Monday, March 9, 2020

Global Rainfall and Snowfall Animation from NASA

Global Rainfall and Snowfall Animation from NASA.

One of NASA's major missions is to use satellites to learn more about planet Earth. Satellites give a global perspective that is impossible to achieve from within the atmosphere.

This is a cutting edge animation from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center which uses data from the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission to illustrate rainfall and snowfall patterns around the globe. It depicts the period from April to September 2014. The animation covers the 87 percent of the Earth that falls between 60 degrees north and 60 degrees south latitude, as updated every half hour during that time - so, for all intents and purposes in an animation of this length, it is continuous.

The narration during the animation explains everything very succinctly.

The GPM Core Observatory (as it is called) was launched on 27 February 2014. It is a collaboration with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. It is an active project, updated every half hour, that allows scientists to observe almost in real-time precipitation events around the world. It is composed of a string of 12 satellites ("IMERG") that funnel data to the central collection point at Goddard.

If you think that precipitation is unimportant or tedious to consider, you probably don't live in California. NASA itself puts it this way:
Falling rain and snow are essential parts of Earth’s water cycle, which moves water and heat energy around Earth. Near the equator where the sun’s heat drives evaporation that keeps the air moist, rain systems move westward in a steady stream. At higher latitudes, which have not previously been observed in 3-D with high-resolution precipitation sensors, enormous storm fronts march eastward across North America and Europe in the Northern Hemisphere, and across the Southern Ocean that surrounds Antarctica.
As a bonus from 2010, below is an animation that shows global air circulation as simulated by the Community Climate System Model (CCSM) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The simulation spans one calendar year, and it consists of hourly data. Cloud cover appears whitish with areas of precipitation shown in orange.

Thanks for watching it.


Chinese Space Animation - Lunar Landing

Chinese space station

The Chinese space program has been making great strides in recent years. The China National Space Administration (CNSA) runs it. Yang Liwei was the first Chinese astronaut aboard the 2003 flight aboard Shenzhou 5. It is believed that China has a goal of putting men on the Moon. Before that happens, it has been doing some preliminary work to explore our nearest celestial neighbor. That includes a landing on the lunar surface.

Above is an animation about lunar lander Chang’e-3. It shows the craft touching down on the lunar surface. That is the Chinese version, not the one they released to the outside world and was intended for the home market. Getting it was not easy, incidentally, seeing as how I do not read Chinese. But, there it is.

Marvelous stuff. While NASA goes on mysterious expeditions like lassoing asteroids, the Chinese are quietly building the foundations for their own space presence. At this rate, they'll be back on the moon before the United States.


Perseid Meteor Shower 2014 Google logo (Doodle)

Perseid Meteor Shower
Perseid Meteor Shower
Perseid Meteor Shower 2014 Google logo (Doodle).

The Perseid Meteor Shower takes place annually. The meteors are called the Perseids because the point in the sky from which they appear to hail (called the radiant) lies in the constellation Perseus. That doesn't mean they have anything to do with the constellation Perseus, just that they appear related to it from our perspective on planet earth.

Google decided to honor the 2014 arrival of the annual August Perseid meteor shower with this doodle. Since they only keep their doodles up for a day, we will preserve this animation here for future reference because, well, we like these space-type animations.

The Perseid meteor shower is great fun if you get some good weather and have a chance to lay outside and watch for a while, especially as a kid.

From the youtube page:

Published on Aug 10, 2014
Perseid Meteor Shower 2014 Google logo (Doodle).

The Perseids are a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle. The Perseids are so-called because the point from which they appear to come, called the radiant, lies in the constellation Perseus. The name derives in part from the word Perseides, a term found in Greek mythology referring to the sons of Perseus.

The stream of debris is called the Perseid cloud and stretches along the orbit of the comet Swift-Tuttle. The cloud consists of particles ejected by the comet as it travels on its 133-year orbit. Most of the particles have been part of the cloud for around a thousand years. However, there is also a relatively young filament of dust in the stream that was pulled off the comet in 1865, which can give an early mini-peak the day before the maximum shower.


"Orbit" - Take a Quick Trip on the ISS

Orbit ISS Space Station
The ISS.
"Orbit" - Take a Quick Trip on the ISS. Anyone who follows this blog would know that I'm a sucker for pretty space animations.

Add in some grandiose music by Hans Zimmer and I'm there.

The International Space Station (ISS) is beautiful despite being built for function and not for form. It also is a presence in your own life if you want it to be, as you can have NASA send you notifications as to the times when the ISS will be passing over your home so that you can view it. I've taken advantage of this opportunity and it is fun to watch the little ball of light travel across the horizon exactly as predicted.

"Orbit" is a time-lapse trip around the world on the ISS from 370 km (230 miles) up. Included is some real (mostly Russian) ground radio communication. It's only three minutes long, and well worth it if you are into the reality of the universe around us.

There are all sorts of lighting going on this video. There are city lights and thunderstorms something called "airglow," which is something you only see at 95 km above us. It has something to do with photons from the sun being trapped during daylight in thin air and then being released at night.

There's also a comet, "Lovejoy," from 2011. It shows up around the 2-minute mark.

The music is from Zimmer's "Inception" soundtrack.

From the youtube page:
International Space Station ISS fly over earth time lapse in HD. Compilation of NASA time lapse footage and Astronaut / Cosmonaut space to ground audio communications.
Inspired by the work of David Peterson and others my goal was create an experience that allows us to marvel at wonders of this world from the unique perspective of only 370km above our heads. Audio recordings in English and Russian are taken from actual space to ground communications on the International Space Station. I have included the audio clips at the beginning and end to remind the audience of the humanity that inhabits the space station. I have kept audio and title distractions away from the major part of the footage to allow the visuals to speak for themselves.
Post Production
Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects
If you would like to contact me in relation to this video please email me at [email protected]
Like Selmesfilms on Facebook


Galactic Explosions Set to Music

gamma-ray bursts

Galactic Explosions Set to Music.

The more that we learn about the universe, the more violent we find it to be. There are explosions and black holes and collisions and all sorts of dramatic activity. This violence has a certain beauty to it - as long as it is far away.

This is an artistic interpretation of galactic events. It's not for everyone, but it is fun to see how astronomers see the Cosmos.

