Photographer Dan Finnerty’s time lapse view of comet Pan-STARRS over Southern California is breath-taking. The colorful sunset and moon setting doesn’t hurt either. Full screen!
The comet is called C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS, and it’s a frozen ball of dirt with a long tail made of debris. PANSTARRS isn’t coming very close to our planet –the closest it gets is 170 million kilometers, more than 400 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon. But the comet’s tail is roughly ten times longer than the Earth is wide, and as it passes through our neighborhood all that ice and dust reflects light, so the comet shines bright in the night sky.
…PANSTARRS will remain in our night sky through the end of the month.
Nasa has this helpful graphic in their ScienceCasts: A Naked-Eye Comet so that you might catch a glimpse before the view grows dim.
via Wired Science.
We’ve seen a lot of videos that send things up into the stratosphere, but Ron Fugelseth and his 4-year-old kid did this, plus one (animated) step more when they sent the kiddo’s favorite toy train eighteen miles up!
Lifted by a weather balloon, and accompanied by a taped up orange styrofoam box with an HD camera and a GPS-equipped phone, the train traveled up to see the earth’s curvature and then came falling back down, landing 27 miles from where it launched.
Looks like the train had fun.
Thanks, @rogier, kvetchup, and @alexkuhl.
Time-lapse hot air balloons inflating for launch and then, one by one, taking off into the sky.
via The Awesomer.