Monday, March 26, 2012

International Space Station


Beaming Success for Station Fans
Blue laser light (top center) flashed from the Lozano Observatory, about 40 miles north of San Antonio, as seen from the orbiting International Space Station. (NASA)Blue laser light (top center) flashed from the Lozano Observatory, about 40 miles north of San Antonio, as seen from the orbiting International Space Station. (NASA) 
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Astronaut Don Pettit takes photographs of the Earth as part of the Crew Earth Observations investigation from aboard the International Space Station. (NASA)Astronaut Don Pettit takes photographs of the Earth as part of the Crew Earth Observations investigation from aboard the International Space Station. (NASA) 
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Did you ever use a flashlight to send a Morse code message to your neighbor at night as a kid? People like to say hello using lights and it's no different for space aficionados who want to twinkle a greeting from the Earth to the International Space Station during a sighting as it passes overhead -- except that it is a whole lot more complicated. 

Although the space station has been in orbit for more than a decade, the first successful flashing of a beam of light to the laboratory happened only recently. On March 3, 2012, the San Antonio Astronomical Associationmet to attempt to shine a signal to the station. Aboard the orbiting lab, astronaut Don Pettit was watching and waiting. 

"It sounds deceptively easy," said Pettit in a related blog entry. "But like so many other tasks, it becomes much more involved in the execution than in the planning." 

The ground group used a one-watt blue laser and a white spotlight to track the station as it flew overhead. Pettit worked via e-mail with the association members to run complicated engineering calculations to ensure they were accurately tracking the station. Considerations included the diameter of the light beam, the intensity of the laser, and the fact that the station is a moving target, as Pettit pointed out in another blog post on the difficulty of Earth photography from space. 

"From my orbital perspective, I am sitting still and Earth is moving," said Pettit. "I sit above the grandest of all globes spinning below my feet, and watch the world speed by at an amazing eight kilometers per second [approximately 17,880 miles per hour]." 

Pettit had additional complications to address to capture an image of the beam of light from the Texas fans of the space station. Even with a shutter speed of 1/1000 of a second, the camera he used on station was not fast enough to photograph the Earth below, which also is moving. To compensate for this, Pettit used precise manual tracking -- a technique of moving the camera along the same path as the object being photographed -- a skill perfected on orbit while working on Crew Earth Observations research. 

While photographing the Earth may provide an entertaining pastime for the crew, there also are important research goals and benefits for those of us on the ground. It can take up to a month, according to Pettit, for astronauts to become proficient at taking this kind of planned image. The crew's photographic efforts can provide orbital perspectives of natural disasters and man-made alterations of the planet, which aid in relief and environmental efforts.

Preparing to capture the laser flash provided practice for Pettit in planning and tracking a specific Earth target. With the station circling the Earth every 90 minutes, you might think there is ample opportunity, but the circumstances of the pass had to align. Pettit and the team in San Antonio had to choose their timing carefully, selecting a "dark pass" when the station could see the ground, but those on the ground could not see the station. 

"Ironically, when earthlings can see us, we cannot see them," said Pettit. "The glare from the full sun effectively turns our windows into mirrors that return our own ghostly reflection. This often plays out when friends want to flash space station from the ground as it travels overhead." 

Planning took weeks for this particular event, between calculations and timing. That morning Pettit was excitedly waiting, camera in hand, for the precise moment. When the instant came, he was able to see not only the flash of light from San Antonio, but to capture a digital image showing the beam of light from his Texas fans. 

"I was ready with cameras for the early morning San Antonio pass," said Pettit. "And [I] can report that it was a flashing success." 

by Jessica Nimon
International Space Station Program Science Office
NASA's Johnson Space Center

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Welcome to

Aura Readings are meant to look at a person’s spiritual energy system, as demonstrated through the seven layers of one’s aura. Along with colors, the reader doing aura readings sees memory pictures, symbolic images, spiritual beings and energy belonging to others such as family and friends. The readings help identify and release blocks. They also help get in touch with one’ own energy, to help the individual know the truth and make the best possible choices.

The reader who does aura readings looks for what is the person’s energy, and what is not is energy! In every layer of one’ aura, the reader identifies different colors that represent energies from close quarters. The readings help release all those energies which are completely unwarranted and uncalled for. Clairvoyant Readings are meant to help find a fresh perspective to things and give a new direction to life. The readings help reset goals and redevelop psychic strategies. They help infuse a new zeal into life, giving it a new approach altogether. They help rebuild confidence which may have devastated through setbacks in life.

Clairvoyant Readings are categorically meant to bring about radical changes into one’s life. They may not be of any help in building massive wealth, but are definitely the final resort to amass spiritual wealth which ultimately is the real source of pleasure.

Aura readings help the reader sense who you really are. The reader gets to find out where you come from, and what path you wish to choose to grow as a spirit. They help look into pat experiences that have affected you. They help get insights into steps you may wish to take in the future.

At times the readings help make sense of what is happening around you, at times they may seem to be thoroughly meaningless and a waste of time. Some of the best aura related look-ins include healing, empowering and supporting in seeking answers.

Clairvoyant Studies help seek spirituality. They help understand reasons behind pain, suffering, frustration etc. and the ill-effects they have on one’s metabolism, cardiovascular and pulmonary health.

The studies help know that both setbacks and successes are a part of the game everyone play in life, and by no means should be taken seriously. Rather, they should be observed with a sense of supreme detachment.

There is one common thing that goes with both forms of readings, however different they actually might be in nature. They teach that wealth is not the real source of happiness. When the earnings increase, the greed too increases along with it. Negative feelings grow within the system, and one always remains dissatisfied with what one has in the present.

Another virtue that both propagate is that the present is meant to be enjoyed to the fullest. It is no use fretting about the past for it cannot be undone or overturned and no use pondering too much about the future for it remains unseen. The day being thought about may never dawn on you. The ultimate service however, remains the one done for your fellow men.

Google Ready to Add 'Google Play' to Navigation Bar

Google Play Google appears to be preparing to put Google Play front and center in user's minds – literally.
"Play" has begun showing up on the black index bar that Google suspends over, Gmail, and its other sites within its network. The "Play" button (without its triangular logo) appeared on my Google pages Monday afternoon, as the picture indicates.
Google rebranded the Android Market as Google Play earlier this month, attempting to make it a one-stop shop for apps, e-books, music, and videos. The rebranding won't be consistent on a worldwide basis, however. For example, in Canada and the U.K., Google said it will offer movies, books and Android apps; in Australia, books and apps; and in Japan, movies and apps. Everywhere else, Google Play will be the new home for just Android apps, the company said.
Google Play in Google Nav Bar Additional evidence that Google Play will soon become a featured part of the Google experience can be found on the main page. There, Google has affixed the subheading "Google Play: the entertainment you love, anywhere you go" under the main search box. A link connects users to a series of pages explaining what Play is (and with a tiny, easy-to-miss link to the main Play Web site on those explanatory pages).
CNET has also reported that Google may begin selling movies via Play. If true, putting that capability in front of Chrome users would attract even more potential customers; according to StatCounter Feb. 2012 data, 27.24 of the Web's pageviews are viewed via Chrome, with just 1.93 percent via Android.
The addition of Play also gives Google's black bar more of an entertainment focus, as both "Documents" and "Calendar" have been banished into the "More" category, which houses older or lower-priority services, such as Blogger, Google Finance, Google Videos and even Google Wallet.
Web site designers typically roll out live versions of "test pages", sometimes in different formats, known as "A/B" testing. The idea is to allow "live" audiences to test and interact with the new format, to gauge the response before actually pushing the new design live to the Web at large.

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