This page is dedicated to my space and science interests. There's lots of fun facts, videos and projects to explore!
Scroll down and have fun or go to preferred links to choose a specific post.
Photo credit: NASA
The International Space Station's robotic arm moves Space X Dragon into place for attachment to the station.
Dr. Tyson delivers an emotional testimony regarding the future of U.S. Space Program.
Written testimony submitted to the U.S. Senate Committee
on Commerce, Science and Transportation:
'Closer To The Truth' asks J. Richard Gott
"What is the grand structure of the Universe?"
'Logarithmic Map of the Universe' (factor of 10)
by J. Richard Gott & Mario Juric'
↓ Center of the Earth → → → → → → → → → Ort Cloud ↓
↓ End of Ort Cloud → → → → → → → → Cosmic Microwave Background ↓
Printable 'Logarithmic Maps of the Universe' / copyright©J Richard Gott & Mario Juric:
"A Map of the Universe" manuscript by J richard Gott II, Mario uric', David Schlegel,
Fiona Hoyle, Micahel Vogeley, Max Tegmark, Neta Bahcall, Jon Brinkmann:
In December 2011, Comet Lovejoy surprised scientists and fans by surviving a close encounter with our sun. Like 'The Little Engine That Could', the comet pushed its way past the potentials of destruction and defied its fiery doom. Comet Lovejoy continues on with its journey through the cosmos and displays a spectacular fair-well to planet earth. This video show the comets immense plume of melting ice heading toward the sun only to emerge intact on the other side!
The comet was discovered by Australian amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy.
Comet Lovejoy seen from the International Space Station
Strange emissions that look like ripples in a pond called "shells" give NGC 474 its beautifully exotic appearance. Located in the constellation Pisces, the ripples seem whimsically apropos.
Image by P.-A. Duc 2011 (c)
The Atlas 3D Collaboration conducts a survey of more than one hundred nearby elliptical galaxies resulting in new information that challenges the standard model for elliptical galaxies.
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I'm fascinated by the electrical discharge phenomenon that occurs during electrical storms called "SPRITES", "ELVES"and "Blue Jets". The first documented reports occurred in the early 1880's but the phenomenon was mostly believed to be an illusion until the early 1990's when real data began showing proof of what was once believed to myth. The reason these events are so difficult to document is because the electrical discharges last for only approximately 10 milliseconds, but with developing technologies scientists are learning more all the time.
Below: Video collection of St. Elmo's Fire, lightening strikes in slow motion, SPRITES, ELVES and Blue Jets, and Blue Jets caught on video from the International Space Station.
There are many sites to choose from to learn more on how to observe these wonderful natural phenomenon and explore a brief history of SPRITES, JETS AND ELEVES. Here is just one informative site:
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On August 16, 1960 USAF Captain Joespeh Kittinger jumped from a specialized helium balloon at an altitude of 102,800'. The only thing between him and the thin blood-bioling atmosphere was a pressurized suit.
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Posted Sept. 5, 2011
Since 1994 a group of researchers led by astronomer Patrick Hartigan, have been collecting data from the HST. They have created remarkable time-lapse films of stellar jets by stitching together 14 years worth of images. What you're about to see is not computer generated images. These are real stellar events.
Patrick Hartigan, Professor of Physics & Astronomy at Rice University, speaks about the process behind the films.
Learn more about fluid dynamics and see more time-lapse films in larger scale:
Link to the original paper which outlines this research:
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A S y m b o l o f A c h i e v e m e n t
Go to Lucy's Atlantis launch photos
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHAT LAUNCH DAY IS LIKE FOR THE LAUNCH CONTROL TEAM?
Listen to a very interesting interview that describes what's happening behind the scenes ↓
On July 5th, 2011, Mark Simpson sat down with Shuttle Launch Director Mike Leinbach for a candid interview. Leinbach spoke in depth on his 20+ years involvement with NASA's shuttle program, what its like to launch a shuttle, the Challenger and Columbia tragedies, his "Space Shuttle family" and the loss of an American icon.
