Tag Archives: space

In the Wave by Walter Russell



Outsider scientific-mystic Walter Russell developed a lifelong philosophy based on the unifying principles of forces within the cosmos – what seems like a kind of pseudo-scientifically framed offshoot of non-dualism. The most interesting elements his work are the diagrams and charts illustrating his books. They document an idiosyncratic understanding of natural phenomena such as light, magnetism, thermodynamics, waves and vibration.

Esa Ruoho has collected together many illustrations from Russell’s key works in Flickr sets – images from the books The Secret of Light, The Universal One and Atomic Suicide. The ‘In the Wave’ set contains charts with painted colour spectra and elliptical prismatic shapes denoting light waves, electrical vibrations and magnetism.

A strong theme running through Russell’s schematics, especially evident in his ‘Home Study Course’ is the correspondences of geometric equivalences and orders. The charts resemble sets of musical scales, denoting frameworks of periodicity and harmony within particular natural systems. Many of the diagrams, at first glance, might easily be be misinterpreted as modern musical notation…

…It might just be the case that Walter Russell’s genius, and his diagrams, can only be decoded at a later moment in time. His friend Nikola Tesla had advised him to lock away his work in a safe for 1000 years – because humankind was not yet mature enough for it.

Diagrams and paintings by “outsider scientific-mystic” Walter Russell 

via The secret of creation lies in the wave | but does it float + data is nature

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Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse Time Lapse

When was the last time the lunar eclipse and winter solstice coincided? The U.S. Naval Observatory says 1638; Starhawk, a prominent Wiccan, puts it at 1544. Needless to say, these coinciding events are a rarity. So, in case you missed it, we have a nice time lapse video shot by William Castleman in Gainesville, Florida. Castelman also produced this fine gem: The Milky Way Over Texas.

via @6oz and Open Culture


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The Aurora Australis


The southern counterpart to the northern lights – as seen from above by astronauts on the International Space Station.

Charged particles from the Sun stream along the Earth’s magnetic field, guided to the north and south poles, where they crash into our atmosphere and generate light. The color of the light depends on the molecule or atom hit; in this case, the green glow is due to oxygen.

Although the particles generating the light tend to be 80 – 160 km up (50 – 100 miles), the space station is even higher. This view is also well off to the side; the astronaut who took the picture was looking at the limb of the Earth, several thousand miles away. All in all the color, perspective, and the amazing glowing stream combine to make this a lovely and decidedly unearthly photograph from space.

Image credit: NASA/Expedition 23

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Alan Friedman’s Solar Portrait


from The Top 14 Astronomy Pictures of 2010 | Discover

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Sun and Moon


Sun and Moon

On Oct. 7, 2010, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, observed its first lunar transit when the new moon passed directly between the spacecraft (in its geosynchronous orbit) and the sun. With SDO watching the sun in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light, the dark moon created a partial eclipse of the sun.

Image Credit: NASA

Thanks, Aija!

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Plunging into a cosmic watercolour

Starting with a wide view of the central part of our Milky Way galaxy we zoom in on the tiny constellation of Corona Australis (the Southern Crown), located beside the larger constellation of Sagittarius and towards the centre of our own galaxy. Zooming in more closely this faint constellation, visible only from dark sites, reveals many interesting features including a spectacular dust cloud about 8 light-years across. The bluish fuzzy spot is a beautiful reflection nebula in the star-forming region around the star R Coronae Australis, captured in great detail by the Wide Field Imager (WFI), on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile.

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The Milky Way’s Halo – A Relic of Smaller Ancient Galaxies?


“We still have a lot to understand.”

Masashi Chiba of Japan’s Tohoku University.

If gazing up at the Milky Way can make you feel dizzy, it could be because the outer galaxy has been discovered to be a mix of two distinct components rotating in opposite directions. The Milky Way’s main disk, home to our sun, rotates at an average speed of 500,000 mph. Surrounding the disk is what’s now called the inner halo, which orbits in the same direction at about 50,000 mph. The thinly populated region, outer halo, spins in the opposite direction at roughly 100,000 mph.


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Astronaut’s Eye View: Time Lapse Videos from Space

A NASA astronaut on the Space Shuttle Endeavor brought space back down to Earth. Astronaut Don Pettit took over 85 time-lapsed videos of Earth from his stint on the International Space Station to highlight features of the changing planet.

“There is phenomenology that happens on a timescale that you can’t see in real time,” he said. “It occurred to me that making time-lapse movies on the space station would bring out things that you normally don’t observe.”

Pettit also wanted to capture what it feels like to be in space. “You feel like you’re on a frontier,” he says. “I like to define a frontier as a place where your intuition does not apply. It’s a place where the answers are not in the back of the book. As a result, a frontier is a place that’s rich in discovery.”

Space has been called a frontier before, of course — “But it’s not the final frontier.” Frontiers can be anywhere, he says, from under the lens of a microscope to the bottom of the ocean. Space “will only be the final frontier when human beings stop looking at our world and wondering what’s going on.”

Here are some of our favorite time-lapsed videos of Earth from space.

Above: Out of all his footage, Pettit says this video, encompassing a sunset, a moonrise and the northern lights, is one of his favorites. The camera took one image every 15 seconds, so this 38-second video captures about 9 and a half minutes of real time. Because the space station and its crew orbit Earth once every 90 minutes, they see 16 sunrises and sunsets every day.

Video: NASA/Don Pettit

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Pettit flew on space shuttle mission STS-126, a 16-day trip to the International Space Station that launched in November 2008. Among other things, Pettit and his co-crew members brought up an advanced life support system that converts urine into drinkable water.

Pettit got tips from scientists on the ground for when aurorae, the brilliant lights that dance on the Earth’s upper atmosphere in response to solar winds and magnetic storms, would be visible from space, so he knew which nights to set up his camera.

Video: NASA/Don Pettit

More videos 



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