October 03, 2007

You know it's a bad day when...

...a coronal mass ejection rips your tail off. Which is exactly what happened to comet Encke last April. Don't you hate when that happens?

It's not often you get to see a astronomical movie. The time between each frame of the image is about 45 minutes, so the elapsed time for the entire movie is probably several days. You're also seeing something on a scale that is impossible to fathom. If you measure the size of the frame from the point in space where the comet actually is, we're looking at an area that spans 14 million kilometers high by 20 million kilometers wide. It just boggles the mind...

I've been fascinated by astronomy since my dad and I watched the original broadcast of Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" back in 1980. Few people have ever been more eloquent, poetic and remarkably understandable when trying to explain the mysteries of our universe than Carl. He is the ultimate interpreter, and someone I try to emulate in my work. If you've never watched this incredible series before, watch this clip. It is Carl's poetic introduction to arguably the greatest documentary series ever made.


Patrick Belardo said...

That happened to a guy I knew... it was messy.

I see they have "Cosmos" on Netflix. Consider it added to my queue! I think I saw parts of it years ago.

P. Ollig said...

You will love it! Carl Sagan is even more engaging and charismatic than (dare I say it?) David Attenborough. And much more poetic.

Nothing against David, but anyone who can make the 4th dimension understandable has got my vote.

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cogresha said...

I love Cosmos! I've got them netflixed as we speak. When I ad the Science Channel I used to watch them there.