- Happy 50th birthday, NASA! [Via]
- The Big Picture features some excellent images of man on the Moon–both past and future. (I’ve gotta get one of those ATHLETE vehicles for a future Death Valley outing.) They also feature recent volcanic activity.
- The Hubble recently spotted–er, spied–Jupiter’s Great Red Spot eating the "Baby Red Spot." More beautiful high-res shots of Jupiter & its moons–including amazing shots of volcanoes in action–are here.
- VAMP, the Virtual Astronomy Multimedia Project, aims to "vastly multiply the use of, astronomy image resources… by systematically linking resource archives worldwide." The Astronomy Visualization Metadata (AVM) standard they’ve devised works builds on Adobe’s XMP technology. [Via Robert Hurt]
Boston.com’s new feature The Big Picture dispenses with traditional peanut-sized Web photos and showcases great images in the news. Site designer/developer/writer/photo editor Alan Taylor talks about his brainchild and how it came to be. [Via] Lately they’ve been harvesting the best photos that billions of tax dollars can buy:
- The Sky, From Above features gorgeous shots of the Space Shuttle at liftoff, as well as of thunderstorms over the American Midwest and more. [Via]
- In Martian Skies, you can view panoramas from Mars and watch dust devils skittering across the Martian landscape.
- The site also features a retrospective of some of the great images sent back home by the Cassini space probe over the past four years. [Via]
- In Scientific American, Adobe collaborator Hany Farid writes about 5 Ways to Spot a Fake Photo. [Via everyone ever]
- When we beefed up technical imaging tools in CS3 Extended, faking research results was not the goal! "The magnitude of the fraud is phenomenal," says Dr. Farid. [Via Doug Nelson]
- "In Russia, the in-flight movie watches you…" Could aircraft security systems detect suspicious behavior just by staring at you? Unsurprisingly Boing Boing thinks it’s "snake oil."
A few years ago I heard from a researcher at DuPont who was, as I recall, using Photoshop’s Histogram palette & other tools to analyze samples of Kevlar and other materials. Later I visited the Johnson Space Flight Center and talked to a team about using Photoshop’s Ruler Tool to assess possible cracks in space shuttle heat shields photographed during flight. No matter what you think a given feature is designed to do, customers will always find interesting ways to push it farther.
In that vein, Chris Ing gets crafty on JacksofScience.com, using the new analysis tools in PS CS3 Extended to do everything from estimating chicken density in Africa* (by analyzing the "integrated density" of various regions of an info graphic) to calculating the height of Kirsten Dunst (studiously cross-checked against something called Chickipedia–and no, I’m not feigning ignorance). Should you find yourself "interested in comparing the circularity of your head to that of a friend," you’ve got a kindred spirit.
* Sorry, the pre-/post-hatched counting enhancement will have to wait for a future release. (We’ll sic Chris on it.) We’ve heard somewhere that it’s an important distinction…
Okay, so their connection to this blog is tenuous at best, but these semi-science-y vids are too fun not to share:
- A while back I mentioned the 150-T-shirt Human Flipbook that Colle+McVoy created for sandwich chain Erbert & Gerbert. Now they’ve returned with
CandleCannon.com. Gotta love the insane whooping of geeks celebrating. [Via Dustin Black]
- Some 1,500 Belgian kids did their best Blue Man impression, launching sticky geysers of foam as they attempted to create the world’s largest Diet Coke/Mentos explosion. I can’t find a video of this stunt, but these guys were apparently trying to outdo these folks in Cincinnati.
- Mmmm, brains:
- That very special glow:
- Taryn Simon produced a beautiful image of nuclear waste. In An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar, "[h]er 70 color plates transform that which is off-limits or under-the-radar into a visible and intelligible form." See and read more here.
- Researchers are combining images to make "super-resolution" X-rays. [Via Ellis Vener]
- Space oddities:
- Math for visuals:
- New Yorkers have been chatting about biology-based art. (Somehow hacking lifeforms for the sake of cool visuals seems destined to end up in a future installment of Bad Idea Jeans.)
Okay, I’m getting a little far afield of scientific imaging per se, but I found the following interesting & thought you might as well.
- Oh man–tumbling hippies + Jabberwocky + amino acids: this 1971 MIT video has it all. When that hoodling organ sountrack kicks in, you know it’s gonna be good. (Skip ahead 3:30 or so to the dancing.) [Via]
- Hmm–I wonder whether these come in “Ps” or “Ai”: periodic table rings. [Via Jeffrey Warnock] (Of course, a more committed geek would go with knuckle tattoos–the arm already having been done.)
