I love visualizations of the size of the planets. Here’s an interesting take, what some of the planets would look like from Earth if they were the same distance as our moon:
This visualization of relative planet and star size is still one of my favorites:
50 years ago today, the Mercury-Redstone 2 (MR-2) mission carrying Ham, the 4 year-old male chimpanzee launched. This was a suborbital flight of just under 17 minutes up to 157 statute miles. This paved the way for Alan Shepard’s flight and NASA’s human spaceflight program.
Welcome 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast listeners. As promised here are the links mentioned in the January 25, 2011 podcast. For those not familiar with the podcast series, it’s a free podcast with a daily podcast 6-10 minutes long on an astronomy topic. My contribution to the series covers the wealth of resources available for educators to bring into their classrooms. Educators is broadly defined to cover both teachers in a classroom environment as well as informal educators like scout leaders, astronomy clubs doing outreach, or just amateur astronomers sharing their love of the night sky with the neighbors.
JPL has some great paper models that can be built by a variety of skill levels. Available planetary and asteroid exploration spacecraft are Galileo, Stardust, Cassini, Mars Pathfinder, Mars Odyssey, Mars Polar Lander, Mars Climate Orbiter, Genesis, Near as well as ad a Deep Space Network 34-Meter Tracking Antenna. I just retired my sagging Ares paper model, I’m going to try one of the Mars rovers I think
The folks at the Space Telescope Science Institute also have a couple of versions of a Hubble Space Telescope model you can try: