7 March 2014, admin @ 11:49 pm

LANSA Air Flight 508 lightning strike 1971
LANSA Flight 508 was a Lockheed Electra L-188A turboprop, registered OB-R-941, operated as a scheduled domestic passenger flight by Lineas Aéreas Nacionales Sociedad Anonima (LANSA), that crashed in a thunderstorm en route from Lima, Peru to Pucallpa, Peru, on December 24, 1971, killing 91 people – all of its 6 crew and 85 of its 86 passengers. The sole survivor was a 17 year old girl, who fell 2 miles (3 km) down into the Amazon rainforest strapped to her seat and remarkably survived the fall, and was then able to walk through the jungle for 10 days until she was rescued by local lumbermen. Juliane Kopcke survived and went on to earn a PhD. Read the account of her 2 mile fall and how she survived.

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24 December 2009, jd2020 @ 10:57 pm

This video, created for the new Rubin Art Museum exhibit Visions of the Cosmos: From the Milky Ocean to an Evolving Universe, uses over a decade of data collected by researchers at the planetarium. Called the Digital Universe Atlas, the data encompasses the precise location of every object ever observed in the sky. Quasars to pulsars to black holes to nebulas, it’s all there and it’s a must watch!

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5 October 2009, jd2020 @ 11:47 pm

These photos were taken October 4, 2009 by Anthony Ayiomamitis as the sun set over a church in Oropos, Greece. The same evening would be the Harvest Moon from the opposite direction.

Church of Agios Sotirios - Oropos, Greece

Church of Agios Sotirios - Oropos, Greece

Much more detailed layout of Anthony Ayiomamitis’ work @ perseus.gr

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29 September 2009, jd2020 @ 1:59 am

Nature created this eerie lighting in Australia on September 23,2009.

Through this dust storm, Australia’s worst in some 70 years, the skies exchanged colors from orange, pink, red and yellow from morning to night. Why?
Because tiny particles can scatter sunlight. Light interacts differently with minuscule particles than with objects in the macroscopic world. If the sky were filled with dust particles that were each significantly wider than the largest wavelength of visible light—i.e., if each one were much more than 750 nanometers wide—then the atmosphere would appear to be approximately the same color as the particles themselves. (In this case, orange.) But many of the dust particles hanging over Sydney were probably less than 750 nanometers. Sunlight scatters when it hits such small particles; its various color components are redirected in a complicated pattern, and only limited wavelengths of light pass through to the observer. In such situations, which physicists still don’t understand perfectly, the atmosphere can take on any number of colors, from blue to deep red, and can even look different depending on where the observer is standing.

Why is the dust orange in the first place? Because there’s so little vegetation. Southeastern Australian soil is composed of weathered ferric rocks. The iron makes the resulting clay minerals—like nontronite, saponite, and volkonsokite—orange-ish. This process is certainly not unique to the land Down Under. Many regions started out orange but eventually transitioned to brown or black as vegetation sprang up in the fertile clay and composted into dark organic matter. The climate around Sydney is too arid for trees and shrubs to proliferate, so the area retains its original hue. The lack of vegetation also explains the frequent dust storms. Clay is flaky, and there aren’t many trees or roots to prevent it from sweeping across the plains.
Read more @ Slate.com

Very nice photo collection of the freak dust storm @ Boston.com

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29 August 2009, jd2020 @ 3:32 pm

So I happened to be at a local park yesterday and couldn’t help taking note of how many plastic bottles I saw just strewn about as trash. Not to mention numerous styrofoam cups and containers. We’ve all seen this, but the bizarre thing was that there were trash cans set up all over the park. Even plastic bags had made their way into the beautiful water. It was a shameful sight since it was obvious that the trash had been tossed. C’mon parents, make an effort to change your ways and influence your children to be aware.

By complete coincidence, I saw this on the net today…
Picture was taken 1,000 miles offshore in the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch by SEAPLEX researchers during an expedition to study the North Pacific Ocean Gyre.

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17 August 2009, jd2020 @ 6:16 pm

Nice! Contestants prepare during an international hot air balloon festival in Baotou, North China’s Inner Mongolia.

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11 August 2009, jd2020 @ 1:39 pm

The Perseid meteors are bits of 2,000-year-old debris left behind by the periodic comet Swift-Tuttle. Earth’s atmosphere collides with the debris at more than 38 kilometers (23 miles) a second. Meteors generally get incinerated before they can strike the ground, creating the streaks of superheated, glowing air we call shooting stars. Perseid Meteor Shower - August 12, 2008 A “shooting star” streaks over Canada’s Quebec Province during the Perseid meteor shower on August 12, 2008. Photograph by Michael Tournay, My Shot

Tonight (Tuesday 8/11/2009), from any vantage point in the world, you might see more than 80 meteors an hour streak across the sky during the best viewing time, when the moon’s glare will be weakest—late night and into the wee hours of Wednesday, local cloud and lighting conditions permitting.

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30 July 2009, jd2020 @ 7:41 pm

Oculus (shown below) is the first luxury yacht from Schopfer Yachts LLC. This 250-foot vessel was designed by E. Kevin Schopfer, founder and owner of his namesake company. Designed to accommodate 12 guests in extraordinary comfort and style, Oculus is a long distance cruising yacht capable of speeds upwards of 25 knots.

Schopfer Yacht’s second design launch was a 300-foot super yacht named The Infinitas. Slide shows here.

Check out this cool animation tour of The Oculus by Tangram 3DS.

The Oculus Luxury Yacht

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30 July 2009, jd2020 @ 11:08 am

Eerie daytime shot of the effect of a full solar eclipse, July 22, 2009.Full Solar Eclipse July 22, 2009Enlarge Image

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22 July 2009, jd2020 @ 12:56 am

Very cool interactive panorama of the July 20, 1969 Apollo 11 Moonwalk
NASA interactive panorama map of Apollo 11
NASA also put together this awesome audio experience of the entire Apollo 11 mission… in observance of the 40th anniversary of the first human landing on the moon, audio from the entire Apollo 11 mission will be replayed and streamed on the Internet at exactly the same time and date it was broadcast in 1969. The audio retrospective will begin at launch minus two hours, 7:32 a.m. EDT July 16, 2009 and continue through splashdown of the mission at 12:51 p.m. July 24, 2009 and the recovery of the crew shortly afterward.

NASA compiled a set of audio highlights of the Apollo 11 mission here.

There is also an audio database of the mission in MP3 format here.

Check out Google Moon – a Lunar walk through using clickable charts and maps of the different Apollo voyages. Way to go Google!

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