Some words that Word does not know: lithified, cometary, ballistically, ellipiticities, striated.

Sigh.

Pretty test data :)

It has been said that astrophysics differs from the study of physics in an earth-based laboratory because astrophysicists are unable to control the conditions in the cosmic environment. In the lab, earthly physicists are permitted to tinker and massage combinations of variables. With the help of specially designed instruments and an armada of gauges, cables, switches, and buttons, they are capable of arranging their environment in the “ideal” configuration for their investigations. The physics of the earth-bound scientist is, one might say, rife with “knobs.”

For astrophysicists, however, the world is somewhat different. They must formulate their conclusions not from controlled experiments where variables can be manipulated and removed, but merely from close scrutiny of the variables with which nature chooses to present them. Like a detective who must deduce the personality and station of a suspect by the mark of his boot, the astronomer determines the composition of a galaxy or the mass of a star wielding nothing more than the information contained in a few electromagnetic waves.

The planetary scientist, on the other hand, occupies a nebulous region somewhere between the world of the physicist and the realm of the astronomer. Fueled by advances in space flight and instrumentation, the “in situ” (Latin for “on site”) revolution in planetary science has sent satellite observatories to the far reaches of our Solar System, landed probes on Mars, Venus, and Titan, and even allowed us to interactively investigate the surface of Mars with mini-field-geologist Rovers. These in situ missions are equipped with many of the same instruments that are veterans of terrestrial experimental physics. Modern engineering, it seems, is bringing the lab to the space environment.

-Kassandra Wells, “Astronomy with Knobs”

The Lovesong of the Selenologist

      

My darling moon

   do we forget how we love each other?

Here in the stacks of yellowed paper,

   the collated corpses 

   of past affairs,

   entombed in grey

   magnetic data tape

   like dust on bowing shelves:

   How cluttered we are; how vast.

Do we forget our long nights of conversation

   shouting coded messages, waiting

   for dampened echoes in reply?

Yes, we forget;

   we’re impatient:

   You grow weary of my impulsiveness.

   I delude myself you’ll change.

But I see you, wanton,

   over foreign streets

   on your back or your side,

   suggestively,

   and I know that you’ll follow,

   all my short-lived days:

Be promiscuous, love, when I’ve gone.

-Amelie Andrezel

The Over-turned Flap (by Amelie Andrezel)

The Over-turned Flap (by Amelie Andrezel)

Field map of volcanic regions outside of Flagstaff.  This map was compiled from satellite data and is in no way accurate… the idea was to understand how difficult it is to map planets without being on the ground.  But pretty, none-the-less.

Field map of volcanic regions outside of Flagstaff.  This map was compiled from satellite data and is in no way accurate… the idea was to understand how difficult it is to map planets without being on the ground.  But pretty, none-the-less.

Guys, the Moon.  Seriously.  I’ve been working with a lot of beautiful LROC (Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter Camera) photos, but, for obvious reasons, I can’t post those until they’re published.  For now, enjoy this reblogged photo, released by the LROC team.
migeo:

A small amount of impact melt pooled and froze on the floor of this Copernican impact crater, and is 90 x 70 m in size. LROC NAC M111972680LE, image width is 750 m. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University. (via LROC)

Guys, the Moon.  Seriously.  I’ve been working with a lot of beautiful LROC (Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter Camera) photos, but, for obvious reasons, I can’t post those until they’re published.  For now, enjoy this reblogged photo, released by the LROC team.

migeo:

A small amount of impact melt pooled and froze on the floor of this Copernican impact crater, and is 90 x 70 m in size. LROC NAC M111972680LE, image width is 750 m. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University. (via LROC)

Ring, Ring
Long-period seismograph at Cornell University Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science in Ithaca, NY (drum period ~1 revolution/day).  Ground displacement due to 8.23.2011 Mineral, VA earthquake recorded along with other recent world seismic activity.

Ring, Ring

Long-period seismograph at Cornell University Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science in Ithaca, NY (drum period ~1 revolution/day).  Ground displacement due to 8.23.2011 Mineral, VA earthquake recorded along with other recent world seismic activity.