Gamma-ray bursts are explosions of high-frequency electromagnetic radiation. They are the brightest events known to occur in the universe. This animation combines these bursts with music to create a compelling composition.

While gamma-ray bursts are byproducts of the deaths of massive stars and the mergers of dense objects, such as black holes and neutron stars. At least, that is the theory.

This was created by Sylvia Zhu, a graduate student in physics at the University of Maryland, College Park, who studies gamma-ray bursts at NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, using the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.

Zhu converted the gamma-ray signals detected by the Fermi telescope into notes on musical instruments. The complete composition, which contains four movements, resembles "Fantasia," if it were set to cats walking on musical instruments.

She worked with Turner Gillespie, an art student at the Maryland Institute College of Art, in Baltimore, to develop animations to go along with the cosmic music. Gillespie chipped in to interpret the sounds to create abstract animations.

The bursts begin with an initial bright flash of gamma rays, known as the "prompt emission." This flash can last for a few milliseconds to several minutes, followed by an "afterglow" made up of less-energetic electromagnetic emissions including X-rays, visible light and radio waves. This part of the explosion can last anywhere from a single day to many months.

Below is another similar effort.


Comet Animation - Real Photos

comet European Space Agency

comet European Space Agency

Comet Animation - Real Photos.

What does a random comet look like in outer space? Suppose you were flying along and saw on your radar screen that a chunk of rock was heading your way. What would it look like? Would it be round, or square, or what?

Well, you don't have to guess, We know what a comet would look like because we've seen one. Or rather, a spacecraft has seen one. And, it took enough photos to give a very realistic impression of what such a comet would look like through your spacecraft window.

Imagine you are in a spacecraft, and you are approaching a comet far out in the middle of nowhere.

This is what it would look like.

While this takes the actual spacecraft several days because its closing speed was very low, it would look no different if you were just flying up to it in, say, an hour or two.

It's just a big hunk of rock, out in the darkness, lit by the far-off sun. If the sun were not so close, you would see nothing, just inky blackness - until it slammed into you.

This is hot off the presses, with the last photograph posted today, the day this is being posted. That is how fast things happen now in cyberspace. Some spacecraft out in space takes some photos (here, only the last few), downloads the photographs, and we are able to view them the same day - almost in real-time. Only the guys in mission control see them that fast.

The rock and the spacecraft are still in virtually the same position as shown in the closest photograph as I type this. That is where the spacecraft is, in real-time.

This animation comprises 101 images acquired by the Navigation Camera onboard ESA's Rosetta spacecraft as it approached comet 67P/C-G in August 2014.

The first image was taken on 1 August at 11:07 UTC (12:07 CEST), at a distance of 832 km. The last image was taken 6 August at 06:07 UTC (08:07 CEST) at a distance of 110 km.


Saturn Animations From NASA

Saturn Aurora animation

Saturn Aurora animation

Saturn is the second-largest planet in our Solar System. It is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second-largest in the Solar System, after Jupiter. Saturn is what is known as a gas giant. It has an average radius from the Sun of roughly nine times that of Earth.

These cool NASA animations of Saturn show its spectacular light shows. These are converted from observation of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Saturn has a magnetic field much stronger than Earth’s. Auroras also have been observed elsewhere in the Solar System, such as on the surfaces of Venus, Mars and even on certain moons (e.g. Io, Europa, and Ganymede).

The Saturn light show is created in a couple of different possible ways. One is when solar wind particles are channeled into the planet’s magnetic field toward its poles, where they interact with electrically charged gas (plasma) in the upper atmosphere and emit light. It is sort of like static electricity from your carpet.

Auroras on Saturn can also be caused by electromagnetic waves generated when its moons move through the plasma that fills the planet’s magnetosphere. The main source is the small moon Enceladus, which ejects water vapor from the geysers on its south pole, a portion of which is ionized. The interaction between Saturn’s magnetosphere and the solar wind generates bright oval aurorae around the planet’s poles observed in visible, infrared and ultraviolet light. If you could see all those spectra with the naked eye, it would be quite spectacular.

The aurorae of Saturn are highly variable. Their location and brightness strongly depend on the Solar wind pressure: the aurorae become brighter and move closer to the poles when the Solar wind pressure increases.

Saturn is turning into a favorite spot in the Solar System for these kinds of animations because, well, it's scenic. Expect more of these animations.


Visit the Apollo 11 Landing Site in 3 Dimensions

NASA Apollo 11
The Apollo 11 landing site

Animation of the Apollo 11 Landing Site in 3 Dimensions.

As everyone knows, Apollo 11 was the climax of the Apollo series of NASA. The Saturn V rocket took Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the Moon, which they safely visited and then returned from. The hardware and other artifacts from that mission remain on the Moon to this day, having changed little despite the passage of many decades.

NASA (the National Aeronautics Space Administration) comes out with some pretty cool videos now and then, and this is one of them.

The animation tracks the landing site of Apollo 11, which touched down exactly 45 years ago.

Starting with a photo from the site from space by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which NASA says “makes it possible to visit the landing site in a whole new way by flying around a three-dimensional model of the site.”

This gives some perspective on where on the Moon's surface the astronauts actually touched down. Back in 1969, all you basically knew was that they were "up there," but they could have been anywhere on the surface of the moon for all the general public knew.

NASA further explains that by using a stereo pair of images, scientists were able to use software that could “infer the shape of the terrain, similar to the way that left and right eye views are combined in the brain to produce the perception of depth.”

The animation is only a minute long, but packs a real punch, with a lot of data shown with precision. This is much more information than the actual astronauts had before they set down in July 1969.

Incidentally, they were going to land in the crater that can be seen nearby, but Neil Armstrong took over manual control and sailed the lunar module past it. This gives an idea of what might have happened if they had just relied on the computer.

Oh, and of course the Apollo 11 site is there. Weird Al can explain that for you in this brand new video of his if you have any doubts.


Animation of Russian Spacewalkers on the ISS

ISS spacewalk animation

Animation of Russian Spacewalkers on the ISS.

Cosmonauts and astronauts have been conducting spacewalks since 1965 when Russian Alexei Leonov left Voskhod 2. Ed White of the United States aboard Gemini 4 conducted the second spacewalk later that year.

