Friday, February 26, 2010

Tracking You Down - Indoors!

Galileo (GPS) Tracks You Down Indoors

No more escapes!

Spruce Goose

Spruce Goose

Geese are among the most dangerous of the dangerous birds - yet we (Xineann, The Nice Man and JoeHardware) are visiting one of, if not the, most famous Goose there is - The Spruce Goose.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Kamchatka: Fire and Ice

Fire and Ice

Yes, thank you! I'll have both! Go Kamchatka!


Outdoorsy - Tranquility

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Credit: NASA

I am outdoorsy. I like tranquility. I like space. Yet, my outdoor activity today as I was skiing in the perfectly white landscape with plenty of space around me (not a soul but me out in the forest today) in perfect tranquility is not the same at the white landscape and the outdoorsity of the astronauts installing Tranquility.!

Shuttle Silhoutte

Shuttle Silhouette

Credit: NASA

Shuttle looking good against rim of the Earth.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Martian Geology

Martian Geology

And that is how it looks like. We are prepared - to visit some day soon. Actually, any day now. In an astronomical perspective, that is. :-)

Friday, February 12, 2010


New Eyes on Orion

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Credit: ESO - Big version

By putting on a different 'set of glasses', namely the infrared ones, we can observe new structures and features of the Orion nebula. Baby stars are being born in the clouds that we normally cannot see through, not in visible light. Infrared light can penetrate the dust in the clouds and thus reveal all the action. Well, maybe not all, but a whole lot more as you can tell from this magnificent image taken by the ESO's VISTA telescope that master infrared as well as visual.

The new images of Orion are glorious. But so are the old images in visible light. You can see the difference yourself below.

It all depends on what kind of 'glasses' you put on...

From the ESO article Orion in A New Light.

Cat's Eye Nebula

Cat's Eye Nebula

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As seen from Spain - more specifically the Canary Islands.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Carnival of Space

Carnival of Space with Shuttle Launch!

This week I contributed to the Carnival of Space again. I had my waltzing black holes participate, but check out all the rest of the cool space and astronomy news you can read about. Nicely put together by Lights In The Dark.

Winter Love

Norwegians: Pure Love of Winter

Credit: RennyBA. Click on image to find bigger versions and see the seriousness of our playing the snow. This is why we do so well in the Winter Olympics...:-))

I do not know anyone who love winter more than Norwegian (except perhaps my Chinese friends from the northern part of the Middle Kindom). RennyBA was out and about in our surburbian Oslo, the capital of Norway. As you can see we use any opportunity to play in the snow - and we start early.

This winter is a fairy tale winter - exactly how it should be with lots of snow and temperatures way below 0 Celsius (we don't like the snow to be too wet :-)).

Bugs - Moth

Phlyctaenia Perlucidalis - or - Bugs

Credit: Nutmeg

Sorry, Xineann, but I simply have to call this gorgeous creature - a bug! ;-)

Earthquakes: Disaster mitigation

Will Haiti trigger more efforts in disaster mitigation?

Cartography: Nordpil

You are probably sick and tired of earthquakes by now. :-) I am not. Because earthquakes will not stop happening just because we move on to next hot thing in media. And as you can see from the map above, we are more vulnerable than ever since we urbanize in faster and faster pace.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Haiti Special and Earthquake Week-end

Stellare's Haiti Special and Earthquake Week-end

The Haiti earthquake is a disaster, there is no doubt about that. Unfortunately it seems like the relief is partly a disaster too, judging from the evidence of human greed surfacing in the wake of the joint global efforts to help Haiti.

This is not what Stellare's Haiti special is about. Except for a few cats and cars Stellare is all about science. And it is the science behind the Haiti earthquake that will be covered in this week-end special.

Natural hazards is one of my fields of expertise. I was a co-convener at the American Geophysical Union 2009, at the Natural hazard section. My recent scientific work includes the development of real-time GPS for early warning systems. I'm up to date on the state-of-the-art technologies developed for natural hazards early warning systems.

As a volunteer and idealist (I do this is my spare time), I am a producer and reporter for Astrocast.TV. This channel for astronomy and space news is a non-profit endeavour and rely on contributions from people like me. The crew there is nevertheless top notch professional led by former CNN director Richard Mathews.

