as a Mother’s day sale so I’m not sure when it’s ending, that’s not for a week (right?!?) and that would be a long sale (unless they got their weeks mixed up!).

I did a much longer Star Walk review a year ago with many screen captures and a lot more information that you’ll have to read for all the details.

This is a planetarium in your pocket. If you device has a the GPS and gyroscope, you just tilt it up at the sky and it will identify what you’re point it. It’s awesome! There are some similar products, but I think this might be the most polished.

Other than some small bits of information (and the space image of the day) you DO not need to be connected to the internet to use this information. So this is useful anywhere you can see the stars!!!

Written By: Gary on April 9, 2011 No Comment

This amazing planetarium in your pocket is an application called Star Walk, and it’s only 99 cents on the iPhone until April 12, 2011, this is normally $2.99 and worth it for the price. It’s the 50th anniversary of spaceflight and they’re celebrating by giving us a deal! It’s also available for the iPad for $4.99.

starwalk.pngStar Walk shows you all the stars and constellations, just by holding it up to the sky and pointing, it’s amazing! It uses the GPS for hassle free alignment, on other models it’ll use the gyroscope to have you set it up and then it’s supposed to follow along from there. Plus, it calculates this all based on where you are all with no internet connection required*.

starwalk1.PNG
This is the startup screen (called “sky live”).

starwalk2.PNG starwalk3.PNG
Two views holding my phone to the East (one above and one below the horizon).

starwalk4.PNG
A portion of the animated detail screen for Betelguese (internet not needed).

They also have a another app just for our Solar System called Solar Walk (3D Solar System model) which is more detail on just our solar system. It’s $2.99 but it’s universal and runs on iPad and iPhone; and they make Solar Walk for Mac but no Star Walk (yet!).

* Additional information (beyond the paragraphs and stats that are included) on planets (and stars?) is available and does require internet. Also the astronomy picture of the day requires the internet.

Written By: Gary on April 6, 2010 No Comment

This is the path the shuttle takes when it’s on the massive crawler and has to go from the VAB (vehicle assembly building) to one of the launch pads.

It’s the wide dual dirt/gravel roads (with the grass strip in the middle) towards the back.

The launch pad all the way to the right is 39A and the other (a little to the left) is 39B.

If you click on the photo you now get the huge version which is 3,900 pixels across and 700 pixels down (if it only shows up as wide as your browser, click again, then you can scroll right and left). You can click for a more normal 1024 pixel size too. Sorry, I appear to have problems uploading the huge version of the panorama from my phone. I’ll fix later at hotel.

Written By: Gary on March 3, 2010 No Comment

This is a time lapse of the roll out from the VAB (Vertical Assembly Building) to the launch page, I’d guess it’s about an hour of moving per minute. I’ll admit it’s not the most exciting time lapse video but it’s a lot faster than the live video was last night (it was about seven hours until attached).

STS-131_patch.pngJust before midnight last night, space shuttle Discovery began its slow roll from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39A. Riding aboard the crawler-transporter, the shuttle completed the 3.4-mile trip and was secured to the pad by 7 a.m. EST.

— NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

Here’s the direct link to the roll out video.

So I’m pretty excited about this, not the roll out itself, but once it’s been on the launch pad a few more days and the figure out if there are any issues it’ll help firm up the launch date. I figure once the GOES-P mission goes off this week that’ll help too, I don’t think there is anything else big in the meantime.

Written By: Gary on February 10, 2010 No Comment

So what do you think it would look like if you wandered too close to a black hole? Scientists at the University of Stuttgart in Germany created a black hole simulation to let you input some different parameters to see how it would look.

The program’s creators say it could be an excellent tool to familiarize people with the weird ways that black holes warp light.

The video below is a narrated sequence with a few different views. Here’s the original article at New Scientist.

Direct link to the black hole video.

Found at the Woot blog (which is not generally where I get my science news).

Written By: Gary on October 9, 2009 No Comment

I was excited to watch but the results were boring…
Click for a larger version of the CNN moon crash Video.

Here’s the animation, which was much more interesting.
Click for a larger version of the CNN moon crash Animation.

I hope the animation is pretty much what happened, we just couldn’t see it. I hope the data that they get is good data. I’d prefer that it shows there is water;ut if there isn’t, I hope the results show there isn’t. No data / bad data means failed mission…

The LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) spacecraft was also passing by a little bit later (90 seconds?) so that should have have some additional data.

LATER: A little more info on this at CNN. They said this was the fifth most watched webcast ever.

Written By: Gary on August 28, 2009 No Comment

The Space Shuttle Discovery is on the launch pad right now. This always excites me and still gives me chills when it takes off! You can watch NASA TV live on their site. At this point, they are in a hold and I think they are still supposed to launch in the next hour (11:59 PM EST).

sts-128.pngI’ve always wanted to see a launch, I don’t know why I’ve never made this happen. I was supposed to go a few weeks ago to see this launch (STS-128), but they moved the date so it didn’t work out. I’ve got to make this a priority over the next year before they stop the shuttle launches.

