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NASA will chase the August eclipse in jets to capture 'clearest images of the corona to date'

by on Aug.02, 2017, under Reviews


It doesn’t matter where you’ll be during the August 21st solar eclipse, NASA plans to one-up you and capture a better photo—or at least a unique one. The space agency is actually going to chase the eclipse’s totality in two highly modified 1950s-vintage WB-57F jets, in order to capture the ‘clearest image of the sun’s […] corona to date,’ and the first-ever thermal images of Mercury.

The whole plan is detailed in the short video above, although we have to warn you, it might make you feel a little bit of gear envy—”if only I’d bought that Air Force surplus reconnaissance plane…”

Joking aside, the August 21st eclipse is a brilliant research opportunity, and NASA doesn’t plan to let it slip by unused. The two WB-57F jets have each been retrofitted with twin telescopes mounted on their noses. Using these telescopes, Amir Caspi of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado plans to capture “the clearest images of the Sun’s outer atmosphere — the corona — to date and the first-ever thermal images of Mercury.”

One of the WB-57F jets is readied for a test run at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. The instruments are mounted under the silver casing on the nose of the plane. Photo: NASA’s Johnson Space Center/Norah Moran

According to NASA, the jets will capture high-definition pictures at 30fps during the entire eclipse totality—which will last three times longer as the jets speed along, staying inside the moon’s shadow—from the stratosphere, avoiding interference from most of the Earths atmosphere. These photos will then be analyzed to determine why the sun’s atmosphere is so hot (millions of degrees), when the visible surface of the sun is significantly cooler (a few thousand degrees).

Before and after these observations, the scientists will also use the jets to try and capture the first-ever thermal images of Mercury—”the first attempt to map the variation of temperature across the surface of the planet.”

To find out more about this fascinating scientific (and photographic) mission, check out the video at the top or head over to the NASA website for a more detailed breakdown of what they’re looking to capture and why.



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The breathtaking winners of Nat Geo's Travel Photographer of the Year 2017

by on Aug.01, 2017, under Reviews


National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year 2017 Winners

Photo and caption by Sergio Tapiro Velasco/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

Grand Prize and 1st Place, Nature: The power of nature

Powerful eruption of Colima Volcano in Mexico on December 13th, 2015. That night, the weather was dry and cold, friction of ash particles generated a big lightning of about 600 meters that connected ash and volcano, and illuminated most of the dark scene. On last part of 2015, this volcano showed a lot of eruptive activity with ash explosions that raised 2-3 km above the crater. Most of night explosions produced incandescent rock falls and lightning not bigger than 100 meters in average.

National Geographic has announced the winners of its coveted Travel Photographer of the Year 2017 competition.

The grand prize and 1st place in the Nature category was awarded to Mexican photographer Sergio Tapiro Velasco, whose stunning photograph of the erupting Colima Volcano, complete with lightning strike, beat out over 15,000 entries from photographers in more than 30 countries.

In addition to the $2,500 prize that all category winners receive Velasco will also receive a ten-day trip for two to the Galápagos Archipelago with National Geographic Expeditions.

Check out the full winners gallery at this link.

National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year 2017 Winners

Photo and caption by Hiromi Kano/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

2nd Place, Nature: To live.

Swans who live vigorous even in mud.

National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year 2017 Winners

Photo and caption by Tarun Sinha/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

3rd Place, Nature: Crocodiles at Rio Tarcoles

This image was captured in Costa Rica when I was travelling from Monteverde to Playa Hermosa. As you cross over this river, you can stop and peer over the edge of the bridge. Below, reside over 35 gigantic crocodiles, relaxing on the muddy banks of the river. I wanted to capture the stark difference between the crocodiles on land and in the water. In the murky waters, the body contours of these beasts remain hidden, and one can only truly see their girth as they emerge from the river.

National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year 2017 Winners

Photo and caption by Norbet Fritz/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

1st Place, Cities: Levels of reading

The modern interior of the city library in Stuttgart. With its wide-open space in the central, where natural light comes from through the windows on the top, it has a very unique atmosphere, where you can broaden your knowledge.

National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year 2017 Winners

Photo and caption by Andy Yeung/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

2nd Place, Cities: Walled City #08

The Kowloon Walled City was the densest place on Earth. Hundreds of houses stacked on top of each other enclosed in the center of the structure. Many didn’t have access to open space.This notorious city was finally demolished in 1990s. However, if you look hard enough, you will notice that the city is not dead. Part of it still exists in many of current high density housing apartments. I hope this series can get people to think about claustrophobic living in Hong Kong from a new perspective.

National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year 2017 Winners

Photo and caption by Misha De-Stroyev/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

3rd Place, Cities: Henningsvær Football Field

This football field in Henningsvær in the Lofoten Islands is considered one of the most amazing fields in Europe, and maybe even in the world. The photo was taken during a 10-day sailing trip in Norway in June 2017. We arrived to Henningsvær after a week of sailing through the cold and rainy weather. Upon our arrival, the weather cleared up. I was really lucky that the conditions were suitable for flying my drone, and I managed to capture this shot from a height of 120 meters.

National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year 2017 Winners

Photo and caption by F. Dilek Uyar/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

1st Place, People: worship

This photo was taken in Konya. Willing Dervish in an historical place of Sille Konya Turkey.

The ‘dance’ of the Whirling Dervishes is called Sema and is a symbol of the Mevlevi culture. According to Mevlana’s teachings, human beings are born twice, once of their mothers and the second time of their own bodies.

National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year 2017 Winners

Photo and caption by Julius Y./National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

2nd Place, People: Interesting moment.

Museum visitors curiously watching Rembrandt’s painting ” Syndics of the Drapers’ Guild” where it gave the illusion that the people on the paintings too are curiously watching the visitors.

National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year 2017 Winners

Photo and caption by Rodney Bursiel/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

3rd Place, People: Under The Wave

I recently traveled to Tavarua, Fiji to do some surf photography with pro surfer Donavon Frankenreiter at Cloudbreak. I’m always looking for new angles and perspectives. The usual surf shots have all been done so we decided to get a little creative. Makes you look twice.



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