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crookedindifference:

Earth Photography: It’s Harder Than It Looks
By Astronaut Don Pettit

From  my orbital perspective, I am sitting still and Earth is moving. I sit  above the grandest of all globes spinning below my feet, and watch the  world speed by at an amazing eight kilometers per second (288 miles per  minute, or 17,300 miles per hour).
This makes Earth photography complicated.
Even with a shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second, eight meters (26 feet) of motion occurs during the  exposure. Our 400-millimeter telephoto lens has a resolution of less  than three meters on the ground. Simply pointing at a target and  squeezing the shutter always yields a less-than-perfect image, and  precise manual tracking must be done to capture truly sharp pictures. It  usually takes a new space station crewmember a month of on-orbit  practice to use the full capability of this telephoto lens.
Zoom Info
Camera
Nikon D3s
ISO
3200
Aperture
f/1.4
Exposure
1/3th
Focal Length
24mm

crookedindifference:

Earth Photography: It’s Harder Than It Looks

By Astronaut Don Pettit

From my orbital perspective, I am sitting still and Earth is moving. I sit above the grandest of all globes spinning below my feet, and watch the world speed by at an amazing eight kilometers per second (288 miles per minute, or 17,300 miles per hour).

This makes Earth photography complicated.

Even with a shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second, eight meters (26 feet) of motion occurs during the exposure. Our 400-millimeter telephoto lens has a resolution of less than three meters on the ground. Simply pointing at a target and squeezing the shutter always yields a less-than-perfect image, and precise manual tracking must be done to capture truly sharp pictures. It usually takes a new space station crewmember a month of on-orbit practice to use the full capability of this telephoto lens.

Is 'The Bay' An Island?

graftversushost:

ourcatastrophe:

this article is really really good, please read it

re: commentary. yes, but/and

my sitch is that in demographic terms I am in many ways less of a gentrifying force in the hip queer bubble I currently live in than in the “up-and-coming” (spew) area I grew up in (although we’re talking suburbs of a large city rather than small town vs. city, which makes the issue of isolation from queer-normative community less pressing).

but my plan is still to move back there, because the difference is that in the area I grew up in — I know the shopkeepers, I know elderly people, I know people with non-pr accents, I know people who are different to me — I’m part of a community other than young white liberal Arts educated queer hipsters. I have a real connection to the area. I know all my parent’s neighbours up and down the street. I can’t remember the names of the neighbours to either side of me in my current house. I have no committment to the area and no roots here.

I remember one time as a young teen, I was alone at home when I fell very ill. I was able to stumble out into the street and find someone I knew to take me to the doctor. I couldn’t do that here. Nor could any child I had. Not with the take-and-move-on young adult renter’s life I’m living. I am, I hope, going to live a life that extends past my late twenties. I want to live somewhere where I feel like I can have a future and a past rather than one endless hedonistic present. I want to be around children and old people. I want to be around people who are different to me.

I take the core of the original post to be that, for queers, community across difference is a more worthy and useful goal than community around similarity — which essentially reproduces a hegemonic norm, just a different one, where thin young abled white “alternative” queers with access to tertiary education are centred and everybody else is marginalised. the idea of “radical community” is a sham and a fraud. the communities that are important are the broad and fractured ones I’m already part of, not the ones I could attempt to build with the .0001% of the population that agrees with my take on Gramsci and likes my haircut and doesn’t ask “so, do you have a boyfriend?”.

obviously taking personal responsibility can sometimes cross over into individualism or martyring yourself or weird appropriation of “authentic” and pure lifestyles (like anti-capitalist middle-class intellectuals seeking employment in the trades because it’s more politically sound than being a writer or something). [graftversushost](http://graftversushost.tumblr.com) makes a good point re: the complicated nature of keeping in touch with one’s past for trans people. I’m generally uneasy about critiques of queer spaces coming from queers who areactually able to live in straight world if we have to. I mean, I’m cis and more or less normatively feminine and have had serious relationships with cis men and probably will again sometime down the line, averages being what they are. Giving up queer spaces simply would not be as much of a sacrifice for me as it would be for many of my friends. I think queers like me — invisible queers, queers who are sometimes in hetero or hetero-appearing relationships — need to stop being so hung up on proving that we’re just as queer as anyone and have a real think about the very real expanded opportunities and mobilities we have. not everything is about individual identity, some things are about collectivity, how other people treat you and how you move through the world.

anyway, this is something I’ve thought a lot about and changed my mind on many times. but ultimately I keep coming back to the conclusion that I need to stop thinking about how I can be blameless and start thinking about what I can do, and what it will cost me and others, and is it worth it? & I think those questions, at least, are ones anyone can ask themselves, wherever they are.

got nothing to add right now except that this is great commentary

ok, that is a great article, and also great commentary.

