That is a lot of Earth-sized planets. A lot. For instance, look at what NASA estimates for our galaxy alone:
Since the Milky Way has about 100 billion stars, there are at least 17 billion Earth-sized worlds out there.
And then there are the countless billions of galaxies besides our own. I wonder if we’ll ever make it to even just one of them?
Sixteen months or so ago I suggested that you subscribe to the Astronomy Photo of the Day. You’ve been subscribed ever since, right?
On 1 September the featured photo was of M27 a nebula first cataloged simply as being ‘not a comet’ by Charles Messier in 18th century France in his catalog of things that definitely were not comets.
This sort of thing astounds me. Some guy in the 18th century was able to create a catalog of celestial objects when I, in this century, have a hard time using my telescope to focus on the moon!
Easily the most impressive photo of Hurricane Irene and it was taken by NASA’s NOAA GOES-13 satellite.
Unfortunately this video was not made embeddable by the folks at the HubbleSite Web site, so I’ve ripped it and put it up on Viddler. If there is an objection to this – please notify me.
[viddler id-644be607 h-346 w-540]
I’ve shared the video here because I think this is an incredible video. The visuals that we are getting back from the space program lately are incredible. And now that they are taking photos in a time-lapsed fashion, stitching them together and sharing them in HD video format – we’re able to see celestial events in ways no other age of mankind has been able to. This is a trend NASA has set over nearly the last half-century.
Here is the description of the video from the HubbleSite Web site:
“This movie shows Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon, as it ducks behind the giant planet. Astronomers combined a series of images taken with the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 aboard NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to make the 18-second movie. The 540 movie frames were created from Hubble images taken over a two-hour period on April 9, 2007.”
Source:Â Hubble Catches Jupiter’s Largest Moon Going to the ‘Dark Side’.
Credits:Â NASA,Â ESA, E. Karkoschka (University of Arizona), and G. Bacon (STScI)
Talk about a photographic trifecta. Â The Astronomy Picture Of The Day, from July 5th, is a photo taken in January 2007 in Perth, Australia wherein a group of people watching the Australia DayÂ celebratoryÂ fireworks catch a glimpse of Comet McNaught and a lightning storm.
You might be wondering what the Aussies are doing on the beach in January, wearing shorts no less. Â Let us not forget our solstices.
The photo is amazing, stunning, and extremely well captured. Â The editor for APOD hits the nail right on the head when they wrote: “Sometimes the sky itself is the best show in town.”
Source: APOD 2008 July 5 -Â Comet Between Fireworks and Lightning.
Yesterday, via Hahlo on my iPhone, I saw @MarsPhoenix twitter this:
“Are you ready to celebrate? Well, get ready: We have ICE!!!!! Yes, ICE, *WATER ICE* on Mars! w00t!!! Best day ever!!”
I was happy that they’ve been able to confirm what they thought all along and accomplish what the main purpose of the mission was. Â They should definitely figure out a way to bring some of it back here though.
Imagine the drinks? Â Mars on the rocks? Â Martian lemonade? Â What else?
Source:Â Bright Chunks at Phoenix Lander’s Mars Site Must Have Been Ice.
GGW! Normally that accronym would be reserved for late-night commercials about incredibly inexpensive DVD-sets with future women that will sue Joe Francis.
But not this time.
This time GGW refers to NASA’s celebration of the Hubble Telescope being launched 18 years ago! Â And so they’ve put together a site of awe-inspiring images that Hubble has captured of galaxies that are “merging”. Â They wanted to put up photographs of galaxies that were “in love” since they are “in love” with Hubble. Â Truly touching, isn’t it?
“As this astonishing Hubble atlas of interacting galaxies illustrates, galaxy collisions produce a remarkable variety of intricate structures.”
Source: Merging Galaxies.