- NASA Watch
- May 21, 2023
Stop What You Are Doing And Watch This Video
This Video was achived by “stacking” image sequences provided by NASA from the Crew at International Space Station. These “stacks” create the Star Trails, but furthermore make interesting patterns visible. For example lightning corridors within clouds, but they also show occasional satellite tracks (or Iridium Flashes) as well as meteors – patterns that interrupt the main Star Trails, and thus are immediately visible. The many oversaturated hot pixels in some of the scenes are the inevitable result of ultrahigh ISO settings the Nikon D3s in ISS-use are pushed to for keeping exposure times short by all means (owed to the dramatic speed the ISS travels). As there are no dark frames or RAW data currently available, hot pixels are not easy to remove.
Very trippy, and I just watched 2001 last night with the daughter.
BTW, does anyone know what is up with Don Pettit? His twitter account has been silent. Hope he’s ok.
A very cool video, and it suggests that when the price comes down to something reasonable (<1M/seat) there will be a real tourist market in LEO. But it also reminds me of the paucity of serious earth resources or astronomical imaging from ISS. What about an inexpensive UV telescope mounted on the end of the truss, controlled from earth but maintained (if necessary) by the crew? Even this low-res video probably contains more data than all the microgravity science to date.
The paucity of serious Earth resources and astronomical imaging facilities from ISS is because of precisely one reason. ISS isn’t an optimal place to put them! ISS is a platform that isn’t stable at the level that would be required for any kind of high resolution imaging, and the outgassing and debris field that it produces just isn’t helpful to such measurements. All such equipment would have to be human-rated, adding to the cost. The use of this equipment, and downloads of data sets, would have to be co-scheduled with a vast number of other things.
This isn’t to say that ISS isn’t important, but just that it isn’t important for these kinds of things, and it is a serious delusion to map jobs that could be done better on free-flyers onto ISS.
To the extent these instruments REALLY need a lot of human attention, or maybe just a lot of power, it might justify locating them on ISS. But they do really well, thank you, on unmanned platforms.
It’s not about what you COULD do on ISS. It’s about what is BEST done on ISS.
And no, this low res video contains a lot of bits, but not useful data, except to the extent that gee-whiz/cool stuff is useful (which it is at some non-scientific level!) The comparison of this video to “all the microgravity science to date” is just profoundly, awesomely silly. Did you really say that?
When I worked on SS Freedom we had all kinds of things hanging off of the truss looking back at Earth – and out to the stars – because we were told to put it there. The dirty little secret was that it would be cheaper to send these things up as free flying satellites – and that (as you suggest) they’d get much less jitter.
That’s correct, and it does no service to ISS as a major national facility to do things there that it’s best to do elsewhere. Microgravity science, in particular, has been a rich and productive field for which the ISS has been hugely enabling.
That being said, I should have noted that this video is indeed mind-blowing, and I am delighted that NASA and ISS astronauts can devote a little of what little free time they have to produce mind-blowing things. Such things express wonder and creativity in a way that is highly digestible to the public.
‘sactly. There is nothing to see here but a demo of a video filter.
I liked to original videos better, at least I was able to see something.
Too much inspiration, not enough perspiration.
you should be absolutely satisfied here.. don explains in his own words, cheers: https://vimeo.com/61083440
ISS could be useful for testing out new earth observation types of equipment, though with constrained logistics up and particularly down, its pretty problematic getting things there or back. As Don Pettit and others on-board have shown, the observation and photography of transient phenomena makes optimal use of the astronauts. For astronomical observations there is also some potential if the human can help the system, but generally the low altitude precludes long duration observations and earth’s atmosphere still gets in the way. Fact is, however, that just what the astronauts need to keep busy with is something that needs attention for long duration planetary missions. As some of the Apollo astronauts described, when you are close to the earth or moon there is always something to see. But once you depart the earth, if you happen to look in the right direction you might see a small earth or moon, but otherwise it feels like you are in a small windowless room. Finding something useful for the astronauts to do during the long interplanetary cruise needs attention.
Very cool. There are always copyright situations to deal with, but since NASA provided the raw materials for this cool video, I have to wonder why NASA doesn’t try to make use of great stuff like this. With a little bit of well thought out narration providing simple explanations overdubbed (using a professional voice, not a scientist), this could be an eye-opener, an attention-getter for the general public.
TV commercials will always be out of the range of what NASA can do, but movie theaters before the main event; mixed into the previews on DVDs etc. sold to the public; shown as a Google! ad; and lots of other low-cost but visible places are simple and affordable for well-done NASA promotions. Basically, anything that Disney does to promote their theme parks and DVDs, excepting TV, might be a model for NASA promotion, assuming that they can find ways to skate around the restrictions placed on them as a government agency (and I wouldn’t be surprised to find that a lot of places would offer NASA a discount). Like I’ve said before, if the armed forces can advertise to the public, I see no reason why NASA shouldn’t be able to as well.
It may be that a little bit of “This is cool; this is NASA” put in front of people’s faces could do a lot to change to apparent apathy that the general public today has towards NASA. How many people every year will go and see a movie based solely on the impact that a 30-second preview had on them? I feel strongly that NASA, within the rules that bind them. should have a promotional department, whose full-time job, year ’round, is to promote NASA to the general public, and to a lesser extent, to other government entities and to industrial suppliers who are not currently “part of” the space program, but could be to mutual benefit. And a promotional department should study the workings of NASA PAO and the people who put out the NASA press releases as examples of how NOT to promote NASA.
A very cool video.
NASA is in a bind when it comes to mashups where there is not clear permission to use music.
Perhaps Christoph Malin would be agreeable to doing a revised version with public domain music. Strauss’s Blue Danube worked out well in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and these days one person can record a new version of even a classical piece good enough for a promotional video on a single keyboard in an afternoon for peanuts. There are no doubt plenty of musically inclined space fans out there who would do a credible a job for free, or just the recognition.
There are clearly issues to be dealt with, but what disappoints me is that NASA doesn’t even seem to try to promote understanding to the public using simple, proven methods that even high school kids have learned to do. Despite all the talk of vision and inspiration and such, it seems that to many at NASA it’s just a job.
There’s plenty of awesome Creative Commons or similarly unencumbered music out there to choose from. Another interesting thought: If NASA isn’t interested in putting together a self-promotional TV ad spot for whatever reasons, it might make a fun crowdfunded project to pay for the video editing (Which could practically be volunteer work) and the air time.
As an 83 year old, I have been watching the stars for about 82 years now, Have never seen anything so amazing before.
Keep up the good work.