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Archive for June, 2011

What was not seen below, was seen above.

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For years I have wondered what the heavens would look like from space, from the shuttle, or the moon. Nowhere did I ever hear anyone exclaim “ooh, you should see the stars!” I wrote different sites, bloggers, even an astronomer that was my bus buddy to the Endeavor launch, could not provide me with that sense of wonder that a high (airless) vantage point would give a viewer. Until now. Serendipity to the rescue.

Click on the picture to enlarge it, and those little specks become more visible. Ahh, at last.

 

 

And now, on Christmas Eve, I find a time-lapse video from the ISS that shows not only the pinpricks of stars, but the Lovejoy comet. For me, Christmas has come early.

Jan 13 2012: In an interview with astronaut Mike Fossum aboard the ISS, he was asked:

3.) While in the Earth’s shadow, could you see the stars, constellations and planets? If you could, did they look any better or brighter?

Mike Fossum: “Oh, Yes! The key is to be in a place where you can dark adapt – any sunlight overpowers night vision.” Fossum mentioned that during some “down” time on a spacewalk, he was able to turn off his helmet lights and immerse himself in the “3-d feeling” of being in the stars. Describing the quality of the views, Fossum stated, “The Milky Way was clear, and no twinkle in stars. The different colors of stars were more intense”.

Today (April 18, 2012), another time lapse video was published and it’s worth a look. As Frank Sinatra sang: “Come on fly with me, let’s take off in the blue…” As above, go to full screen for maximum effect. Then there’s Pink Floyd with “…Dark Side of the Moon…”

 

 

And in our own backyard, Saturns rings, Titan, and Dione…together…again. This is a true color photo, and if we were there, this is what we’d see.

 

 

 

Thank you NASA, for this new Blue Marble photo. With our entire world below us, I am happy to see my old stomping grounds: Baja California, Mexico. From the Pacific to the Sea of Cortez, from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas, a land of wonderment, and extremes. The first time we left San Felipe and headed south, will always remain a take-notice experience. Sea level to the left, 4,000 meter high mountain range immediately to the right. Caravaning up an arroya after a flash flood had rearranged the boulders. A rattlesnake saved by “Dr Baja,” who’s fear-of-snakes story lasts to this day. Propane powered Jeep with my friend Gene Rogers. The Seven Virgin Hills, coming into Bahia de Los Angeles, one lone rancho, freshly caught fish in beer-batter for $2. Bohemia beer for breakfast. Dominos in La Paz. Whales frolicking in Laguna Ojo de Liebre (Scammon’s Lagoon), dog-napping in Guerro Negro ($5 ransom), and the list goes on.

This Blue Marble photograph is beyond words:

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