Astronaut Scott Kelly is back on Earth after spending a whopping 340 days on the International Space Station. The “Year in Space” mission came to a close after a successful landing took place March 2 in Kazakhstan.
After things settle down, Scott Kelly’s physiology will be compared to those of his earthbound identical twin, retired astronaut Mark Kelly. The information yielded could prove to be invaluable on future long-term space missions.
Logarithmic views are a great way to visualize items of large varying quantity, whether it is data collected from a nuclear detector or statistics across a population. But artist Pablo Carlos Budassi has applied it to something much larger – in fact, you could say he applied it to everything.
The artist has created a logarithmic view of the known universe. By pouring over data and pictures from NASA and other sources, Pablo’s work represents the universe with Earth in the center. With each ring outwards the distance greatly increases, until the outer edges cover billions of miles. The end result is a facinating look at the known universe today from our limited perspective. You can find larger images of his work here.
The planets in our solar system are not exactly a cozy, welcoming place to visit for those of us accustomed to a moderate (by our standards) M-Type planet. But how do they rate, from a temperature perspective? NASA has prepared a great visualization tool to compare the differences in our nearest neighbors. As you can see, Mars isn’t looking all that bad, by comparison. Who knows how lush and inviting it could be with an engineered atmosphere.
When Apollo 10 first crossed the barrier into the dark side of the moon in 1969, the astronauts reported, and recorded, strange sounds over their headsets. They described the sounds as “outer-space type music”, but could not determine the source. NASA tagged the records and kept them buried for 40 years.
But now these records have been released to the public, and the show “NASA’s Unexplained Files” on my favorite channel, the Science Channel, takes a look at these mysterious sounds.
Could they be electro-magnetic radiation radiating from the sun? We have seen this type of spectrum turned into sound before, and perhaps the analog radio equipment of the day acted as a filter for the noise. But that would not explain why subsequent trips, with similar equipment, would fail to capture the same effect.
Watch the video, and create your own hypothesis as to the source of the music from the dark side of the moon, sans Pink Floyd.
We all know that sound does not travel in a vacuum. But this does not mean that there isn’t electromagnetic vibrations present that are in the range of human hearing (20hz – 20khz). So, if we took those frequencies and converted them to sound, we could actually “hear” the planets.
NASA has done this in the following video, and they sound like an ethereal orchestra playing, very moody and (pardon the description) atmospheric. The “sound” was collected from the following heavenly bodies:
- Jupiter’s moon Io
- Saturn’s rings
- Uranus’ moon Miranda
- Uranus’ rings
So, sit back and enjoy a little “space opera”. You just might find it oddly relaxing.
If you want to eavesdrop on more of the universe, check out the live Radio Astronomy Project. Who knows, you may hear something that changes our understanding of the universe.