satellites

This Cartoon Perfectly Sums Up The Optimism Of 1950s Futurism

The December 28, 1959 issue of Life magazine featured this illustration of life in 1975. It’s over the top and cartoonish, of course, but it perfectly sums up all of the techno-optimism that was so prevalent in the late 1950s — the Golden Age of Futurism.


A Satellite Exploded In Orbit And No One's Quite Sure Why Yet

How many satellites would you say are currently orbiting the Earth? A few hundred? Maybe a thousand? No. There are about 3700 satellites hurtling through orbit above us — so when one of them “breaks up”, it’s a big deal.


How To Read Satellite Data Maps Of The Earth

NASA’s Earth Observatory has spent over 15 years using satellites to collect hordes of real-time data across our planet’s surface. They reveal everything from temperature and energy use, to how much radiation we beam into space. Here’s how to understand satellite data maps to understand our planet’s vital signs.


The Double Cyclone Disaster That Smashed Into Australia Last Week

Here you can see a composite satellite photo of two cyclones hitting northern Australia within six hours of each other this week. In the upper left is Cyclone Lam, and in the lower right is Cyclone Marcia. It’s beautiful but also terrifying.


Using Satellites, We Can Spot Pirate Fishing Boats From Space

The ocean is vast. We cannot patrol all of it. But now environmental groups are getting into the satellite game, watching for illegal fishing boats from the skies. It’s just one more example of how high-quality, real-time satellite imagery can change our relationship to the world around us.


This Is Elon Musk's Plan To Build A Space Internet

Elon Musk doesn’t dream small. That much is pretty clear from the hovering space rockets and the vacuum-tube mass transit system. But his latest brainwave, which involves covering both the Earth and Mars in a blanket of sweet, sweet internet, is downright ballsy.


This Was The First Ever Satellite Image Of The Entire US

This might look like someone’s faxed a page of an atlas a dozen times, but you’re actually looking at the state-of-the-art from 1974. This is the first ever satellite image of the entire United States.


Monster Machines: This 'GoreSat' Weather Satellite Will Keep An Eye On Solar Winds

When the solar winds blow strong, it plays havoc with electronics here on Earth. We can protect our sensitive electronic infrastructure — power grids, navigation and communication satellites, and such — but only with sufficient warning. And that’s where the new DSCOVR satellite comes in.


'Starquakes' May Be The Reason Behind Massive Solar Eruptions 

In early 2009, NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope observed an unprecedented solar storm emanating from a distant neutron star with gigantic columns of magnetised flares stretching thousands of kilometres into space — only the third time such an eruption had been observed. Five years later, NASA boffins think they have figured out what’s triggered it.


Space Detective Is Now A Job That Exists

Want to use some damning images from Google Earth to back up your case in a lawsuit? Right now it’s not quite that easy. Which is why a satellite imaging specialist and space lawyer (actual thing) have just formed what is about to become every NASA-loving kid’s dream job: the world’s very first space detective agency.