Did you know that the sunlight you’re looking at now is 8-minutes old? Or that the most common maps completely distort the relative size of countries? Mental Floss Editor-in-Chief Erin McCarthy digs into these and plethora of other facts about our planet in this extensive trivia video.
THE BEST Space
Developed by North American Aviation back in the late 1950s for the U.S. Air Force and NASA, the X-15 was an experimental aircraft that could achieve speeds up to Mach 6.7. Real Engineering delves into the history of this rocket-powered plane, and the innovations and technologies that allowed it fly at insane speeds and altitudes.
How’d you like to spend your weekends in a lunar lander? Catamaran designer Kurt Hughes turned his skills towards building an earthbound structure inspired by the iconic space vehicle. His 250 sq.ft. “fishing shack” sits along the banks of the Columbia River, and is made from carbon fiber panels, plywood, and epoxy.
Ever wondered how big the planets are in science fiction? Well, wonder no longer. MetaBallStudios has you covered with this comparison video that lets you see the massive size differences between a planet like Dwarf Terrace-9 on Rick and Morty, and Reach from Halo. And then there’s Star Trek’s Dyson Sphere.
LEGO continues its collaboration with NASA with a detailed model of the Space Shuttle Discovery. The 2354-piece Creator Expert kit has opening payload bay doors and a robotic arm, along with a model of the Hubble Telescope which stows inside or can be displayed on its own. The finished model measures 21″ l x 13.5″ w x 8.5″ h.
After successfully landing its Perseverance Rover on Mars, NASA has released video of the descent and touchdown of the vehicle on the planet’s surface. Cameras were mounted on the rover, the descent stage, and the protective aeroshell, capturing views of the planet below, upward towards the spacecraft and the rover’s parachute.
The average person blinks roughly 28,800 times per day. You might not think a lot could happen during just a single blink, but that’s not the case. Melodysheep’s short film explains some of the millions and millions of events that happen in the universe in the time it takes to blink. They also made us feel really, really small.
In 2006, astronauts aboard the ISS fitted a decommissioned Russian spacesuit with a radio transmitter and jettisoned it into orbit. SuitSat-1 eventually re-entered Earth’s atmosphere and is presumed to have burned up. But Josh Tanner and Jade van der Lei’s sci-fi horror short film offers a much creepier take on the suit’s fate.
Need a place to keep your spare change, keys, or other small items? These resin spaceman storage bowls are a playful and useful addition for your tabletop or shelf. Each one features an astronaut perched atop a partial asteroid, the ideal spot for storing little doo-dads. It measures 19″ x 19″ x 25″, so it’s bigger than it looks.
Enjoy a journey to the moon every time you take a sip with these cool ceramic coasters. They’re ceramic, so they’re absorbent and feature durable, UV-printed images of the lunar surface. Sold in a set of four. Check out CatchtheBug’s Etsy shop for many more artful coaster designs.
Take out your stress on the entire Solar System with these squishy spheres. The set includes nine full-color planets and a larger Sun for them to orbit around. They’re definitely not to scale, but a squeezy Sun that’s 1.3 million times bigger than Earth isn’t exactly a practical toy to wrap your hand around.
BetterCo. specializes in colorful and challenging jigsaw puzzles. This astronomical puzzle features a dramatic image of the stars, dust, and gas clouds of the Milky Way captured by NASA’s Hubble Telescope. The completed 1000-piece puzzle measures appx. 27.5″ x 19.7″.
Concord Aerospace makes replicas of the switches found in NASA’s space vehicles, including the Apollo command module and the Space Shuttle. The switches feature accurate labeling, and can be wired to control circuits, should you decide to build your own basement simulator. You can also order switches with custom labeling.
Filmmaker Seán Doran processed about a week’s worth of data captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory to create this awe-inspiring UHD video of the Sun’s activity. Max out the resolution, go full screen, dim the lights, and crank up the audio for a truly hypnotic journey to our Solar System’s number one life-giver.
We recently took a tour of a room painted in the world’s blackest paint. DipYourCar applied the same Musou Black paint to a car. The paint absorbs 99.4% of visible light, resulting in a strikingly dark background for a shimmering starfield effect they created with by spraying it with thinner and their HyperShift pearl coat.
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. Add a set of two-tone space colored pencils and you’ve got a great gift for any astronomy fan.
(LOUD) Enjoy some rocketry goodness as Japan’s Interstellar Technologies, shows off a static test of one of their rockets. The ethanol/LOX-powered engine cranks out 12 Kilonewtons of thrust, which sounds like a lot until you realize the Space Shuttle’s solid rocket boosters produced more than 25,000 Kilonewtons of thrust.
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.
Launching a rocket to the Moon isn’t quite as simple as just going straight up and into the sky. Exploring Space provides a great layperson’s explanation of the mechanics at play, starting with an orbit around Earth, a gradual transition to the Moon’s orbit, and descent to the lunar surface. Lear more about orbital mechanics here.
Pretty much every living thing on our planet depends on the sun in one way or another. But what might happen if the Earth didn’t have our solar system to count on and was left out on its own? Kurzgesagt explores the horrible things that might happen to us if a star got too close and knocked Earth out of its orbit.
The Mars Curiosity Rover has been roaming the surface of Mars since 2012. Using AI tech, Curiosityandbeyond upscaled and colorized a series of images captured by the rover over the course of a year. We can’t wait to see what kind of images and data the Perseverence Rover sends home after it lands in early 2021.
The classic NASA “worm” logo is back, and now you can own a memento of this iconic work of graphic design thanks to Register Seven. The company will produce a sweet CNC-machined version of the logo milled from 6061-T6 aluminum, then anodized in NASA red, black, or grey. Measures 7.5″ w x 2″ h x 1″ d.
Seán Doran combined images captured by astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti from the ESRSU image archive to take us on a serene flight above the Southeast corner of North America, passing over Florida, the Bahamas and Cuba for a view of their blue-green waters. Want more? Watch Heaven: The Inner Sound of Outer Space.
Take a walk on the surface of the moon – without leaving your living room or bedroom. These fun circular carpets feature a printed image of the moon on a high-density Polyester fiber pile. It’s comes in sizes from 60cm (~2′) to 180cm (~5’9″), in grey or blue. Earth is also available in rug form.
Imagine, if you will, that the entire 4.5 billion year history of the Earth was collapsed down to a 24-hour single day. Bright Side’s educational video does just that, taking significant events in the development of our world and giving us a relative sense of how closely together they played out.