Fly Over Dwarf Planet Ceres

Thursday, June 11, 2015

"Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious." ― Stephen Hawking

Everyday I'm amazed to be alive. I am so grateful to be alive. I want to explore and live and exist! Space has always been a fascinating subject for me, but I never took the time to educate myself. Now I'm 26 years old and I find myself thinking about space, the universe and our existence. Space films like Interstellar, Gravity, Sunshine, etc. have given me a little insight, but I want to further learn about space. There is so much to learn. I appreciate the minds of Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson. I will put in more effort to listen to StarTalk Radio, start A Brief History in Time (again) and pick up The Science of Interstellar for myself.

June 10th marks the four year anniversary in New York, so I wanted to document the Astronomy Picture of the Day. I don't have the habit of checking it on a daily basis, but once in a while, I will spend a few hours staring at photos of clusters of stars, globulars, nebulae, etc. These photos remind me of how small we are. The history of humans is so brief. Therefore, we must appreciate life and not take it for granted.

Astronomy Picture of the Day 

Fly Over Dwarf Planet Ceres 

Explanation: What would it look like to fly over dwarf planet Ceres? Animators from the German Aerospace Center recently took actual images and height data from NASA's robotic Dawn mission -- currently visiting Ceres -- to generate several fascinating virtual sequences. The featured video begins with a mock orbit around the 950-km wide space rock, with the crater featuring two of the enigmatic white spots soon rotating into view. The next sequences take the viewer around the Ceres' north and south poles, and then over a limb of the dark world highlighting its heavily cratered surface. Here, terrain height on the asteroid belt's largest object has been digitally doubled, while an artificial star field has been added in the background. The Dawn spacecraft will likely remain an unusual artificial moon of Ceres long after its mission concludes.