This animation depicts Cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev working outside the Russian segment of the International Space Station for about 6.5 hours of spacewalking tasks on June 19, 2014. Narration by EVA Specialist Devan Bolch.

Their mission was to install equipment and swap out parts of scientific experiments outside the orbiting laboratory. They opened the hatch of the Pirs docking port at 10:10 a.m. (1410 GMT) to begin their 6.5-hour spacewalk, or EVA (extravehicular activity).

The passage of time in space is not like that on earth. It's not as though they have sunrises in the morning and sunsets at night - more like a new sunrise every 90 minutes or so. They witness about 15 sunrises and 15 sunsets every "day," or 24 hours, on the ISS.

Specifically, the Cosmonauts installed new communications equipment, relocated an experiment that studies plasma, inspected latches and gathered samples from service module windows. Basically, they were puttering outside in the garage for a day.

Skvortsov has a spacesuit with red stripes. Artemyev is extravehicular crew member 2, or EV2, and his suit has blue stripes. For both of them, it was their first spacewalk. Quite an introduction to spacewalking, being outside for 6.5 hours.

This was the 180th EVA in the space station's history. Construction on the ISS began in 1998 and continues.

There were four men available to give support if anything bad happened. NASA astronauts Steve Swanson and Reid Wiseman, European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst of Germany and cosmonaut Maxim Suraev. Aside from Swanson, who came up in March with the two spacewalkers, they all launched to the outpost in late May. The six men make up the Expedition 40 crew.

It would be interesting to know if this spacewalk resulted in any permanent space junk.

This is a high quality, 3D animation that really gives you a sense of what it is like to work in space. Obviously, this animation, which no doubt took a lot of time and work to put together, was produced by NASA in advance of the spacewalk and depicts what the two Cosmonauts were planning to do, and ultimately did do. In fact, this animation was released the day before the spacewalk ever happened, so it is a simulation and not a reproduction.


Re-creation of Famous Voyager 1 Flyby Animation

Voyager 1
The famous Voyager 1 film.
The Voyager 1 Flyby Animation.

The Voyager program is one of the most fascinating in space history. Even though the mission received the most publicity in the 1970s, it continues to provide new information deep into the 21st Century.

Voyager 1 is was a  1,592 lb space probe launched by NASA on September 5, 1977, to study the outer solar system: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Voyager 1 began taking pictures of Jupiter as it approached the planet in January 1979. The pictures continued at set times for three months, ending in April, compiling almost 19,000 pictures. The result was the short time-lapse animation above.

While that film doesn't look like much, it provided the first up-close view of the largest planet in human history. Little was known about the gas giant before this film, which opened a lot of eyes with its depiction of swirling clouds and unlocking of the "great eye of Jupiter."

A group of seven Swedish amateur astronomers decided to "replicate" this seminal film using ground-based telescopes. Needless to say, they needed some fancy equipment to do this. Perhaps this is only of interest to space geeks like me, but it seems like a pretty cool project and a glimpse into the world of real astronomers - the kind who discover comets and such that you read about in news stories.

The film also is of interest in showing the elaborate post-processing methods the astronomers used. The project became as much about software manipulation of images as it did the images themselves, which is of interest to any video editor.

I like that they used Photoshop CS6 without the annoying Creative Cloud like I do with my video work. Shows they are a pretty savvy group of guys! ;)

Their pretty well-made documentary-style film about the effort is below. It shows the re-creation, then how it was done. The re-creation is pretty cool though, to be truthful, not as stunning as the real thing, though it being in color is kind of cool.

Voyager3Movie from Peter Rosén on Vimeo.

The astronomers replicated the feat closely, exactly 35 years later. Astronomers don't usually get any press or notice much less notoriety, so this was a great chance for a hard-working bunch of guys to get a little recognition. They called themselves the "Voyager 3" team. Hey, these guys could be going out to bars or shooting reindeer or something, instead, they have devoted themselves to studying the heavens. Sounds all right to me.

Voyager 3

The astronomers are (left to right):

Daniel Sundström, Peter Rosén (the project initiator), Torbjörn Holmqvist, Göran Strand, Johan Warell and his daughter Noomi, Martin Högberg and Roger Utas.


SpaceX Dragon V2 Animation

SpaceX Dragon
Docking with the ISS.
SpaceX Dragon V2 Animation.

The SpaceX Dragon is a reusable cargo spacecraft developed by SpaceX, the American private space transportation company.  SpaceX Dragons are launched into orbit by the company's Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Thus, the Dragon is not a rocket itself, but the payload of the rocket. The Dragons come in at least two varieties, those which carry only cargo and those which are intended to carry crew to the International Space Station (ISS).

Space animations (see also this slick one about Copernicus) are all about the professional pacing and electronic background music these days, and here we have another good space animation. Elon Musk of Tesla and PayPal fame has lots of money to burn, and some of it is going into orbit and back. SpaceX is the company (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX), based in Hawthorne, California, that Musk founded back in 2002. This video shows a just-announced proposal for a human transport vehicle.

It would be very cool if this works. If we're ever going to get off this rock, something like this will be the means to do it.

SpaceX Falcon Vs. Dragon

The SpaceX Falcon line of craft is the cargo rockets. The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft is the craft designed for human transport. They complement each other. The SpaceX Falcon 9, capable of bringing 23k lbs of cargo into orbit, already has successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS). The SpaceX Falcon Heavy, with heavier payload capacity, is supposedly ready to go on its first demonstration flight very soon.

The Dragon is nowhere near the flying-into-space stage yet. It is projected to fly within "a few years." That they are only now releasing a concept video shows it is still far off, how far off nobody really can say with any certainty, it's all subject to testing and successful flights. If you are thinking, "Well, Elon Musk knows," well, perhaps, but he's been saying since about 2010 that this Dragon craft was only a few years away. Apparently, it's still a few years away. We all know how that goes. Complex, ground-breaking things often take much longer than we think or wish.

I just want to thank Mr. Musk for not naming one of the rockets "Enterprise." Yes, I loved the show too, but every other US craft these days seems to have to be called that.

SpaceX Dragon
Separation. The crew would be in the part to the right, which would return to Earth later.

