It’s been a huge week for space exploration, and our top three stories reflect an inescapable enthusiasm for awesome extraterrestrial images, including spectacular satellite photos of beautiful, remote places on Earth; an animated flyover of Pluto’s icy mountains and plains; and an EPIC selfie of the entire sunlit side of Earth from a million miles away. Other top most-visited stories included publication of two new books to mark the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity and detection of the long-sought Weyl Point Phenomenon.
EPIC Selfie: Entire Sunlit Side of Earth from a Million Miles Away
A NASA camera on the Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite has returned its first view of the entire sunlit side of Earth from one million miles away. This color image was generated by combining three separate images to create a photographic-quality image. The camera takes a series of 10 images using different narrowband filters to produce a variety of science products. Red, green and blue channel images are used.
NASA Releases Animated Flyover of Pluto’s Icy Mountains and Plains
Using New Horizons closest-approach images, NASA has created a simulated flyover of Pluto’s icy Norgay Mountains and Sputnik Plain, which make up the dwarf planet’s equatorial Tombaugh Region. After a decade-long, three-billion-mile journey, the images were acquired on July 14, 2015, during New Horizon’s closest approach at a distance of 48,000 miles. Features as small as a half-mile across are visible.
My Planet from Space: Spectacular Images of Beautiful, Remote Places on Earth
“My Planet from Space: Fragility and Beauty,” is an exhibition of spectacular satellite images and videos on view this summer at the United Nations General Assembly building in New York. Coordinated by ESA in close partnership with United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, the exhibition takes visitors on a journey to some of the most beautiful and remote places on Earth.
Long-sought Weyl Point Phenomenon Finally Detected
Part of a 1929 prediction by physicist Hermann Weyl — of a kind of massless particle that features a singular point in its energy spectrum called the “Weyl point” — has finally been confirmed by direct observation for the first time, says an international team of physicists led by researchers at MIT. The finding could lead to new kinds of high-power single-mode lasers and other optical devices, the team says.
New Books Mark 100th Anniversary of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity
On November 25, 1915, Albert Einstein submitted his final version of the general theory of relativity to the Prussian Royal Academy. Einstein’s revolutionary explanation of how gravity works had far-reaching consequences. Marking the centenary of this remarkable achievement, Princeton University Press announced the publication of two new books.