Author Topic: Pale Blue Dot Part Deux  (Read 729 times)

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Offline Vinz Clortho

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Pale Blue Dot Part Deux
« on: July 19, 2013, 10:51:07 AM »
The Cassini spacecraft is set to snap a picture of Earth through Saturn's rings today at 5:27 p.m. EDT. When I first heard of this event on Monday, I immediately thought of Carl Sagan and Pale Blue Dot, inspired by a picture of Earth taken from Voyager 1 in 1990. Apparently this sentiment was not lost on the folks at CBS News either:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57594419/cassini-spacecraft-set-to-capture-pale-blue-dot-of-earth/

Comb your hair, find a nice sweater, and go outside and smile for our planet picture!
« Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 10:53:41 AM by Vinz Clortho »

Offline Nick

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Re: Pale Blue Dot Part Deux
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2013, 01:13:12 PM »
Maybe we all should shoot the moon. ;)
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

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Re: Pale Blue Dot Part Deux
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2013, 01:49:30 PM »
Damn, now I gotta get a haircut. What if I just wore a hat?
Not everyone is entitled to their opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline neopagan

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Re: Pale Blue Dot Part Deux
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2013, 04:33:10 PM »
I will be in my pool nekkid... lol
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Pale Blue Dot Part Deux
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2013, 04:35:18 PM »
Here's a linky to the photo.
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130722.html


Morgan Freeman narrated the commentary. (Of course. You can't get better than Batman's science buddy...) It's soooo cool to think we can get pix from a billion miles away! ;D
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

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Offline The Gawd

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Re: Pale Blue Dot Part Deux
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2013, 08:45:56 PM »
Anyone know the reasoning why we cant drop something into Saturn? I so want to know whats in there. I think I read somewhere that the atmospheric pressure would crush anything we sent, but I feel like I just gotta know whats under those clouds.

Offline Spit

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Re: Pale Blue Dot Part Deux
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2013, 09:28:47 PM »
Carl Saggin was a kook! He never accepted Jesus as his saviour. Boing oing!  ;D

Offline Nam

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Re: Pale Blue Dot Part Deux
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2013, 09:41:55 PM »
I saw this on the news the other day and decided to wear my b-day suit. Not that anyone would notice. ;)

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Offline wright

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Re: Pale Blue Dot Part Deux
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2013, 09:53:13 PM »
Anyone know the reasoning why we cant drop something into Saturn? I so want to know whats in there. I think I read somewhere that the atmospheric pressure would crush anything we sent, but I feel like I just gotta know whats under those clouds.

The gas giants are damn interesting, agreed. Lots of unanswered questions about their internal structure, energy (heat and lightening) exchange in their atmospheres, the composition of their cores, you name it. The short answer to your question is lack of funds and political will.

The Galileo mission (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_%28spacecraft%29) investigated Jupiter and its moons, including dropping a probe into Jupiter itself. That probe sent back data for nearly an hour before failing. Future missions will look at Jupiter's atmosphere in greater detail (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juno_%28spacecraft%29) and (hopefully) the moons Europa, Callisto and Ganymede (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jupiter_Icy_Moon_Explorer).

One obvious solution to deploying long-duration probes on / in the gas giants is to use designs based on balloons or rigid-hull airships. It would take a lot of work to develop and test equipment like that, but it's within our means. Just a question of funding and political commitment.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2013, 10:11:58 PM by wright »
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Pale Blue Dot Part Deux
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2013, 05:57:47 AM »
Anyone know the reasoning why we cant drop something into Saturn?

There's no technological reason that a probe couldn't be dropped into Saturn.  It's just that nobody has done so yet.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline The Gawd

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Re: Pale Blue Dot Part Deux
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2013, 09:09:08 AM »
Anyone know the reasoning why we cant drop something into Saturn? I so want to know whats in there. I think I read somewhere that the atmospheric pressure would crush anything we sent, but I feel like I just gotta know whats under those clouds.

The gas giants are damn interesting, agreed. Lots of unanswered questions about their internal structure, energy (heat and lightening) exchange in their atmospheres, the composition of their cores, you name it. The short answer to your question is lack of funds and political will.

The Galileo mission (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_%28spacecraft%29) investigated Jupiter and its moons, including dropping a probe into Jupiter itself. That probe sent back data for nearly an hour before failing. Future missions will look at Jupiter's atmosphere in greater detail (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juno_%28spacecraft%29) and (hopefully) the moons Europa, Callisto and Ganymede (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jupiter_Icy_Moon_Explorer).

One obvious solution to deploying long-duration probes on / in the gas giants is to use designs based on balloons or rigid-hull airships. It would take a lot of work to develop and test equipment like that, but it's within our means. Just a question of funding and political commitment.

