1957 | SOUTH POLE, ANTARCTICA - National Geographic magazine’s Thomas Abercrombie, first correspondent to reach the South Pole, flies the Society’s flag from the Pole while reporting on the International Geophysical Year of 1957-58. (Photo by Thomas J. Abercrombie)
Helios-A and Helios-B (also known as Helios 1 and Helios 2), are a pair of probes launched into heliocentric orbit for the purpose of studying solar processes. A joint venture of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and NASA, the probes were launched from the John F. Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Dec. 10, 1974, and Jan. 15, 1976, respectively.
The probes are notable for having set a maximum speed record among spacecraft at 252,792 km/h (157,078 mi/h or 43.63 mi/s or 70.22 km/s or 0.000234c). Helios 2 flew three million kilometers closer to the Sun than Helios 1, achieving perihelion on 17 April 1976 at a record distance of 0.29 AU (or 43.432 million kilometers), slightly inside the orbit of Mercury. Helios 2 was sent into orbit 13 months after the launch of Helios 1. The Helios space probes completed their primary missions by the early 1980s, but they continued to send data up to 1985. The probes are no longer functional but still remain in their elliptical orbit around the Sun
With the newest generation of Landsat satellites up and snappin’, in orbit over 400 miles above us, NASA continues a mission over a generation in the making: Observing a beautiful and changing planet from above.
This video features 56 photos stitched together in a continuous 19-gigapixel image that stretches from Russia to South Africa. Dig in to the interactive “Long Swath” at NASA’s Earth Observatory. This image covers almost 1.7 million square kilometers, but it would take over 300 of them to paint a picture of all of Earth’s surface.
Bonus: Combine this with Google’s Earth Engine to gain a perspective on our planet once reseved for time-traveling astronauts.
These channels are failing the spirit of conservationism and education. They are failing inspiring awe in young people. Failing much needed inspiration in a very confused and conflicted world.
These shows are failing their core values, their main purpose, which is leadership in environmentalism and cultural education. Far worse, they are failing millions of young people - millions - who look up to them.
Please join me in asking Discovery, Animal Planet, and the History Channels to stop, apologize, and correct.
That’s an important read up there, folks. These “reality” shows are feeding an outdated and unscientific view of predator species. These are channels founded on principles of education and conservation (TLC, of course, left the building years ago). Are they willing to sacrifice that for what appears to be gratuitous bloodsport?
Like any media, you can vote with your eyeballs. And if you support any kind of rights for wild animals and natural spaces, you can not support these programs. If the account above is true, shame on these networks.
It speaks to part of a larger issue with nature films. The amazing footage we see in shows like Africa, Planet Earth, and Frozen Planet is rarely the result of serendipity. It involves years of careful research and preparation to maximize the chances of capturing nature’s majesty on camera, and what is captured is highly edited to create story, drama and emotion. These are uniquely human interests, and nature doesn’t include them in her original script.
That’s not to say we are being fleeced all the time. People like Sir David Attenborough take these concerns very seriously, and constantly strive to find the balance between entertainment and true nature in every varying instance. What we watch is real. But is it REAL?