Clarity from a distance

The sky looks big from earth, but it’s rather different the other way around. I’m not saying it’s not quite an experience, but inspecting the metadata on this photo of New York and surroundings taken on Christmas day, 2000, during the first International Space Station mission surprised me. To wit: it’s only a 180mm lens. […] » about 300 words

PowerPoint. Killer App?

Ruth Marcus at the Washington Post wonders if PowerPoint is a killing app. She’s not the first to note that NASA administrators make decisions — sometimes fatal decisions — on the basis of PowerPoint presentations that mask or misrepresent details. I wrote about Edward Tufte’s Cognitive Style of PowerPoint essay in a previous post. Marcus […] » about 300 words

The Ultraviolet Sun

From the NASA website: EIT (Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope) images the solar atmosphere at several wavelengths, and therefore, shows solar material at different temperatures. In the images taken at 304 Angstroms the bright material is at 60,000 to 80,000 degrees Kelvin. In those taken at 171, at 1 million degrees. 195 Angstrom images correspond to […] » about 100 words

Google Moon Rocks

Google engineers have got the moon on their minds lately. We all got a laugh at their April Fools Day lunar hosting and research center job opening, but they’ve done themselves one better and several points more serious with Google Moon. Sure, it’s in celebration of the first lunar landing 36 years ago today, but if they’re so fixated on the moon, why not sponsor a space competition?