A space nerd’s Easter

Easter was a great time for space nerds.

I certainly enjoyed myself. Got to see several passes of the International Space Station (ISS). Once you know the times it’s easy to find. These days it is so bright – and of course it’s moving. Have a look at Heavens Above. Register and enter your location. It’s easy to check at any time when the most favourable passes will be.

It is moving to think that humans are on board the moving speck of light.  Last week there were 3, now there are 13. Four of them women. This is the largest number of women in orbit at any one time.

Last Friday two Russian Cosmonauts and and a US astronaut were launched from Kazakhstan in a Russian Soyuz Capsule. On Monday seven astronauts were launched from Florida in a shuttle. These launches are always impressive. The video coverage of the shuttle launch included shots of an overflight of the ISS 20 minutes before the launch. Soichi Noguchi, one of the astronaughts on baord the ISS had taken this photo of the launch site several hours previously.

Soichi Noguchi is a keen twitterer (Astro_Soichi) and photographer. He regularly sends photos of cities and locations the ISS passes over. Have a look at some of his photos on Twitpic. Here’s a recent time exposure he took of an aurora.

There will only be three more shuttle launches before the fleet is retired. Pity, I would really have loved to see a launch in person. Everyone who has can’t stop raving about it, they are so impressive. Guess I will just have to make do with the video streaming. NASA broadcasts these, as well as the Soyuz launches in real time (see NASA TV).


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7 responses to “A space nerd’s Easter

  1. I have been watching the BBC doco “Wonders of the Solar System” over the last week or so and can recommend it.

    Mainly I have enjoyed the images from various probes etc, but also the way that parallels are made between processes on earth etc… that allow scientists to make discoveries about other planets/moons.


  2. Thanks, Nick. Unfortunately we can’t watch the BBC player here.

    But I have heard others recommending the series too and generally like Brian Cox as a presenter. So I will keep an eye out for it on YouTube.

    Sent from my iPod


  3. Ah, found the programme at Brian Cox.

    Now must download them before they disappear.


  4. I have another BBC doco recommendation. This is available on youtube as far as I can tell. This is called “The secret life of chaos” presented by Professor Jim Al-Khalili .

    Hopefully the following link works…


  5. Thanks Nick – I was able to download it.

    I enjoyed the Islamic Science series Jim did before and also his book on quantum mechanics so am looking forward to this.


  6. I have just watched the first part of yet another Doco from Jim Al-Khalili. This time a three parter on Chemistry. I think this might have just been broadcast this year.

    I am not sure how interesting this will be for you Ken seeing your background in Chemistry, but I am certainly enjoying it.

    Perhaps I should buy his quantum mechanics book also.

    Heres a you tube link for the chemistry videos.


  7. Thanks for sharing . I was able to download it.
    Easter was a great time for space nerds. I certainly enjoyed myself.lt is absolutely essential thing for us.


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