Here are a few fun pictures to send you off into your pre-Christmas weekend…
Punch hole clouds and other rare cloud formations:
Top 10 astronomy pictures of 2008:
See the link above for the story on all of these, as well as some more pictures. Amazing stuff! I just wanted to share a bit about the last one above because it is truly unique and special:
Once a month, the Moon makes one complete orbit around the Earth. Stuck here on the surface as we are, we see the Moon moving across the sky as it orbits. Sometimes, rarely, its path intersects that of the Sun, and we see a solar eclipse. A little more common is a lunar eclipse, when the Moon enters the Earth’s shadow, and again we’re stuck on the ground, so we see the Moon darken and sometimes turn blood red.
But we never see the moon pass in front of the Earth, because we’re on the Earth. However, our spacecraft are not so disadvantaged.
The Deep Impact mission was launched in 2005, and later that year successfully slammed a copper block into a comet. The spacecraft itself sailed on, and the mission was retooled (and renamed to EPOXI) to observe other scientific events. Some smart person at NASA realized that if they turned the probe’s telescopes around they could see some drama unfolding back home.
There has never been a generation of humans in all of history who could see such an event. If you ever get a little depressed, or lonely, or think like there’s nothing going on that’s interesting any more, think on that for a moment or two. A thousand generations of people could only imagine such a thing, but we can actually do it.
The two high-kicking critters were seen scrapping in Namibia, Africa. One flew at its rival and they grappled on the ground. Then the attacker launched a kick Bruce Lee would have been proud of.
Clearly he’s a martial arts nut.