Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Phoenix Dust Storm Timelapse

Above is a video of another massive dust storm consuming south Phoenix, Arizona on July 18, 2011. This one measured 3000 feet high. These storms occur when a strong wind front picks up loose sand and dust from the dry surface. They can often be triggered by major thunderstorms nearby. They are more common in the Arabian peninsula and the Sahara, two of the main terrestrial sources of airborne dust. Photographed below is a dust storm touching down in Al Asad, Iraq on April 27, 2005.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Father & Son DIY Outer Space Filming

Keeping the same theme as the previous post, here is a less technologically advanced way of capturing video footage from the stratosphere. A father and his seven year old son built a homemade spacecraft and sent it almost 19 miles into the air. An insulated case held a video camera, an iPhone, and GPS equipment. Hand-warmers were packed on the inside in order to keep the equipment from freezing in the cold temperatures.

All in all they spent 8 months preparing for the mission. The father, Luke Geissbuhler, added: "It would have to survive 100 mph winds, temperatures of 60 degrees below zero, speeds of over 150 mph, and the high risk of a water landing. To retrieve the craft, it would need to deploy a parachute, descend through the clouds and transmit a GPS coordinate to a cell phone tower. Then we have to find it."

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Booster Cam Video of Atlantis Launch

NASA has just released this video from space shuttle Atlantis' launch into orbit on July 8th. Multiple cameras provide unique angles from the ground at Kennedy Space Center (0:00), through takeoff and separation (2:22), to the water landing somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean (4:37). One of the most crisp and impressive angles starts at approximately 18:00 into the video.