How Big Is The Solar System?

“You may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.” – Douglas Adams Standard classroom models and textbook illustrations of the Solar System, regardless of how pretty they are, all share one thing in common: they’re wrong. Ok, maybe not wrong, but definitely inaccurate… especially in regards…

Onward to the Edge: a Space Musical

Can’t see the video below? Click here. A perfect accompaniment to Carl Sagan’s birthday (he would have been 77 today) here’s a wonderful music video created by John D. Boswell as part of his Symphony of Science project. Featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson, Brian Cox and Carolyn Porco, this takes you on an inspirational journey around…

Three Weeks on Jupiter

Can’t see the video below? Click here. Check out this fascinating new-and-improved video of Jupiter’s swirling cloud belts in action, made up of Voyager 1 image data acquired from January 6 through January 29, 1979. Digital artist Björn Jónsson assembled this high-definition animation from 58 images skillfully color-composited and tweened together to create a smooth video….

A Matter of Scale

One of the things that fascinates me so much about the Universe is the incredible vastness of scale, distance and size. On Earth we have virtually nothing to compare to the kinds of sizes seen in space. We look up at the stars and planets in the night sky but they are just bright points…

From the LITD Archives: Voyager’s Valentine

On February 14, 1990, after nearly 13 years of traveling the outer solar system the Voyager 1 spacecraft passed the orbit of Pluto and turned its camera around to take a series of photos of the planets. The image above shows those photos, isolated from the original series and labeled left to right, top to…

A Sense of “Scale”

Here’s a very cool animation by motion designer Brad Goodspeed, showing what our night sky might look like were some of the other planets in our solar system at the same distance from us as the Moon. (About 240,000 miles / 384,000 km.) Wait for Jupiter to make quite an entrance… While watching the video…

Shades of Blue

Just some more Saturn beauty. Composite of raw image data in RGB filters from Cassini’s wide-angle camera, taken on July 15, 2010. (Not sure what moon that is.) Have a great weekend! Image: NASA/JPL/SSI. Edited by J. Major.

Meteor? Darn near killed ‘er.

The bright “fireball” on Jupiter captured on camera the morning of June 3 by amateur astronomers Anthony Wesley and Christopher Go (a still image from Anthony’s video is above, rotated and cropped) is now believed to have been a meteor burning up high in the planet’s atmosphere, and not an impact like the July 2009…

Peekaboo Moon

Here’s another color composite from Cassini, showing Rhea on the far side of the rings, its northern tip peeking through the Cassini Division. (I’m not 100% sure what smaller moon that is on the left, but my guess is either Janus or Epimetheus.) What I find interesting in this image is the bright streak within…

Voyager’s Valentine

On February 14, 1990, after nearly 13 years of traveling the outer solar system the Voyager 1 spacecraft passed the orbit of Pluto and turned its camera around to take a series of photos of the planets. The image above shows those photos, isolated from the original series and labeled left to right, top to…