Personal thoughts/reactions:

  • I am always incredibly uncomfortable when I hear other queer people fetishize the Bay Area (and the west coast in general) as if it’s some sort of queer/liberal wonderland where sexism, racism, heterosexism, cissexism, all -isms, just don’t exist.
  • While I’ve only been to the Bay Area a couple times, I can speak about my experiences moving to Boston. Here, yes, there are a lot more resources and legal protections for LGBTQ folks, but I wouldn’t say the overall culture/attitude is queer-friendly. It is, but like the Bay Area, only in certain neighborhoods, like areas of Jamaica Plain and Cambridge/Somerville. I’ve been living in Brighton, which is so not queer-friendly. I have been wondering if maybe I wouldn’t hate Boston so much if we had moved to JP or Somerville instead of Brighton. What would it be like to be able to leave the house without fearing harassment? Are there queer people who live in JP or Camberville who seriously think all of Boston is just as queer-friendly as their neighborhoods?
  • I keep thinking of the phrase, none of us is free as long as any of us is oppressed. Sometimes I feel like there are some queer folks who are willfully abandoning the rest of the country to move to live in a happy queer bubble in SF/Portland/NYC/Boston.
  • On the other hand, I definitely understand that to many queer & trans people, living in a queer/trans-friendly place is not just something that would be ~nice or ~preferable, but is a matter of survival.
  • I mean like, none of us is obligated to be ~super queer activists~ and fight the good fight all the time. Seriously. I’m a pragmatist and I try to be a realist, too.
  • But at the same time, I feel like pretty much the entire U.S. has been abandoned by [white, middle class] queer people who fetishize The Bay (and NYC/Boston/Portland) as a queer utopia, who characterize the rest of the country as ignorant rednecks who deserve all the other oppressions that they may be facing because they’re so bigoted against queer people.
  • INTERSECTIONALITY FAIL AHOY
  • ETA: I also know there’s plenty of cities that do have a good queer “scene” that tend to get completely overlooked and lumped into the category of “must be ignorant rednecks” just because they’re not considered an Official Queer Utopia.

sorry if I’m not making much sense, I just finished my glass of scotch. 9__6

sagansapien:

Today’s APOD is especially magnificent. Here’s a close crop of the fully eclipsed Moon to provide better “dashboard” detail. Click the photo for high-res milky-wayness.

Eclipsed Moon in the Milky Way 
Image Credit & Copyright: Babak Tafreshi (TWAN)

Explanation: On June 15, the totally eclipsed Moon was very dark, with the Moon itself positioned on the sky toward the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. This simple panorama captures totality from northern Iran in 8 consecutive exposures each 40 seconds long. In the evocative scene, the dark of the eclipsed Moon competes with the Milky Way’s faint glow. The tantalizing red lunar disk lies just above the bowl of the dark Pipe Nebula, to the right of the glowing Lagoon and Trifid nebulae and the central Milky Way dust clouds. At the far right, the wide field is anchored by yellow Antares and the colorful clouds of Rho Ophiuchi. To identify other sights of the central Milky Way just slide your cursor over the image. The total phase of this first lunar eclipse of 2011 lasted an impressive 100 minutes. Parts of the eclipse were visible from most of planet Earth, with notable exceptions of North and Central America.

APOD

TWAN Photographer Babak A. Tafreshi

APOD: 2010 November 26 - Flame Nebula Close-Up
 

Image Credit & CopyrightAdam BlockMt. Lemmon SkyCenterU. Arizona
 

Explanation: Of course, the Flame Nebula is not on fire. Also known as NGC 2024, the nebula’s suggestive reddish color is due to the glow of hydrogen atoms at the edge of the giant Orionmolecular cloud complex some 1,500 light-years away. The hydrogen atoms have been ionized, or stripped of their electrons, and glow as the atoms and electrons recombine. But what ionizes thehydrogen atoms? In this close-up view, the central dark lane of absorbing interstellar dust stands out in silhouette against the hydrogen glow and actually hides the true source of the Flame Nebula’s energy from optical telescopes. Behind the dark lane lies a cluster of hot, young stars, seen at infrared wavelengths through the obscuring dust. A young, massive star in that cluster is the likely source of energetic ultraviolet radiation that ionizes the hydrogen gas in the Flame Nebula.

