Barely 15 years after Comet Shoemaker-Levy slammed into Jupiter, another large object hit Jupiter this month when nobody was looking. This image was taken 4 days after the event and displays an Earth-sized scar in the upper atmosphere of the planet. The object that did the slamming is estimated to have been about the size of several football fields. This should be a fairly rare event, although twice in 15 years is literally a blip on a celestial time scale.
Archive for July, 2009
Not as long ago as 40 years ago, but just a little over 10 years ago – The Chopping Block adopted the look of NASA for one of our online incarnations. More specific our adopted look embraced the era of Apollo in hopes that a little of that former astro-glory might rub off on our small New York graphic design studio which was at that time only about a year old. So we thought it appropriate on this 40th anniversary of the touchdown at Tranquility Base, that we revisit our own journey through cyberspace and our small tribute to the historic landmark that is Apollo. (more…)
Been meaning to catch up on a few odds and ends lying around. This image of Venus was re-worked from Mariner 10 images by Mattias Malmer somewhere around 2005. It is an attempt at showing Venus in natural light and is far better than the version previously used as our “portrait” image for Venus. The issue is that Mariner 10 images only allow one to do that by taking some liberties with UV data. According to Malmer, “I think that if I were to make an even blander version of the this image it would be close enough to reality”.
See the original 2005 post on unmannedspaceflight.com where you can get this image at 4000×4000 resolution. Time for a wallpaper update.
You can also follow the mission in real-time as history played out 40 years ago on twitter. Follow Mission Control, The Spacecraft or The Lunur Excursion Module (Eagle). The Eagle will not have much to say, obviously, until it is actually descending toward the surface of the moon on Monday, but it has just started making some noise on Sunday night.
Follow the Apollo 11 mission in real time at wechosethemoon.org for the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11. The site comes complete with a gorgeous mission animation that shows the viewer what stage the mission is in as the data loads in the background. Once the page opens up we are treated to various interactive modules like photo and video galleries featuring material from the current stage of the mission as well as an oddly placed JFK and Apollo gallery.
The best part is the real-time audio stream. As I am writing this, the astronauts are asleep and every 15 minutes mission control interrupts the static to essentially report how long they have been asleep and that the mission is progressing nominally. As boring as that is… it sure makes it real and takes those too young to have been a part of it as close to knowing how that might have felt to follow this historic event. Of course, the whole thing peaks on the 20th with the real-time streaming of touch down at Tranquility Base.
Also see NASA’s newly restored footage of Apollo 11 and Neil Armstrong’s magnificent first step.