This is an absolutely stunning view of the recent solar eclipse as seen from the Stratosphere. Universe Today recently shared this incredible image on their site from French journalist Guillaume Cannat. Flying in a Falcon 7X jet 48,000 feet up, he took this surreal photo.
Traveling through the stratosphere allows the unique opportunity to watch the total eclipse without atmospheric turbulence. Also, traveling at speeds near Mach .9 also “lengthened” the view of the eclipse to over a minute.
DMC Timeline by GIF with Age & Height (Not in the GIFs unfortunately)
DMC3: Ages 18 to 19 years old at 5 feet and 9 inches or 175.6 centimeters DMC1/Anime: Ages 28 to 29 at 6 feet or 182.88 centimeters DMC4: Age 38 at 6 feet and 3 inches or 190.5 centimeters DMC2: Age 48 at 6 feet and 4 inches or 193.04 centimeters
Sadness! Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet is retiring its epic, deliciously creepy Maurice Sendak production of The Nutcracker.
“[Sendak] likes real things, you know, like monsters and children that cry and make demands,” says former artistic director Kent Stowell. So in the Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker, there’s a huge rat puppet with a thick twitching tail that looks like it wraps all the way to the other side of the stage. There are also cannons and a Christmas tree that doubles in size to 48 feet right before your eyes.
But current artistic director Peter Boal says this is the right time to retire the production. So he’s bringing George Balanchine's Nutcracker to Seattle. It’ll be a new production with sets and costumes designed by contemporary children’s author Ian Falconer, best known for his books about a very cultured pig named Olivia.
“Because of the extreme fingerboard length and string thickness, the musician plays it using a system of hand and foot-activated levers and pedals. The instrument is so large that, sometimes, two musicians work together to play it: one to bow and the other to control the levers and foot pedals.”
In this fascinating video Musical Instrument Museum curator Colin Pearson provides an up-close look at the awesome octobass (and its equally impressive bow) and demonstrates how the instrument is played and what it sounds like.
More public art in Dallas – at the mall! If you want a good idea about a city, I’ve always found that it helps to go to local malls. It’s a concentrated population – so you get a kind of cross-section (different neighborhoods obviously skew what you see.)
Also – I like to shop.
Anyway – NorthPark Center in north Dallas is a mall with one heck of an art collection. So in between the Fossil watch store and Sonic, is this impressive sculpture by Mark di Suvero. According to the mall’s website it is 48 feet tall and weighs 12 tons.
German street artist 1010 (previously featured here) recently created one of his largest paint portals to date. Measuring 4500 square meters (~48,500 square feet), this awesome optical illusion was painted on a Parisian highway over the course of 7 days using 400 liters (105.6 gallons) of paint. 1010 usually paints his portals on vertical surfaces, but this massive gateway to the unknown is no less convincing on flat ground. Click here for a few additional images.
NASA long-lived Mars Opportunity rover sets off-world driving record
NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover, which landed on the Red Planet in 2004, now holds the off-Earth roving distance record after accruing 25 miles (40 kilometers) of driving. The previous record was held by the Soviet Union’s Lunokhod 2 rover.
“Opportunity has driven farther than any other wheeled vehicle on another world,” said Mars Exploration Rover Project Manager John Callas, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “This is so remarkable considering Opportunity was intended to drive about one kilometer and was never designed for distance. But what is really important is not how many miles the rover has racked up, but how much exploration and discovery we have accomplished over that distance.”
A drive of 157 feet (48 meters) on July 27 put Opportunity’s total odometry at 25.01 miles (40.25 kilometers). This month’s driving brought the rover southward along the western rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover had driven more than 20 miles (32 kilometers) before arriving at Endeavour Crater in 2011, where it has examined outcrops on the crater’s rim containing clay and sulfate-bearing minerals. The sites are yielding evidence of ancient environments with less acidic water than those examined at Opportunity’s landing site.
If the rover can continue to operate the distance of a marathon – 26.2 miles (about 42.2 kilometers) – it will approach the next major investigation site mission scientists have dubbed “Marathon Valley.” Observations from spacecraft orbiting Mars suggest several clay minerals are exposed close together at this valley site, surrounded by steep slopes where the relationships among different layers may be evident.
The Russian Lunokhod 2 rover, a successor to the first Lunokhod mission in 1970, landed on Earth’s moon on Jan. 15, 1973, where it drove about 24.2 miles (39 kilometers) in less than five months, according to calculations recently made using images from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) cameras that reveal Lunokhod 2’s tracks.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State Univ.