Astrostuff..

Wikipedia –

Astronomy is the scientific study of celestial objects (such as stars, planets, comets, and galaxies) and phenomena that originate outside the Earth’s atmosphere (such as the cosmic background radiation). It is concerned with the evolution, physics, chemistry, meteorology, and motion of celestial objects, as well as the formation and development of the universe.

Astrology is a group of systems, traditions, and beliefs which hold that the relative positions of celestial bodies and related details can provide useful information about personality, human affairs, and other terrestrial matters. Numerous traditions and applications employing astrological concepts have arisen since its earliest recorded beginnings in the 3rd millennium BC. Scientists of the modern materialist age consider astrology a pseudoscience or superstition.

For free’s sake, please stop getting confused about astronomy and astrology. The next person who asks me if i know palmistry once I tell them I love Astronomy is going to get punched on his face!!

Astronomy is Science. Astrology is well, bullshit. Free.. Anyway, for those who believe in Astrology please devote sometime to The BadAstronomer. If that article doesn’t clear your mind, nothing ever will.

Free.. And Check This Image out! Beautiful..

PS – Dr. Phil Plait, I salute you for all that you have/are done/doing. You  are one Absolutely Awesome Floo. Respek.

Free..

Carnival Of Vettiness : December Links..

It is that time of the year again, with the infinite number of top 10 lists that are posted all over the Internet and here are some Top Picture lists which are absolutely awesome..

Phil Plait’s Top 10 Astronomy Pictures of 2008 ( The Bad Astronomer Rocks man, admit it! )
Phil Hart’s 10 Astounding Astrophotos (What’s up with the name Phil and Astronomy!?)
Top 10 Amazing Animal Videos (Amazing! Check out the last Kruger Park  Video, it’ll blow your mind!)

And The Big Picture from Boston.com, let me tell you if you even remotely like pictures you’ll be so glad you found this site. Totally Brilliant. If you don’t subscribe to their feed yet, The Year 2008 in Photographs Parts 1 , 2 and 3 will definitely make you do it.

And finally the HST, the ultimate in all of science and space engineering as far as I’m concerned; the ultimate symbol of us, humans. Just check this page from the Big Picture and you will know what I am talking about.

Free..

Insignificance

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image has been dubbed as the most important image ever taken by man and it is simply breathtaking. It actually makes me cry with awe, every single time I look at it.

275px-hubble_ultra_deep_field

Check out the Full Res Version. It’s a 4 MB image but let me tell you it’s worth every byte. Just right click, save and view in Full Screen.

It is an amazing feeling when you realise how small we are. When you think about it, we are the very definition of insignificance. It’s amazing that consciousness gives you the feeling of being important and significant. What a wonderful illusion reality is, amazingly confusing yet absolutely clear.

All is nothing.
All is free.

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November Links

Sounds of Saturn.

Photos of the recent night launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour.

Chandrayaan 1’s Terrain Mapping Camera :).

God Speaks on the state of the Human World.

Football is the difference between life and death, for many Africans. The Hunt For A Better Life. Amazing Article. Long but Awesome!!

Amazing Video about the Cassini Mission. A Must Watch for everyone.

Science’s alternatives to a Creator.

Boston’s The Big Picture – Enceladus.

And finally, 10 things you didn’t know about the Earth. The BadAstronomer, Brilliant as always.

free..

Nila Nila Oodi Vaa

The Moon, the nearest chunk of alien rock from Planet Earth, never fails to inspire awe and wonder every time you look at it and to think that India is going to reach for the Moon is absolutely amazing.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is going to launch the Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter tomorrow and it is going to be Legendary!

From the ISRO’s Website:

The primary objectives of Chandrayaan-1 are:
1. To expand scientific knowledge about the moon
2. To upgrade India’s technological capability
3. To provide challenging opportunities for planetary
research to the younger generation of Indian scientists

Chandrayaan-1 aims to achieve these well defined objectives through high resolution remote sensing of the moon in the visible, near infrared, microwave and X-ray regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. With this, preparation of a 3-dimensional atlas of the lunar surface and chemical mapping of entire lunar surface is envisaged.

We’ve also got a bunch of Indian payloads and have also accommodated a few foreign payloads and our orbiter is going to do some serious scientific work. ISRO has released this brochure with complete information about this mission.

October 22 at 06:20 Indian Standard Time is the date and time set for the launch and there’s going to be a webcast on the ISRO website, so don’t forget to catch it online.

P

India Rocks..

India is on the verge of becoming a space superpower and it should make every Indian proud. This should make humans all over the world stand united and feel good for what we, as a species can achieve.

Moon, here we come. In a few years it is going to get really crowded up there and someday we will spread our huge population to the moon too :p.

I’m sincerely hoping that the launch and the mission goes off without any major hitches. Here’s to Science and of course, to India.

Saare Jahan Se Accha, Hindustan Hamara
<< Those were the words Rakesh Sharma uttered 24 years back on board the Soviet Soyuz T-11, when asked by the then PM of India, Indira Gandhi, about how India looked from space. >>

Links:
ISRO
Unofficial Website
Indian Express

PS –

All said and done, NASA sent men to the Moon decades ago and that is the most awesomest achievement by us till date. Let us hope that this time instead of a space race, international cooperation takes us to greater heights and reach Mars in the near future. I want to see man land on Mars before I die :). I wish I were an astronaut, going places, seeing the earth in all it’s insignificance; I don’t even mind if it is a one way ticket to the stars.

Nature is God. Science is my Religion.

Large Hadron Rap

Science + Rap = Awesomeness!!! 🙂

Mars

Mars – The Red Planet , Shining in all its glory with a tinge of red every single night. As I was lying awake through the night, I got fed up of the insomnia and went up to my terrace and there it was reminding me of the insignificance of our planet, you, me, everything when compared to to The Universe as a whole.

But the most amazing thing about Mars is that we’ve got 6 Spacecraft that are active in and around that planet. Brilliant isn’t it. The Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter, Mars Express, Mars Oddyssey, the two magnificent rovers Spirt and Opportunity and finally the recently landed Phoenix. I just hope every single person on Earth realises the enormity of these achievements. You have to realise the fact that Mars is just a point of light in our sky, it’s so far away and we are able to precisely map its orbit using equations, have the creativity and the brilliance to launch probes and have them go into precise orbits around that planet. I mean you’re fucking threading a needle millions of miles away.

And the Phoenix lander has been brillinat till now. It’s landing was perfect and it’s now operating brilliantly having landed near one of the poles and searching for ice. It has already sent back pictures of what seems to be ice and it’s started digging into the dirt today. It even uses Twitter :D.

Finally just look at this image. This probably sums up the total fucking awesomeness of our scientific achievements. Its Phoenix descending into Mars with its parachute open as photographed by the MRO.
The Bad Astronomer put it so beautifuly as always:

Think on this, and think on it carefully: you are seeing a manmade object falling gracefully and with intent to the surface of an alien world, as seen by another manmade object already circling that world, both of them acting robotically, and both of them hundreds of million of kilometers away.

Never, ever forget: we did this. This is what we can do.

D

When I first saw this picture, I was like wtf, among all the amazing pictures to have ever graced the field of astronomy this is right up there, Simply Breathtaking…