Observing Earth: Amazing Views From Above


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Observing Earth: Amazing Views From Above

by LiveScience.com, staff
Palm Island, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Palm Island, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Credit: Image Courtesy of Space Imaging Middle EastThis IKONOS satellite image was collected on July 16, 2004. The image shows this man-made island that lies off the coast of Dubai in the Persian Gulf. The island is being built from 80 million cubic meters of land dredged from the approach channel to the Emirate’s Jebel Ali Port. When complete, this resort will have approximately 1,200 single-family and 600 multi-family residences, an aquatic theme park, shopping centers, cinemas and more.
The Great Pyramid, Giza, Egypt

The Great Pyramid, Giza, Egypt

Credit: Image Courtesy of Digital GlobeThis featured image is a 61-centimeter pan-sharpened image of the Great Pyramid in Giza, Egypt, collected by QuickBird on February 2, 2002. The Great Pyramid is estimated to have been built circa 2650 B.C., and was erected as a tomb for the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu of the Fourth Dynasty. Upon the completion of its construction, the Great Pyramid stood 145.75 meters (481 feet) high, and over the millennia has lost approximately 10 meters (30 feet) off the top. It stood as the tallest structure on Earth for more than 43 centuries. [Zoom into this image]

 Niagara Falls
Niagara FallsCredit: Image Courtesy of Space ImagingThe image shows the Niagara River that connects Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, snaking around Goat Island, in the lower left of the full image. Most of the river’s water plummets over the Canadian/Horseshoe Falls, but some diverted water spills over American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls downstream. Every second, more than two million liters of water plunges over the Horsehoe Falls segment of Niagara Falls creating one of the world’s largest waterfalls as well as eating away as much as two meters of rock per year. The image was acquired August 2, 2004. [Zoom into this image]
Hawaiian Islands
Hawaiian Islands
Credit: Image courtesy Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFCA silver swath of sunlight surrounds half of the Hawaiian Islands in this true-color Terra MODIS image acquired on May 27, 2003. Sunlight reveals turbulence in the surface waters of the Pacific Ocean. In this scene, the winds ruffling the water surface around the Hawaiian Islands create varying patterns, leaving some areas calmer than others. From lower right to upper left, the “Big Island” (Hawaii), Maui, Kahoolawe, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai, and Niihau islands all make up the state of Hawaii, which lies more than 2,000 miles from any other part of the United States. The small red dot on the Big Island’s southeastern side marks a hot spot on Kilauea Volcano’s southern flank.
On Top of the World: Everest and Makalu

On Top of the World: Everest and Makalu

Credit: Image Courtesy of NASAISS crewmembers took advantage of their vantage point to photograph a series of oblique views of the Himalayas looking south from over the Tibetan Plateau. At first glance, one might think that the image looks like a picture taken from an airplane, until you remember that the summits of Makalu [left (8,462 meters; 27,765 feet)] and Everest [right (8,850 meters; 29,035 feet)] are at the heights typically flown by commercial aircraft. The full mosaic covers over 130 kilometers (80 miles) of the Himalayan front, and could never be seen this way from an airplane. This photo was taken on January 28, 2004.

