Pacific Northwest from Space

A very nice shot of the Pacific Northwest with minimal cloud cover.  Notice the Willamette Valley in Western Oregon.

Pacific Northwest from space
Pacific Northwest from space. Vancouver Island is prominent in the top center of the photo. In the lower center the Willamette Valley can be seen running north from southern Oregon up to Portland.
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Tracking and Mapping Space Junk

More than 500,000 pieces of debris, or “space junk,” are tracked as they orbit the Earth. They all travel at speeds up to 17,500 mph, fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft.

In the 50-plus years that humans have been zipping through space more than 6,000 satellites have been launched. While some have made their way back down to Earth, more than 3,600 remain in orbit.

 

  • It’s estimated that between 100 and 150 tons of space junk re-enters our atmosphere each year — with the vast majority of it burning up before it hits the ground.
  • Scientists are looking to develop methods of removing some of the space junk that’s currently in orbit.
  • Some worry that if we don’t act fast enough, the Kessler syndrome will be observed. This would occur if space debris continues to pile up, eventually reaching the point where it would be impossible to launch new objects without creating a collision.

SourceInteractive map shows how much space junk is flying around Earth

Stuff in Space

Stuff in Space.- Key-Legent

Stuff in Space
Stuff in Space is a realtime 3D map of objects in Earth orbit, visualized using WebGL. (Shown above)

The website updates daily with orbit data from Space-Track.org and uses the excellent satellite.js Javascript library to calculate satellite positions.

Stuff in Space on GitHub, by James Yoder.: https://github.com/jeyoder/ThingsInSpace

The US. department of Defense maintains an accurate log of all the objects in the Earth’s orbit that are larger than a softball — and if you’d like to get an idea of what all that might look like, you can — via an interactive map called Orbital Objects.  http://www.alexras.info/code/orbital_objects/

The rising population of space debris increases the potential danger to all space vehicles, but especially to the International Space Station, space shuttles and other spacecraft with humans aboard.

NASA takes the threat of collisions with space debris seriously and has a long-standing set of guidelines on how to deal with each potential collision threat. These guidelines, part of a larger body of decision-making aids known as flight rules, specify when the expected proximity of a piece of debris increases the probability of a collision enough that evasive action or other precautions to ensure the safety of the crew are needed.

Space debris encompasses both natural (meteoroid) and artificial (man-made) particles. Meteoroids are in orbit about the sun, while most artificial debris is in orbit about the Earth. Hence, the latter is more commonly referred to as orbital debris.

Orbital debris is any man-made object in orbit about the Earth which no longer serves a useful function. Such debris includes nonfunctional spacecraft, abandoned launch vehicle stages, mission-related debris and fragmentation debris.

There are more than 20,000 pieces of debris larger than a softball orbiting the Earth. They travel at speeds up to 17,500 mph, fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft. There are 500,000 pieces of debris the size of a marble or larger. There are many millions of pieces of debris that are so small they can’t be tracked.

Continue reading Tracking and Mapping Space Junk

American Pharoah is Triple Crown Winner # 12!

Triple Crown Winners

Sir Barton – 1919
Gallant Fox – 1930
Omaha – 1935
War Admiral – 1937
Whirlaway – 1941
Count Fleet – 1943
Assault – 1946
Citation – 1948
Secretariat – 1973
Seattle Slew – 1977
Affirmed – 1978
American Pharoah – 2015

Sir Barton – 1919    Gallant Fox –1930      Omaha – 1935      War Admiral – 1937      Whirlaway – 1941     Count Fleet – 1943 Assault – 1946 Citation – 1948 Secretariat – 1973 Seattle Slew – 1977 Affirmed – 1978     American Pharoah – 2015

To read more about each triple crown winner, click on any of the 12 names above

Triple Crown Records:

Kentucky Derby- 1:5925, Secretariat, 1973
Preakness Stakes- 1:53, Secretariat, 1973 
Belmont Stakes- 2:24, Secretariat, 1973 

Malé

Click for larger image of Malé, capital of the Republic of Maldives
Click for larger image of Malé, capital of the Republic of Maldives

This fascinating city is Malé, the capital  and the most populous city in the Republic of Maldives.

Here are some facts:

  • The central part of the city is formed by the island of Malé. Three more islands form part of the city. A commercial harbour is located on Malé Island and serves as the heart of all commercial activities in the country.
  • The central island is heavily urbanized, with the built-up area taking up essentially its entire landmass.
  • Slightly less than one third of the nation’s population lives in the capital city.
  • The population of Malé has increased from 20,000 people in 1987 to 100,000 people in 2006.
  • The whole island group, the Maldives, is named after its capital. The word “Maldives” means “The islands (dives) of Malé”.
  • The Island of Malé is the firth most densely populated island in the world. Since there is no surrounding countryside, all infrastructure has to be located in the city itself.
  • Water is provided from desalinated ground water; the water works pumps brackish water from 50-60 m deep wells in the city and desalinates that using reverse osmosis.
  • Electric power is generated in the city using diesel generators.
  • Sewage is pumped unprocessed into the sea.  Solid waste is transported to nearby islands, where it is used to fill in lagoons. The airport was built in this way, and currently the Thilafushi lagoon is being filled in.
  • Many government buildings and agencies are located on the waterfront. Malé International Airport is on adjacent Hulhule Island which includes a seaplane base for internal transportation. Several land reclamation projects have expanded the harbour.
  • Source: Wikipedia- Malé
  • Map: Malé Map