itsfullofstars:

Vela Supernova Remnant
Credit & CopyrightMarco Lorenzi (Star Echoes

Explanation: The plane of our Milky Way Galaxy runs through this complex and beautiful skyscape. At the northwestern edge of the constellation Vela (the Sails) the four frame mosaic is over 10 degrees wide, centered on the glowing filaments of the Vela Supernova Remnant, the expanding debris cloud from the death explosion of a massive star. Light from the supernova explosion that created the Vela remnant reached Earth about 11,000 years ago. In addition to the shocked filaments of glowing gas, the cosmic catastrophe also left behind an incredibly dense, rotating stellar core, the Vela Pulsar. Some 800 light-years distant, the Vela remnant is likely embedded in a larger and older supernova remnant, the Gum Nebula.

M8: The Lagoon Nebula 
Credit & CopyrightSteve Mazlin, Jack Harvey, Rick Gilbert, and Daniel Verschatse 
(Star Shadows Remote ObservatoryPROMPT, CTIO) 

Explanation: This beautiful cosmic cloud is a popular stop on telescopic tours of the constellation Sagittarius. Eighteenth century cosmic tourist Charles Messier cataloged the bright nebula as M8. Modern day astronomers recognize the Lagoon Nebula as an active stellar nursery about 5,000 light-years distant, in the direction of the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. Remarkable features can be traced through this sharp picture, showing off the Lagoon’s filaments of glowing gas and dark dust clouds. Twisting near the center of the Lagoon, the brighthourglass shape is the turbulent result of extreme stellar winds and intense starlight. The alluring view is a color composite of both broad and narrow band images captured while M8 was high in dark, Chilean skies. It records the Lagoon with a bluer hue than typically represented in images dominated by the red light of the region’s hydrogen emission. At the nebula’s estimated distance, the picture spans about 30 light-years.

The Planet and the Radio Dish Credit & Copyright: Alex Cherney (Terrastro)
Explanation: What planet is this? Although seemingly something out of The Little Prince, the planet is actually Earth. More specifically, it is a small part of the Earth incorporated into a four image stereographic “Little Planet ” projection. The central fisheye image points down, while the surrounding wide-angle images were taken at a 30 degree tilt and added digitally later. Earth-anchored items surrounding the image center include green grass, dark shadows, and trees near and far. At the image top (“noon” if the planet were a clock) is the well-lit Parkes Radio Telescope dish in New South Wales, Australia. The surrounding sky contains many jewels of the night including the Moon at 9 pm, the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy at 1:30 pm and 7 pm, and the Small Magellanic Cloud galaxy at 5 pm. A full field interactive version of this scene can be found here.
Zoom Info
ISO
1600
Aperture
f/2.8
Exposure
15"

The Planet and the Radio Dish 
Credit & Copyright: Alex Cherney (Terrastro)

Explanation: What planet is this? Although seemingly something out of The Little Prince, the planet is actually Earth. More specifically, it is a small part of the Earth incorporated into a four image stereographic “Little Planet ” projection. The central fisheye image points down, while the surrounding wide-angle images were taken at a 30 degree tilt and added digitally later. Earth-anchored items surrounding the image center include green grassdark shadows, and trees near and far. At the image top (“noon” if the planet were a clock) is the well-lit Parkes Radio Telescopdish in New South WalesAustralia. The surrounding sky contains many jewels of the night including the Moon at 9 pm, the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy at 1:30 pm and 7 pm, and the Small Magellanic Cloud galaxy at 5 pm. A full field interactive version of this scene can be found here.

IRAS 05437+2502: An Enigmatic Star Cloud from Hubble 
Credit: ESAHubbleR. Sahai (JPL), NASA

Explanation: What’s lighting up nebula IRAS 05437+2502? No one is sure. Particularly enigmatic is the bright upside-down V that defines the upper edge of this floating mountain ofinterstellar dust, visible near the image center. In general, this ghost-like nebula involves a small star forming region filled with dark dust that was first noted in images taken by the IRAS satellite in infrared light in 1983. Shown above is a spectacular, recently released image from the Hubble Space Telescope that, although showing many new details, has not uncovered a clear cause of the bright sharp arc. One hypothesis holds that the glowing arc was created by a massive star that somehow attained a high velocity and has now left the nebula. Small, faintIRAS 05437+2502 spans only 1/18th of a full moon toward the constellation of the Bull (Taurus).

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