I think of all the -ographies, “selenography” is my favorite.
Enjoy these historical atlases of the moon, the earliest studies of the moon’s surface features (AKA “selenography”). The above were drawn by:
- Michel van Langren (1645)
- Johannes Hevelius (1647)
- Giovanni Cassini (1679)
- Tobias Mayer (1749)
- Richard Andree (1881)
- Henry White Warren (1879)
Previously: Check out Galileo’s watercolor illustrations of the moon, and find out how a few simple sketches realigned the heavens.
Stunning Images Show Life: Magnified exhibition by as Much as 50,000 Times
If you find yourself in Virginia’s Dulles International Airport through November of this year, you might see the exhibition Life: Magnified on the walls. It features scientific images showing cells and other scenes of life magnified by as much as 50,000 times.
- Anglerfish Ovary Cross-Section
- Relapsing Fever Bacterium (Gray) on Red Blood Cells
- Mouth Parts of a Lone Star Tick
- Gecko lizard toe hairs inspired the design of medical adhesives
- An insect tracheal cell (green) delivers air to muscles (red)
- Zebrafish embryo
- A Mammalian Eye Has Approximately 70 Different Cell Types
- Human Liver Cell (Hepatocyte)
- Developing Zebrafish Fin
- Human blood with red blood cells, T cells (orange) and platelets (green)
The Midnight Planétarium watch was a collaboration between Van Cleef & Arpels and Christiaan van der Klaauw. The watch is made of 396 separate parts and features the six closest planets orbiting the sun in real time (Uranus and Neptune were left out because you probably won’t live long enough to see either one complete a full orbit).
On May 22, 2014, I met a legend - Atlantis Space Shuttle Orbiter. Atlantis, or OV-104, was the fourth shuttle orbiter produced by Rockwell. She started her operational flight career on October 3, 1985, launching the STS-51-J mission, carrying a U.S. Department of Defense satellite into orbit. Her final flight, STS-135, concluded the American Space Shuttle Transport System Program. On July 21, 2011, I watched her land after that final, conclusive mission. I felt a lump in my throat as the program ended once our bird’s landing gear grazed the tarmac of the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
After Atlantis’s final flight, I was filled with mixed emotions, saddened that this program that I’d grown up with was actually over. But these feelings were purely fueled by nostalgia. We mustn’t dwell on frustration with regards to the passing of the Shuttle Program, like so many of us do. Instead, it may be a better use of energy to talk about the amazing things are on the horizon of space travel, like NASA’s SLS and the work of SpaceX.
Our space shuttle orbiters cease to fly, but they continue to fill what I believe to be an equally important role, inspiring millions of museum visitors all over the country. And inspire, they do. Frankly, I may be biased, but when I first walked into the room that houses Atlantis, and finally laid eyes upon this giant spacecraft that I’d been seeing on TV my whole life, I cried. The sheer size and enormity of it all is overwhelming. Not just presence of the structure of the spacecraft, but knowing the distance that she traveled, 126,000,000 miles, always safely returning her crew back home to our fragile Planet Earth. If causing visitors to feel these emotions doesn’t help the field of space exploration, nothing will.
This exhibit causes individuals to take ownership of Atlantis, and rightfully so. When you visit a shuttle orbiter, know that as an American taxpayer, she truly belongs to you. No, scratch that. As a member of the human race, she was created for you, to explore the edge between what is known and unknown, which is a practice we call “science”, all to benefit you. Yes, you. We may learn the most about ourselves once we breach the bonds of gravity, but we must remember that we’re all truly in this journey together here on Planet Earth, and this is our bird, and our continued space exploration.
Sweet Lord above.