The Glow of the Lagoon Nebula

Gas and dust condense, beginning the process of creating new stars in this image of Messier 8, also known as the Lagoon Nebula. Located four to five thousand light-years away, in the constellation of Sagittarius (the Archer), the nebula is a giant interstellar cloud, one hundred light-years across.



One thousand billion worlds


This is the sky of the Earth. The vault of heaven, which in reality envelops us in a dark velvet sphere spotted with stars, is seen here projected onto a plane.

This improbable 360-degree panoramic image, covering the whole of the vault of heaven, embodies thus the cosmic landscape in which our small blue planet is immersed.

I have gone mad looking at the videos and pictures this guy has, SERGE BURNIER’s GALLERY.

ISRO Launches Bhuvan. Competition to Google Earth?

ISRO , Indian space & research organization has launched Bhuvan, a satellite mapping tool similar to Google Earth and Wikimapia on 12th August 2009. Bhuvan gives you an easy way to experience, explore and visualize IRS images over Indian region.

Bhuvan is a geoportal that providisrobhuvan_thumbes medium to high resolution satellite imagery of  virtually the entire India over the internet. You can “fly” around using mouse and keyboard on a simple desktop computer with virtual globe in front draped with IRS images over Indian region. Many other features are built in, including 3D terrain and information on many thematic data.

Bhuvan is a free web based image portal. Most Image visualization programs are very expensive and complex. Bhuvan provides a fast and friendly way to look at IRS satellite data and thematic information in geographic context, which is invaluable for management, planning and visualization.

“With Bhuvan we will be able to produce very local information which will be specific to only to our own country. This information available from this mapping system will be useful in addressing very local problems like floods, famines, infrastructure development, education and much more,” said ISRO chairman Dr G Madhavan Nair.

Multi-resolution imagMulti Resolution Terraines from multi-sensor IRS satellites of India is seamlessly depicted through the Bhuvan web portal by enabling a common man to zoom into specific area of interest at high resolution. Bhuvan brings a whole lot  of uniqueness in understanding our own natural resources whilst presenting beautiful images and thematic vectors generated from varieties of geospatial information. Bhuvan will also attempt to bring out the importance of multi-temporal data and to highlight the changes taking place to our natural resources, which will serve as a general awareness on our changing planet.  There are lot more special value added services which will be enabled onto the web portal in due course of time and each one of those services are going to be unique to preserving and conserving our precious natural resources through public participation.  We are sure the common man will get rich benefits from these Indian geospatial data services in days to come.

Bhuvan can take closer pictures of the Indian Subcontinent as compared to the Google Earth. Bhuvan is capable of taking a zoom level of up to 10 meters, while Google Earth features a zoom level of up to 200 meters.

Unlike Google Earth, however the Bhuvan application will not be downloadable and will not allow users to host content in the near future. It is not yet ready for Mac OS and Linux. But, at the moment Bhuvan can run only on windows system and is optimised for IE 6. or higher with 1280×1024 resolution.

One will be able to see the following data using Bhuvan:

  • Satellite imagery (LISS III , LISS IV along with metadata and  Multi- temporal Data from OCM & AWiFS)
  • Value added information (NADAMS – National Agricultural Drought Monitoring System), Output of flood studies for certain areas
  • Thematic information  (Wastelands, Soils, watershed,water resources related maps)
  • Base layers ( administrative boundaries, transport layers, water bodies, etc)
  • Census information
  • Metadata

Advanced functionalities to be provided in future versions

  • Urban Design Tools (to build roads, junctions and traffic lights in an urban setting)
  • Contour map ( Displays a colorized terrain map and contour lines)
  • Terrain profile ( Displays the terrain elevation profile along a path)
  • Draw tools (Creates simples markers, free hand lines, urban designs)
  • Navigation map (to jump to and view locations in the 3D India)

It is mandatory to register to use Bhuvan. The basic version of Bhuvan is free. Once you register and you login, you will be asked to download the Bhuvan plug-in. Accept the installation of the plug-in and you are ready to use the full features of Bhuvan.

Did you send your name to Mars

Now you can. NASA now gives anyone the opportunity to send their name to Mars. Just enter your name, country and zip code into the form, and your name – along with many others – will be included in a microchip on the Mars Science Laboratory rover which will be heading to Mars in 2011. I just did and this is the “Certificate of Participation”.


But there is one problem. There is no data validation of the form. First of all, there’s no captcha, and the form accepts nearly anything, even very long entries. Check out some cool examples here and here, and hurry up if you really want your name to be on Mars because I suspect that the form might stop accepting new entries soon.

Attention, Google Maps fans: Here come GeoEye photos

This shot of Kutztown University in Pennsylvania is the first image from the GeoEye-1 satellite. Google is a commercial customer for the satellite’s imagery. (Credit: GeoEye)

Golden Bears fans, take note: The first high-resolution photos from GeoEye’s newest satellite, GeoEye-1, have begun arriving, and Kutztown University in Pennsylvania is the first subject of scrutiny.

These are the shots that eventually will show up on Google Maps and Google Earth; Google has an exclusive partnership to use the GeoEye-1 imagery for online services. The satellite’s camera can capture image details as small as 41 centimeters, though commercial customers only get 50-centimeter resolution because of U.S. regulations.

The Kutztown University image was taken at noon EDT Tuesday while the satellite was moving south at an altitude of 423 miles at a speed of 4.5 miles per second relative to the Earth’s surface, GeoEye said.

GeoEye launched the satellite on September 6; GeoEye-2 is slated for a launch in 2011 or 2012. It has a 25-centimeter resolution.

(Courtesy: CNET)


A nebula (from Latin: “mist” [1]; pl. nebulae or nebulæ, with ligature or nebulas) is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen gas and plasma. It is the first stage of a star‘s cycle. Originally nebula was a general name for any extended astronomical object, including galaxies beyond the Milky Way (some examples of the older usage survive; for example, the Andromeda Galaxy was referred to as the Andromeda Nebula before galaxies were discovered by Edwin Hubble). Nebulae often form star-forming regions, such as in the Eagle Nebula. This nebula is depicted in one of NASA‘s most famous images, the “Pillars of Creation“. In these regions the formations of gas, dust and other materials ‘clump’ together to form larger masses, which attract further matter, and eventually will become big enough to form stars. The remaining materials are then believed to form planets, and other planetary system objects.


^ The Messier Catalog: Diffuse Nebulae. University of Illinois SEDS. Retrieved on 200706-12.

The Wikipedia