Sunday, August 31, 2008


X-ray Eyes

Compound eye of Antarctic krill


Read ALL about the eye.

Have you ever felt that you are being looked at as if you were x-rayed? Well maybe you were right. In any case, scientists say they have found evidence that the human eye are all set to develop x-ray vision...

Old Word Map

Once Upon A Time...

Anaximander (611-541 BC) pictured the Earth something like this.

Mars Art

Impact Processes

Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Small Fresh Impact Crater (PSP_008151_1655)

Landscape Evolution

Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Cerberus Fossae Fissures (PSP_009003_1890)

Volcanic Processes

Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

The Head of Athabasca Valles (PSP_008779_1905)

Rocks and Regolith

Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Rocky Material on Floor of Antoniadi Crater Basin (PSP_007965_2010)

Mars Art

Mineralogical Diversity in Nili Fossae

Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Colliding Clusters Reveals Dark Matter

Dark Matter

Credit: X-ray(NASA/CXC/Stanford/S.Allen); Optical/Lensing(NASA/STScI/UC Santa Barbara/M.Bradac)

MACSJ0025.4-1222, a cluster showing a clear separation between dark and ordinary matter.

Clashing Clusters

Tibet from the ground

Mountains around Namtso

Photo: Gordon Ye

View of central Nyainqen Tanglha (NyainQen TangLha) range over Nam Tso lake. Nyainqen Tanglha peak is somewhere in the center. June 2002. (30°15'N, 90°10'E, 5000-7000 m a.s.l.)

It is a Research station located at Namtso, mostly for meteorological studies. They monitor the miniature Earth system around this salt lake, the highest in the world and second largest in China. There are a couple of mountain ranges around the lake. The water has no outlet from the lake, only inlets.

The glaciers around the lake are being monitored. The science is international, even a Norwegian has contributed with analysis of the retreat of NyainQen TangLha glacier.

Personal note: The colors around this lake are extraordinary. I've been there twice; once in May and once in August. I can't say I have ever experienced so vibrant and intense colors anywhere else in the world. Not even in the Norwegian mountains, which is the closest and the reason one of my first reactions to my visits in Tibet was that I felt as if I was home. :-)

Still a note - Namtso as seen from ISS, the astronauts collection:

The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth - Tibet

Tibet from the Air

Tibet geographical space art

Credit: JPL/NASA

Credit: JPL/NASA, (Annie Richardson, Al Wong).

These are two comparison images of Mount Everest and itssurroundings, along the border of Nepal and Tibet. The peak of Mount Everest, the highest elevation on Earth at 8,848 meters (29,028 feet), can be seen nearthe center of each image

More satellite images here: The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth - Tibet

Friday, August 29, 2008

Yarlung Tsangpo

Yarlung Tsangpo

Yarlung Tsangpo, Tibet - Asia's Great Bend

"The mighty river featured in this image is called the Yarlung Tsangpo as it courses through the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China, and is then known as the Dikrong during its passage through India's state of Arunachal Pradesh. Further downstream, the river widens and becomes the Brahmaputra. Its waters eventually empty to the Bay of Bengal. The large river flows from the left side of the image, below center, and traverses the image, angling northeast toward the upper right. It then makes a hairpin turn and continues to flow in a generally southward direction near the right-hand side of the image.

There are many interesting facts about the Yarlung Tsangpo:

* Within the image area, the river flows across an international boundary into an area where over 100 species of orchids grow. The verdant green hues present in the lower right image corner are characteristic of Arunachal's lush vegetation, which includes over 400 types of orchid.

* The translation of the name "Tsangpo" is "purifier", although the river has at least three names from as many languages.

* Sedimentary rocks of sandstone containing grains of magnetic minerals that record the alternating pattern of the Earth's magnetic field have been found north of the river, near the Tibetan capital of Lhasa.

* A Japanese expedition attempted to navigate the the river in 1993, but lost one member of their team in the gorge near Namche Barwa peak, and the American team sponsored by the National Geographic Society in 1998 had to turn back after their most experienced kayaker was lost along the same stretch of the river.