 Ayers Rock (Uluru), Australia
Ayers Rock (Uluru), Australia
Credit: Image Courtesy of Space ImagingThis IKONOS satellite image of Ayers Rock was collected Jan. 17, 2004. Ayers Rock is located in Kata Tjuta National Park, 280 miles (450km) southwest of Alice Springs, Australia. It is the world’s largest monolith, an Aboriginal sacred site and Australia’s most famous natural landmark.
Earth‘s City Lights
Earth‘s City Lights
Credit: Image by Craig Mayhew and Robert Simmon, NASA GSFC, based on DMSP dataThis image of Earth’s city lights, captured on October 19, 2000, was created with data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS). The brightest areas of the Earth are the most urbanized, but not necessarily the most populated. Cities tend to grow along coastlines and transportation networks. The United States interstate highway system appears as a lattice connecting the brighter dots of city centers. In Russia, the Trans-Siberian railroad is a thin line stretching from Moscow through the center of Asia to Vladivostok. The Nile River, from the Aswan Dam to the Mediterranean Sea, is another bright thread through an otherwise dark region. [Zoom into this image]
Tsunami strikes the coast of Sri Lanka
Tsunami strikes the coast of Sri Lanka
Credit: Image Courtesy of Digital GlobeThis is a natural color, 60-centimeter (2-foot) high-resolution QuickBird satellite image featuring the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka. Imagery was collected on December 26, 2004 at 10:20 a.m. local time, slightly less than four hours after the 6:28 a.m. (local Sri Lanka time) earthquake and shortly after the moment of tsunami impact. [Zoom into this image]
Mount St. Helens, Washington
Mount St. Helens, Washington
Credit: NASAOn a Space Station expedition, astronauts observed and captured this detailed image of the volcano’s summit caldera. In the center of the crater sits a lava dome that is 876 feet above the crater floor and is about 3,500 feet in diameter. The dome began to form after the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount Saint Helens. After the eruption, there was not any dome building eruptions for more than a decade. Afternoon lighting accents the flow features in the volcanic and debris flows and the steep valleys eroded into the loosely consolidated material near the summit. This picture was taken on October 25, 2002.
The Nile River
The Nile River
Credit: NASAThis image of the northern portion of the Nile River was captured by the Multi-angle Imaging Spectroradiometer’s (MISR’s) nadir camera on January 30, 2001. Against the barren desert of northeastern Africa, the fertile valley of the Nile River runs northward through Egypt. The city of Cairo can be seen as a gray smudge right where the river widens into its broad fan-shaped delta. Other cities are dotted across the green landscape, giving it a speckled appearance. Where the Nile empties into the Mediterranean Sea (top) the waters are swirling with color, likely a mixture of sediment, organic matter, and possibly marine plant life. Farther west, the bright blue color of the water is likely less-organically rich sediment, perhaps sand.
Malosmadulu Atolls, Maldives
Malosmadulu Atolls, Maldives
Credit: Image Courtesy of NASANorth and South Malosmadulu Atolls are in the Maldives, an island republic in the northern Indian Ocean, southwest of India. The Maldives are made up of a chain of 1,192 small coral islands, which are grouped into clusters of atolls. It has a total area of 298 square kilometers and a population of about 330,000. The capital and largest city is Male, with a population of about 80,000. Arguably the lowest-lying country in the world, the average elevation is just 1 meter above sea level. The natural-color ASTER image of the Malosmadulu Atolls was acquired on December 22, 2002, and is centered near 5.3 degrees North latitude, 73.9 degrees West longitude
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
Credit: ESONorthern Arizona and the Grand Canyon are captured in this pair of Multi-angle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) images from December 31, 2000. The above image is a true color view from the nadir (vertical) camera. In addition to the Grand Canyon itself, which is visible in the western (lower) half of the images, other landmarks include Lake Powell, on the left, and Humphreys Peak and Sunset Crater National Monument on the right. Meteor Crater appears as a small dark depression with a brighter rim, and is just visible along the upper right-hand edge.
Noah‘s Ark Site?
Noah‘s Ark Site?
Credit: Cropped Photo – (Digital Globe); Enlarged Photo – (The Trinity Corporation)Is it or isn’t it? Satellite images of Mt. Ararat, Turkey have pointed to a possible sighting of Noah’s Ark. Decide for yourself! Compare this image taken by Digital Globe on September 10, 2003 with Shamrock — The Trinity Corporation’s image (enlarge). Also, note their image is flipped. [Zoom into this image]
Ground Zero, New York City
Ground Zero, New York City
Credit: Image Courtesy of Space ImagingThis one-meter resolution satellite image of Manhattan, New York was collected at 11:43 a.m. EDT on Sept. 12, 2001 by Space Imaging’s IKONOS satellite. The image shows an area of white and gray-colored dust and smoke at the location where the 1,350-foot towers of the World Trade Center once stood. Since all airplanes were grounded over the U.S. after the attack, IKONOS was the only commercial high-resolution camera that could take an overhead image at the time.
Fritzler Corn Maze, Colorado

Fritzler Corn Maze, Colorado

Credit: Photo credit “Space Imaging”Space Imaging’s IKONOS satellite took this image of the patriotic Fritzler Corn Maze near Greeley, Colorado, September 18, 2004. The design depicts the U.S. Marines raising the American Flag at The Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. [Zoom into this image]

 

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Gallery: Sun Gods and Goddesses


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Gallery: Sun Gods and Goddesses

