It sounds like a remarkable story, almost unbelievable: Anders Helstrup went skydiving nearly two years ago in Hedmark, Norway and while he didn’t realize it at the time, when he reviewed the footage taken by two cameras fixed to his helmet during the dive, he saw a rock plummet past him. He took it to experts and they realized he had captured a meteorite falling during its “dark flight” — when it has been slowed by atmospheric braking, and has cooled and is no longer luminous.
via Norwegian Skydiver Almost Gets Hit by Falling Meteor — and Captures it on Film.
Part of what’s amazing about so many people recording things all the time on camera is we get to see things that we know must be, but no one has directly observed before. Like rocks falling from the sky.
I think XKCD sums it up best:
This amazing picture was taken in the AM over in Australia in the last day. Comet Lovejoy, which became the closest sun grazing comet ever observed, managed to survive it’s trip into the sun, and is now flaring up as it comes away. It’s now a naked eye even in the southern hemisphere, who always seem to get the good stuff.
Read more about the image here.
Last night, the atmosphere over Australia settled into a state of rare, crystal-clear transparency — and it did so directly above the observatory of world-famous astrophotographer Anthony Wesley. The result was a picture of Jupiter that some onlookers are calling the finest-ever by an amateur astronomer. “On a scale of 1 to 10, the seeing was a 12,” says Wesley. “Now I know what it must be like to see the giant planet from space.”
Just remember, this was taken, from the ground, by an Amateur, with a 16″ telescope. Really freaking cool.
This is not the Sun. This is the star Betelgeuse, 600 light years away from us. 10 years ago we managed to resolve it as 12 pixels, earlier this year we saw it’s outer atmosphere, and now we can see this view of the surface in infrared. How cool is that.
This is Betelgeuse, which is one of the brightest stars in the night sky (9th brightest over the entire sky). It is the shoulder of the constellation Orion. Betelgeuse is notable for a number of reasons, the first of it is one of the biggest super giants you can see in the night sky. The radius of Betelgeuse is thought to be roughly twice that of the orbit of mars. It would fill up the entire inner part of our solar system. So even though Betelgeuse is 640 light years away, in the largest telescopes we’ve got you can see it as something other than just a point of light. (Previously hubble did this at much less resolution).
This latest image shows the extremely curious fact that Betelgeuse is not symmetric. It is known that it is in the death throws of the stellar life cycle (which takes tens of millions of years), blasting out bits of it’s atmosphere, however up until this point, that was not directly visibly observable, and thought to be a more symmetric thing. This image is amazing for a number of reasons, not least of which is both confirming, and putting a new spin on, the process by which a star dies. And it’s just gorgeous. What amazing wonders the night sky holds.
Just because it’s that awesome. You should definitely look at signing up to the APOD RSS feed.
After a bit of playing around with gtkmorph tonight, I came up with this morph between myself and my Second Life avatar Neas Bade. I haven’t quite figured out where I’m going to use this yet, but it seemed like something handy to have. I need to actually replicate my avatar shape into the various OpenSim environments that I use, which I haven’t gotten around to yet, but will soon.