Posts Tagged ‘space’

Blue Marble: A Stunning 64-Megapixel Photograph of Earth

NASA has released another Blue Marble photograph of Earth. It calls this one the “most amazing, highest resolution image of Earth ever”. The image is a composite created from a number of photos of Earth’s surface captured on January 4, 2012, and weighs in at a massive 64-megapixels (8000×8000). You can download the full-res version here. Be warned though — it might crash your browser.

(via Gizmodo via PopSci)

Photo of the Costa Concordia Shipwreck Captured from Space

Here’s a satellite photograph showing what the Costa Concordia disaster looks like from space. On January 13th the gigantic Italian cruise ship ran aground and partially sank, killing at least 13 people.

(via Boing Boing)


Image credit: Photograph by DigitalGlobe

Strange and Beautiful Crop Patterns Photographed From Space

Farmlands might look pretty ordinary from ground level, but photograph crop fields from space (or even from an airplane) and you’ll see strange and beautiful patterns.
Read more…

How US Spy Satellite Photography Worked Before Digital Technology

Ever wonder how the US government managed to capture spy photos with satellites during the Cold War without the help of digital cameras, computers, or wireless transmission? The Atlantic has a fascinating article on the various techniques that were used:

From 1971 to 1986 a total of 20 satellites were launched, each containing 60 miles (100 kilometers) of film and sophisticated cameras that orbited the earth snapping vast, panoramic photographs of the Soviet Union, China and other potential foes. The film was shot back through the earth’s atmosphere in buckets that parachuted over the Pacific Ocean, where C-130 Air Force planes snagged them with grappling hooks.

You can check out all the details of the super secret photography program in this now-declassified report.

Your Briefing on the CIA’s Cold-War Spy Satellite, ‘Big Bird’ [The Atlantic]


Image credit: Creepy Spy Plane by substack

How Those Amazing International Space Station Time-Lapse Photos Are Shot

Over the past year, there have been a number of jaw-dropping (and viral) time-lapse videos created from the amazing photos captured from the International Space Station by astronaut Mike Fossum. The video above provides an interesting behind-the-scenes look into how the images are captured.

(via Gizmodo)

Photographs Launched into Space on the Voyager Space Probes

If you had the task of choosing some photos that represented Earth and mankind to extraterrestrial life forms, which photos would you select? NASA had to do this back in 1977 when it launched the Voyager space probes, which are now the farthest human-made objects from Earth. A committee led by Carl Sagan eventually settled on 116 images:

[...] a collection of 116 pictures (one of which is for calibration) detailing but not limited to human life on earth and the planet itself. Many pictures are annotated with one or many indications of scales of time, size or mass. Some images also contain indications of chemical composition. All measures used on the pictures are first defined in the first few images using physical references.

Among the photos chosen was Ansel Adam’s famous Snake River and Grand Tetons photograph.
Read more…

Camera Attached to Weather Balloon Captures Footage of Airliner Flying By

Photographer Edouard Janssens recently sent a weather balloon equipped with a Sony NEX-5 and a GoPro HD to the edges of space. While this isn’t exactly a novel idea, the GoPro camera managed to capture footage of a jet airliner whizzing by at roughly the same altitude!

The photographs he managed to capture are pretty amazing as well.

Blackness 2 [Project Stratos-Sphere]

Composite Nighttime Space Photo Shows India’s Growth Over the Years

This amazing image might look like a computer generated graphic, but it’s actually a composite photograph by NASA showing India’s population growth over the years. The white areas show the illumination visible in the country prior to 1992, while the blue, green, and red lights indicate new lights that became visible in 1992, 1998, and 2003, respectively. The four photos were tinted and then combined into an image that reveals where new populations are appearing. NASA definitely needs to do one for every country!

Nighttime Lights Of India (via Business Insider via Photojojo)


P.S. The image is currently being circulated around the Internet as a photo that shows the Hindu celebration Diwali (AKA the “festival of lights”). Unfortunately, that’s not true.

Students Send Nikon D300s to Space in a Beer Cooler

Sending cameras to the edges of space on a weather balloon has become a pretty popular activity as of late, but up to now people were mostly sending up cell phones, compact cameras, and small HD video cameras (e.g. GoPros). While those devices are light and relatively cheap, the quality of images produced isn’t the best.

Well, Texas Tech students Erich Leeth and Terry Presley recently decided to step things up a notch by using a Nikon D300s and Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens for their space photography. Their craft, which consisted of a 22-foot weather balloon filled with helium and a styrofoam beer cooler purchased from Walmart, rose to an estimated 100K feet before the balloon popped. A parachute then brought the pricey gear safely back down to Earth. The entire project took just 13 days from start to finish, and the duo managed to capture some pretty neat photos from the edge of space.

Cygnus Project on Flickr (via DIYPhotography via PopPhoto)

GoPro and Flip Cameras Film Rocket’s 84-Second Flight to an Altitude of 23 Miles

Forget sending cameras up to the edges of space on a weather balloon: rockets are much, much cooler (and faster). A man named Derek Deville created a homemade rocket in an effort to win The Carmack Prize, which offers $10K to anyone who can launch a rocket to above 100K feet, take a GPS reading, and then recover the vehicle. Although he failed to take a GPS reading, Deville’s rocket managed to reach 121,000ft (~23 miles) in 84 seconds.

What’s awesome is that he also attached two HD cameras to the rocket to document what the journey looks like. The side view captured by a FlipHD starts at 2:49, while footage from a GoPro pointed straight down starts at 5:15.

(via PopSci via Photojojo)