We all learned the positions of the planets from some chart on the wall in grade school. But as CGP Grey reminds us, planets rotate in elliptical orbits at varying speeds around the sun, meaning that the answer isn’t quite as simple as you thought – depending on the question you’re actually asking.
THE BEST Astronomy
Dreipunkt’s flat-pack wood kit lets you build your own orbital model of the Earth, the Sun, and the Moon. As you move its lever, each astronomical body rotates relative to the others, as an arrow indicates the date on which they take up those positions. From Laserdeko, who has all kinds of nifty laser-cut stuff for sale.
This kit lets you view the night sky not with one eye, but two, for sharper, brighter, and more comfortable stargazing. It can be ordered as plans only, optics and hardware only, as a BYO 3D printing kit, or a kit with pre-printed parts. In 2022, they’ll also open source the build plans. There’s also a large, assembled model, but it’s much pricier.
Using data captured by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, NASA was able to replicate the view that Apollo 13 astronauts saw on the far side of the moon back in 1970, but in razor-sharp 4K resolution. There are a variety of views depicted, including the trajectory of the astronauts as they came around the moon.
Amateur philosopher and space enthusiast exurb1a reminisces about the history of lunar exploration, from the Apollo missions through NASA’s plans to return to the moon in the 21st century. Along the way, you’ll learn a thing or two about the moon’s origins, its relationship to Earth, and more.
Astrophysicist and author Sarah Barker teamed up with illustrator Maria Nilsson to create this great book for beginner stargazers. It offers up informative details and viewing tips for things you can glimpse when you look up with off-the-shelf binoculars or a telescope. The glow-in-the-dark book cover is a nice touch.
The Earth’s lone moon is very important to the way the world works, affecting everything from the ocean tides, to the regularity of our seasons and the length of our days. But what would happen if another similar asteroid got pulled into the Earth’s orbit? SciShow explores some of the potentially serious implications.
The always awesome Chop Shop Store teamed up with The Planetary Society to create 20 wooden blocks, each featuring a planet, dwarf planet, or moon from our solar system, and printed with useful data. They’re also offering space-themed add-ons like posters, tees, and stickers. Shipping starts 11/2019.
Want a real coloring challenge? Grab this book which features 35 amazing full-color images captured by NASA, side-by-side with coloring outlines based on the photos. Grab a set of two-tone space colored pencils and you’ve got a great gift for any astronomy fan.
We love the perspectives in the latest vid from Harun Mehmedinovic and Gavin Heffernan of the Skyglow Project. Here, they offer a glimpse into what our evenings might have been like if we had lived with the ancient Anasazi. Bonus: an appearance at 1:03 by something bloody good.
Filmmaker Felix Deirich used data and imagery from Japan’s Himawari-8 meteorological satellite to produce a truly hypnotic time-lapse film of the Earth, captured over the course of a year. Watch in awe as clouds swirl, and storm systems materialize and move across the globe.
Acme Globes’ sweet spherical maps roll smoothly in any direction on ball bearings integrated in a handmade cork or birch base. Magnets at the poles allow it to spin on its axis like a regular globe too. Each 14.75″ globe features a map of the stars on the inside, and Kickstarter backers get a bonus 4″ moon globe.
Best Made Co. and illustrator Ross MacDonald present a limited-edition series of enamel-coated steel dinnerware, featuring a rich blue backdrop and constellation imagery, inspired by the night sky while camping out. Available in mugs, plates, and bowls, each sold in sets of two.
Kurzgesagt takes on one of the most bizarre and terrifying objects in the universe: neutron stars. Formed when certain giant stars collapse, neutron stars are made of strange matter, which are theoretically “perfectly stable.” And that’s where Physics and English disagree.
We usually tune in to Melodysheep’s YouTube channel to listen to his songs, but this time, he’s brought us something even more compelling – a 10-minute review of the last 13.8 billion years, with narration by Brian Cox, Carl Sagan, and David Attenborough.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory has been capturing high-def images of our sun for more than 7 years. Here’s footage captured by two of their systems – the larger one showing visible light, the smaller one showing extreme UV light, and the line graph displays sunspot activity.
Terence Malick’s long awaited documentary about the birth and death of the universe. Voyage of Time will have two versions: a 40-minute cut narrated by Brad Pitt, and a feature length – and undoubtedly more epic – cut narrated by Cate Blanchett. Premieres 10/2016.
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