How SpaceX Dragon Would Work

As you can see in the animation, this Dragon rocket would act like a VSTOL aircraft, landing on a runway by firing its jets. If it works, it would be the first spacecraft with that capability. That seems to be its most unique feature.

One has to wonder at the efficiency of this - that's a lot of fuel to do all that counter-firing - but Musk is the one with billions of dollars and the rooms-full of rocket scientists, so we'll have to see how this plays out. There has to be a lot of science behind this, perhaps some kind of passive automatic braking mechanism built into the capsule itself. That method of landing certainly would have its advantages, including not landing at sea and requiring a fleet of ships on alert, and not even requiring a runway. Theoretically, the craft could land on the White House lawn or in Yankee Stadium during the 7th Inning Stretch.

Another potential problem is the moving parts. Notice how when the craft disengages from the ISS, it has to close a front hatch. What if that got stuck or warped and didn't close properly? Hey, stranger things have happened, there's a lot of heat involved in launches and landings. That would be "not so good" for the human cargo. So, they have a lot of critical parts.

That's the thing about animations that we always have to remember - they're always precise and pretty and everything works as it should. Hatches don't be balky and not want to close, hinges don't just "break" or get misaligned, that sort of thing. Sometimes real life isn't like that, especially on, say, the 75th re-use.

The craft is designed to carry up to seven astronauts at a time. In the animation, we see the SpaceX Dragon attaching to the International Space Station, then coming back down to earth. Part of the capsule's plan is to have as few disposable parts as possible in order to keep expenses down, which is contrary to everything NASA and everyone else has done to date.

This craft can carry around 3 tons of cargo in total. It does not replace the cargo-carrying craft but rather supplements it. If this Dragon craft works within a reasonable time frame, it would come in quite handy, as the Russians say they will stop providing launch services to the ISS in 2020. The SpaceX Dragon would be a welcome replacement - if it's ready and it works. Carrying people is a lot different than carrying cargo, it's going to require quite a bit of testing to satisfy everyone that it is safe to fly.

SpaceX Dragon
Human quarters inside the Dragon.
From the youtube page:

Meet SpaceX's Dragon V2 spacecraft, the next generation spacecraft designed to carry astronauts to Earth orbit and beyond.

Neutron Stars Attack! Video from NASA

NASA | Neutron Stars Rip Each Other Apart to Form Black Hole

NASA Goddard black hole neutron stars

Neutron Dance!

Neutron Stars Attack! From NASA.

Neutron stars are the remnants of the collapsed core of giant stars. The "parent" star typically had a total mass of between 10 and 29 solar masses. In other words, it was the extra-large bag of fries. These neutron stars are incredibly dense and among the smallest and densest stars. Only black holes, hypothetical white holes, quark stars, and strange stars are believed to be denser and smaller.

NASA is doing its best to make their research accessible to the public. The Nasa Goddard Space Space Flight Center released this animation to show folks their best guess as to what neutron stars look like when they get together.

This animation is not from a science fiction film, this is what the top minds in space science think goes on out there, somewhere, pretty much all the time. It is a very process that we are viewing.

This is a two-minute, close-up look at a black hole arising from the meeting of two neutron stars that, in the animation, begin at a distance of 11 miles. Though tiny, their gravitational forces are colossal and rip them apart and form something new. The forces are so titanic that the actual collision would resolve itself, from start to finish, in milliseconds.

The Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. assembled this animation using a supercomputer simulation maintained by Germany's Albert Einstein Institute.

When all is said and done, after this destruction, all that will be left is a black hole. You wouldn't be able to see anything, because the gravitational forces are so intense that not even light could escape.

NASA Goddard black hole neutron stars

From the NASA Goddard youtube page:
This supercomputer simulation shows one of the most violent events in the universe: a pair of neutron stars colliding, merging and forming a black hole. A neutron star is the compressed core left behind when a star born with between eight and 30 times the sun's mass explodes as a supernova. Neutron stars pack about 1.5 times the mass of the sun — equivalent to about half a million Earths — into a ball just 12 miles (20 km) across. 
As the simulation begins, we view an unequally matched pair of neutron stars weighing 1.4 and 1.7 solar masses. They are separated by only about 11 miles, slightly less distance than their own diameters. Redder colors show regions of progressively lower density.  
As the stars spiral toward each other, intense tides begin to deform them, possibly cracking their crusts. Neutron stars possess incredible density, but their surfaces are comparatively thin, with densities about a million times greater than gold. Their interiors crush matter to a much greater degree densities rise by 100 million times in their centers. To begin to imagine such mind-boggling densities, consider that a cubic centimeter of neutron star matter outweighs Mount Everest.  
By 7 milliseconds, tidal forces overwhelm and shatter the lesser star. Its superdense contents erupt into the system and curl a spiral arm of incredibly hot material. At 13 milliseconds, the more massive star has accumulated too much mass to support it against gravity and collapses, and a new black hole is born. The black hole's event horizon — its point of no return — is shown by the gray sphere. While most of the matter from both neutron stars will fall into the black hole, some of the less dense, faster moving matter manages to orbit around it, quickly forming a large and rapidly rotating torus. This torus extends for about 124 miles (200 km) and contains the equivalent of 1/5th the mass of our sun.  
Scientists think neutron star mergers like this produce short gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). Short GRBs last less than two seconds yet unleash as much energy as all the stars in our galaxy produce over one year.  
The rapidly fading afterglow of these explosions presents a challenge to astronomers. A key element in understanding GRBs is getting instruments on large ground-based telescopes to capture afterglows as soon as possible after the burst. The rapid notification and accurate positions provided by NASA's Swift mission creates a vibrant synergy with ground-based observatories that has led to dramatically improved understanding of GRBs, especially for short bursts. 

This video is public domain and can be downloaded at: 
Like our videos? Subscribe to NASA's Goddard Shorts HD podcast: 
Or find NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on Facebook: 
Or find us on Twitter:


What Saturn Would Look Like Close to Earth

Saturn approach
Saturn, from Earth.

What Saturn Would Look Like Close to Earth.

It is fairly routine in science fiction movies to see planets or moons in the distance that have rings like Saturn. Now, rings around celestial objects apparently are not all that unusual. What would a ringed moon or planet in (scientifically unlikely) close proximity to earth look like?

