The Snow-Covered Washington, DC Area Is Today’s MODIS Satellite Image of the Day
|| 12/22/2009 || 7:18 pm || + Render A Comment || ||
Date Acquired: 12/20/2009
Resolutions: 250m (reduced)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Credit: Jesse Allen, NASA’s Earth Observatory
I was looking for satellite images of last weekend’s blizzard and found that today’s MODIS Satellite Image of the Day just so happens to be of the Washington, DC area. MODIS (or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) is a key instrument aboard the Terra (EOS AM) and Aqua (EOS PM) satellites that documents changes on the surface of the earth. Terra’s orbit around the Earth is timed so that it passes from north to south across the equator in the morning, while Aqua passes south to north over the equator in the afternoon. Terra MODIS and Aqua MODIS are viewing the entire Earth’s surface every 1 to 2 days, acquiring data in 36 spectral bands, or groups of wavelengths that are used for numerous scientific purposes. You can view these satellite images in real-time and see exactly what has happened on the surface of the earth within the last 48 hours.
Short NASA video of the 2004 Transit of Venus
|| 11/23/2008 || 11:24 pm || Comments Off on Short NASA video of the 2004 Transit of Venus || ||
Since I started reading about the Transits of Venus, I’ve found this video on-line in multiple places, but no one has uploaded it to Vimeo yet. This very short video is composed of a sequence of images taken by the Solar X-ray Imager on the GOES satellite as Venus passes between the Earth and the Sun. If you look closely, that small ball at the bottom is Venus. The last Transit of Venus before this was in 1882 and the next transit will take place on June 6th, 2012, where it should cross the upper portion of the Sun.
Bird’s Eye View of Little Diomede, Alaska
|| 11/2/2008 || 4:38 pm || Comments Off on Bird’s Eye View of Little Diomede, Alaska || ||
The other day I found this photograph above on a friend’s Facebook page. The photograph was taken from an airplane while the friend was traveling Alaska on behalf of their job in the American government. Around the time current Republican vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, made a gaff about being able to see Russia from Alaska, I remembered how there was only one spot in America where this was the case and it just so happened that my friend had recently been there.
Known as the Diomede Islands in America or the Gvozdev Islands in Russia, the two islands are only split by about 4 kilometers. What I’ve always thought was interesting is that the houses on Little Diomede (above) face tomorrow. Due to the placement of the International Date Line, the Russian side is one of the first territories to start the day. This means folks on Big Diomede can also see yesterday.
NASA satellite image of the Diomede Islands
Related 2008 Election Entries:
the Phoenix Mars Mission
|| 5/30/2008 || 2:00 pm || Comments Off on the Phoenix Mars Mission || ||
The Martian surface is rather barren….
Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
For nearly the last year I’ve been following the various contemporary space missions on this blog. It probably all started last summer after finding the unique Zodiac from 1544, then this curiosity progressed to Google Sky & Stellarium, to seeing my first Moon Mars conjunction as well as Saturn for the first time in December, and most recently seeing Mercury Messenger‘s first photographs of the backside of Mercury and seeing Jupiter conjunct the Moon for the first time last week.
Today’s entry concerns the Phoenix Mars Mission which I’ve found to be pretty fun to learn about. The website consists of scientist blogs, near-realtime photographs and animations. Because it’s all happening in near-real time, it’s like you are exploring Mars alongside of the official scientists. Quite cool.
Related Space Entries:
The Grand Design Lenz Quilt
|| 1/13/2008 || 11:20 am || Comments Off on The Grand Design Lenz Quilt || ||
: rendered at 9,000 X 6,000 :
Using the elements from the Lenz Projection I was able to magnify portions of a tessellated Messier 101 Pinwheel Galaxy (a grand design galaxy) to create this fine celestial perspective.
Read more about this project here.
An updated Armillary Sphere
|| 9/28/2007 || 8:54 pm || Comments Off on An updated Armillary Sphere || ||
Above is an Armillary Sphere, which was used in ancient times as a celestial calendar. Created prior to the orrey, which is a helio-centric model, the Armillary Sphere allowed it’s user to know where the moon was in relation to the earth. It also featured a zodiac, which I’ve been playing with earlier this year.
To make the above image, I edited the public domain engraving on the Wikipedia page and added a very tiny NASA Blue Marble satellite image of the western hemisphere of the earth. I am probably going to add this image to this website’s splash page, which will knock the total number of visual combinations to over 3,000! I’d like to make a few more first. The U.S. Naval Observatory’s logo gave me some ideas :-).
Since May I’ve been very interested in old maps and the scientific instruments that were used. When I discovered Julius Schiller, who published Coelum Stellatum Christianum (which replaced pagan constellations with biblical and early Christian figures), I began to take quite an interest in celestial cartography.
Around that same time my next door neighbor, thinking that my cartographic expertise had to do with astronomy, offered to let me borrow his children’s telescope. Since then (about mid-August) I’ve been looking to the night sky about once a week; much to my enjoyment. Last week was a highlight because we met on the rooftop and set up the telescope. I showed him and his kids how to use the telescope and was able to show them the moon for the first time. DC has quite a bit of light pollution which makes celestial observances quite tough. The neighborhood watch was even in effect because my housemate said people from the street over knocked on our door warning her about people on the roof.
My favorite night sites are Venus and the Moon, simply because they are the easiest to find. I really want to see Mars, Saturn, or Jupiter. But I’ll just have to wait until the night’s right (or I have ample patience). Ironically, a week after my neighbor brought over the telescope, the new version of Google Earth came out with an integrated celestial viewer.
I have more to write about my nightly observations and research I’ve been dabbling in at a later date.
Related Antique Entries:
An Updated Astrological Calendar from 1544 – Eastern Hemisphere
|| 8/10/2007 || 10:31 pm || Comments Off on An Updated Astrological Calendar from 1544 – Eastern Hemisphere || ||
About a month ago I made the first version of the map using the Western Hemisphere. At the time I didn’t even think about making a secondary map for the Eastern Hemisphere.
Quilt of Guinea-Bissau
|| 7/27/2005 || 3:17 pm || Comments Off on Quilt of Guinea-Bissau || ||
: full size print, rendered at 12,000 X 8,000 :
It’s been awhile since I’ve used some imagery that is not aerial photography! Last night I decided to use one of my favorite satellite images from the “Earth as Art” collection. The colorful original satellite image is of Guinea-Bissau, a small country in West Africa, and the colors represent water and different types of vegetation. I decided to use the ol’ Quilt template to make a somewhat intricate design that has two central axises of symmetry. I genuinely like this rendering and will most likely have it printed shortly.
Somewhat related… When I was setting up the scene to be rendered I realized that I could easily make one of these renderings surpass the gigapixel barrier that I’ve recently read about, but I realized that my computer cannot process that much information. I need a G5!
view rendering details:
Star of the Middle East #2
|| 1/18/2005 || 11:03 pm || Comments Off on Star of the Middle East #2 || ||
This is my first redesign of the “star of..” series. I added two more rings and now it almost looks like a molecule! I think its absolutely gorgeous. I can’t wait to get it printed!!
Related Star Series Maps: