Review: Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact on Jupiter

Collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter Observed by the NASA Infrared telescope Facility” was written by a board of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) scientist as a report on their observations of the collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter as observed from July 12 to August 7, 1994.

The article described how this particular telescope allows scientists to attach three different measuring and/or recording instruments to help in observations.  The scientists chose to attach a camera with a low-resolution spectrometer, an Array Camera, and a high-resolution spectrometer.  These instruments let the scientists record their findings and obtain extensive information about each impact.

The scientist took measurements of the reflection of Jupiter on its moons Io and Europa to see how much of the impacts explosions were reflected onto the moons.  According to this article little or no reflection of the impact was recorded. Continue reading

Spacecraft escaping the Solar System

I was wondering about some of the old spacecraft that has been launched over the years. Whatever happened to ol’ Sputnik, Voyager, and others? Well, I did a little research and found out…

Sputnik 1  launched by the USSR in October 1957, burned up in the atmosphere in January of 1958 when it fell from orbit after kicking off the Space Race that put the USA in second place as the king of technology and space exploration.

Voyager 1 was launched on Sept. 5, 1977  just months before I was born and hurtled on it’s way to tour  Jupiter and Saturn  in a flyby. It is “currently the farthest man-made object from earth” according to Wikipedia’s entry.

New Horizons, — on it’s way to Pluto

Voyager 1, — exploring the “boundaries of the Solar System”

Voyager 2, — slowly dying

Pioneer 10 — On it’s way out of the Solar System but not communicating

Pioneer 11 — Jupiter and Outer Solar System

You can check out the mission locations by visiting Heavens Above site which…

shows the current positions and other interesting data of the five spacecraft which are leaving the Solar System on escape trajectories – our first emissaries to the stars. The graphics and data table are generated dynamically and so always represent the latest positions. The New Horizons spacecraft on its way to Pluto has been added to the table, and now the charts too.

via Spacecraft escaping the Solar System.

Publicly available space photos from NASA

NASA photo: The Space Shuttle Challenger lifts off in 1986

NASA photo: The Space Shuttle Challenger lifts off in 1986

Do you need a photo of a planet or of the Space Shuttle Challenger taking off? No need to send your friendly freelance photographer to space on some Russian rocket. You can turn to the source that American citizens have been funding for all sorts of interesting space projects…NASA.

Their easy search system, gives great access to all sorts of cool images of space ships, nebulas, planets, etc.

From what I can tell these photos are available for public use…and even for commercial use.  Here’s how NASA’s Site describes acceptable use of their images,

NASA still images; audio files; video; and computer files used in the rendition of 3-dimensional models, such as texture maps and polygon data in any format, generally are not copyrighted. You may use NASA imagery, video, audio, and data files used for the rendition of 3-dimensional models for educational or informational purposes, including photo collections, textbooks, public exhibits, computer graphical simulations and Internet Web pages. This general permission extends to personal Web pages.

This general permission does not extend to use of the NASA insignia logo (the blue “meatball” insignia), the retired NASA logotype (the red “worm” logo) and the NASA seal. These images may not be used by persons who are not NASA employees or on products (including Web pages) that are not NASA-sponsored.

NASA should be acknowledged as the source of the material except in cases of advertising.

I’d check into all the details before trying to sell them and if you have questions about using them in advertising you can see the  NASA Advertising Guidelines.
When it comes to those commercial purposes, NASA has pretty simple guidelines…

If the NASA material is to be used for commercial purposes, especially including advertisements, it must not explicitly or implicitly convey NASA’s endorsement of commercial goods or services.

NASA photo: Earthrise

If a NASA image includes an identifiable person, using the image for commercial purposes may infringe that person’

s right of privacy or publicity, and permission should be obtained from the person. Any questions regarding application of any NASA image or emblem should be directed to:

Photo Department

NASA Headquarters
300 E St. SW
Washington, DC 20546
Tel: 202-358-1900
Fax: 202-358-4333

It’s nice to see that the millions of dollars that go into space programs not only generate technology advances but provide the people with really cool photos… like the classic earthrise with the moon in the foreground or the double jet nebula:

The Twin Jet Nebula as seen by the Hubble Telescope in Dec. 1997

The Twin Jet Nebula as seen by the Hubble Telescope in Dec. 1997