Thursday, February 25, 2010

Live video feed from the International Space Station

This is great; I've been holding off on sharing this because I felt like it was too special to share widely. But here's the deal--there is a live video feed on the International Space Station. And usually it's pointing out at Earth. So literally you can watch the Earth go by live. You can experience sunrise and sunset in orbit. You can see the biggest cities' light pollution on the dark part of the orbit and sun glints of the Pacific or the swirls in the clouds in the Southern Ocean.

Here's the Live ISS video feed. If you stop the video, reload the page rather than restarting the video; otherwise regular NASA TV will start up.

See where the ISS is via and

There are some parts of the orbit with no video download. It is also sensitive to the TDRSS capacity.

While writing this, I am watching sunrise on the ISS just south of South Africa. It is beautiful.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Can you stand it? Cloud footage running backwards

I'm going to be honest:

I can't stand anyone running cloud video footage in reverse. This drives me crazy; whether it's my physics and chemistry of the atmosphere classes or just my sensibilities but whenever I see it it drives me crazy (c.f. Survivor this season). If the cloud droplets are evaporating or condensing the wrong way, anyone with meteorological experience (or someone who has watched Koyaanisqatsi) will call shenanigans. Convection has a distinct look to it; as well as evaporation; and when producers try to reverse the video it shows.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Video of the day: rocket destroys a sun dog

Sun Dogs are bright refractions of the Sun coming from horizontal ice crystals in the atmosphere. The ice crystals are usually oriented horizontally because that it their stable falling pattern. Watch as the rocket carrying the Solar Dynamic Observatory pierces through a cirrus cloud and the sound waves from the rocket completely obliterate the preferred ice crystal orientation.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

An asteroid collision

Color me surprised: I did not believe, when this object was first reported, and further debate on the Minor Planet Mailing List, that this was in fact a collision.