Friday, 2 August 2013

Do We Miss Summer Yet?

Meanwhile, it's winter back in Sydney. And it is damn cold. I wish I had had this cropped camisole with me while I was facing the European summer heatwave just a couple of days ago - it would have been perfect! It's actually part of a two-piece suit and it's ridiculously cool. I can't wait for the weather to warm up, and to wear it with a very wide-brim hat/floral wreath and a pair of jellies.

cropped top - c/o Choies
shorts - c/o Choies
tights - Kmart
necklace - Claire's
hat - c/o Wholesale

This is slightly old news by now, but on the 19th of July NASA's Cassini spacecraft, which is currently orbiting Saturn and touring its moons (including ones which might have life like Titan) took this beautiful photo.
The arrow in the photo is not a massive arrow-shaped alien spaceship orbiting Earth, but rather indicates Earth and our moon, which together make up that tiny blue dot in the photo. That's what Earth looks like from 1.5 billion kilometres away!
(Image from NASA)
Everyone who reported on this image in the news focused on Earth (gosh, we're egocentric), but I think the really really amazing thing about the photo is Saturn (hello! It takes up a good two-thirds of the image!), how it is eclipsing the sun, and the shot of its rings! The photo will end up being stitched together with many other photos taken of Saturn, and released in a few weeks time. I'm pretty excited for it! If I could be any type of photographer, I think I'd most like to be a spacecraft ;)








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16 comments:

  1. No matter how many space photos I see, it still blows my mind that the human race has come so far that we can venture into space and take photos like this. So cool!

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    Replies
    1. I know! Cassini is currently 1.5 BILLION kilometres away. I will never comprehend that distance.

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  2. Those shorts are gorgeous!
    I had exactly the same reaction as you when i first saw that photo. Everyone kept telling me how amazing it was that Earth looks so tiny and i was just like "well, yeah. How is that news?" I'm much more fascinated by Saturns rings and i keep meaning to go on a search to find out how long this photo was exposed for.

    Lamb
    xx

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    Replies
    1. Yeah! I'd like to find that out, too. Apparently, the eventual great mosaic picture that they put together with all these smaller images is taking so long because the exposures and lighting of all the different pictures vary so greatly and it's hard to get them to all look the same!

      I just found this from this website as well, which is interesting: "Both the Earth and the moon actually appear larger than they should due to the long exposure used to capture as much light as possible." Haven't found the actual exposure time, though!

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    2. I can imagine! Since it's all robotically controlled choosing an appropriate exposure time and SNR that won't over or under expose will be a nightmare! There's probably some poor post grads doing some hefty data reduction for each image.
      If i were to hazard a guess, since the sun is eclipsed by Saturn, the distance to the Earth being approx 11AU and from that statement, the exposure time could possibly be up to 15/20 minutes long to get such a clear image! Which would explain the motion blur on the rings.
      It's all very fascinating though!

      Lamb

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    3. Oh wow. Yeah, the image is pretty deceptive - I guess it would in fact be extremely dark around that side of Saturn. I wonder how the image is so sharp, in that case? Wouldn't Cassini be moving super quickly in orbit around Saturn? Or do you think that such a slow exposure wouldn't matter when you're taking a photo of something that size?

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    4. Well either they've taken one long exposure and reduced the image to get the sharpness or they've taken several much smaller exposures and layered them but either way i imagine the resolution on Cassini is pretty incredible. Also from what i've read the orbital period is approximately 7 days right now so it wouldn't have moved a considerable amount in a long exposure. However if they have taken multiple exposures then they can easily centre the images on one spot, probably earth, to eliminate any drifting.
      I'm very very intrigued now, i wish they made this information readily available but i guess it'll be published in a journal at some point

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    5. Coool! You definitely know more about this than me ;) But how you explained it makes sense! If you find out, please let me know about it :D I also hope that they make the information available on the NASA website - not that many people have access to journals!

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  3. Lovely outfit!
    I've always loved astronomy because I find the whole galaxy and Milky Way concept pretty interesting! How cool would it be to be able to travel to other planets? As for other life forms in outer space - a little creepy, but awesome (:

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  4. Ahhh you are so cute. These shorts are amazing!

    Xo, Hannah

    sweetsweetnoir.net

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  5. This top is adorable! I love the little sweet print!
    http://agnesandelle.blogspot.co.uk/

    Cat xx

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  6. Is this the time when us antipodes gloat that it's summer here?

    Becky
    xx

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  7. The shorts are absolutely fab.

    xoxo
    Ivy
    http://www.purrpleivy.com/

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  8. love the details of your shorts!

    toinfinitynbeyond13.blogspot.hk

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  9. I'm Irish, and to say we can't deal with the heat is an understatement...I can't wait to have chilly weather back, I know how to dress for that!

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