Posts Tagged ‘space’

Astronaut Don Pettit Floating with His Huge Camera Collection on the ISS

Ever wonder what camera gear NASA astronaut Don Pettit uses to shoot his amazing photographs from the International Space Station? Here’s a portrait of Don floating around on with his massive collection of Nikon DSLRs and lenses. How much of the gear can you identify?

(via OnOrbit)


Thanks for sending in the tip, Zach!


Image credit: Photograph by NASA

First Full Photo of Earth As Seen From Above the North Pole

We’ve seen ‘Blue Marble’ photos of Earth before, but this latest NASA photo is different: it’s the first photo of its kind shot from above our planet’s North Pole. The photo is a composite of images captured by a satellite as it passed over the North Pole 15 times at an altitude of 512 miles.

(via Gizmodo via PopPhoto)


Image credit: Blue Marble 2012 – ‘White Marble’ Arctic View by NASA Goddard Photo and Video

A High Definition Time-Lapse of Venus Flying Past the Sun

There was a much-hyped transit of Venus yesterday in which Venus appeared as a small black circle moving across the face of the sun. This rare phenomenon occurs in pairs of eight years separated by more than a century: the previous transit was in 2004, but the next one won’t occur until 2117. If you missed out, don’t worry — there’s a boatload of beautiful photos and videos out there that can give you an even better view than what your eyes would have seen. The amazing high-definition video above was created using images from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.
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How to Take Great Pictures in Space

It might not be very applicable to the vast majority of photographers, but NASA astronaut Captain Alan Pointdexter has written up a fascinating article over on Luminous Landscape in which he shares advice about doing photography in space. Taking photos on the ground is one thing, but imagine using not just the sun, but the earth itself as a source of light.
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Beautiful Time-Lapse of Outer Space Created Using NASA Probe Photos

Kanaal van Djsanderdj created this stunning time-lapse video using photographs shot by probes sent out by NASA through the Cassini and Voyager missions. It offers a close-up look at the other planets in our solar system in motion. Here’s a similar video we shared a year ago.

Satellite Photographs Showing the Rapid Spread of Humans Across the Earth

2008 marked the first time in history that more of Earth’s population lived in cities rather than in the countryside, and by 2050 nearly 70% of the world’s population will reside in large cities. A new series of satellite photographs captured decades apart by NASA’s Landsat department and the U.S. Geological Survey offers a striking look at how human cities have spread across the face of the Earth in just a few short years. The image above shows Las Vegas in 1984 and in 2011.
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55-Hour Exposure of a Tiny Patch of Sky Reveals 200,000 Galaxies

This photo is what you get when you point a massive 4.1 meter telescope (VISTA in Chile) at an unremarkable patch of night sky and capture six thousand separate exposures that provide an effective “shutter speed” of 55 hours. It’s an image that contains more than 200,000 individual galaxies, each containing countless stars and planets (to put the image into perspective, the famous Hubble Ultra-Deep Field contains “only” around 10,000 galaxies). And get this: this view only shows a tiny 0.004% of the entire sky!
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Auroras, Meteors, and Photography from the International Space Station

Here’s a fascinating video by NASA that explains what auroras are and what they look like from space. It’s filled with beautiful photographs and time-lapse sequences captured by astronauts on the International Space Station. Astronaut photographer Don Pettit, who maintains a blog about his experiences, writes that taking pictures of Earth is harder than it looks:

Even with a shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second, eight meters (26 feet) of motion occurs during the exposure. Our 400-millimeter telephoto lens has a resolution of less than three meters on the ground. Simply pointing at a target and squeezing the shutter always yields a less-than-perfect image, and precise manual tracking must be done to capture truly sharp pictures. It usually takes a new space station crewmember a month of on-orbit practice to use the full capability of this telephoto lens.

Another surprisingly difficult aspect of Earth photography is capturing a specific target. If I want to take a picture of Silverton, Oregon, my hometown, I have about 10 to 15 seconds of prime nadir (the point directly below us) viewing time to take the picture. If the image is taken off the nadir, a distorted, squashed projection is obtained. If I float up to the window and see my target, it’s too late to take a picture. If the camera has the wrong lens, the memory card is full, the battery depleted, or the camera is on some non-standard setting enabled by its myriad buttons and knobs, the opportunity will be over by the time the situation is corrected. And some targets like my hometown, sitting in the middle of farmland, are low-contrast and difficult to find. If more than a few seconds are needed to spot the target, again the moment is lost. All of us have missed the chance to take that “good one.” Fortunately, when in orbit, what goes around comes around, and in a few days there will be another chance.

Earth Photography: It’s Harder Than It Looks (via NASA via MetaFilter)

Space Shuttle Booster Cameras Capture 7 Minute Journey to Space and Back

We’ve seen quite a few videos lately by people who send cameras up to the edges of space on weather balloons. Here’s the big-budget version of that: footage from a camera attached to a NASA Space Shuttle’s booster rockets. Lift off from Earth occurs at 0:27, separation from the shuttle occurs at 1:57, and splashing into the ocean occurs at 7:21. The sound captured by the cameras has been remastered by George Lucas’ Skywalker Sound.

(via kottke.org)

Shoot, Share, and Explore Satellite Photos of Earth with Stratocam

If you’ve always wanted to be an astronaut photographer shooting images of Earth from a window of the International Space Station, Stratocam is an app for you. Created by Paul Rademacher, it allows you to snap your own photographs inside Google Maps’ satellite view of our planet. You can also view and rate other people’s photos, and browse the highest rated images from around the world.
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