This is an interesting animation that shows what it would look like if planet Saturn were to come much closer to the Earth.

Obviously, as mentioned by the narrator, there would be intense and unpredictable gravitational effects if this were to happen in reality that would completely destroy the Earth and the Moon. Planets cruising around at random wouldn't have to hit anything to cause deadly changes.

This also is a good introduction to the structure of Saturn's rings and the causes of the rings being different colors.

While you wouldn't have known this unless you were a science geek, Earth and Saturn reached opposition - opposite sides of the Sun - on May 10. Thus, it was as close as it's ever going to get, 830 million miles away. This does affect the earth, though not in any noticeable way. If you know where to look, it will appear brighter than usual for a few weeks. You can see the rings with a telescope or even binoculars.

Saturn is so massive that from Mars’ orbit it would appear as bright as the full Moon and a quarter its size even though it would still be 150 times further away than the Moon. The rings would appear two-thirds the Moon’s size. That's big.

As Saturn came closer to the Sun, the ring particles would sublimate into gaseous form, making Saturn look like a giant comet. So the rings wouldn't be there to watch anyway.

Since Saturn's mass is 100 times that of the Earth, if it got anywhere near the Moon's orbit, we wouldn't still be around to be watching it. Earth’s remnants would eventually form a new asteroid belt in orbit around the Sun.

Saturn Cassini

From the youtube page:

Saturn's rings were created using Voyager data and Cassini Data, and tables from the IAU, and NASA Interestingly enough, the voyager data and Cassini data did Not completely match each other, More interestingly the differences between the two data sets were not consistent along the ring, specifically, the small Gaps along the rings are inconsistent between Voyager and Cassini. there are 3 conclusions I can reach from this,
1, the data is simply not perfectly accurate,
2, I interpreted the data incorrectly,
3, the Rings have actually changed a bit between voyager and Cassini.

To create the rings, I interpolated between the two data sets, so the rings are a mix between Voyager and Cassini data, there are multiple textures used, for scattering, translucency, transparency, and color, I think I probably have some of the highest resolution textures in use anywhere on the web (over 19k pixels across),

In Part 1, (the 2d blueprint video) the Planets are all correctly scaled to each other, except the SUN. The Orbits are also all correctly scaled to each other (except the Moon's). However, the planet size and the planet orbits are not scaled to each other. The orbital speeds are also all correct relative to one another,

In part 2, The illumination between the moon and Saturn is reasonably accurate, In case you didn't understand, this is Saturn as far away as the closest approach mars would get

In Part 3, the meteors ramp up and down in response to going through the very distended outer rings E, and G

The Meteors are Greenish, I've actually seen a number of large daylight meteors, all of them had flashes of green and blue, The velocity and direction they are in the video are accurate to the motion of Saturn in this video.


Earthrise Animation

Moon earthrise

Earthrise animation as seen from the Moon.

Some of the greatest and most moving images in space are, somewhat ironically but understandably, of planet earth. There are lots of stars in the heavens and planets around the sun, but there is only one place that we know of that is habitable for the human species. Earth is precious and even more precious when viewed from somewhere else that is completely hostile to life.

These are real animations from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which usually points straight downward but occasionally shifts its orientation. These are from February 1, 2014.

The pictures are interspersed with dark horizontal bands the way that they are because of the way the orbiter operates. If you study the animation very closely, you will notice that certain features on the earth change color in each of the five slots. The orbiter filters out different light waves in each frame. These are red at the bottom and become yellow to blue/violet at the top. In the red filter, something red on the earth would look bright, while on the blue/violet filter, those colors would look bright. The Moon itself has no colors, so it always looks the same.

Moon earthrise

There is no actual moonrise on the Moon: the same side of the Moon always points towards the earth, and so there is a "far side" of the Moon but not a "dark side." The far side is lit up when the side facing us is dark, or a "New Moon." The orbiter is circling the Moon and so does regularly experience an "earthrise," though it is rare for it to have its cameras pointing in such a way as to capture this event.

Moon earthrise

The animation was stitched together by Phil Plait, who deserves a lot of credit for what must have been a tedious exercise. The animation is mesmerizing and is fun to watch a few times to catch different perspectives.


Tornadoes from Space by NASA

NASA tornadoes

Tornadoes from Space animation.

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) spacecraft have been developing in one form or another since 1974. The precursors, SMS-1 in May 1974, and SMS-2 in February 1975, blazed the trail. The first official GOES satellite, GOES-1, was launched in October 1975. They are operated by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NASA is responsible for research and development, and later procurement of spacecraft.

The GOES system is now highly developed. Their information is used routinely by weather stations across the country and around the world.

Above is a beautiful capture from the government's weather satellite system of the tornadoes that formed over Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi on April 27, 2014. There were literally dozens of tornadoes listed that day.

It all looks benign and peaceful from space. Not so much on the ground.

From the NASA Youtube page:
This animation of NOAA's GOES-East satellite data shows the development and movement of the weather system that spawned tornadoes affecting seven central and southern U.S. states on April 27-28, 2014. Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project
The video is stunning - and lethal.


Space Animation: Sentinel-1a from Operation Copernicus

Sentinel-1a ESA Copernicus

Space Animation: Sentinel-1a from Operation Copernicus

This is about a great video about space exploration. However, the use of space is only a way to get a better picture of planet earth itself. Still, despite its terrestrial objectives, the Copernicus program involves a lot of exciting rockets and satellites that are well worth studying.

The space agencies have become quite adept at creating quite polished videos. They have slick animation and bouncing background music and the whole deal. A cynic might say that they are better at making videos than anything else.

They are a nice, quick educational look at something important that you probably didn't know was happening in your world.

From the official description:
The European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1a was launched at 21.02 GMT on April 3. Part of the wider Copernicus programme, the satellite will be joined by other similar satellites in the future. This computer animation shows the launch and deployment of the satellite. Credit: Youtube/ESA
Sentinel-1a is a European radar imaging satellite. It inaugurates the European Space Agency's Copernicus program. It is equipped with a C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar.

