Thursday, November 02, 2006

More Pics In Space

If you have ever read this blog before, you probably know there are a few things I just can't resist--cool scientific advances, anything related to nanotech, and pictures of, or from, space are a few key items in my personal catalogue of "things that get me twitterpated." I actually get just a little more happy when I realise it's time for another month's worth of space photos to appear care of the thoughtful folks at MSNBC. This month's Space Slide Show may very well be the best one I've seen yet.

Seriously, there were some pictures in this batch that took my breath away, not the least impressive of which were snaps of places right here on Earth. One of the prettiest was a satellite image of an atoll in the South Pacific that looks as if it must be a painting--everything is so bright and vivid, and there's so much depth in the color of the water, that my first impression was that Van Gogh had time-warped just so he could stow away on the satellite and put the image on canvas. Another satellite image of Earth shows the complex patterning of waterways in a mangrove forest shared by Bangladesh and India, looking like dozens of fingers of lightning all striking at once. There are pictures from the X Prize Cup which I wrote about a couple weeks ago. You'll get to see one of the lunar lander entries in flight. All in all, Earth didn't do too badly for herself in this month's slide show.

Heading further afield, though, also held its wonders. There are galaxies and brilliant, blazing stars (in infrared.) There are several pictures of Martian land features that set the imagination going, and also, as someone commented from an earlier slide show, conjure up some gratitude for the hospitable nature of our own beautiful home world. Richard Payne gets credit for taking a lovely image of the Witch Head Nebula--much prettier than its name implies--and all the more impressive because it didn't come from Hubble, or some other NASA-funded gadget. Finally, one of my very favorite photos this time is a gift from the Cassini spacecraft. It's the most amazing picture of Saturn, back-lit by the Sun, with all her rings glowing. Head on over, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. As usual, if you have a particular favorite, come on back and share. I like to keep this glow going for as long as possible.