* The Yarlung Tsangpo is the highest major river in the world, with an average elevation of about 4000 meters. At least two peaks within the image area rise to over 7000 meters: Namche Barwa at 7756 meters and Gyala Peri at 7150 meters.

* The myth of Shangri-la, as described in James Hilton's 1933 novel "Lost Horizons", is believed by a number of explorers to have been geographically inspired by the deepest gorges and waterfalls of the Tsangpo.

* One hundred million years ago, the Indian subcontinent is thought to have been located thousands of kilometers closer to the equator. Geological evidence points to the collision of the subcontinent with Asia about 40-50 million years ago. The impact slowed the northward movement and led to the formation of the Himalayas.

* A 30-meter (100-foot) waterfall had been reported by Kintup, an illiterate tailor from Sikkim who explored the Tsangpo for several years in the 1880's. However, the expedition led by Frank Kingdon-Ward in the 1920's discovered only a 21-meter (70-foot) waterfall (Rainbow Falls). The legendary 30-meter falls was not re-discovered until 1998."

Himalayan rivers: Geopolitics and strategic perspectives

Mapping Arctic

Mapping for Money

Credit: UNH/NOAA

International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean.

When Millimeters Equal Millions.

I'd say never mind the money, this map is marvelous! :-)


Greetings from Mars

Credit: ESA, B. Dunford 2008

~ webcam girl ~


Algebraic Geometry

Looks Lovely!

Thanks r412304!

Mapping Tibet


Tibet and the surrounding regions : compiled from the latest information / H. Sharbau R.G.S. del. 1900

Map resides at the Library of Congress, Washington DC. USA.


Lhasa - Namtso (Tengri-nor):

Satellite image of Yarlung Tsangpo (JPL/NASA)

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Arctic Sea-ice


Gamma-ray Space Telescope

Fermi Heritage


The Gamma ray telescope formerly called GLAST has got a new name honoring a famous physicist Enrico Fermi: Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telecope.

The pretty blue ellipsoid is a representation of all sky in gamma-rays. The glowing stripe in the middle is the Milky Way galaxy where we all live :-) And then there are some interesting gamma-ray hot spots around that are either pulsars or blazars and what not of super exotic celestial bodies.

Gamma rays come from high energetic sources. That is why we like'em so much. :-)

If you don't care too much to look at ellipsoids, check out the spherical movie.

Hadron Rap

Large Hadron Rap

I like it! :-)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Phoenix Mars Mission

Celebrate Phoenix's 90 Sols on Mars

WOW! :-)

The term sol is used by planetary astronomers to refer to the duration of a solar day on Mars. A mean Martian solar day, or "sol", is 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35.244 seconds.

Space Toys

Minifigures 30 years anniversary

Photo: Balanko

This is a remake of Astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the Moon in 1969 - Photograph by Neil Armstrong. Original version here.
Balanko arranged a real professional setup of the shot. .

Über Cool Astronauts...

Look! They are all over the place these Lego astronauts. On the Moon, Mars and even the International Space Station!

I'd admit to be a proud owner of a few Lego space items...:-)


Sunrise on Mars

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University

The Heart Nebula

I "heart" statistics!


The Heart Nebula - IC 1805

The Heart Nebula (IC 1805), is situated in the Perseus Arm.

Computer Virus in Space

Infected ISS

Far out nuisance!

Environmental Europe

What a Load of Crap

Cartographer: Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal

Sulphur Crap!

"Trans-border pollution in Europe has become a serious international and environmental problem. Sulphur emissions from industry in Eastern Europe is one of the most environmentally damaging problem that faces countries today."


Star Cluster

Credit: Thomas V. Davis (

47 Tuc: A Great Globular Cluster of Stars

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mars Webcam

Mars Webcam


More about the web cam - click on image for greater details. :-)

The Sun

The Sun

RISE/PSPT Ca II K filtergrams from HAO's Mauna Loa Solar Observatory (Hawaii) [ 2005/10/11 18:00:55 UT ]

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Mapping History of Tibet

Probably the most dramatic mapping history ever.