Sentinel-1a ESA Copernicus

Copernicus is a plan to assemble information from environmental satellites, air and ground stations. This information is to be used to monitor Earth's conditions relating to temperature and other environmental factors. Copernicus has both environmental and national security implications. With Copernicus, the European Union fulfills its commitment to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

Sentinel-1a ESA Copernicus

Sentinel-1A was transported to Kourou, French Guiana for launch. It arrived at the launch pad on 25 February 2014. The launch took place on 3 April 2014.


NASA Animation of Lassoing An Asteroid

NASA Animation of Lassoing An Asteroid.

In this NASA animation, we see the agency's proposal to lasso an asteroid and bring it back so that it enters the Moon's orbit, where it can be studied at leisure. There is no narration or sound, just raw animation. This project appears to have taken a back burner to other, grander projects such as landing on the moon. However, the project is very interesting to contemplate and may take place eventually.

The goal, according to NASA chief Charles Bolden, is to bring NASA one step closer to a continuing presence Mars. Yes, Mars:
"The ultimate thing … is to put boots on the ground on Mars, and that's not just to do a touch and go. It's to live there one of these days." Charles Bolden, March 26, 2014
The idea is that having a robotic craft get an asteroid (which one is not decided, there are half a dozen choices) and bring it back would help ramp up the technology. It would allow NASA to test a propulsion system and provide some clues regarding the origins of the solar system. Bolden continued:
"We really make a big deal out of this [asteroid] initiative, but you should all understand, this is a tiny, tiny piece of getting humans to Mars. I don't want anybody to lose focus on that. The ultimate goal of this agency right now when it comes to human spaceflight is to put humans on Mars. That's hard. That is really hard. We need a proving ground to develop some of the technologies and everything else."
The mission would work in one of two ways: 1) send a robot craft to an asteroid and take part of it, maybe a boulder, and bring it back; 2) send a robot craft and ensnare an entire small asteroid and bring it back. Let us hope that NASA's work on the hardware is as nice as their workup of this animation.

Charles Bolden
Charles F. Bolden, Jr. 
Of course, there are many other difficulties with going to Mars, not the least of which would be shielding humans from deadly cosmic rays. This asteroid mission would provide a testing ground for just part of that mission. It is the usual cautious go-slow NASA approach that works in the long run, though as John Maynard Keyes aptly noted in another context, in the long run, we are all dead.

One thing is for certain, and that is that nothing is going to happen for some time. This whole project depends upon the Orion capsule and Space Launch System rocket. They are not scheduled for operation until 2021 at the earliest. Orion's first test flight is scheduled for some time in mid-2014, the earliest time for the capture and study itself is around 2025.

This is part of my continuing effort to demonstrate the many cool uses of animation beyond pure entertainment.


“Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” on Fox - Visually Arresting

A Journey to New Worlds

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Carl Sagan passed away in 1996, but he casts a long shadow. The mysteries of the universe are captivating American viewers once again in Fox has brought Carl Sagan back to life!

Well, sort of. “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” is a classic series about space. It began with an episode about Giordano Bruno that ran with good ratings. Producer Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy” and “American Dad”) managed to get the science series a primetime spotlight on Fox. Sagan’s widow, Ann Druyan signed off on the series, and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is has taken over the hosting duties that Sagan handled so well.

Bruno, incidentally, was a medieval Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician, poet, scientist, and astrologer who correctly (we think) predicted that the sun was just one of many stars, around many of which orbited inhabited planets. The powers that be at the time didn't like that idea, so he was burned at the stake in 1600.

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Giordano Bruno - ahead of his time.
MacFarlane turned to his longtime animation producing partner, Kara Vallow, and her team at 6 Point Harness studio to work up the series. The original series started out doing live reenactments, but it got a little corny having actors playing Sir Isaac Newton and Nikolai Tesla. The solution in this modern era? Why, animation, of course.

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
The animation is visually arresting.
Those familiar with the video game world know how far animation has gone in portraying ancient times in games such as "Assassins Creed." The animation uses a unique visual style of cut-outs and shadow puppetry, black silhouettes pitched against backgrounds. The transition from live-action locations is handled well by using layered photo images for the backgrounds, with scanned-in textures of real objects and photographs. The style is interesting and exciting, with the combination of reality and illusion helping to hammer home the science concepts.

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
The series has a unique style that resembles an impressionistic painting.
The series is 13 one hour episodes and well worth catching. Look for it when you can on the science channels or maybe order a copy. It is well worth it if you are interested in the human relationship with outer space.


Carl Sagan on Evolution

"Now We Affect The Future of Every Branch of this 4 Billion Year Old Tree"

Dr. Carl Sagan Cosmos: A Personal Odyssey

There are many theories about evolution. This is a perennial topic among people who spend a lot of time thinking about space and whether life exists throughout the Cosmos. So far, there is exactly one place that we know of where life as we know it exists, and that is planet earth. However, if you are going to try to find life elsewhere, it helps to have a good grasp of how life develops from its earliest incarnations to highly developed species.

Having recently posted about Fox's new animated series "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey," it seems appropriate to take a moment and show something from the original master of animated television science, astronomer-astrophysicist-cosmologist Carl Sagan. Dr. Sagan pioneered this field with his classic public broadcast television "Cosmos: A Personal Odyssey" in 1980.

In this particular selection, we learn about evolution from the man who can say "now we affect the future of every branch of this 4 Billion-year-old tree" and make it sound as he was beating a drum with every first syllable. As usual, there is a mix of live footage, trees and animals and so forth, and of simple but effective animation. The orientation is not on how human beings developed, but on how all species branched off and flourished. While not comprehensive, it is a good introduction for those who wish to learn about the field, and perhaps will stimulate the interest of some viewers who might be interested in learning more.

There are eight minutes of crisp animation that take us from molecules in the primordial soup, to bacteria, to plants and polyps, to lampreys, to turtles, to dinosaurs and birds, to wombats, to baboons and apes, and finally to us. Towards the end, Sagan does the whole four billion-year evolutionary journey again in forty seconds. This illustrates graphically how relatively long the initial stages of cell development took and how late in the process we came along. It is a classic teaching method, where you tell your listeners what you are going to tell them, then you tell them, and then you tell them what you just told them.

It's a brilliant sequence, worth watching if you are interested in the development of television animation or simply want an engaging presentation of an important science topic.


Sunday, March 8, 2020

Watch A Star Entering A Black Hole

star black hole NASA
Black Hole.
Watch A Star Entering A Black Hole.

