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Posts tagged fun

Baked Exoplanet Gets Lab Treatment

Don’t get too excited, an exoplanet hasn’t really been captured from the cosmic wilds. And no, one of NASA’s boffins isn’t really taking a pair of tongs to the upper atmosphere of a strangely tiny “hot-Jupiter” being baked by a Bunsen burner. The doctored photo is actually a fun metaphor for this golden age of exoplanetary science. In particularly, it illustrates what one NASA space telescope is doing to understand the chemistry and dynamics of a particular Jupiter-sized exoplanet located some 385 light-years away.

Underwater Invasions: Photos

Underwater photographer Jason Isley of, based in South East Asia, might be having a bit too much fun documenting marine organisms.

Actually, I think he’s having just the right amount of fun with these photos! I hope none of his figurines got swallowed though… Awesome.

Blue, Not Red: Did Ancient Mars Look Like This? Is that Earth? Nope! That’s Mars… well, it might’ve been Mars a couple of billion years ago when it had a thick atmosphere and oceans (yes, oceans). Although the inclusion of a Martian biosphere (the green bits) is a little, well, fanciful, software engineer Kevin Gill used real elevation data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Obiter (MRO) to render the planet and then added water and an atmosphere (and a touch of green for some hypothetical Martian vegetation). 

"I am a software engineer by trade and certainly not a planetary scientist, so most of my assumptions were based on simply comparing the Mars terrain to similar features here on Earth (e.g. elevation, proximity to bodies of water, physical features, geographical position, etc) and then using the corresponding textures from the Blue Marble images," Gill told Discovery News.

To be honest Kevin, we think you did an awesome job.

Is this the world’s most annoyingly addictive (and useless) machine? Possibly. But then again, I know quite a few iPhone apps that have less functionality than this piece of kit. Want to build one? Go right ahead!