LiveScience Staff
Ra the Sun God
Ra the Sun God
Credit: public domainThe Egyptian sun god Ra was said to sail his boat across the sky by day and carry it back through the underworld by night. This depiction of Ra is from the tomb of Nefertari.
Freyr
Freyr
Credit: Johannes Gehrts, 1901Freyr, the Norse god associated with sunlight, fertility and prosperity
Aztec Sun God
Aztec Sun God
Credit: public domainThe Aztec sun god Tonatiuh depicted in the 16th century Codex Telleriano-Remensis. The Aztec believed that human sacrifice was necessary to keep the sun moving through the sky.
Amaterasu in Her Cave
Amaterasu in Her Cave
Credit: Utagawa Toyokuni III, Kunisada, 1857In Japanese myth, the sun goddess Amaterasu hid in a cave after becoming angry with her brother. With Amaterasu hidden, the world plunged into darkness. The other gods hung a mirror outside her cave to lure her out, bringing light back again.
Surya
Surya
Credit: Tanjore School, 19th CenturyThe Hindu solar deity Surya. Yoga devotees will recognize Surya’s name from “Surya namaskara,” the “sun salutations” practiced as a way to worship the sun.
Apollo
Apollo
Credit: Photo by Ricardo André Frantz, distributed under a Creative Commons LicenseIn Greek mythology, the lyre-playing God Apollo became associated with the sun. This statue of Apollo is at the Musei Capitolini in Rome.
Shamash the Sun God

Shamash the Sun God

Credit: public domainShamash was the god of the sun in the Babylonian tradition of ancient Mesopotamia. Shamash was also associated with justice and was said to be the inspiration for the Babylonian king Hammurabi to codify laws into Hammurabi’s Code, one of the first written legal documents in history.

 Head of Helios
Head of Helios
Credit: public domain; Middle Hellenistic periodHelios, sometimes associated with Apollo in Greek myth, was the personification of the sun. This statue includes holes which would have once held a metal crown symbolizing the sun’s rays.

Marine Marvels: Spectacular Photos of Sea Creatures


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Marine Marvels: Spectacular Photos of Sea Creatures

LiveScience Staff
Feast for the Eyes
Feast for the Eyes
Credit: Ximena Olds
Peeling back layers of the ocean would reveal a feast for the eyes, with brilliant colors and dazzling body forms. These visual delights come to life in the annual underwater photography contest hosted by the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. In 2012, their panel of experts chose winners from more than 700 entries, with this dashing headshield sea slug photo taken by Ximena Olds (Florida) taking home the “best overall” award. Olds photographed the creature in St. Thomas of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Fan Favorite
Fan Favorite
Credit: Todd Aki
This amazing jellyfish photograph received nearly half of the 1,221 online votes in the underwater photography contest. The photo was taken by Todd Aki from Florida.
Cute Gobies
Cute Gobies
Credit: Todd Mintz
Taking home first place in the Macro category, Canadian Todd Mintz’s photo of these cute-as-can-be yellownose gobies, Elacatinus randalli, peering out from bolder brain coral in Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean.
Shocking Shrimp
Shocking Shrimp
Credit: Marcello DiFrancescoSnagging third place in the Macro category: an Emperor shrimp, Periclimenes imperator taken by Marcello DiFrancesco (Italy) in Ambon, Indonesia.
Wide Angle
Wide Angle
Credit: Mark Fuller
First place in the Wide Angle category went to this Lionfish, a species in the genus Pterois, in the Red sea, taken by Mark Fuller from Israel.
Mangrove Madness
Mangrove Madness
Credit: Matt Potenski
Matt Potenski of New Jersey took home second place in the wide angle category for his photo of a school of fish swimming in their home of red mangroves (Rhizophora mangle) in South Bimini, Bahamas.
Bold Fish

Bold Fish

Credit: Rockford Draper
Who you lookin’ at? This overdressed scorpionfish, the paddle flap Rhinopias (Rhinopias eschmeyeri) stole the show with its good looks, snagging second place in the “fish or marine animal portrait” category. Rockford Draper of Texas shot the portrait in Bali, Indonesia.