NASA is more into animation these days than it is into manned space flight. If it weren't for the ISS, that would be pretty much all NASA does in that regard - animation.

Fortunately, the animators are not earthbound. Here is a clever animation of a star being drawn into the gravity of a black hole. First, intense tidal forces rip the star apart, flinging stellar debris outward at high speed. Then, the greatest mass of the star descends towards the black hole, causing a flare.

A black hole is not visible. Its presence can only be surmised with reference to its effects on other objects in its vicinity. The most striking feature of a black hole is that it is a region of spacetime exhibiting gravitational acceleration. Its gravitational pull is so strong that it pulls everything into it. This includes all particles, light, and every form of radiation. According to the theory of general relativity, a black hole is the product of a sufficiently compact mass that it deforms spacetime.

These types of videos kind of lose their impact due to the scale of our screens. Seeing some little thing gobble up some other little thing is not inherently impressive. However, for those into these things like me, just imagine the sun that you see overhead on clear summer days somehow coming afoul of one of these things. That stable star that keeps the entire solar system alive would get ripped apart like the one in this video. And it wouldn't take too long, either.

Source: Nasa Goddard.


International Space Station (ISS) Animation

The ISS.
This is a great animation from the Ted-ed people about the International Space Station, more commonly referred to as the ISS.

As anyone who has followed this blog knows, the space agencies (NASA, ESA, etc.) have become quite adept - some would say slick - at creating animations of space flight. Sometimes these efforts are quite spectacular, and other times, well, a bit fanciful. However, for true geeks like me, there's nothing better than a well-produced space animation.

Animation to represent space flight is nothing new, as Wernher von Braun was working with Walt Disney to create such videos back in the 1950s. They remain perhaps the best way to bring the grandeur of space down to the human level. Tien Nguyen narrates.

If that video intrigues you, here is another fine animation that features the ISS.


The Ceres Bright Spots

Ceres bright spot
The Ceres bright spots.
The NASA Dawn spacecraft has been approaching the dwarf planet Ceres, and for once we have an ongoing mystery that nobody can figure out. All of these photos are courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Ceres bright spot
The shots on this page were taken from about 4,500 miles (7,200 km), which is pretty close given that there is no atmosphere to obstruct vision. 
There are two bright spots inside a huge crater on Ceres that could be, well, just about anything. The likeliest guesses are that they are salt or ice. However, there are problems with both of those hypotheses.

Ceres bright spot
These shots were taken on Mars in 2008, showing a similar phenomenon. The bright material in both photos was excavated from below the surface and deposited nearby by an impact that year that dug a crater about 26 feet (8 meters) in diameter. The extent of the bright patch was examined by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars, an instrument on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. It determined that the whiteness was water ice. Credit: NASA/JPL-
It appears that something was discharged from the planet from under its surface soil. The spots appear to be elevated above the surface, and that makes no sense at all. But ultimately it will make a perfect, boring sense.

Having been through this numerous times, the issue ultimately will be resolved as some kind of rock or mineral or ice - the 'usual suspects.' You know it's coming, everyone wants to believe in Aliens but there is absolutely zero chance that that is what NASA will determine them to be from. 'They' always explain away these anomalies as simple geologic curiosities, and they know what they're talking about. My hunch is that it is some kind of ice from below the surface that at times becomes viewable and somehow achieves temporary stability on the surface. However, while it lasts, this is a fun - and picturesque - mystery that has captured the public's imagination and, truth be told, done NASA a 'world' of good in terms of generating interest in these touristy excursions through the Solar System that, let's face it, have no real tangible value to the common man and woman beyond the 'wow' factor.

Dawn makes its closest approach on 6 June 2015, and if that doesn't resolve the issue, it won't be resolved for quite a long time.

Incidentally, there is a similar anomaly elsewhere in the Solar System, which pretty much seals the issue in terms of the Ceres spots being some kind of natural phenomenon. The other one is at Wunda Crater on Uranus’ crater-blasted moon Umbriel. The 131-mile-wide crater, situated on the moon’s equator, is named for Wunda, a dark spirit in Aboriginal mythology. It is a bright feature of about 6 miles (10 km) wide.

Ceres bright spot
Umbriel, showing its white spot.
Umbriel for some reason always reminds me of the Death Star. But, unfortunately for those looking for excitement, it's just a chunk of lifeless rock like everything else.

Below is a computer-generated journey to Ceres.


Far Side of the Moon Animation

far side moon

Far Side of the Moon Animation.

This is a creative animation showing the far side of the Moon.

This may not seem like a big deal - after all, the Moon is always up there, right? - but in fact, it is a very big deal.

Nobody in human history who died before 1959 saw anything like this, because that is when the Soviet Luna 3 probe, which swung around the Moon in October 1959, first sent back pictures of it.

Contrary to anything that Pink Floyd may tell you, the far side of the moon is not 'dark,' any more than the side facing us is. The earth's gravitation long ago corralled the moon into keeping the same side facing the earth throughout its rotation. While we can't see it, the far side goes through a complete cycle of lunar phases, just the reverse of the ones that we see.

If you look at the pictures, you might note that the terrain of the far side is quite different than what we see when we lookup. For instance, it lacks the large dark spots, called maria, that make up the familiar blotchy lunar landscape. The craters are all spread out on the far side. There is a distinctive area, the South Pole-Aitken basin, visible here as a slightly darker bruise covering the bottom third of the disk. It is one of the oldest features known to exist in the entire solar system.

The Apollo 8 astronauts who first saw this landscape without the aid of cameras in their epic Christmas flight of 1968 created one of the most indelible moments of the entire space age with their expressions of awe and delight. Since then, only a couple dozen other human beings have ever seen it unaided on the subsequent Apollo flights, and nobody at all has seen it in well over forty years. When you ponder time frames like that - there still are no concrete plans to send anyone out of low earth orbit, though there is lots of talk - the magnitude of this type of view comes into focus.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has launched a few years ago, and since then it has returned hundreds of terabytes of data. Its data was used to create the imagery seen here.

far side moon

The use of animation is becoming increasingly important in space exploration - there is so much raw data sent back these days from probes that sorting it and presenting it in a useable fashion is a huge and vitally important job, else it just sits on a hard drive somewhere. The quality has improved tremendously in just the past few years, too. Look for more videos of this sort on increasingly remote celestial objects.

