Metallic photos of the sun by renowned photographer Greg Piepol bring together the best of art and science. Buy one or a whole set. They make a stellar gift.
MATTER SHUTTLE MISSION: Space shuttle
Endeavour is racing around Earth in pursuit of the
International Space Station. When Endeavour reaches
the ISS on Wednesday, May 18th, the crew will begin
to unload the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a $1.5
billion cosmic ray detector that could reveal the
nature of dark matter and find whole galaxies
made of antimatter. Truly, this is an experiment
worthy of Endeavour's final flight.
The mission began on Monday with a spectacular
liftoff into clouds over the Kennedy Space Center:
"The launch was as difficult to image as it
was beautiful to watch," says photographer
Pete Lardizabal. "From Apollo Beach we saw
it enter the
clouds over the Cape and exit into blue
skies. What a view!"
During the two-week mission, Endeavour and the
ISS will make numerous appearances in the night
sky, especially over North America and Australia.
Would you like to see this shuttle one last time?
Turn your cell phone into a field-tested
more images: from
Mike Reynolds at the KSC press site; from
Valmir Martins de Morais of Juazeiro do Norte,
Ceará, Brazil; from
Kosma Coronaios of Louis Trichardt, Limpopo
Province, South Africa
PLANETS: The Great Morning Planet
Show of May 2011 is only half over. There are still
14 mornings to go. The show's second act began on
May 16th with three bright planets hovering over
space shuttle Endeavour:
"I witnessed the launch of Endeavour
early Monday morning and was greeted by this scene
when I arrived at NASA's VIP viewing site on Banana
Creek," says photographer Tom Cocchiaro of
the New Hampshire Astronomical Society. "It
was as though the Gods were watching over Endeavour
as it sat perched on the launch pad in the early
twilight hours. Too cool for words."
There are more cool sights in the
mornings ahead. Check Science@NASA's "Better
than Coffee" for details. A video
version is available, too.
more images: from
Russell Cockman flying 39,000 feet above central
SATELLITE TRACKING TOOL: Have you
ever wondered, what's orbiting over your head right
now? A new satellite-tracking tool called WhatSat
can answer that question for you. It's an app for
Android phones that tells you what's overhead, helps
you find satellites in the night sky, and "tags"
satellites you've seen. Many satellite-tracking
tools are available, but none is quite like this;
view the demo
video to learn what makes WhatSat unique.
2011 Aurora Gallery
[previous Aprils: 2010,