 Nudi ... branch
Nudi … branch
Credit: Nicholas Samaras
This nudibranch ( Cratena peregrina) won third place in the animal portrait category. It was taken by Nicholas Samaras of Greece in Chalkidiki, Greece. This species is distinguished by two bright-orange marks at the base and tip of each of its tentacle-like structures called rhinophores. C. peregrina is argued to be hermaphrodite
Big Baby

Big Baby

Credit: Douglas Kahle
Though this animal doesn’t look like a tot, indeed the behemoth is just a babe, a juvenile sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus). The photo, taken in Dominica by Douglas Kahle of Florida took home first place in the animal portrait category.

Dainty Crab

Dainty Crab

Credit: Davide Lopresti
Davide Lopresti of Spain captured this porcelain crab hanging out on a feathery sea pen in Komodo National Park, Indonesia. The photo won second place in the macro category.

 
Harlequin Beauty
Credit: Phillip Gillette
Phillip Gillette of Florida won second place in the “best student entry” category with his shot of this harlequin shrimp, Hymenocera picta, hiding out in the Similan Islands, Thailand.

Report: Taiwanese teen dies after 40-hour Diablo III marathon


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Report: Taiwanese teen dies after 40-hour Diablo III marathon

By Chris Morris | Plugged In – 18 hours ago

The years of anticipation for Diablo III have brought about a number of marathon play sessions since its release on May 15, but one fan’s obsession with the game has proven fatal.

An 18-year old Diablo III player in Taiwan was found dead recently after a 40-hour marathon session with the game, reports the Australian Associated Press.

The player, who has only been identified as Chuang, reportedly booked a room at his local Internet café before diving into the game, not stopping for sleep or food the entire time. An employee of the café found him passed out on a table Sunday.

[Related: Diablo III sets PC sales record]

He woke up when approached, but collapsed after a few steps and was rushed to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead. An autopsy is pending, but authorities noted that the long period of sitting still could have created blood clots, which proved fatal.

Report: Taiwanese teen dies after 40 hours playing Diablo III

Sadly, it’s not the first game-marathon-related death in Taiwan this year. In February, Chen Rong-yuhad a fatal heart attack while playing in an Internet café in Taipei while playing online smash hit, League of Legends. Fellow players, though, didn’t notice he had died for another nine hours.

Deaths in Internet cafes are rare, but happen from time to time when players concentrate so intensely on their games, that they ignore factors like the body’s need for sleep and food.

Last year, a 30 year-old Chinese gamer died after staying up for three consecutive days, barely eating or drinking anything. And last August, 20 year-old Chris Staniforth suffered a pulmonary embolismafter a marathon session on his Xbox.

The deaths underscore the risk of game addiction, which more and more people are becoming worried about as the industry grows.

 

Great Wall of China allegedly longer than previously reported


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Great Wall of China allegedly longer than previously reported

ABC NewsBy Jennifer Abbey | ABC News – 11 hrs ago

A visitor takes a picture of a section of the Great Wall at Jiayuguan Fort located at the start of the Great Wall of China, near Jiayuguan city, in Gansu province June 17, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Lee (CHINA - Tags: TRAVEL)

REUTERS – A visitor takes a picture of a section of the Great Wall at Jiayuguan Fort located at the start of the Great Wall of China, near Jiayuguan city, in Gansu province June 17, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Lee (CHINA – Tags: TRAVEL)

The Great Wall of China is already the longest man-made structure in the world but we may have to start calling it the Greater Wall of China.

A five-year archaeological survey done by China’s State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) claims that the total length of the Great Wall was 13,170 miles long and reached across 15 provinces.

This is more than twice the length previously thought. In 2009, SACH reported that the wall was 5,500 miles and stretched across 10 provinces.

“The previous estimation particularly refers to Great Walls built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), but this new measure includes Great Walls built in all dynasties,” Yan Jianmin, the office director of the China Great Wall Society, told the China Daily.

Great Wall of China (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

The report was met with some skepticism, however, according to the L.A. Times. Stephane Mot, a blogger based in Seoul, South Korea, told the Times that he’s very suspicious. “China wants to rewrite history to make sure history conforms with the borders of today’s China.” Mot has alleged that Chinese archaeologists release findings in an attempt to obliterate Korean culture.

Chinese archaeologists and mapping experts conducted field surveys in 15 provinces and found 43,721 sites related to the Great Wall, according to the report.

“As thousands years pass, some ground structures disappear, and we do not know where the walls used to be. When some local governments or companies develop the land, like coal mining or building new roads, they destroy the remaining parts under the ground,” Jianmin told the China Daily.

