12 November 2014: The European Space Agency’s space probe, Philae, lands on Comet 67P today after a 10-year journey!
See details on today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) . . .
If successful, this will be the first time a space probe has ever landed on a comet. If all goes as planned, Philae will ride the comet as it goes around the Sun and send scientific data back to Earth.
The spacecraft, Dawn, was launched from Cape Canaveral 27 September 2007, and is now on it’s way to the dwarf planet, Ceres, after having been in orbit around the asteroid Vesta for 14 months, sending back dozens of photographs and other valuable data.
Dawn is on schedule to arrive and enter an orbit around the dwarf planet, Ceres, in August, 2015.
For additional information and photos, please visit NASA scientist Marc Rayman’s blog.
A few days ago I celebrated my 80th birthday.
I must have done something right in order to have achieved 80 years of age. Breathing probably helped; simply enjoying one breath after another can take one far on our brief journey from null to void.
What else have I been doing all that time? (You might ask.)
To make a short story even shorter ( by leaving out a few details) I have been traveling through space and time aboard this damp dirt ball we call home, and have gone about 3.6 quadrillion miles – - that’s 3,6o2, 112,000,000, give or take a few billion miles.
Really ?? Yes, really, and that doesn’t even include the miles traveled in a spiral by simply going around in circles each day the Earth spins on it’s axis. Check it out, and do the math yourself to find out how far YOU have traveled. Hint: try wikipedia and/or NASA to find such things as the circumference of earth’s orbit around the sun (about 585 million miles), how far the sun travels in it’s orbit around the center of the Milky Way galaxy during one year (the sun is traveling at about 514 thousand miles per hour in it’s orbit), etc.
Be that as it may . . .
. . . fortunately for me, I have been privileged to live during the best of times in the best of places, and this has allowed me to bask in the enjoyment of being human and contemplating the wonders of the cosmos.
All too soon I will be returning to the lifeless mineral existence from which we all come.
Meanwhile, I will continue to enjoy life as much as possible, for as long as possible.
What more can one ask ??
This is for anyone who does not know about Carolyn Porco’s work in general and The Pale Blue Dot in particular.
Simply follow the link below for the complete story, and more images . . .
Posted in Astronomy
Browsing around the www a while back, I came across something that I want to share with You . . . check out some of the extraordinary Hand Art by Guido Daniele, shown above. Not being as clever and creative as Guido, I have simply painted my left hand . . .
FYI: I plan to display more of my own paintings on this blog as soon as I gather suitable photos.
NASA”s Spitzer Telescope captures a geocentric 360 degree view of the Milky Way
For images and details of this amazing feat, follow the links, below . . .
More Images and Details:
[[ Image, above, is from Google images. ]]
In the first two months of 2014 NASA’s Kepler telescope has discovered and verified more exoplanets than previously known. Many of these newly found planets might be capable of supporting life as we know it.
For numerous links to more exoplanet data than you ever wanted to know, please visit NASA’s “All About Kepler” web page . . .
Browse, learn, and enjoy !