Sunday, March 02, 2008


Sometimes its not just the fantastic images from space and science that amaze. Sometimes it's the devices man has build to see and explore that amaze also. Click to enlarge.

1.Why do objects have mass? To help find out, Europe's CERN has built the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the most powerful particle accelerator yet created by humans. Pictured above, a person stands in front of the huge ATLAS detector, one of six detectors being attached to the LHC.

2. An intricate network of lighting plays across the 130 foot high Rotating Service Structure (RSS) in this dramatic night view of the Space Shuttle Atlantis on the Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A. Small human figures visible in silhouette emphasize the structure's enormous scale.

3. The imposing structure in the foreground houses the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT), on Mount Graham, Arizona. Inside, the two 8.4 meter diameter mirrors of the LBT really are side-by-side on a common mount, an arrangement mimicking the design of more modest optical equipment usually carried around the neck. While not exactly portable, the benefits of the large scale binocular configuration adopted include an increase in sensitivity over a single mirror telescope and high resolution imaging for faint objects over a relatively wide field of view.

4. The International Space Station (ISS) has been equipped with a powerful new scientific laboratory. The Space Shuttle Atlantis delivered the Columbus Laboratory to the ISS and installed the seven meter long module over the past week. Columbus has ten racks for experiments that can be controlled from the station or the Columbus Control Center in Germany. The first set of experiments includes the Fluid Science Laboratory that will explore fluid properties in the microgravity of low Earth orbit, and Biolab which supports experiments on microorganisms. Future Columbus experiments include an atomic clock that will test minuscule timing effects including those expected by Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.

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