Category Archives: History

VividX2 Makes History

The VividX2 makes history as the world’s first commercial satellite able to provide full-colour video of life on Earth.

It is capable of taking ultra-high definition images of any location on Earth and can take two minutes of video at the same time.

The satellite is only about the size of a typical cloths-washing machine (a cubic meter) and weighs just 100 kg.

See more at

Hand Prints on Hubble

Kind of a fun video from Science@NASA.

Tiangong Update: The remains of the Space Station ended up in the Pacific Ocean, reentry occurred on 2018/04/02 00:16 UTC.

I also want to mention there is a Space X launch of a cargo-spaceship heading to the International Space Station tomorrow with coverage beginning at about 19:00 UTC / 15:00 ET.

Neptune Clouds

Heres an image I really like from the outer solar system taken much too long ago. The Voyager 2 spacecraft took this high resolution image of clouds on Neptune.

More about Neptune and its moons.

The New Horizons mission is active in the outer solar system and closing in on Pluto. Soon if all goes well we will have a good look at the Dwarf planet and it’s moon (or co-planet depending on your point of view).

A high resolution of the image above can be had here.

The original caption from NASA/JPL:
This Voyager 2 high resolution color image, taken 2 hours before closest approach, provides obvious evidence of vertical relief in Neptune’s bright cloud streaks. These clouds were observed at a latitude of 29 degrees north near Neptune’s east terminator. The linear cloud forms are stretched approximately along lines of constant latitude and the sun is toward the lower left. The bright sides of the clouds which face the sun are brighter than the surrounding cloud deck because they are more directly exposed to the sun. Shadows can be seen on the side opposite the sun. These shadows are less distinct at short wavelengths (violet filter) and more distinct at long wavelengths (orange filter). This can be understood if the underlying cloud deck on which the shadow is cast is at a relatively great depth, in which case scattering by molecules in the overlying atmosphere will diffuse light into the shadow. Because molecules scatter blue light much more efficiently than red light, the shadows will be darkest at the longest (reddest) wavelengths, and will appear blue under white light illumination. The resolution of this image is 11 kilometers (6.8 miles per pixel) and the range is only 157,000 kilometers (98,000 miles). The width of the cloud streaks range from 50 to 200 kilometers (31 to 124 miles), and their shadow widths range from 30 to 50 kilometers (18 to 31 miles). Cloud heights appear to be of the order of 50 kilometers (31 miles). This corresponds to 2 scale heights. The Voyager Mission is conducted by JPL for NASA’s Office of Space Science and Applications.

Mother of Hubble

Mother of Hubble, the telescope not Edwin.

In honor of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science which was yesterday this video looks at one of the pioneers in the field and the first Chief of Astronomy at NASA, Nancy Grace Roman.

We need more like her! I am pleased we have many women in the field and I hope to see many more in the future.

The Big Picture

The United States launched its first satellite on this day 60 years ago – 31 January 1958.

The Explorer 1 satellite was put into an orbit that orbited the Earth for a little more than 12-years and completing 58,000 orbits before interfacing with the atmosphere and burning up on 31 March 1970.

This film is from 1958: