Saturday, June 21, 2008

Eagle Nebula: Pillars of Creation

One of the most famous images ever captured by the HST is that of the so-called "Pillars of Creation." These columns of hydrogen gas are actually "star nurseries" in the Eagle Nebula, a star-forming region 6,500 light-years away in the constellation Serpens. To give you some idea of the immensity of the Pillars of Creation, the tallest pillar is approximately 4 light-years long!

The photo was taken April 1, 1995.

According to the Hubble Site:

The color image is constructed from three separate images taken in the light of emission from different types of atoms. Red shows emission from singly-ionized sulfur atoms. Green shows emission from hydrogen. Blue shows light emitted by doubly- ionized oxygen atoms.

The beautiful Pillars of Creation image has been repeatedly compared to Thomas Moran's painting Cliffs of the Upper Colorado River, Wyoming Territory (1882)

Maybe it's having a clearance sale?

The information we get from the HST continues to amaze and delight.

Thanks to Hubble, we have photos of a NEW red spot on beautiful Jupiter. The newly discovered spot has been given the clever nickname "Red Spot, Jr."

More information about Junior can be found here.

Junk in Space

Help clean up space and keep it safe for astronauts by playing "Junk in Space."
Rather addictive.

This Day in Garrett's Chosen Career Field's History

1993: STS-57 launches from Cape Canaveral without Garrett Reisman on board. However, Endeavor, the OV for this mission, would later carry Garrett to the ISS.

2004: Spaceshipone completes the first privately-funded spaceflight after being launched from California, the same state in which Garrett Reisman received his Master's and PhD.

Happy birthday to:
Cosmonaut Gennadi Padalka, member of ISS Expedition 9.
Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, who had the grand fortune of being a crewmember on ISS Expedition 17 with Garrett Reisman. He is also the hero who repaired the ISS toilet recently. (No word on whether his waistband stayed in place during the fix.) He remains on the ISS at this time and is currently preparing for next month's spacewalk. Many happy returns, Oleg.
CNSA Astronaut Yang Liwei, the Chinese Alan Shepard. He went to space on 10-15-03 and orbited 14 times, returning on 10-16-03. Though the official Chinese report was that everything went great, media video of his exit of the spacecraft showed his lips bleeding rather profusely, sparking rumors of a hard landing. Yang ate Kung Pao chicken on his journey. True story.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Be it known...

WHEREAS, Garrett Reisman spent 95 days on the International Space Station without losing his sense of humor;
WHEREAS, Garrett Reisman graduated from Parsippany High School, and "Parsippany" is a pretty great word;
WHEREAS, Garrett Reisman was the first Jewish American to live on the International Space Station;
WHEREAS, Garrett Reisman referred to his wife Simone as his "favorite earthling";
WHEREAS, Garrett Reisman has a cat named Fuzzy, and
WHEREAS, Garrett Reisman made the most impressive video tour of the International Space Station to date
Now therefore, let it be known that Janet, Chris, and Cathy Ward hereby formally establish the "Astronaut Garrett Reisman Fan Club" and related blog to honor and celebrate the coolest man on Earth. Or off. Notwithstanding his affection for the despicable New York Yankees Base Ball Club. Which stinks.
This 20th day of June, 2008