On July 8th, 2011, the crew of STS-135 boarded the Space Shuttle Atlantis to begin a historic journey to the International Space Station. Moments before Atlantis launched for her final mission, Commander Christopher Ferguson spoke to Shuttle Launch Director, Mike Leinbach from the shuttle flight deck:
"Hey, thanks to you and your team. Until the very end, you all made it look easy. The shuttle is always going to be a reflection of what this nation can do when it dares to be bold and commits to follow through. We're not ending the journey today, we're completing a chapter of a journey that will never end. You and the thousands of men and women who gave their hearts, souls and their lives for the cause of exploration have rewritten history. Let's light this shuttle one more time, and witness this nation at its best. The crew of Atlantis is ready to launch."
~ Commander Christopher Ferguson
(Photo: Lucy West)
A t l a n t i s Commemorative Video
Commander Christopher Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley,
Mission Specialist Sandy Magnus, Mission Specialist Rex Walheim
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↓ ENDEAVOUR'S FINAL MISSION ↓
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May 25th, 2011, a very special day. My print of "Endeavour" returns from Kennedy Space Center. It was sent there along with seven other copies on April 16th. This is the only print that came back. The crew members of STS-134 signed it before leaving for their mission on May 16th. They have gone to the International Space Station.
Amazing. Those remarkable six men travel in space as I unwrap the packaging. I see black markings at the bottom of the print, the astronaut's handwriting on something I created just two months before. I am holding one of my dreams. And the astronauts, they orbit the globe during this moment, involved in the very mission that inspired this painting. A singular experience of uncanny timing. This can never happen again. I am speechless. I recall significant moments that lead up to this point that include over 25 years of my own version of space exploration; dreaming, wondering, reading, researching, painting, learning; such intense desire to experience the cosmos. These men who shared their signatures, they are part of the rare few who experience space in the real sense. They find ways to share the experience with people like me. They, ambassadors of Earth, are unique.
The initial inspiration for "Endeavour" was sparked through an invitation from Mike Leinbach, NASA's Shuttle Launch Director. Mike extended the opportunity to attend my favorite orbiter's final launch, an invitation that included a description so good that my husband and I could not pass up. "The best possible viewing experience...", is the way he worded it. What an honor! And how quickly that comment aided in my regression to ten year old status. Yes, I jumped up and down, my voice rose an octave, I childly begged, "Can we go, PLEEEZE?"
I became instantly creative.
Originally scheduled for April 19, 2011, it was to be a night launch and reason behind the night scene rendered in my painting. The invitation came on March 11th, carrying with it a whirlwind of excitement. What does an artist do with such anticipation and exhilaration? Create, of course! And I knew right away that whatever art generated from the electricity I was feeling would eventually be sent to Mike as a 'thank you'. How could he know the many times I've wished to experience a launch at close proximity? That it was an invitation to fulfill one of my dreams? I had to find a way to show my gratitude. A narrow window of time to complete a piece of artwork ignited a faster than normal working pace. I thought that if the painting could be completed before the launch takes place, I could run limited edition prints and have them shipped to KSC prior to the routine quarantine that the astronauts go through a week before launch. Yes, by this point the astronauts have become part of the inspiration as well and it was important to me that they know. But could I make this happen in time? It was a race, my very own space race. Launch delays and an unfortunate scrubbed launch attempt (which my husband and I were present for) allowed for the timing to work out and all fell into place. The astronauts and launch director received their prints before the final scheduled quarantine. I included an extra print in the shipment hopeful that it could be signed by the crew at some point in the future. True to Mike's generous nature, he took time from his busy schedule and made it happen. I learned of the signatures after the crew were safe on the ISS. From a casual email Mike let me know that he presented the prints to the crew during their time at KSC prior to launch, they had signed mine, it was on its way back to me. A casual email letting me know that one of my dreams was in the mail.