The survey, which began in 2007, is part of the Great Wall protection project, which aims to preserve and protect the wall.

“Now we are clear about the location of the Great Wall, so the government can take steps to protect the walls, and local governments are clear about their responsibility to protect the walls,” Jianmin told the China Daily.

Construction of the Great Wall began more than 2,000 years ago to ward off invasions, but only 8 percent of the wall is still standing today.

The Great Wall is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and was declared a UNESCO World heritage site in 1987.

 

Space Shuttle Enterprise Makes NYC Museum Debut Thursday


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Space Shuttle Enterprise Makes NYC Museum Debut Thursday

by SPACE.com Staff
Date: 18 July 2012 Time: 11:03 AM ET
Space shuttle Enterprise, seen on the deck of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City, before it was covered for display.
CREDIT: Intrepid Museum

NEW YORK – New Yorkers will have the chance to check out NASA’s first space shuttle prototype, the Enterprise, when a brand-new exhibit makes its grand opening on a floating Manhattan museum on Thursday (July 19).

The Enterprise shuttle display will be officially unveiled at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, which is hosting a string of space-themed events, beginning Thursday and lasting through the weekend, to debut the new Space Shuttle Pavilion on the converted aircraft carrier’s flight deck. On Thursday, an opening ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) at the Intrepid, which is located at Pier 86 on Manhattan’s West Side.

NASA chief Charles Bolden will be present at the ceremony to make remarks, museum officials said. Bolden will be joined by Ken Fisher and Bruce Mosler, co-chairmen of the Intrepid, and Susan Marenoff-Zausner, president of the Intrepid.

The space shuttle Enterprise never flew in orbit, but was used by NASA for vital approach and landing test flights in the late 1970s. The shuttle prototype paved the way for the agency’s prolific space shuttle program, which retired last year after 30 years and 135 missions. NASA awarded Enterprise, which had been on display at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum annex, to the Intrepid in April 2011. The shuttle Discovery, NASA’s most-flown shuttle, replaced Enterprise at the Smithsonian annex.

Space shuttle Enterprise is craned onto the flight deck of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City on June 6, 2012.
Space shuttle Enterprise is craned onto the flight deck of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City on June 6, 2012.
CREDIT: collectSPACE.com/Ben Cooper

At Thursday’s opening ceremony, three of the four original Enterprise pilots, Richard Truly, Joe Engle and Fred Haise, will be in attendance. The fourth pilot, Gordon Fullerton, was unable to travel, but will be represented by his wife, Marie, Intrepid officials said in a statement. [Photos: A Space Shuttle Called ‘Enterprise’]

Immediately following the ceremony, Intrepid officials will participate in a ribbon cutting in front of the Space Shuttle Pavilion at approximately 12 p.m. EDT (1600 GMT), to mark the official opening of the exhibit to the public.

To celebrate the opening of the pavilion, the Intrepid is hosting a festival, called “SAMSUNG SpaceFest,” which will run through Sunday (July 22). The event invites the public to experience more than 40 interactive displays, activities and exhibitions, museum officials said.

The SAMSUNG SpaceFest activities are free with admission to the Intrepid museum, and are subject to change. A complete schedule of events can be found at www.intrepidmuseum.org.

Highlights of the SAMSUNG SpaceFest include:

  • Meet and greets with astronauts Jeffrey Hoffman, Garrett Reisman, Kevin Kregel, Ellen Baker, Mario Runco, Jr., Charles Camarda, Michael Massimino, Karol Bobko and Lee Morin
  • A free screening of the popular 2009 film “Star Trek” outside the Space Pavilion on the Intrepid’s flight deck on Friday (July 20) at 7:30 p.m. EDT
  • NASA robotics demonstrations
  • Space travel simulators
  • MARS exploration and NASA’s Deep Space Telescopes

The Intrepid museum is located at Pier 86, at 46th Street and 12th Avenue in Manhattan.

SAMSUNG SpaceFest is sponsored by Samsung Smart TV. Time Warner Cable is also an official sponsor of the arrival of Enterprise to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.

Customers in the New York City area can watch a series of original vignettes about the Enterprise’s historic voyage to the Intrepid by tuning to Local On Demand (Channel 1110) under the CAMM tab.