Flash Fiction: a complete story
in one thousand or fewer words.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

20th Anniversary of Hubble

The Hubble Telescope had a rocky start, with its budget concerns in Congress and later need for contact lenses, but few regret the project now in view of the outstanding science that was a direct outcome of the space telescope. NASA is now celebrating 20 years of Hubble Telescope science. There, you'll find a small collection of the most outstanding images and videos in the Hubble gallery, along with a Hubble model, "greatest (science) hits," timeline, and a way to send messages to the Hubble team. At the Hubble site, you'll find a much larger collection of Hubble images as well as links to news and their expansive gallery.

If you're interested in the future of NASA science, here is the infrared Webb Telescope site.

Flash Fiction Online SF/Fantasy writers: surely one of the images linked to above will inspire a flash story for us. Get busy!

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Take a Black Hole Tour

Science fiction writers for various media like black holes. They solve many story issues (while creating some thorny theoretical ones). If you enjoy reading or writing such inventions, you might appreciate this post.

By way of SlashDot, New Scientist is reporting a simulation published in the American Journal of Physics of what the sky would look like if you entered a black hole. (Warning: do not try this at home; serious bodily injury may result from approaching or falling into a black hole.) The simulation uses actual star data (100,000+ stars). The authors of the American Journal of Physics article (and apparently of the simulation) are Thomas Müller and Daniel Weiskopf at the University of Stuttgart (Universität Stuttgart).

The short New Scientist article includes a video of a simulation run (and then gives options for other related videos). If you are more adventurous or interested, you can download the simulation and simulation data files and run/tweak it yourself. They have a Windows executable and Linux source files.

Here is the New Scientist article and video about a black hole simulator that uses star data. Here is the University of Stuttgart black hole simulator for Windows and Linux.

Ad: Injured falling into a black hole? Call 555-555-5555 to learn about your legal rights. Blackheart & Blackheart, Personal Injury Lawyers.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

8-Year Reprieve On End of World

Whew! The doom prophets apparently misinterpreted the Mayan calendar, and the apocalypse has been rescheduled for 2020, according to a SlashDot article. That article describes the mistake briefly, but gives a link to a detailed Dutch article on the Mayan apocalypse, in NWT magazine, which is translated by Google. So even if you're not interested in the explanation, it is interesting to see the state of automatic language translation. The translated article is readable, but still a bit wonky.

Here's the teaser quote from the Dutch article as translated by Google:

In the 2012 film that will premiere this month, killed the cities and continents in droves, as the world decays. Yet just a pity that research has shown that the "end times" of December 21, 2012 probably more than two centuries two.

There is no word yet whether the movie distribution company for 2012 is going to recall all their prints of the film to correct the errors.

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Herschel Space Observatory Pictures of Galaxy

The Herschel Space Observatory is still in its performance validation test phase. The ESO has released some "sneak preview" pictures of the Milky Way. The images are composites of five different infrared frequencies, which were then color-coded to give new insight into the structure of the galaxy. Here are the early Herschel Space Observatory images.

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Photographic, Zoomable Survey of the Sky

By way of SlashDot.org: Serge Brunier traveled to photographically friendly locations in the northern and southern hemispheres and took 1200 visible-light images of the sky. He and Frédéric Tapissier created a zoomable tapestry of these images. This was associated with the International Year of Astronomy and the European Southern Observatory. Here is the amazing zoomable image of Earth's sky.

A click on the back to menu link there will lead you to other fine Serge Brunier photographic projects.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Meteorite Capture on Telescope Camera

It's near impossible to photograph a meteorite image with a camera having a relatively wide-angle lens. However, a kid in Baltimore (PA) captured one with a telescope with attached camera. Here is a blog with pictures of the meteorite. He's gotten a lot of interest from meteorite hunters and scientists.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Archive of NASA's Astronomy Picture-of-the-Day

By way of Ansible, here is a fantastic archive of NASA's Astronomy pictures of the day, starting in mid-1995 to the present. Bump up your ISP account and enjoy.

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