I hope for photo's. Was it too much for them to throw a camera on that probe?

Offline wright

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Re: Pale Blue Dot Part Deux
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2013, 11:54:31 AM »
I hope for photo's. Was it too much for them to throw a camera on that probe?

Designing spacecraft is one of the ultimate balancing acts. There are so many constraints: budget, volume (everything has to fit), weight (as little as possible, to require the minimum of fuel needed to get away from Earth and match velocity with the target), durability (to not break being accelerated to escape velocity, then decelerated at the destination, not to mention being able to function in environments utterly different from Earth), mission priorities (atmospheric analysis versus detailed measurements of solar particle counts), launch windows (to minimize flight times and fuel requirements) and many others.

The Galileo atmospheric probe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_%28spacecraft%29), for instance, had a heat shield that weighed over 330 pounds. In less than two minutes, over half that shield burned away as the probe slowed enough to open its parachute. The instruments onboard had to-and did- function under ferocious conditions; the probe stopped transmitting only after external pressure had gone over 23 Earth atmospheres and temperature had reached 307 degrees F. All while being bathed in Jupiter's ambient radiation, which is thousands of times that of Earth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetosphere_of_Jupiter).

Given those limits, I'm guessing a high-resolution imaging system just didn't make the cut. I'd love to see some pics of Jupiter and Saturn's cloudscapes from within their atmospheres too. Dunno how old you are, but I'm in my 50s and still have some hope it will happen within my lifetime.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Pale Blue Dot Part Deux
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2013, 01:57:51 PM »
Wrap in in that plastic they put on Barbie packages - I bet it could survive.   
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline The Gawd

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Re: Pale Blue Dot Part Deux
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2013, 03:25:33 PM »
I hope for photo's. Was it too much for them to throw a camera on that probe?

Designing spacecraft is one of the ultimate balancing acts. There are so many constraints: budget, volume (everything has to fit), weight (as little as possible, to require the minimum of fuel needed to get away from Earth and match velocity with the target), durability (to not break being accelerated to escape velocity, then decelerated at the destination, not to mention being able to function in environments utterly different from Earth), mission priorities (atmospheric analysis versus detailed measurements of solar particle counts), launch windows (to minimize flight times and fuel requirements) and many others.

The Galileo atmospheric probe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_%28spacecraft%29), for instance, had a heat shield that weighed over 330 pounds. In less than two minutes, over half that shield burned away as the probe slowed enough to open its parachute. The instruments onboard had to-and did- function under ferocious conditions; the probe stopped transmitting only after external pressure had gone over 23 Earth atmospheres and temperature had reached 307 degrees F. All while being bathed in Jupiter's ambient radiation, which is thousands of times that of Earth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetosphere_of_Jupiter).

Given those limits, I'm guessing a high-resolution imaging system just didn't make the cut. I'd love to see some pics of Jupiter and Saturn's cloudscapes from within their atmospheres too. Dunno how old you are, but I'm in my 50s and still have some hope it will happen within my lifetime.
I understand all that... but man, I tell ya. I bet if we had some photos to capture the imaginations of more of the public they could maybe drum up some more funds. We need a way to convince the public that this space travel isnt a waste of money, and I think photos are a way of good PR. At 32 I'm hoping for it too, but I also realize we have to take full advantage of the opportunities we have at hand.

*Stomps feet like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum*

"I want pictures!!"

Offline wright

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Re: Pale Blue Dot Part Deux
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2013, 05:26:21 PM »
I understand all that... but man, I tell ya. I bet if we had some photos to capture the imaginations of more of the public they could maybe drum up some more funds. We need a way to convince the public that this space travel isnt a waste of money, and I think photos are a way of good PR. At 32 I'm hoping for it too, but I also realize we have to take full advantage of the opportunities we have at hand.

*Stomps feet like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum*

"I want pictures!!"

Understandable. Keep in mind that our expectations have been raised to the point of wanting that kind of thing because of the amazing success of space exploration over the last several decades. From the Viking landers on Mars in the late '70s, to the Voyagers "Grand Tour" of the outer solar system a few years later, to the astounding images captured by the Hubble orbital imager, to the current spacecraft at Mercury, Mars, Saturn and en route to Jupiter and Pluto...

It's a good time to be a space geek. And with some luck and a lot of hard work, there are even greater things to come.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
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Offline Spit

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Re: Pale Blue Dot Part Deux
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2013, 08:22:51 PM »
Carl smoked dope too. That makes him unreliable. Much like me.  ;D

Offline Nam

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Re: Pale Blue Dot Part Deux
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2013, 01:09:18 AM »
2000 was the last time I smoked dope.

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