Rob Painter

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APOD: Humanity Explores the Solar System (2013 Apr 30) Illustration Credit & License: Olaf Frohn (The Planetary Society) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130430.html Explanation: What spacecraft is humanity currently using to explore our Solar System? Presently, every inner planet has at least one robotic explorer, while several others are monitoring our Sun, some are mapping Earth's Moon, a few are chasing asteroids and comets, one is orbiting Saturn, and several are even heading out into deep space. The above illustration gives more details, with the inner Solar System depicted on the upper right and the outer Solar System on the lower left. Given the present armada, our current epoch might become known as the time when humanity first probed its own star system. Sometimes widely separated spacecraft act together as an InterPlanetary Network to determine the direction of distant explosions by noting when each probe detects high energy photons. Future spacecraft milestones, as indicated along the bottom of the graphic, include Dawn reaching Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt, and New Horizons reaching Pluto, both in 2015. Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=130430 Starship Asterisk* • On This Day in APOD http://asterisk.apod.com/view_retro.php?date=0430

APOD: Tails of Comet Lemmon (2013 May 06) Image Credit & Copyright: Gerald Rhemann http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130506.html Explanation: What caused the interestingly intricate tails that Comet Lemmon displayed earlier this year? First of all, just about every comet that nears the Sun displays two tails: a dust tail and an ion tail. Comet Lemmon's dust tail, visible above and around the comet nucleus in off-white, is produced by sun-light reflecting dust shed by the comet's heated nucleus. Flowing and more sculptured, however, is C/2012 F6 (Lemmon)'s blue ion tail, created by the solar wind pushing ions expelled by the nucleus away from the Sun. Also of note is the coma seen surrounding Comet Lemmon's nucleus, tinted green by atomic carbon gas fluorescing in sunlight. The above image was taken from the dark skies of Namibia in mid-April. Comet Lemmon is fading as it now heads back to the outer Solar System. http://www.astrostudio.at/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=130506 Starship Asterisk* • On This Day in APOD http://asterisk.apod.com/view_retro.php?date=0506

Inside the Lab of an Electron Microscope Photographer

David Scharf is a basement pioneer in the art of making some of the world’s smallest things appear huge.<p>Scharf started tinkering with electron …

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5 Amazing Apps That Every Photographer Should Have

Once upon a time photography was in large part about remembering complicated rules and equations and a fair amount of luck. The more you knew of the …