One of the coolest websites I've discovered recently is this real-time tracking of NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) -- a network of radio telescopes around the planet that keep in constant contact with the many spacecraft we have sent far from home. They are spread out to ensure that at least one of them can send and receive signals to the various spacecraft at all times, as the Earth rotates. The site lets you see which antenna is talking with which spacecraft at any given moment.
Additionally, it provides details on each ground station and each deep space mission, as well as letting you see who is doing the "talking": us or the spacecraft. The DSN is what NASA uses to keep in touch with the famous Voyager spacecraft currently exploring the farthest reaches of the Solar System. I find myself hypnotized from time to time when I see that one of the antennas is currently "talking" to Voyager 1 or 2. It's amazing to me that we can track something so small and so far away.
Here's some local geek for you, relatively speaking:
- The window for acceptable complaining about Daylight Saving Time may be over, but here's some science of how clock time actually differs from sun time.
- Check out this gorgeous gallery of math-inspired artwork from the annual Bridges Conference on connections between art and mathematics.
- Ever wondered how spiders see? Watch this transparent spider's eyes actually move in its head! [VIDEO]
- Ever wish you still had someone to read you a bedtime story? How about a bedtime story FROM SPACE?
- Astronomers solve the mystery of an abnormally bright supernova four years later.
- If you thought octopuses were nature's best mimic, wait till you meet the Boquila vine.
- Winter may be over, but this new axe design makes splitting wood look like child's play. [VIDEO]
- If you think you are in control of what you eat, your brain has some surprises for you.
- The robots that take over the world may not be human-sized, but rather insect-sized. That cockroach may not be what you think it is.
Have a great and geeky week! @Summer_Ash