I love this stuff. All credit to the men who put it together.

Visualization Credits:

Ernie Wright (USRA), Lead Animator
David Ladd (USRA), Producer
John Keller (NASA/GSFC), Scientist
Noah Petro (ORAU), Scientist


NASA Mission to Asteroid Bennu

Osiris-REx NASA animation

NASA keeps changing its focus. Now it appears preoccupied wit the Moon, but recently it was fixated on asteroids. NASA released this superior educational animation about the origins of the Solar System. This is in preparation for various asteroid missions that the space agency has in mind over the coming years rather than doing something useful such as returning to the Moon or visiting Mars.

Specifically, this animation is about the asteroid Bennu. NASA has a plan to send a probe to it, 'Osiris-REx.' To be truthful, I keep an eye on NASA missions, but this one completely slipped by me. Apparently, Osiris-REx is a precursor to a later mission to actually capture an asteroid and put it in Moon orbit.

So, yet again, we get to wait years while NASA twiddles its thumbs and spends umpteen billions of dollars sending a probe to a big chunk of rock which all its sophisticated detectors and gizmos and drills and cameras will reveal to be, what do you know, a big chunk of rock. And that's if the whole thing works and isn't a total fiasco like the Philae disaster (I know, the ESA claims Philae is a huge success, which it certainly was relative to if it had blown up into a billion pieces before actually reaching its destination).

As usual with NASA videos, this one has quality animation, soothing music, and reassuring narration. The Osiris-REx mission is due to take place by 2018, but you know how deadlines in this field usually fare...

Osiris-REx NASA animation

Credit: NASA Goddard


Philae Lander Animations

Philae lander Rosetta Probe
The Philae lander.
The European Space Agency had mixed results with its very ambitious project to place a lander on a comet. There is a lot of animation and many images being generated by the Rosetta Probe and the Philae Lander, so I have collected the details about its landing here for convenience.

The European Space Agency reported that the Philae lander from the Rosetta probe that we have been following the past few months successfully landed on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The above photo is what it would have looked like to someone on the surface as it arrived.

Philae lander Rosetta Probe

Above is a picture that was taken from the lander itself as it approached the surface. The photo is from 40 meters above the surface.

Philae lander Rosetta Probe

This last animation shows three photographs taken from the Rosetta spacecraft which is hovering above the comet. The first photo shows the surface of the comet before the lander got there. The red circle indicates where the lander was headed. The second photo shows the area after the lander made its approach. The new dark spot within the red circle presumably is dust kicked up from the lander. The third photo shows a green box where the lander is believed to have touched down. Comparing this animation to the photo above, you see the same boulder that is very close to where the lander set down (good thing it didn't actually hit the boulder!).

Philae lander Rosetta Probe
A photo of the comet from Rosetta, which remains in orbit.
It appears the landing was a complete cock-up. Not only did the lander touch down about a mile from where it should have, but it apparently wound up on its side, with only two of its three legs touching the surface. That may be why the solar panels are having trouble, with only one operational at all, and that one receiving less than 2 hours of light during the 12 hour day. That is insufficient to power the lander to perform its scientific duties, though there may still be ways to use it anyway for some purposes. Of course, if it is on its side, there won't be much it can do anyway.

Below, the red area shows where the lander was headed, and the blue area shows where it wound up due to bouncing about. Naturally, there can't be much gravity on the comet so the lander wouldn't stay put until it was good and ready. Technically, it should be tethered to the comet because of the lack of gravity. Note the cliff near the blue triangle.

Philae lander Rosetta Probe

The ESA says that the lander now has some problems with power generation. This is because apparently there is a cliff over on the left of the animation that is barely in the frame in the lower left-hand corner. This cliff puts the lander into the shade. Without lots of sunlight, the Philae Lander will not be able to do much as the batteries do not hold much of a charge

Below are excerpts from the press conference.

Below is a first look - a composite of six photos - showing what the surface of the come looks like.

Philae lander Rosetta Probe

Below is an animation from Rosetta of the lander descending.

Philae lander Rosetta Probe

In the following frames, you can't really see the lander, but NASA or ESA or whoever is doing this research assures us that there is evidence of Philae bouncing and then apparently coming to rest in these shots.

Philae lander Rosetta Probe

Finally, here is an ESA animation of the whole landing process as they would like it to have gone. Apparently, they did get some work done, including drilling a hole but only for the 60-hours of time that was in the battery.

From the youtube page:

"Published on Nov 12, 2014
Animation video of Rosetta Mission for landing on a comet: Philae Lander.
Rosetta’s deployment of Philae to land on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

The animation begins with Philae still on Rosetta, which will come to within about 22.5 km of the center of the nucleus to release the lander on 12 November 2014.

The animation then shows Philae being ejected by Rosetta and deploying its own three legs and follows the lander’s descent until it reaches the target site on the comet about seven hours later. The animation is speeded up, but the comet rotation is true: in the time it takes for Philae to descend, the nucleus has rotated by more than 180º (the comet’s rotation period is 12.4 hours).

The final steps of Philae’s descent towards the comet are shown as seen by a hypothetical observer close to the landing site on the comet.

Finally, the animation shows Philae landing on the comet. Because of the comet’s extremely low gravity, the landing gear will absorb the small forces of landing while ice screws in the probe’s feet and a harpoon system will lock the probe to the surface. At the same time, a thruster on top of the lander will push it down to counteract the impulse of the harpoon imparted in the opposite direction. Once it is anchored to the comet, the Philae Lander will begin its primary science mission, based on its 64-hour initial battery lifetime. The animation shows a number of science instruments in action on the surface.

Acknowledgment: The background image of the sequence showing Philae closing in on the landing site was taken by Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera (ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA) on 14 September 2014 from a distance of about 30 km.

Philae was provided by a consortium led by DLR, MPS, CNES and ASI.

Acknowledgment: The background image of the sequence showing Philae closing in on the landing site was taken by Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera (ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA) on 14 September 2014 from a distance of about 30 km.

Philae was provided by a consortium led by DLR, MPS, CNES and ASI.
Video and images by ESA and NASA."