California-based entomologist Shaun Winterton was browsing Flickr back in May 2011, when he discovered a new species of insect.
That’s right: he made a scientific discovery by simply looking at pictures online.
Ever since NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on Mars and started beaming back photographs earlier this week, people have been wondering, “why are the photos so bad?” The criticism seems merited: consumers these days are snapping great high-res photographs using phones that cost just hundreds of dollars, yet NASA can’t choose a camera with more than 2-megapixels of resolution for their $2.5 billion mission?
In an interview with dpreview, project manager Mike Ravine of Malin Space Science Systems — the company that provided three of the rover’s main cameras — explains that there were a couple main reasons behind the “lame” cameras: data transfer and fixed specifications.
Gigapixel images are usually used to capture tiny details in expansive scenes, but scientists in the Netherlands recently created one that shows microscopic details in a tiny subject. Using a technique called virtual nanoscopy (a new relative of microscopy?), the researchers created a massive 281-gigapixel image of a 1.5-millimeter-long zebrafish embryo.
NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on Mars this morning with much fanfare here on Earth. The photo above is one of the first photographs snapped by the rover and beamed back to Earth. Captured through a fisheye wide-angle lens, the landscape photo hows a gravel field in the foreground and the rim of the Gale Crater (the rover’s new home) in the distance.
The image is blown out in the upper region due to the fact that the camera is pointed straight at the sun. Unlike our Earthling cameras, however, the one-megapixel Hazard-Avoidance cameras (Hazcams) on the rover are not damaged by the sun.
What would photographs of the night sky look like if other planets in our solar system replaced the Moon? This beautiful video by 3kingAmazing (remixed using a video by Brad Goodspeed) shows the answer.
If you liked this video, check out what landscape photos would look like if Earth had Saturn’s rings and what night sky photos will look like over the next 7 billion years.
This image might look like some kind of screenshot from an old 16-bit video game, but it’s actually the first photo ever made of an atom’s shadow. Researchers at Griffith University in Australia suspended a ytterbium atom in midair, shot it with a laser beam, and then used a Fresnel lens on the other side to snap a photograph of the dark shadow left by the atom. Scientist Erik Streed has a writeup explaining how they accomplished it and the project’s implications for other research.
Image credits: Photograph by Kielpinksi Group/Centre for Quantum Dynamics
Chemistry and physics teacher MattAttackPro shot the above photo showing what happens when a roll of unused 35mm camera film is dropped into a beaker of hydrochloric acid. What you’re seeing is the emulsion (light sensitive chemicals suspended in gelatin) separating from the clear plastic backing.
(via Boing Boing)
Image credits: Photograph by MattAttackPro
If you’ve never been a fan of using sunblock, here’s a photograph that might change your feelings toward it. Shot by doctors Jennifer Gordon and Joaquin Brieva of Northwestern University and published by the New England Journal of Medicine, the photo shows a 69-year-old truck driver who exhibits a strong case of photoaging. In the 28 years he spent driving trucks, the man’s face received far more sunlight on the left side with the sun streaming in through the driver’s side window.
Image credit: Photograph by Jennifer Gordon/Joaquin Brieva/NEJM
NASA astronomers announced today that they are certain that our galaxy is on an unavoidable collision course with the Andromeda Galaxy, the closest spiral galaxy to us. Don’t worry though, it won’t be happening for another 3.5 billion years or so. What’s interesting is that the collision will drastically change what our night sky looks like, and the astronomers released a series of photo illustrations showing what future astrophotographers will be shooting when they point their cameras at the heavens.