I could have never anticipated receiving the print while the crew were off the planet. Nor did I anticipate the intense emotion that registered when opening the package. But then, I had an epiphany; Endeavour has held a special place in my life for over 19 years. I've been following her career from her very first launch, on May 7th, 1992 (see story). And the people who have flown her are the ones that allow people like me to vicariously encounter space through their experience. The thrills and optimism associated with "shuttle missions" are almost over. A great era is about to end. The signatures on my print represent all these insights to me, and so much more. Today, 19 years and 21 days later, I reflect on the many special experiences I've enjoyed because of Endeavour and her crews. I mention just one as an example; she was part and parcel to the first servicing mission of the Hubble Space Telescope in 1993 during STS-61. I use this particular example because much of my work is inspired by the jaw-dropping images that Hubble sends back to the eager eyes of this world. Often, so very often, I have silently thanked the teams that have maintained Hubble's success. And now, I cannot imagine a world without those spectacular images.
I await the safe return of the crew members of STS-134. That is also when I complete my story, because as our brave space travelers re-enter Earth's atmosphere, the mighty career of space shuttle Endeavour comes to a close. But she does not cease in her greatness or relevance to this country, nor does the importance of what she has contributed to the advancement of mankind lessen. She will take her rightful place in history. And I will continue to admire the daring men and woman she carried into space who succeeded milestones in space exploration. And I will always remember the image of a great, complex machine soaring toward the stars.
To Michael Leinbach, Mark Kelly, Greg "Box" Johnson, Michael "Spanky" Finke, Roberto "Ricky Bobby" Vittori, Andrew "Drew" Feustel, Greg "Taz" Chamitoff ...
Thank you for a once in a lifetime experience. - Lucy, May, 28, 2011
Photo: Mike Leinbach, NASA Shuttle Launch Director, holding his copy of "Endeavour". The American flag as back-drop is a nice touch. Mike and Charlotte have flown this flag every day since 9-11-2001.
Credit: Charlotte Leinbach
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♦ Video: NASA Tribute To Space Shuttle ENDEAVOUR ♦
" It is in the DNA of this great country to reach for the stars and explore.
We must not stop. "
- Spoken by Commander Mark Kelly just before ignition of the final launch of Endeavour.
Crew of STS-134 speak about Endeavour from space while
on their way home from final mission.
"An idea born in unsettled times becomes a feat of engineering excellence. The most complex machine ever built to bring humans to and from space and eventually construct the next stop on the road to space exploration..."
Podcast: CBS correspondent Peter King talked with NASA's Shuttle Accent Commentator Rob Navais. Navais speaks about his surprising technique for reporting on one of the most complex machines ever engineered and launched into space.
NASA Shuttle Launch Director Mike Leinbach and astronaut Greg H. Johnson with Endeavor during rollout to launch pad 39A, March 10, 2011.
Johnson's personal video of Endeavour rollout link here
Interactive Sky Survey: Click the image to enjoy this extraordinary project.
Credits: Copyright Nick Risinger 2011
About PHOTOPIC SKY SURVEY
"The Photopic Sky Survey is a 5,000 megapixel photograph of the entire night sky stitched together from 37,440 exposures..."
Link here to read the full article by Nick Risinger.
...a captivating combo
This is a extraordinary blend of art and science. Using Cassini's stark unprocessed data Abbas created a mesmerizing, cosmic ballet. Well done Abbas!
ISS, view from Discovery's final approach.
Click image to link to original posts by astronaut Nicole Scott. Credits: NASA / Astronaut NicoleScott
Discovery departure, view from ISS
Click image to link to original post by astronaut Nicole Scott
Discovery completes final mission STS-133, 11:57 a.m., March 9, 2011.
202 orbits around earth, journeyed 5,304,140 miles. Credits: NASA
Spotlight on Discovery - outstanding commemorative video.
Solar Transit of Atlantis 2009, May 12, halfway to ISS
To view more of this series and equipment used to capture these amazing images go to: http://legault.perso.sfr.fr/atlantis_hst_transit.html
Thierry Legault website: http://www.astrophoto.fr/
This ISS image demonstrate Legault's fine abilities as a photographer. This is the first ground based video to capture an EVA (extravehicular activity). Steve Bowen attached the end of the ISS robotic arm (MSS). Click here see video and to learn more from Legault.http://legault.perso.sfr.fr/STS-133.html
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