In her final days as Commander of the International Space Station, Sunita Williams of NASA recorded an extensive tour of the orbital laboratory and downlinked the video on Nov. 18, just hours before she, cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and Flight Engineer Aki Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency departed in their Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft for a landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan. The tour includes scenes of each of the station's modules and research facilities with a running narrative by Williams of the work that has taken place and which is ongoing aboard the orbital outpost.
Animation by Alex Parker showing the 2299 high-quality (multiple transits), non-circumbinary transiting planet candidates found by NASA's Kepler mission so far. These candidates were detected around 1770 unique stars, but are animated in orbit around a single star. They are drawn to scale with accurate radii, orbital periods, and orbital distances. They range in size from 1/3 to 84 times the radius of Earth. Colors represent an estimate of equilibrium temperature, ranging from 4,586 C at the hottest to -110 C at the coldest - red indicates warmest, and blue/indigo indicates coldest candidates.
Three white rings illustrate the average orbital distances of Mercury, Venus, and Earth on the same scale. (More to the story here)
The current list of planet candidates can be seen here.
Watching in full screen HD is recommended, so you can see even the smallest planets!
By Alex Parker - Postdoctoral researcher in planetary science at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
Bill McKibben and Christian Parenti discuss the Disinvestment Campaign and how best to confront the role of the fossil-fuel industry- what McKibben calls, "Public Enemy Number One to the survival of our planetary civilization."
Rebecca Tarbotton, executive director of Rainforest Action Network, tragically drowned in rough surf in San Pancho, north of Puerto Vallarta, on December 28, 2012. Above, she addresses the 2012 REVEL Conference in October.