What Would Happen If the Earth Started Spinning Backward?

The dynamics of the ocean and the atmosphere are strongly influenced by the Earth’s rotation. Currently, our planet rotates from west to east (prograde, which appears counterclockwise) with a linear velocity of 465.1013 m/s (1674.365 km/h or 1040.40 mph) at the equator. What would happen if the Earth started spinning backward (from east to west)?

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Watch: Earth’s Biosphere – Monthly Averages of Land Greenness (Vegetation) and Ocean Chlorophyll

NASA has published a video titled “Earth’s Biosphere: The Green Marble”, showing the monthly averages of land greenness (vegetation) and ocean chlorophyll. You can watch how the primary producers (plants and phytoplankton) transform the Earth’s landmasses and oceans over 12 months.

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Global Warming: Future greenhouse gas emission scenarios

The future of our carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions will decide how many degrees will planet Earth be warmer by 2100 (relative to pre-industrial temperatures). Using the data from Climate Action Tracker, the online publication that shows how living conditions are changing, Our World In Data has published a chart showing future greenhouse gas emission scenarios and how each scenario would result in an estimated global warming by 2100.

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Sounds of Earth

More than 16,000 BBC Sound Effects are made available by the BBC in WAV format to download for use under the terms of the RemArc Licence. The Sound Effects are BBC copyright, but they may be used for personal, educational or research purposes, as detailed in the license.

You can also use the search functionality on the page to find a specific sound in these 16,000 BBC Sound Effects. To see the archive click here.

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Virtual Moon Tour in 4K Ultra HD

Using data provided by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft Notes 1 since 2009, NASA has published an amazing virtual Moon tour in 4K Ultra HD Notes 2. As the visualization moves around the near side, far side Notes 3, north and south poles, interesting features, sites, and information gathered on the lunar terrain get highlighted.

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Watch: Apollo 16 Liftoff (April 16, 1972)

46 years ago today, on April 16, 1972, the huge, 363-feet (110.6 meters) tall Apollo 16 (Spacecraft 113/Lunar Module 11/Saturn V Notes 1 SA-511) space vehicle was launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, Florida, at 12:54 p.m. EST. Crewed by Commander John W. Young, Lunar Module Pilot Charles Duke Notes 2, and Command Module Pilot Ken Mattingly Notes 3, it was the tenth manned mission in the United States Apollo space program, the fifth and penultimate to land on the Moon and the first to land in the lunar highlands.

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Want to Become a Citizen Scientist for NASA?

You can help NASA on some projects: for instance, citizen scientists helped NASA identify an aurora-related celestial phenomenon, now called STEVE. Want to become a citizen scientist? You can find projects on the NASA website.

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Astronaut Honors Holocaust Remembrance Day from space with “Moon Landscape” drawing by Holocaust victim Petr Ginz

NASA Astronaut Andrew Jay “Drew” Feustel, who is currently living and working aboard the International Space Station, published a photo on his Twitter account with a replica of the “Moon Landscape” drawing by Holocaust victim Petr Ginz to honor Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah). The replica of the painting was first flown in space by Ilan Ramon (June 20, 1954 – February 1, 2003), the first Israeli astronaut for NASA. Ramon has died in the re-entry accident of STS-107, the fatal mission of the Space Shuttle Columbia. Ilan Ramon’s mother and grandmother were Auschwitz survivors, and his grandfather and other family members perished in Nazi death camps.

Feustel took with him to space a copy of a special drawing entitled “Moon Landscape”, which was created by a Jewish Czech boy named Petr Ginz (1 February 1928 – 28 September 1944) while incarcerated in Terezin, Czechoslovakia, during World War II. The drawing depicts how Earth would look from the surface of the moon. Petr was fascinated by science fiction and inspired by his favorite author, the French novelist, poet, and playwright Jules Verne (8 February 1828 – 24 March 1905), to draw and write stories about a far-off world he would never visit. At the age of 16, Petr lost his life at Auschwitz.

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Kliuchevskoi Volcano from Space (NASA Image)

During the STS-68 mission (September 30-October 11, 1994), the crewmembers of Space Shuttle Endeavour used a 70 mm camera to photograph Klyuchevskaya Sopka (also known as Kliuchevskoi), a stratovolcano, the highest mountain on the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia and the highest active volcano of Eurasia. The eruption was new when this photo was taken. It was photographed from 115 nautical miles (213 kilometers) above Earth.

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