Watchful eyes, thoughtful mind

Earth and us ….. past, present and future ….. connected?

TED Tuesday: Eyes DO fool us! December 29, 2009

Filed under: biology,optics,TED — Radiance @ 10:00 AM

Beau Lotto‘s color games puzzle your vision, but they also spotlight what you can’t normally see: how your brain works. This fun, first-hand look at your own versatile sense of sight reveals how evolution tints your perception of what’s really out there.


TED Tuesday: Art that looks back at you September 1, 2009

Filed under: art,computer,optics,TED,unconventional — Radiance @ 10:00 AM
Golan Levin, an artist and engineer, uses modern tools — robotics, new software, cognitive research — to make artworks that surprise and delight. Watch as sounds become shapes, bodies create paintings, and a curious eye looks back at the curious viewer.


TED Tuesday: Fly me to Saturn August 25, 2009

Filed under: astronomy,biology,optics,space research,TED — Radiance @ 10:00 AM
Planetary scientist Carolyn Porco shows images from the Cassini voyage to Saturn, focusing on its largest moon, Titan, and on frozen Enceladus, which seems to shoot jets of ice.

Carolyn Porco shares exciting new findings from the Cassini spacecraft’s recent sweep of one of Saturn’s moons, Enceladus. Samples gathered from the moon’s icy geysers hint that an ocean under its surface could harbor life.



Hubble sees "bubble" July 30, 2009

Filed under: astronomy,optics,space research,technology,unconventional — Radiance @ 10:00 AM
[Image source: New Scientist, Caption reads: The “Cygnus Bubble” nebula may actually be a cylinder that is being seen from one of its ends. This image was taken with the Kitt Peak Mayall 4-metre telescope in Arizona (Image: Travis A. Rector/U of Alaska Anchorage/Heidi Schweiker/NOAO)]

IT LOOKS like a soap bubble or perhaps even a camera fault, but the image at right is a newly discovered planetary nebula. […] The bubble, which was officially named PN G75.5+1.7 last week, has been there a while. […] “It’s a beautiful example,” says Adam Frank of the University of Rochester, New York. “Spherical ones are very rare.” One explanation is that the image is looking down the throat of a typical cylindrical nebula. However, it is still remarkably symmetrical, Frank says.


Sunday Spotlight: The Virtual Telescope July 26, 2009

Filed under: astronomy,optics,space research,sunday spotlight,technology — Radiance @ 10:00 AM
A few days back I got an invite to join a group on LinkedIn. It was called The Virtual Telescope Project, a name that interested me enough to go ahead and check out what was this all about. And once I was on the website, I knew I had to write a Sunday Spotlight on this particular service provided by the Bellatrix Astronomical Observatory.

The homepage beckons you to enter the website with the message, “Enjoy the real Universe from your desktop, live!”. It is available in English and Italian. This project/telescope is a participant in the IYA2009 activities. The website is created and directed by Gianluca Masi. Here you will find out what makes Virtual Telescope a unique case in the world. The Virtual Telescope offers live shows and astronomical Labs, in real-time or with archived material (the latter being free).

I am very much looking forward to participate in their next live show on Monday 3rd August, which is in Italian. But … the fascinating beauty of the deep space is beyond spoken word.


Lightening in a volcano April 9, 2009

Filed under: geology,nature,optics — Radiance @ 11:05 AM
[Image source: LiveScience]
Yes, this is what Andrea Thompson, Senior Writer at LiveScience, reports about in an interesting article on their website. I learnt something new today, that lightening happens inside a volcano plume, didn’t know that!
For the first time, scientists have been able to “see” and trace lightning inside a plume of ash spewing from an actively erupting volcano. Physicist Paul Krehbiel of New Mexico Tech., who observed and studied these lightening flashes, said, “The lightning activity was as strong or stronger than we have seen in large Midwestern thunderstorms.”
A recent study in the journal Nature found that volcanic plumes spin like tornadic thunderstorms, a finding which helps to explain the lightning storms, as well as the waterspouts and dust devils produced by some volcanic plumes. For more, follow the link above.

Within a blink of an eye April 4, 2009

Filed under: art,optics,photography,technology — Radiance @ 2:55 AM

[Image source: Alan Sailer’s flickr]

A few days back I posted about some really cool time-lapse videos on the internet. Today’s post is about the kind of photography exactly opposite to that, the high-speed photography. Time-lapse photography squishes very slow processes into a smaller time-scale and make them interesting to watch. The high-speed photography captures the fleeting moments of a very quick process by using high shutter speeds that make some fabulous visuals. A friend shared this link with me a few days back that shows some impressive shots taken by Alan Sailer. He uses an interrupted laser beam to trigger the camera at the precise moment when a bullet passes out of a given object and captures that “fragile” moment just before the object is blown to pieces. As destructive as it sounds, when you see his pictures, you will be left with a sense of awe and respect for his work! I’m sharing just one of many such fantastic images of his which I’m sure will more than whet your visual appetite :).