 

 

Volcano Stadium

Volcano Stadium in Guadalajara
Click on the image above for a slideshow of the Volcano Stadium

A stadium with grass sloping up the sides, which is used as a park when the stadium is not hosting an event.  Cars are parked under the stadium and it is all environmentally friendly.  Where?  Guadalajara, Mexico!

 

The city of Guadalajara has unveiled a volcano-like soccer stadium that is veritably exploding with green features. Created for the popular Chivas team by French architects Jean-Marie Massaud and Daniel Pouzet, the stadium features a volcano-evoking exterior that captures rainwater and processes it through wetlands for use in watering the pitch. All lighting is energy efficient, and the parking garage features natural ventilation.

The stadium, which hosted its first match last year, consists of a white membrane — intended to look like a cloud hovering atop the volcano — and grassy sloped sides. It seats 45,000 and tucks away 8,500 parking spaces under the hillside, which will be open as public parkland when there’s no match on. Link

Alaska is Huge! Also a link to the best map of USA ever made!

ReDiscover the USA / Alaska is so big that…

…if Alaska were divided into two states of equal area, Texas would be our 3rd largest state, even if it included Louisiana. –Dave Imus

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Russia had acquired Alaska in the mid-18th century and wanted to sell the vast territory.  In 1867, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward, after very intense negotiations, was able to help the USA to buy Alaska from Russia, for $7.2 million. This worked out to a cost of roughly two cents an acre, which is an amazing price, even back then.  However, the Alaskan purchase was ridiculed in Congress and in the press as “Seward’s folly,” and “Seward’s icebox,” and it was ratified by the U.S. Senate by a margin of just one vote!  Of course nobody could predict the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896, or the wealth of the oil fields and other resources abundant in Alaska, making the purchase one of the best deals in history.   More info:  HERE

This map and info on Alaska is from a FaceBook post put out by the company that makes these maps, Imus Geographics. (I have nothing to do with the company, I’m just sharing a great map/company) My father-in-law bought me a copy of The Essential Geography of the USA,, made by company founder and owner, cartographer Dave Imus.  It is the best map I have ever seen!  I absolutely love geography and this map is at the very top of the list!  Read all about the map and even order one of your own at the website below.

“Until the publication of the Essential Geography of the USA, Americans lacked the most basic tool of geographic understanding, a general map of the place we call “home.” By allowing us to visualize the basic layout of our country, the Essential Geography, the first and only general map of the United States, has the power to increase awareness and understanding of basic US geography, and help start a new tradition of geographic literacy in America.”

Thank you,

David Imus, Cartographer

The best map ever made of the USA:  http://www.imusgeographics.com/map-of-the-usa

Links to various maps of states and regions in the USA:  http://www.imusgeographics.com/maps-of-the-states-of-the-usa

Website:  The Essential Geography of the United States of America: LINK

 

Yosemite’s Frazil Ice and Giant Snow Cone (and Horsetail Fall)

This unique phenomenon takes place in March and April, in Yosemite National Park, as a slurry of slushy, watery, snow pushes down Yosemite Creek and into the Yosemite Valley.   A giant snow cone is formed under the falls and pieces of ice fall off the cliff onto the cone. (watch at about 4:30 for the snow cone)

“Horsetail Fall looks like a glowing fire fall in February” (6:53)  See additional video below

“The Snowcone, at the base of Upper Yosemite Fall” (7:00)

Frazil Ice

Horsetail Fall – At about 4:00 watch people push coals over the edge to put on a show for spectaors below

Outside In

Get ready for an amazing IMAX film!

Stephen Van Vuuren is a self-described musician, photographer, ubergeek and filmmaker whose diverse background includes growing up in Johannesburg, South Africa and Knoxville, Tennessee. Like most filmmaker’s, Van Vuuren has a current film project, but the movie he wants to make is a bit unique. He wants to personally take hundreds of thousands of still photographs from NASA‘s Cassini-Huygens Mission and turn them into an animated IMAX film. The film called Outside In has been profiled previously, but a recent posting about Van Vuuren and his movie on io9.com has giving his project new life since his video with scenes from the movie have gone viral. More on Geek.com

New Building!

Redesigned during construction to include additional floors, elevator was overlooked.
Skyscraper was redesigned during construction to include additional floors, elevator was overlooked.

This new building in Spain is missing something that could be a deal-breaker for prospective tenants; an elevator!

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/-spanish-skyscraper-going-up—-without-an-elevator—214416887.html