…a very big meteor burned up over Chelyabinsk, a city in Russia just east of the Ural mountains, and about 1500 kilometers east of Moscow. The fireball was incredibly bright, rivaling the Sun! There was a pretty big sonic boom from the fireball, which set off car alarms and shattered windows.
Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog continues to update with videos and photos as more information is revealed (and corrected). In the incredibly clear video above, you can see the meteor as it was recorded on February 15, 2013 by a dashboard camera.
UPDATE: video link replaced.
From the archives: What is a meteor? And how do we study them?
Via Climate Adaptation.
We’ve seen this experiment a few times before, but never with Hello Kitty “catonaut” in a Japanese rocket made by a 12-year-old. And perhaps not with such a glorious pop:
NASA doesn’t have a lock on space exploration anymore. Just ask Lauren Rojas, a seventh grader in Antioch, Calif., who recently launched a balloon to 93,625 feet using a do-it-yourself balloon kit from High Altitude Science…
The project is a terrific illustration of just how accessible the near-space environment has become. High Altitude Science was founded two years ago by Joseph Maydell, a flight controller for the International Space Station at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, who wanted everyone to experience the beautiful views of the planet that he got to see in the course of his work.
Not only does Maydell sell a kit and a flight computer on his site, but he also includes tutorials to get started with.
From the archives, more views of Earth’s curvature.
via Scientific American.
Watch the spring thaw of seasonal dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) on Mars, brought to us by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Optical Poem, an abstract piece of stop-motion history, was made in 1938 by German-born Oskar Fischinger, an avant-garde animator, filmmaker and painter. The familiar music is Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2.
Updated to a working video link.
A modern audience may be unimpressed by such sights in an age of endless computer-generated, digital imagery; this film is a hand-crafted, analog mood piece that takes the viewer along on an abstract journey that can inspire any number of interpretations. In his book Optical Poetry: The Life and Work of Oskar Fischinger, William Moritz takes a stab at it, writing that “the keen sensation of depth becomes a conceptual part of the action, with the circles that rotate around each other revealed as cosmic figures that could be either microscopic cells or stellar configurations.”…
This sort of stop-motion animation work is slow enough, but consider that Fischinger was not moving rigid metal model joints, but lightweight pieces suspended by thin lines and thus prone to sway he had to make sure each piece was steady before making his exposure. The artist used a broomstick with a feather attached at the end as a “steadier.” Moritz further pointed out that “as in most of Oskar’s films, complex choreography often required a dozen figures to move simultaneously, some in the same direction, but others at a different angle or direction, so each exposure was slow and had to be carefully monitored.” The phrase “carefully monitored” is quite an understatement a miscalculation could ruin a shot and lead to the scrapping of many hours of work.
Previously on this site: abstract animated films by Norman McLaren and Art Clokey.
via The Curious Brain.