Tag Archives: Video

Sights waiting to be seen by human eyes: Epic short film ‘Wanderers’

2 Dec

Wanderers, a short film by a Swedish man named Erik Wernquist shows a possible future for humanity.

It’s epic, and the best part? It’s inspired by reality.

Many of the images in the film likely appear familiar to space-watchers. The Sunset on Mars, for example, is based on a famous picture taken by the Spirit Rover in May 2005.

But it doesn’t stop there.

According to Wernquist:

– The image of a large spacecraft flying over Earth’s atmosphere is based on a famous image taken from the International Space Station in July 2003 during Expedition 7.

– The textures on Jupiter are based on Voyager 1 data from the 1979 fly-by.

– The geysers from Enceladus were discovered in 2005 by Cassini, and imaged since then – including identifying 101 individual geysers.

– The blimp arriving at an airport on Mars scene is inspired from a photo taken by Opportunity 2006.

– A colony on the Saturnian moon Iapetus features a great ridge only discovered (again by Cassini) in 2004.

– Hikers (or perhaps cross-country skiers?) moving across the surface of Europa was inspired by this image taken in 2001 and this one of Europa.

– The view of people gliding around the sky of Titan is inspired by the landing of the Huygens probe on the surface of the Solar System’s largest moon in January 2005.

– BASE jumping on Miranda, the largest moon of Uranus, is inspired by an image taken by Voyager 2 in January 1986.

And of course using words by the one-and-only Carl Sagan provides a nice touch. His words, part science and part poetry, stir the soul.

Wernquist also says the film doesn’t have any story of his own, rather he prefers that views insert their own meaning to it.

I choose to think of it as an example of what the future might hold, and the sights waiting to be seen by human eyes.

Floating among the clouds of Saturn, looking up at the Ringshine

Floating among the clouds of Saturn, looking up at the Ringshine

Robin Williams amazing space shuttle wake-up call from 1988

12 Aug

Reprising his role from “Good Morning Vietnam”, Robin Williams made the inaugural wake-up call to the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1988 during the mission STS-26.

Williams’ wake-up call was the first of the mission, and the flight was the first space shuttle flight since Challenger exploded during launch in 1986.

In the video of the wake-up call from NASA, flight controllers can be seen laughing along with the recording from Williams.

“Gooooood morning Discovery! Rise and shine, boys. Time to start doing that shuttle shuffle. You know what I mean. Hey, here’s a little song coming from the billions of us to the five of you,” Williams is heard saying.

Williams died on August 11 after an apparent suicide.

He was 63.


MAVEN launches to Mars

18 Nov

Watch the launch video:

MAVEN (which stands for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) launched on schedule at 1:28pm EST (18:28 UTC) on Monday, November 18, 2013 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida atop an Atlas V rocket, supplied by United Launch Alliance. With the on-schedule launch at the beginning on the launch window, MAVEN’s 10-month journey to Mars will see it arrive in orbit of the red planet on September 22, 2014.

MAVEN launched atop an Atlas V rocket (courtesy NASA/United Launch Alliance)

MAVEN launched atop an Atlas V rocket (courtesy NASA/United Launch Alliance)

Once in orbit around Mars, MAVEN will help us to understand what happened on Mars that caused it to transform from a warm, wet world into the dry desert we know today. In other words, where did the atmosphere and water go, and how did it happen?

In order to achieve its goals, MAVEN has eight instruments bundled into three scientific suites. These instruments include: the Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer, Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph, Magnetometer, Solar Wind Electron Analyzer, SupraThermal And Thermal Ion Composition, Langmuir Probe and Waves antenna, Solar Energetic Particles, and the Solar Wind Ion Analyzer.

With its “gull wing” solar arrays fully extended, MAVEN’s wingspan comes in at 11.3 meters (37 feet). The dry mass is 903 kg (1,991 lbs), with an additional 1,645 kg (3,627 lbs) of fuel. The solar arrays provide a maximum power output of 1135 watts at Mars aphelion.

MAVEN's Instruments

MAVEN’s Instruments

The month of November is also a historically significant month for space exploration – and in particular the exploration of Mars. In November 1971, Mariner 9 successfully entered orbit around Mars and became the first human made object to orbit another world – just ahead of the twin Soviet probes Mars 2 and Mars 3. Read more about that here.

To learn more about MAVEN, check out the NASA mission page here, or watch this MAVEN mission overview:

MAVEN rolling to the launch pad

MAVEN rolling to the launch pad

MAVEN on the launch pad

MAVEN on the launch pad

Time-lapse of North Bay night sky

15 Nov

I’ve done a couple time-lapse videos, though this was my first attempt at an overnight sequence.

Overall I’m pleased with the result, though I’m limited by the lens on my camera. It’s diameter is only 58mm, so my light collection isn’t phenomenal. Down the road a proper wide-angle lens is on the wish list.

This sequence was shot on the night of September 5, 2013. The camera is looking west, at an angle of about 45°, from the shore of Lake Nipissing in North Bay, Ontario.

Technical details:

Camera: Canon t2i / 18mm / ISO-1600 / 5sec / 4,074 frames
Playback: 20fps
Music: The Cinematic Orchestra – To Build a Home (feat. Patrick Watson)