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..

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..

Chandrayaan I : Post Launch

The launch of India’s first mission to moon went off pretty smoothly but even though it was a proud moment, one just doesn’t get the feel of a manned mission. During the launch, I was like if this thing fails it would be a a major setback but one can always rebuild all the probes and the instruments and so the tension just was not there. But show me a video of a manned mission, and I get all twitchy and nervous hoping that the people aboard don’t get screwed. Robots don’t hold the same amount of respect and awe associated with them as a human being and I guess it will remain so until we learn to build humans from scratch so death would not mean you lose someone because you can recreate the very same human being. (Someday it will happen, Someday. Because we are just machines ourselves and  Awesome ones at that.)

Man Vs Machine. A manned mission takes up so much more resources and money while returning lesser amount of data but I guess the ultimate aim of space exploration is to colonise our galaxy and beyond. But must manned missions be the ultimate goal of our nation? At least for the time being we have so many other problems and maybe we should stick to solving those first while spending moderate amounts of money over robotic space exploration and leave manned missions to richer nations . Or maybe we find a way to tap all the He 3 on the moon and transport the resource and find a way to produce energy and get rich and have the best Space Program in the world :D.

I think we should start a different kind of a space race, a sport of some kind, something like Formula 1 but Space Racing because sport can bring in a lot of money and also capture the imagination of people all over the world and also it would result in the teams pushing the limits with every race leading to new technologies and engineering concepts and overall faster development in breaking the Final Frontier.

Finally see this video of Chandrayaan I launch captured by some guys and it is a better video than the one broadcast on TV ( which showed the launched spacecraft flying for exactly 3 secs before it went into the clouds never to be seen again ). So enjoy the video and the guys are Tamil and so it is awesomer. I wish I had gone there to see the launch, I’ll be there for sure, once a manned mission comes along :D.

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.

Space Links

Photos of the Earth and Moon – From Other Worlds – Beautiful set of pictures.

Carl Sagan. Legend. Must Read – Pale Blue Dot

Amazing Software : Universe Sandbox

Universe Sandbox is an educational toy for Windows based computers. It can run scale simulations of our solar system and galaxy while giving you the power to control gravity, time and everything in it.

One of the very few softwares that I would buy once I earn some money :P.

2001: A Space Odyssey Explained – Really Nice Flash Video about one of the best Sci-Fi Movies of all time.

Hubble Rescue

Solar System Mysteries – Brilliant Read.

Astronaut / Cosmonaut Deaths – Respect!

And Finally, International Year Of Astronomy 2009 – Yay! 😀

Space Rocks.. Free..

Apollo 11

July 20th 1969, a historic day on which humans first walked on the moon and today I can’t help but appreciate the scale of this achievement. Just go out tonight and see the near full moon glittering in all its glory and to think that we have the power to visit this alien world is simply amazing. Just think of the amount of science involved in a moon landing.

There’s nothing that’s more beautiful than the moon (as you can see in the picture at the top) and I’m sure each and everyone of us has looked up and gazed at the moon with awe and wonder. To think that 39 years ago we were able to go there and come back alive with the technology that was available then is really awesome.

Just see this video.. Amazing..

And check out this NASA web page for more videos.

And one of the best pictures of all time 🙂

GETHU

How wonderful it would have been to walk on the moon.. Everytime I look up at the moon I wish I could visit it. So white, so beautiful, so breathtaking in a clear starry night amidst the blackness of space.

As Buzz Aldrin said one cannot really put it in words the feeling you get but I guess he summed it up beautifully when he said “Magnificent desolation”.

Amazing Gethu..