Publicity picture of Nikola Tesla sitting in his laboratory in Colorado Springs with his “Magnifying transmitter” generating millions of volts. The arcs are about 7 meters (23 ft) long. (Tesla’s notes identify this as a multiple exposure photograph.)
Vintage Artistic Views of Astronomy
1. Group of sun spots and veiled spots
Credit: E.L. TrouvelotIn the 1800s, creating astronomical images was more an art than it is today and the New York Public Library is digitally preserving a series of stunning images created by the by French-born artist Etienne Leopold Trouvelot.
here, Trouvelot’s chromolithograph of a group of sun spots and veiled spots. Observed on June 17, 1875.
2. Artistic Astronomy Aurora Borealis
Credit: E.L. Trouvelot/NYPLA chromolithograph of Aurora Borealis. As observed March 1, 1872.
3. Mare Humorum by Trouvelot
Credit: E.L. Trouvelot/NYPLA chromolithograph of Mare Humorum. From a study made in 1875
4. Partial eclipse of the moon by Trouvelot
Credit: E.L. Trouvelot/NYPLA chromolithograph of the partial eclipse of the moon. Observed October 24, 1874
On Oct. 4, 1957, Sputnik 1 successfully launched and entered Earth’s orbit. Thus, began the space age. The successful launch shocked the world, giving the former Soviet Union the distinction of putting the first human-made object into space. The word ‘Sputnik’ originally meant ‘fellow traveler,’ but has become synonymous with ‘satellite’ in modern Russian.
This historic image shows a technician putting the finishing touches on Sputnik 1, humanity’s first artificial satellite. The pressurized sphere made of aluminum alloy had five primary scientific objectives: Test the method of placing an artificial satellite into Earth orbit; provide information on the density of the atmosphere by calculating its lifetime in orbit; test radio and optical methods of orbital tracking; determine the effects of radio wave propagation though the atmosphere; and, check principles of pressurization used on the satellites.
Image Credit: NASA/Asif A. Siddiqi
Welcome Home Apollo 8
Although it was past 2 a.m. on Dec. 29, 1968, more than 2,000 people were on hand at Ellington Air Force Base to welcome the members of the Apollo 8 crew back home. Astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders had just flown to Houston from the Pacific recovery area near Hawaii. The three crewmen of the historic Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission are standing at the microphones in center of picture.
Image Credit: NASA
“The Widow”, example of late 19th century popular painting by Dielman, mass produced as a colour lithograph.
Mercury Space Capsule Undergoes Testing
The Mercury space capsule undergoes testing in the Full Scale Wind Tunnel at Langley Research Center in Jan., 1959.
This image was taken on Jan. 22, 1959.
Image Credit: NASA/Taub
Piercing the Edge of the Final Frontier
In the Image : 1949: The first U.S. rocket to reach what can be regarded as “outer space” is launched from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
The rocket, a modified German V-2 ballistic missile, attained the unprecedented altitude of 244 miles, putting it well above the more-or-less arbitrary Kármán line later established by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale as the dividing line between the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere and geospace. The Kármán line is 100 kilometers [62 miles] high.
Most of the U.S. ballistic missile and rocket booster programs spouted from the V-2 — developed during World War II and christened Vergeltungswaffe Zwei, or Vengeance Weapon 2, by the Germans.
Late in the war, the Germans used the V-2 to attack long-distance targets, especially London. The rocket’s trajectory took it close to the edge of space, and one was reported to reach 189 kilometers in early 1942.
As the American armies advanced into a collapsing Nazi Germany, scores of V-2 rockets fell into their hands. Following Germany’s surrender, these rockets were shipped back to the United States and eventually wound up at White Sands, where the nation’s first ballistic testing ground was established.
With the rockets came a number of the German specialists who had developed them, and they helped form the nucleus of America’s nascent ballistic-missile program. Among them was the biggest catch of all, Wernher von Braun.
The rockets did not arrive intact but rather as component parts, which were then assembled and modified as needed — under von Braun’s supervision — for various experiments. The White Sands project stood second only to atomic research on the nation’s defense-priority list.
The V-2 stands as the direct ancestor to every early American rocket, including the Redstone, Nike and Atlas.
The first White Sands V-2 was static-fired in March 1946, and a full launch followed a month later. By the end of June 1951, 67 V-2 rockets had been launched at White Sands. Among them, the rocket sent up Feb. 24, 1949, stands out for its milestone achievement.
Source: NASA, White Sands Missile Range
Albert Einstein, Rock Star
He made science cool, turned bad hair good—and there’s that tongue photo. by Thomas Levenson
Bob Dylan came up with one way to remember Albert Einstein: “Now you would not think to look at him/But he was famous long ago/For playing the electric violin/On Desolation Row.”
This is the pure distillate of celebrity. Dylan’s folk-rock vision of “Einstein, disguised as Robin Hood” is one in which the original man has disappeared into a symbolic fog where more or less any meaning may be found. Nowadays, such content-less fame has become common, though there aren’t many out there who match Einstein for resonance. But when he first exploded into public view, there were no precedents. No scientist before or since has so completely transcended the role of expert to become a universal emblem of reason.
It is possible to fix almost to the day the moment when Einstein became an icon. On November 6, 1919, he was still a private person. But that night, the Royal Society held a special meeting in London to announce the results of observations that seemed to confirm Einstein’s theory of gravity, the general theory of relativity. As The Times of London reported in a headline the next day, the society concluded that the work amounted to a “Revolution in Science—New Theory of the Universe—Newton’s Ideas Overthrown.” Three days later, The New York Times picked the story up, blaring that there were “Lights All Askew in the Heavens…[the] stars [were] not where they seemed or were calculated to be.” From there the word spread around the globe until, by the turn of the year, Albert Einstein had crossed the point of no return: He was and has remained public property. But that raises questions: Why him, why then, why still?
John Glenn on the cover of Life magazine, February 2, 1962
The photo, a portrait of Glenn in his space helmet, appeared on Life’s February 2, 1962 issue — 50 years ago this week. It wasn’t until 9:47 am EST on February 20, after a number of delays, that Glenn’s “Friendship 7” Mercury space capsule was thrown into space atop a new Atlas rocket. When he returned to Earth four hours, fifty-five minutes, and twenty-three seconds later, Glenn was the greatest American aviation hero since Charles Lindbergh.
Meet my Friends
One Giant Leap for Mankind
In one of the many iconic photos from the Apollo 11 mission of July 1969, Buzz Aldrin, the second man to step foot on the moon, is pictured standing by the American flag. In all, six of NASA’s Apollo missions landed astronauts on the moon between 1969 and 1972.