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A simulation of how the Martian surface evolved, from 4 billion years ago (it looked like the Earth!) to today, by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Billions of years ago when the Red Planet was young, it appears to have had a thick atmosphere that was warm enough to support oceans of liquid water - a critical ingredient for life. The animation shows how the surface of Mars might have appeared during this ancient clement period, beginning with a flyover of a Martian lake. The artist’s concept is based on evidence that Mars was once very different. Rapidly moving clouds suggest the passage of time, and the shift from a warm and wet to a cold and dry climate is shown as the animation progresses. The lakes dry up, while the atmosphere gradually transitions from Earthlike blue skies to the dusty pink and tan hues seen on Mars today.

This video is public domain and can be downloaded at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?20201

(Source: youtube.com)

theatlanticvideo:

You Are Here: A Whole-Sky Time-Lapse of the Galactic Center

Beautiful, deep view into the Milky Way’s core

(this post was reblogged from theatlantic)

laughingsquid:

Photo of Berlin Taken From Space Illustrates the East-West Divide

The link interprets the photo as showing the difference in economic activity between what used to be East and West Berlin, where “the more dense, commercial district on the west is lit up by bright white lights, while the eastern half of the city emits a softer, yellow glow.” It’s not clear to me whether this interpretation came from the photographer, astronaut Chris Hadfield, or not, but Don Pettit puts forth another explanation in the video Cities at Night. Starting at 6:48, Pettit says of Sao Paulo, Brazil, “the older parts of town is seen in blue-green from mercury vapor lighting and the newer boroughs are yellow-orange from sodium vapor lighting.” Although it’s true that economic development in the former East Germany has stagnated since reunification, I don’t think this photo tells us anything about current economic health. Rather, it just shows that development in the east came later than in the west.

(this post was reblogged from laughingsquid)

usagov:

Image description: Earth, as seen in the sky above Mars. This is the first image ever taken of Earth from the surface of a planet beyond the Moon. It was taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit on March 8, 2004.

Photo courtesy of NASA/JPL/Cornell/Texas A&M.

(this post was reblogged from usagov)
Venus!
Shot from my backyard on a point & shoot through a no. 14 welder’s glass (which is safe for sun viewing but accounts for the green tint). Technical details: 6/5/12 17:08:51 (the camera’s clock isn’t set for daylight time and is about two minutes fast&mdssh;so the correct time should be around 18:06 or so, Central Daylight Time) f/8, 1/25 sec., ISO 80. Gonna go reset the camera clock and take more photos now.

Venus!

Shot from my backyard on a point & shoot through a no. 14 welder’s glass (which is safe for sun viewing but accounts for the green tint). Technical details: 6/5/12 17:08:51 (the camera’s clock isn’t set for daylight time and is about two minutes fast&mdssh;so the correct time should be around 18:06 or so, Central Daylight Time) f/8, 1/25 sec., ISO 80. Gonna go reset the camera clock and take more photos now.

How did Malley, who was clearly in awe of Armstrong during the interview, manage to land his exclusive? “I know something not a lot of people know about Neil Armstrong – his dad was an auditor,” he said.
(this post was reblogged from felixsalmon)
lori-rocks:

just the moon - supermoon 2012 (by photography.andreas)

No, this is not the supermoon. Or at least “supermoon” has no meaning here. This is a composite image (aka “fake” or “bullshit”) that depicts a physically impossible scene. You could blow this up and find Photoshop artifacts in it, but that’s unnecessary—you just need to remember that moonlight is actually reflected sunlight, and with the sun behind it, the real moon would be dark and obscured by the sky glow (it’s called “new moon”) instead of shining as it does in this image. I’m disappointed that Discovery News, a science blog, would pass this along without giving it the critical eye first.

lori-rocks:

just the moon - supermoon 2012 (by photography.andreas)

No, this is not the supermoon. Or at least “supermoon” has no meaning here. This is a composite image (aka “fake” or “bullshit”) that depicts a physically impossible scene. You could blow this up and find Photoshop artifacts in it, but that’s unnecessary—you just need to remember that moonlight is actually reflected sunlight, and with the sun behind it, the real moon would be dark and obscured by the sky glow (it’s called “new moon”) instead of shining as it does in this image. I’m disappointed that Discovery News, a science blog, would pass this along without giving it the critical eye first.

(this post was reblogged from discoverynews)

How big is space? (Spoiler alert: it’s big.)

In an attempt to illustrate the size of the universe, the BBC has put together an enormous infographic that spans 58,180 vertical pixels (equivalent to 18 letter-sized pages printed at 300 dpi). And, when you get to the bottom…you’ve only reached the end of the Solar System. The graphic estimates that you’d have to keep scrolling for 22 million years to reach the far edges of the known universe. Live long and prosper, friends.

The “teapot” asterism in Sagittarius. Photo rotated and cropped from the original to match the diagram.