Even if you are nowhere near Florida, the Space Coast Launches site is a fun way to keep up with the latest rocket schedule from all the launch sites and operators. It’s got a “futuristic” design that ties together information about the launching companies, viewing locations, rocket data and upcoming schedules. Of course it’s promoting tourism to the launch sites, so you can even book hotels right from the site Bonus: you never have to hunt for where you can stream a launch. They have a live stream page that embed the feed of every live takeoff.
As ridiculous a that title might sound, it’s a treat for the ears. Even though it’s been a year since scientist Peter Neff shared this great outtake from an Antarctic expedition, we give it a listen at least once a week. When that small ice chunk falls 90m (295ft) through the ice, the rattle is great but the old western shootout “ding” at the end is perfect. Check out more about the Ancient Ice project from the University of Rochester for some great behind the scenes shots on life on Antarctica.
In 2018, Hurricane Lane was the wettest storm in Hawaii’s recorded history – dropping over 52 inches of rain in some places. Being the first tropical cyclone to make landfall there in over two decades, it was a major event that, perhaps surprisingly, resulted in only one fatality and about $250 million in damage. As it approached the islands, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) flew one of its hurricane hunters into the eye of the storm giving us this eerily beautiful sight of the inside of the fierce storm. Check out the details on NOAA’s P-3 Orions and if you’re really into it, this is a great firsthand account of flying into Hurricane Hugo back in 1989.
Using “X-Ray Florescence Spectrometer” analysis of various Bronze Age artifacts, researchers have determined that the iron within them had to have come from space. On Earth, a lot of the nickel ore is buried very very deep as it sank closer to the core while the planet cooled, so extraterrestrial iron contains significantly more nickel than we might otherwise expect. And since humans would not develop smelting techniques hot enough to produce our own iron for another 2,000 years, finding a pre-smelted chuck of meteor would have been a great find for a smith of that age. They used those fortuitous finds to forge jewelry, tools and weapons including a dagger found in the tomb of King Tutenkhamen, shown above. you can read the full academic paper Bronze Age Iron: Meteoric Or Not? A Chemical Strategy in the Journal of Archeological Science though it requires a subscription, but check out Science Alert for a deeper dive.
In the late 1960s, Canadian Club hid 25 cases of their whiskey in remote locations around the world and launched a marketing campaign to encourage adventurous fans to seek them out. Over 50 years later, at least 8 remain undiscovered (or at least, unreported). The cases were hidden in destinations like Mt. Kilimanjaro, Angel Falls, Death Valley, Tonga and more. Some of the undiscovered cases are believed to be in Lake Placid, Loch Ness, Yukon Territory and Robinson Caruso Island waiting for some enterprising (and very lucky) person to stumble upon them. Perhaps best of all, they produced these incredible ads:
A subsurface array of sensors known as the Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program (OSNAP), extends from Canada’s Labrador Coast to the tip of Greenland, crosses south of Iceland and finally ends near the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. It measures the currents that move from the ocean depths to the warmer surface areas, a process that exchanges somewhere near 15.3 million cubic meters of water every second. As much as I want this sensor array to be a solid string of instruments, it’s actually 53 different moorings of independent sensor clusters measuring temperature, salinity and water speed. You can see in the diagram below that the sensors are arranged in 3 distinct clusters – one across the Labrador Sea, another spanning the Irminger Sea and a final cluster from the Iceland Basin to Scotland’s Rockall Trough. Featured Image: Recovering the flotation sphere for mooring CF4 with an iceberg in the background. Pictured from left to right: Andrew Davies, Pete Liarikos, John Kemp and Brian Hogue. Photo by Isabela Alexander-Astiz Le Bras
The past decade has given us amazing footage of Mars from orbit and from the ground but it wasn’t until I saw this video of assembled imagery that I realized I’d never seen a full rotation of its surface anywhere. Assembled by a Redditor from orbital imagery using Blender.
Bruce Berry compiled assorted ISS 4K video feeds to create a beautiful and immersive trip around the world as only a few get to see it. As the era of ultra high-definition orbital footage continues to produce incredible gems like this, hopefully we’ll all get a bit more of the “overview effect“.
We have a general rule of thumb: if a headline ends in a question mark (?), the answer is almost always “NO”. This is no exception but is one of the times where a better answer is “probably not, but maybe”! In a recent paper, Ioannis Liritzis, an archaeologist at the University of the Aegean, along with his co-authors examined the writings of Plutarch to discern the meaning behind one of the tales. In it, a character talks of a grand adventure from which he’d recently returned. He describes it as a long voyage to a distant “great continent” which travelers would make the trip roughly every 30 years, when the planet Saturn appeared in the constellation Taurus. Using this and other context clues, Liritz’s team examined solar eclipse records to ballpark date such a voyage to 56CE and they examine a number of possible explanations for how and why these sailors might have made such a journey. In the end, the conclusion is that it’s certainly possible but not altogether probable given the lack of archeological and metallurgical evidence. But the entire theory is a fascinating read that explores the potential fora while chapter of unknown historical exploration.
Photographer Chris Dahl-Bredine had a terrible ski accident in the 90s which drove him to start looking at the way the world works and how everything fits together. Part of this journey was him learning to fly and he fell in love with the openness of seeing things from a hang glider. Eventually, he built his own motorized glider and took to the sky to photograph the world from above. The result is a beautiful view that evokes a sense of the Overview Effect without leaving the atmosphere.