- The Chinese government is apparently trying to control the weather at the Olympics, literally shooting clouds out of the sky. Seriously.
- Lunar images & infographics:
- Here’s a map of the area covered by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on their Apollo 11 moon walks, superimposed on a soccer field and on a baseball diamond. (I suppose if I were carrying a 400lb suit, I wouldn’t get too far, either.) [Via]
- Photographers captured last month’s total lunar eclipse in a series of photos. I especially like this shot from Johnny Horne.
- I’m not sure that it constitutes scientific imaging, but Wikipedia hosts a beautiful column of fire. Talk about an awesome blossom.
In honor of today being Pi Day (mmm, Pi…), it seems appropriate to share a wad of science-y bits:
- Hey baby, “Ever wonder what’s happening under Orion’s belt?” It’s among Five terrible fake astronomical pickup lines.
- Flour power: Artist Barry Stone creates galaxies from spilled flour. [Via]
- At age 19 I talked my way into an internship at Jane’s Defence Weekly. Among other things, I found myself visiting the National Archives, sifting through then-recently declassified spy photos from the Cuban Missile Crisis. Seeing the first US spy satellite photos makes me feel those cheesecloth gloves all over again. I’m always amazed that the film was snagged in mid-air. Related: these pix of the recent spy satellite shoot-down.
- “If you could hold a giant magnifying glass in space,” say researchers at the University of Michigan, “and focus all the sunlight shining toward Earth onto one grain of sand, that concentrated ray would approach the intensity of [the HERCULES laser].” Here’s the story. [Via]
- Speaking of giant magnifying glasses in space, check out the Earth & Moon as seen from Mars–at a distance of 142 million kilometers. [Via]
- Core77 features an X-ray of a python that’s eaten some golf balls (for a rather interesting reason).
- BibliOdyssey features some great renderings of 19th-century airships.
- Can computer viruses be seen as art?
- True Dimensions features an amazing Lego model of the Discovery from 2001. [Via]
- Is there a sculpture of a Man on Mars? Not really, but the illusion is cool. Of course, anthropomorphic stone formations are also found closer to home.
- Virgin Galactic has unveiled the brilliant Burt Rutan’s elegant SpaceShipTwo. Here’s more info on the efforts. [Via]
- Bring on the nuclear tricycles! Air&Space Mag features alternative lunar vehicles that didn’t quite make the cut. [Via]
- CNET talks about lightning strikes on Venus, as well as how the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has helped explain bizarre Mars textures using stereoscopic imaging. The also point out the dusty Mars rover finding evidence of water.
- The Hubble recently captured a double Einstein ring. An Einstein ring occurs when light from one body is deflected into a ring by another body, such as a black hole. In this case, the effect required three galaxies to be perfectly aligned. [Via]
- Scientists have now turned up a smaller version of our solar system using "a trick of Einsteinian gravity called microlensing."
- On a level I can understand more directly, dig this Solar System typography from Christopher David Ryan. [Via]
- The NYT reports on amateur "satellite spotters" who track the motion of satellites & share their findings on the Net. [Via]
- MSNBC’s has posted their top space photos of the year, while National Geographic has shared their top science images of the year.
- NPR reports that “Bioartists’ Flesh Sculptures Draw Fans and Critics.” Yeah, sawing open a cow femur to “paint” a “living sculpture of skin” will probably do that. Given that it’s now possible to “print” beating heart cells, you know it was just a matter of time until peeps got busy with the creative mis(?)use.
- Supercomputers at Sandia National Laboratories offer new insights into the 1908 Tunguska disaster. The generated image just happens to look pretty cool–kind of a fiery Polynesian sculpture.
- Is Facebook using image science to analyze your photos for fun and profit? No, not yet–at least that we know of. Thankfully it’s a hoax. [Via]
- Bugs on ‘roids? In the NYT Natalie Angier talks about the seemingly crazy lengths to which animals will go to compete, survive, and reproduce. “Male cardinals and house finches become obsessed each fall with eating berries and other ruddy fruits, not for their nutritional value,” but to make their plumage colorful. (They’d probably buy AXE Plumage Spray, too, if they could just peck open the dispensers.)
- The paper features an informative Flash-based rendering of the Proton Therapy Institute’s new $125M cancer-zapping behemoth.
- On Flickr Carl Zimmer has assembled a photo set of science-related tattoos. [Via]
- “The National Geographic Society has not discovered ancient giant humans, despite rampant reports and pictures,” they swear. They claim it’s all just a Photoshop job. Sure, sure; but I’m looking over my shoulder, and up. 😉 [Via]