The last full moon of 2015 made her debut Saturday night, December 25th, and she was such the spectacular bella luna I have grown to adore over the years. Framed between the branches of a majestic tall tree, the last picture I took (before my battery totally died!), the universe (and my camera settings) just happened to convene at the perfect time, revealing the beautiful full moon nestled against the background of stars.
Taken from Planet Earth, with my beloved Canon EOS 70D camera, EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens, with 1250 ISO, 1/3200 sec at 1.8.
P.S. Had this Earthling thought diligently before leaving town, I would have kept the 70-300 L lens on said camera, and brought my tripod (or at least monopod!). Alas, I had stars in my eyes!
Next Christmas full moon photography attempt: 2034 😀
When the space shuttle system was retired, some thought that NASA’s mission would die. But die it did not. Although none of the shuttles fly anymore, and Atlantis is now home at Kennedy Space Center, NASA’s mission does indeed continue. Today’s epic launch of the #Orion-EFT1 starts a new chapter into our exploration of space. Who knows, maybe my child or his, will be one of the first to explore Mars in person. So Atlantis might be gone, but she certainly is not forgotten. Here she is launching into our sky, mission STS-132, on May 14, 2010. (I still get goosebumps!)
To see other interpretations of Gone, But Not Forgotten, check out the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge here.
The word I want to spread is: NASA is not dead. It’s nowhere near dead. Just because the Shuttle program ended, NASA did not die, contrary to some’s beliefs! Since SpaceX joined the space party, there are regular rocket launches. And lots of excitement at Kennedy Space Center.
That place (the “undead” NASA) is alive and hopping with futuristic ideas, ingenious experiments, scientific data, with tricked-out test tubes, 3-D printers, and all kinds of experiments. And all led by uber, UBER intelligent engineers, scientists, physicists, rocket scientists, communications experts, program directors, thinkers, doers, the “imagineers.” That’s my type of people: living outside the box. And in their case, space!
How exciting is this place? I’ll tell you: my experience there as a NASASocial (aka “socialite”) ranks in the top three. And I live quite an exciting life – I have been all over the world – seen all kinds of wonderful things. I’m just saying that out of everything in my life, this was in the top three. What excited me? The people. Their ideas. The possibilities! Imagine printing a tool, a 3-D real tool, on demand, in space. How AWESOME is that?!?
I was one of 35 selected participants for the NASASocial held at Kennedy Space Center for the SpaceX4 Dragon launch February 18-20. Many of my hubby’s friends said to him, “Why isn’t that you?” My dear hubby is quite the space fanatic, I’m only a space junkie. He’s actually built a telescope. Out of wood. And a fully-functioning remote-controlled R2D2. … but back to the story … he explained that I wasn’t just picked at random like a lottery. I had to prove that I am active in social media, that I know how to write, and I’ll be able to reach an audience. This blog was probably the top reason I was picked: it shows that I can write and that I’m a photographer, too! Anyway, even though we all were selected for our communications talents, we were all extremely lucky and blessed to participate in such a mind-blowing, knee-slapping, jaw-dropping, most awesome-ever experience!
After we all gathered in the Press Annex, a portable building right next to CBS and Reuters, we were quickly rushed to the NASA TV broadcasting room, where we attended a series of informational panel sessions – all with the head honchos of NASA and all of the program directors, top scientists, and engineers for the various experiments that were being launched on the Dragon. 3-D printers, mice, fruit flies, plating experiments, RapidScat, oh my! I? Was absolutely enthralled. This is the type of work I initially wanted to do (reporting)! We NASA “socialites” were treated just like the media, some of us asked questions, there was a lot of camera clicking and tweeting going on in that room.
So instead of telling you about everything at once (and thus making this a novel), I’ll spread out the information and photos. And I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. (You can always read the captions, too.) 😀
Sheila Nielsen-Preiss, Principal Investigator for NASA’s Space Biology Project at Ames, holds her “tricked-out test tube” for the Micro-8 experiment to be held on the International Space Station. Sheila talked about how the experiments will investigate how spaceflight affects potentially infectious organisms during a NASA TV broadcast on September 19th at Kennedy Space Center. (That lucky me got to attend!) The yeast strain, Candida albicans (C. albicans), was launched on SpaceX’s Dragon cargo ship on September 21, 2014. Looking on is Ames scientist Sharmila Bhattacharya, who works with NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. Sharmila is an investigator/scientist for Heart Effect Analysis Research Team conducting FLy Investigations and Experiments in Spaceflight (HEART FLIES). This is the first experiment to use the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, to study the effects of spaceflight on the structure and function of the heart. To read more about these fascinating experiments, read NASA’s article here.
The fruit flies and yeast strains have since been delivered to the International Space Station, along with a 3-D printer, and mice, among other experiments and supplies weighing 2.5 tons!
During their flight, the mice and flies developed multiple funny personas on Twitter, @astrofruitflies and @astromicerule, which both continue to make hilarious posts. Considering they brought in the Big Bang Theory TV show to the discussion, how could you not love these astro mice and fruit flies?!?
I made all of my posts during my trip to NASA during my #NASASocial event through Twitter. If you want to check out all of the fun, follow me on Twitter @whatisitpic. I had such a mind-blowing experience, I’m still in awe a week later. But I suppose that’s what happens when mind-blowing things are happening all around you!
This week’s challenge: share a photo that represents the infinite. In my photograph, space is the ultimate infinite. Hubby Paul and I took this picture (with help, of course) in Tucson, Arizona, at the Kitt Peak Observatory’s overnight program five years ago, this was the first image we saw through their telescope. Just mind blowing!
To see other Infinite interpretations, or to play, too, visit the Daily Post here.
So I was just a few hours late of capturing the last full moon, but probably best that it wasn’t in totality since I managed to see some mighty impressive crater shadows. Here are two photos, one of the “full” moon, and the other one focusing on the craters.