29 July 2011
Category:
Solar Explorer
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Unimaginable quantities of water

In keeping with the solar-system-is-wet theme I’ve had going of late, I read an article earlier this week about the discovery of a huge cloud of water vapour in a galaxy 12 billion light years from our home. The scientists that made this announcement have calculated the this cloud contains 140 trillion times more water […]


28 July 2011
Category:
Solar Explorer
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It rains on Saturn?

In a previous post I commented that the Solar System is soaking wet. Today we learned that there’s rain falling on Saturn. OK, so it’s not exactly a downpour. The “rain” is water vapor that’s being sprayed into space by ice volcanoes on Enceladus, a tiny fraction of which ends up raining onto Saturn. This […]


28 July 2011
Category:
Commentary
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Is Google losing the plot?

I have something I need to get off my chest. I’m finding that I’m not liking Google as much as I used to. I recently realised that I’d started to feel this way around the time that I decided to become an Android developer, and it’s only been getting worse since then. Becoming an App […]


25 July 2011
Category:
Solar Explorer
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Goodbye Shuttle, you won’t be missed

As a child and a science-fiction fan, I was swept up in the romanticism of the Shuttle, and recall vividly watching Columbia blast off on TV, back in 81. With it’s futuristic plane like design, it promised to usher in a new era of easy access to space. Unfortunately, the Shuttle turned out to be […]


25 July 2011
Category:
Solar Explorer
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Internal planet structure

This time I’ve been working on putting more detail into the planet descriptions, starting with the first three planets: Mercury, Venus and Earth + Luna. The first change has been to add a row of buttons to the bottom of the information box, which will eventually allow the user to select different pages of information […]


20 July 2011
Category:
Solar Explorer
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Dawn’s at Vesta, where’s the pics?

It was great to hear that Dawn successfully arrived in orbit around Vesta, however there’s one thing missing… the photos! So far, all we’ve had is a couple of blurry shots as Dawn approached Vesta, and a single shot now that it’s in orbit. According to the NASA watch, even though Dawn’s been captured by […]


17 July 2011
Category:
Solar Explorer
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Dawn’s arrival

We should hear a bit later today whether Dawn has successfully entered orbit around Vesta. The reason for the delay is that the ion engines have been in use for some time as Dawn made it’s approach to Vesta, which has resulted in the communications dish being pointed away from Earth. Continuing my personal celebration […]


16 July 2011
Category:
Solar Explorer
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Dawn over Vesta

There’s certainly a lot happening in space lately. The shuttle reitring, the Chinese talking about putting up a space station soon and Virgin Galactic’s first commercial flight getting closer. One which interests me in particular is the arrival of NASA’s Dawn probe at Vesta, the second largest asteroid in the belt. As it stands we […]


1 July 2011
Category:
Solar Explorer
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Deimos and Phobos

Time for a new update to Solar Explorer. I’ve continued to re-work the back-end to make it more flexible for adding objects to the Solar System, which has allowed me to add realistic models of Deimos and Phobos to Mars. These two moons are now the smallest objects in Solar Explorer, handily smashing my previous […]