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402 days. 402 (plus or minus… mostly minus) posts.

Tag: earth

Day 117: As the World Turns

Sometimes, when you’re running from one thing to the next and checking off to-do items only to make room for more, it’s nice to sit back, relax and watch the world turn.

From outer space.

Thank goodness for the International Space Station. Yesterday, I touted Chris Hadfield’s photos from the ISS; today, a couple of my co-workers clued me into some amazing (incredible!) ISS videography.

It looks like the stuff of Hollywood special effects, but it’s real footage of the ISS gliding smoothly around the Earth.

This first one is even in real time. It’s a night flight from January 30, 2012, running from northern Mexico to northwest New Brunswick. I can spot my city. Can you spot yours?

And this one is a soothing five-minute time-lapse of multiple different passes. The Northern Lights, bright electric flashes of thunderstorms, deserts, cityscapes, shooting stars (if you can peel your eyes away from Earth for long enough), sweeping masses of clouds, islands, fires, mountains, airports… it’s gorgeous, soothing and might choke you up a little bit.

Day 116: Pretty Planet

I’ve shared Chris Hadfield’s photos before, and I’m sharing a few others today. On this bitter 5ºF morning in the Midwest, it’s been lovely to put on a warm sweater, clasp my hands around a cup of tea and consider the awesomeness of Earth.

Hadfield is a Canadian astronaut orbiting the Earth relatively lowly on the International Space Station. If you follow him on Twitter, you can see almost daily pictures of our beautiful planet from the sky.

Here’s an image of visible fault lines in South Africa:

South Africa fault lines

And here is the Mexican Colima volcano, smoking gracefully:

Mexican Colima volcano

And of course, our gorgeous moon:


All photos by Chris Hadfield.

Day 77: Two Things

Just two things to say today:

1. If I had known so many of you were going to read Dating Dancers, I might have spruced it up with some pictures of ballet shoes and old T-shirts. Lesson learned. Thank you for reading!

2. The Earth is beautiful. Both NASA and Wired Science have collections of some gorgeous spacey photos, but I recently found Chris Hadfield’s Twitter feed and am hooked. He’s a Canadian astronaut living aboard the International Space Station. The relatively low orbit of the space station enables him to see Earth on a global scale (literally) but still pick up on the details of changing climates, cities and landmarks. He shares his photos every day. If you’re a Twitterer (Tweeter? Twit?), you may want to check him out.

Australian outbackNope—this is not a Gerhard Richter painting. It’s the Australian outback from space.

Day 64: Spitting Plasma

Technology is so cool. On August 31, 2012, NASA spacecraft captured images of a giant filament of plasma erupting off the sun’s surface into space.

Close-up images. Of the sun.

(For  a “that’s amazing!” reference, the sun is 93,000,000 miles away and more than one million Earths could fit inside of it.)

Apparently, 2013 is slated to be a year of peak sun storm activity. As far as I understand, there’s really nothing we can do about super-powerful electromagnetic pulses headed towards our atmosphere except look at pictures of the plasma flares and think they’re kind of beautiful.

Solar prominence

Want to see the plasma in action? Check out this super sweet sun spitfire video from Space.com

Day 22: Beautiful Earth

Sometimes (especially in sad and confusing times), it helps to be reminded of Earth’s beauty. This planet existed before we got here and it will be here when we’re gone. For now, we get to see and experience it from a huge variety of vantage points.

Last month, NASA released “Earth as Art,” a 158-page book celebrating “the patterns, shapes, colors and textures of the land, oceans, ice and atmosphere.” It’s beautiful. The satellites providing the imagery captured light and patterns not visible by the naked human eye.

NASA has made a free e-book of “Earth as Art” available for download. Get it here. Have an iPad? There’s an app for that. And, you can peruse the NASA Earth site for more incredible imagery and information.

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