Norwegians (me) are direct. This Earthquake Week-end is created to promote the great work of Astrocast.TV and I bluntly ask for your support to spread the word. In return you learn more about science and of course in good ol' Stellare style, you can enjoy plenty of illustrations.

By helping me you help mitigate future disasters. Public knowledge is one element in preventing natural hazards to become disasters of the dimension we witness in Haiti. Based on direct contact with leading experts, Astrocast.TV educates and entertains and thus contributes to increase the public (you) knowledge.

Stellare's A Green Space - A Green Earth (you can find all episodes of my segment here. Haiti on top)
Presentation of The Science Behind the Haiti Earthquake (directly from the horse's mouth interviews with links to the leading expert's websites and articles)

I need you to spread these links in your network and create as much fuzz as ever possible. I will be utterly grateful if you also provide me with feedback (, both on the Haiti show and ideas for future shows.

Thanks! Love you! Peace!


PS Link love will get link love in return :-)

Thanks to BestOfStumbleUpon!

Haiti Post Quake

Haiti Post Quake

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Credit: NASA/JPL

Here you see how Haiti looks from the air after the Haiti earthquake. The epicenter at the end of the fault (black arrow). And the capital Port-of-Prince (yellow arrow).

"This image will be combined with other images of the same area to be acquired later this month and in the future in order to measure the motion of Earth's surface during the time between images using a technique called interferometry. The interferometric measurements will allow scientists to study the pressures building up and being released on the fault at depth."

Haiti in Red

Haiti in Red

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Credit: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

With the help of satellite images before and after we can identify wound in the soil.

"Tiny dots of white against the plant-covered landscape (red in this image) are possible landslides, a common occurrence in mountainous terrain after large earthquakes. The possible landslides were identified by carefully comparing the new image with an image acquired one year ago.

Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, is silver in the false-color image. The rivers are pale blue, while the ocean is dark blue. Exposed soil is white."

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Celestial Dancefloor With Waltzing Black Holes

Celestial Dancefloor with Waltzing Black Holes

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Dancing in the Dark - The Antennae Galaxies

Credit: Robert Gendler

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Contestant number one, The Antennae Galaxies. Best close-up ever. By Hubble of course!

Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration.

As the two galaxies smash together, billions of stars are born, mostly in groups and clusters of stars. The brightest and most compact of these are called super star clusters.

At the American Astronomers Society (AAS) meeting in January 2010 Julie Comerford from the University of California, Berkely presented her work on dancing black holes. By looking at their constant movements more information about the relationship between the black holes is revealed. Julie writes about it her self in Cosmic Matters. But, this is good, Astrocast.TV's Carolyn Collins Peterson includes a great interview with the black holes experts in her The Astronomer's Universe program from the AAS meeting. You can hear and see for yourself in the video (14:31 min) below.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Science Behind The Haiti Earthquake

The Science Behind The Haiti Earthquake

Here you see a map of all the tectonic plate boundaries on this planet. In Haiti, we find the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault (part of tectonic boundary) and the earthquake took place very close to the Haitian capital Port-of-Prince.

I had the honor of talking with some of the best experts on the Enriquillo fault as well as other leading scientists. This is the first time I do interviews with people, and it made me almost feel like a journalist. Funny, since the executive producer worked for years at CNN. That's right! I'm lucky to work with the best of the best. :-)

My video made it to the front page of The Global Geodetic Observing System. :-)

Read more and watch the video The Science Behind The Haiti Earthquake

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

World Wetlands Day 2010

World Wetlands Day

From Canada
Credit: Blair Hammond, Habitat Protection Biologist, Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada

Today, 2. February, is the World Wetlands Day.

The European Space Agency is one of many to mark this day.

From France
Credit: Tobias Salathé

Monday, February 1, 2010

M51 Spiral Galaxy Beauty

Spiral Galaxy - M51

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Credit: NASA, Hubble Heritage Team, (STScI/AURA), ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI). Additional Processing: Robert Gendler

A classic beauty! Make-up and styling: Hubble and Hubble crew.

Crater in Kazakhstan

Chiyli Crater in Kazakhstan

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Credit: NASA

Space art. :-) And how appropriate. Astronauts returning from ISS often end up in Kazakhstan. Not in the Chiyli Crater though...