For an artist, I’ve been thinking a lot about science lately. Perhaps it’s not too much of a stretch, as Leonardo da Vinci and Carl Sagan showed us, the two often go hand in hand. However, they are also fundamentally different. Art is subjective. Science is not.
I’ll start with art. H.G Wells put it nicely: “Beauty is in the heart of the beholder.” Powerful in its simplicity, and a concept to which we can probably all relate. For instance, have you ever come across a painting, a sculpture or a piece of music and stopped in your tracks? It may reach into your soul and grab for the air in your lungs. Or have you ever walked out of a movie theater with your head spinning as you wonder how in the world this filmmaker knew to make a movie about your life? Maybe there’s a tear or two involved, it was just that great.
So you decide to share it. However, you soon find out that your mom, friend, coworker…whomever….well they just don’t see the big deal. That’s art for you. Subjective.
The 44th Earth Day is here, so take just a few moments to consider these game-changing views of our planet. Why? Their significance begins in the visual statement created through science and technology and persists through cultural awareness and human action.
1. April 1, 1960 – TIROS 1 -NASA- The first image of Earth’s clouds from the vantage point of space
2. December 24, 1968 – Earthrise – NASA – Apollo 8 Crew: Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders
3. December 7, 1972 – The Original Blue Marble – NASA – Apollo 17 Crew – Eugene Cernan and Harrison “Jack” Schmitt and Ron Evans
4. “The Pale Blue Dot” – 1990 – NASA- Voyager 1 Mission
5. 1992 – The Earth and Moon as seen by NASA’s Galileo Mission
6. 2002 – Blue Marble- NASA GSFC – Reto Stöckli – High Resolution Satellite Mosaic
7. October 2, 2007 – The Earth and Moon from Mars – by the HiRISE camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
8. 2011 – Perpetual Ocean – NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio using ECCO2 Model Output from Jun 2005-Dec 2007
9. 2012 – The Earth at Night – NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP Mission
10. January 4, 2012 – Visible/Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) – NOAA/NASA – Composited by Norman Kuring
11. August 2013 – Arctic Sea Ice minimum, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
12. July 23, 2013 – Pale Blue Dot (Directly below Saturn’s rings) by NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft
An internship may just be the best place to start. However, even more important than a well-placed internship is the intern herself.
Life, in many ways, is about who you know. I think we all wish it were different, but it so often plays out personally and professionally that the statement is hard to argue. Accepting this truth, I’d like to move on to a more encouraging idea. The idea that we actually have a significant role to play in our own future; that our actions and hard work will pay off in ways that we could simply never imagine.
Ironically, this video about NASA interns was my final project as someone who “worked at NASA”. In many ways, it was one of the easier stories to produce, from a technical standpoint. However, it had a way of resonating personally, for one simple reason: Many years ago I jump-started my entire career by becoming a NASA intern.
Anyone else think this looks like the Lorax? No? Well, maybe it’s just me. But I just love what this image is doing. It’s describing the creation of raindrops. As the countdown to NASA’s Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) Core satellite launch this week continues, rain is on the brain. This new video (watch below), produced by Ryan Fitzgibbons of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, gives a fun, engaging and enlightening look into the creation of raindrops. What’s even more amazing: satellites orbiting the earth will be looking at these micro-characteristics as they fall through the atmosphere. This is a step up from gathering rain on the ground via rain gauges. A huge step.
Watch it! I think it will make you smile and teach you a thing or two about rain, namely: rain drops are not tear-shaped, they are shaped like the GPM logo.
For more info, vist the NASA Story about this video. And keep up with the GPM Launch updates! The GPM Core Observatory is currently scheduled to launch February 27th, 2014, 1:07 pm EST from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan. NASA TV will begin coverage at 12 noon. If you can’t get it on your TV, check it out online!
It’s everywhere these days. Uncertainty, that is. You don’t have to look far. It seeps into our brain through a relentless string of news stories, constant reminders that, for the most part, we just don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s unsettling.