It’s been 25 years since this ship’s maiden voyage, it was August 30th, 1984 when Discovery had it’s first launch! It was the third orbital vehicle in service (OV-103) and is now the oldest running shuttle. Wow!

Once they introduced the shuttle, I always thought they’d have some way to take passengers. I always assumed that’d be airplane type seats in the bay, like envisioned in the 1970’s James Bond movie Moonraker (anybody have an image of this?).

So let’s just plan to catch a shuttle launch in the next year, okay? Anyone have any tips on going to a launch?

Written By: Gary on July 20, 2009 No Comment

I mentioned the anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing earlier today. Here’s a few other “space” things that caught my eye:

themoon.jpg

  • Apollo 11 restored HD video.
  • Send your name to Mars and get a certificate.
  • For your iPhone and iPod Touch get SkyVoyager and SkyGazer for free today (normally $17.98 combined).
  • Photos of the Moon landing sites from the LRO.
  • And Google has added the Moon to Google Earth (desktop application).
  • That’s it for now. Please post any recommended links in the comments below.

    Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

    Written By: Gary on July 20, 2009 No Comment

    On this day 40 years ago Apollo 11 landed on the Moon. astronaut_Apollo_11.jpg I’m not sure what else needs to be added to that statement: “We landed on the Moon”! How amazing is that?!?

    Just for some frame of reference: The Moon is 238,000 miles away (384,000 km), if you were driving 75 miles per hour it would take you 3,100 hours. Keep in mind that’s speeding and you don’t get to pull over for any bathroom breaks or snacks!

    Actually it took them more like five days to get there, so just dividing that out, that’s around 2,000 miles per hour (assume it took them a while to speed up and slow down).

    When I was a kid, my mother purchased me a two record set of the mission. Lots of audio recordings of the launch and landing. I’m thinking there was some insert with a bunch of photos too. I played that a lot on my record player. I don’t have any idea what year she purchased that, but I’d say I was six or seven(?), and it was amazing to me!

    It’s still amazing to me. Whenever I can watch a launch of some kind or another, I always turn on the TV and still get thrills and chills. I get chills just thinking about it as I’m writing this…

    Apollo_11_bootprint.jpg
    The sad part is we only landed six times and then we stopped.

    Photos courtesy of Wikipedia.

    Written By: Gary on July 18, 2008 One Comment

    So I watched the 1951 version of The Day The Earth Stood Still last night and as I said last week it is still an amazing science fiction movie. I made Kelly sit through it so I was hoping it was as good as I remembered, it was (and she seemed to think so too).

    The line this movie is the most famous for is

    “Klaatu barada nikto”

    It’s certainly not as mainstream as “these aren’t the droids you’re looking for”, but…

    This was one of the first movie DVDs I ever purchased (maybe the first), it hit a good price on-line so I picked it up (I never bought movies for VHS but that’s about the time when I started for DVDs). I never watched it until now. THe sound was THX remastered and was very clear but the voices just weren’t as loud as the sound effects so if you turned it up to hear the next time the sound effects came on it was blaring. The good part was there wasn’t a lot where people were talking and there were effects.

    One of my favorite quotes from the movie was

    “I am fearful when I see people substituting fear for reason.”

    It was definitely a thinking sci-fi movie…

    Instant gratification: You can rent it from Amazon for your TiVo or from iTunes (but it’s only $7.50 to buy it from Amazon).

    Written By: Gary on October 6, 2006 No Comment

    I’ve been reading that A Brief History of Time has been made available in the public domain. Here is someone who converted it to several formats (web page, Palm reader, Microsoft reader, Acrobat), not all formats have images.

    Found here at Palm 24/7.

    Written By: Gary on November 27, 2005 2 Comments

    ScientificIntellectualYou’re a Scientific Intellectual!

    Kind of expected but I even changed a few of my answers on the few that I couldn’t decide on to see if it would change, but still scored the same. I guess I pretty much answered enough in that direction so that my poetic or philosophical answers were still out weighed.

    What Sort of Intellectual Are You? brought to you by Quizilla

    Found at UltraBlog.

    Written By: Gary on July 2, 2005 One Comment

    So this is a little disturbing, yet somehow compelling. Grab the doll and drag/throw it (or it’ll seem like much isn’t going on). Even when the screen refresh rate slows down it seems to keep the momentum (literally) going.

    Stolen (title and all) from Rori.

    Tags: [, ]
    Written By: Gary on March 24, 2004 No Comment

    I have two (2) thoughts off the top of my head:

    1. Some kind of magical wireless interactive communication system. For data and voice that reaches everywhere at a high speed and a cost effective price (for the data and the receiving hardware) for EVERYONE.
    2. Self-repairing roads! I think more places would build roads if they knew that nanotechnology (or something) could keep it repaired (and de-iced).

    Sorry, I know it’s not world peace or something like that, but I was trying to be realistic!

    From Blogideas!

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