Notice the Xanadu hotspot to the left? For many people that was part of the motivation for exploring and therefore mapping of this remote area on the roof of the world. Another reason was purely political during the Great Game where Britain, Russia and China sort of "met" in Tibet. Only the Tibetans weren't willing to participate in that game and made it really, really difficult to get in there. I love this story - a true thriller of a mapping history.

I have had my hands in the water of the three biggest lakes in Tibet. It's is true and it is fantastic. :-)

Eastern Europe

Geographic History - Eastern Europe


Cartographer: Viktor Novikov, UNEP/GRID-Arendal

Eastern Europe through history. The region's borderline position has determined its many specific features. Neighbouring cultures deeply penetrated and influenced Eastern European societies, shaping contrasting developmental orientations. Eastern European lands changed hands many times in history and in some periods they were split between Western and Eastern powers. This is a glimpse of 4 periods between 1000 A.D. to 1938 A.D.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Population in Europe 2004-2030

Population Prognosis 2004-2030


This is a map showing population prognosis for Europe 2004 - 2030. Even if you don't understand German you can tell the major trends when you know that blue means lesser people and red means growth. The number indicate % in either direction.

Looks like south of Norway is about to get invaded! Note that you are looking for the same destiny in Irland too, Hapax! :-)

Thanks to my "German" spy Yuruani.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer - GOCE will be launched in a few weeks (10 September 2008). It is one of the biggest event within geodesy this year, hell probably in the history of geodesy. GOCE will improve our knowledge of this planet's gravity so that we eventually can all compare heights based on the same height reference system. And many other cool implications will come out of us knowing our gravity field in more detail also from remote areas such as the Tibetan plateau.

If you are into rocket launching, here is another exciting event to follow directly on the internet. It is a shame that ESA's site is less visited than NASA. There are lots and lots of interesting stuff to read, look at and watch (videos). Use this event to learn more about another great space agency. :-)

Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) will be the first of a series of Earth Explorer satellites in orbit, designed to provide information for understanding critical Earth system variables.

Check out the GOCE launching!

Stellar Family Chronicle

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Harvard-Smithsonian CfA

Magnetic Powers

Magnetic Monster

Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration

Black hole bullies cannot prevent stellar births

Star Births & Black Holes

Credit: Science and Technology Facilities Council

Mathematical simulation of a solar mass molecular cloud falling towards a black hole.

We all know that black holes are nasty greedy bodies. But, as long as there is enough mass around, stars manage to be born even with a black hole as neighbor messing things up.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Sun

The Sun

Credit: SOHO

Finally or not finally, depending on who and where you are, the sun spots are back again! They have "hidden" for a month or so and made people speculate on all sorts of theories. I think the active sun in blue is simply beautiful and remind us all by posting yet another version of my favorite STAR! :-)

Say It With Science

Say It With Science

Eclipsed Sunshine?

Credit: Leuthen

He might not be the nicest persona on SU, but he is most definitely a good writer. Risking "a red one" I still am ready to defend this non-spammer with frisky comments. What really won me over was his mastery of modal logics and love of women. :-) I'll show you what I mean. You have to look behind the reds and a few cursing sections. It is maybe a little like waiting for an eclipsed sun to uneclipse. While you wait you'll see both diamonds and shiny beads.

Here they come, some of the golden rays:

Loving women: ...Let's round them all up and put them in a zoo so that we may watch them graze between births.

Loving nature (spiders): ..."Nothing that can live in your bed should have that many legs."

On religion and China or something like that: ..."Tibetan oppression, Darfur, it's all interchangeable to these Western armchair activists;..."

Expressing an opinion: "Your page is very colorful. It's like a rainbow of ideologically programmed bigotry and moral objectivism. :)"

There are plenty more gems to find. Go, put on whatever protection glasses you need, and have a look!

Baily's Beads by Tunç Tezel

Gudskit - SU's very own sunshine boy.

Social media, SU included, worst enemies are spammers, NOT opinionated angry young men and women.