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Milad Parsian
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Milad Parsian

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Watch ESA astronaut +Andreas Mogensen, commander Sergei Volkov and Aidyn Aimbetov being launched into space on 2 September. Coverage starts at 03:35 GMT (05:35 CEST), with launch at 04:38 GMT (06:38 CEST).

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_Spaceflight/iriss/Watch_iriss_launch_live

Credit: ESA–S. Corvaja, 2015
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#Technology image of the week. The Atacama Desert #Chile , the driest place on Earth – despite being right next to the Pacific Ocean – imaged by ESA’s #ProbaV minisatellite.

http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2015/07/Proba-V_views_Atacama_Desert
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New Horizons Launch to Pluto
Image Credit & Copyright: Ben Cooper
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150712.html

Destination: Pluto. The New Horizons spacecraft roared off its launch pad at Cape Canaveral in Florida, USA in 2006 toward adventures in the distant Solar System. The craft is the fastest spaceships ever launched by humans, having passed the Moon only nine hours after launch, and Jupiter only a year later. After spending almost a decade crossing the Solar System, New Horizons will fly past Pluto on Tuesday. Pluto, officially a planet when New Horizons launched, has never been visited by a spacecraft or photographed up close. After Pluto, the robot spaceship will visit one or more Kuiper Belt Objects orbiting the Sun even further out than Pluto. Pictured, the New Horizons craft launches into space atop a powerful Atlas V rocket.
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The Milky Way from a Malibu Sea Cave
Image Credit & Copyright: +Jack Fusco
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150707.html

What’s happening outside this cave? Nothing unexpected – it’s just the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy passing by. As the Earth turns, the band of our Galaxy appears to rotate and shift along the horizon. The featured image was taken by a photographer who professes a passion for locating sea caves, and who found this spectacular grotto in Leo Carrillo State Park near Malibu, California, USA. After some planning, he timed this single shot image through the 10-meter high cave entrance to show the Milky Way far in the distance. In the foreground, several rocks about one meter across are visible. Visible in the background starscape are millions of stars including the relatively bright and orange Antares, situated just to the right of the image center.
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Can you spot the International Space Station? Seen from #Australia, this image was taken by amateur photographer Dylan O'Donnell as the #ISS passed by the #Moon at 28 800 km/h. At such speeds the weightless research laboratory was visible for only about a third of a second before returning to the dark skies.

Credit: Public domain - Dylan O'Donnell

http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2015/07/Station_Moon_transit
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All the Colors of the Sun
Credit & Copyright: Nigel Sharp (NSF), FTS, NSO, KPNO, AURA, NSF
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150628.html

It is still not known why the Sun's light is missing some colors. Here are all the visible colors of the Sun, produced by passing the Sun's light through a prism-like device. The spectrum was created at the McMath-Pierce Solar Observatory and shows, first off, that although our white-appearing Sun emits light of nearly every color, it does indeed appear brightest in yellow-green light. The dark patches in the above spectrum arise from gas at or above the Sun's surface absorbing sunlight emitted below. Since different types of gas absorb different colors of light, it is possible to determine what gasses compose the Sun. Helium, for example, was first discovered in 1870 on a solar spectrum and only later found here on Earth. Today, the majority of spectral absorption lines have been identified - but not all.
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Some of the benefits of Linux over Windows that have become increasingly clear for me this year (having switched full-time):

- Software upgrades that don't charge annually, nor restrict access until you pay. Now I can just upgrade when I choose, and donate when I'm able to. 

- Software license simplification (no more activation, or need to activate a certain version to be able to activate another certain version etc.)

- Better built-in privacy, more control over privacy.

- Clouded accounts are not the default

- System performance and uptime

- Don't need to buy an expensive computer just so its native OS runs well, before even getting into apps. 

- More immediate access to batch processing post-OS install (like piping a filename search into ffmpeg)

- Don't need to play a classicism game of "buy the PRO version of Windows so you can gain disk encryption. Home versions aren't eligible."

- Rescuing data is much easier. Any live CD will do, even ones from 5+ years ago. 

- Looser association between partition map type and file system type. Linux recognizes and can automount more mixes.

- More apps/solutions/workflows on linux are multi-platform. You can use them on Windows or OS X should you need to. Not so much with Win/Mac going the other way. They try to limit you and lock you down with dynamics of exclusivity/walled gardens. 
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Pluto in Enhanced Color
Image Credit: +NASA, Johns Hopkins Univ./APL, Southwest Research Inst.
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150831.html

Pluto is more colorful than we can see. Color data and images of our Solar System's most famous dwarf planet, taken by the robotic New Horizons spacecraft during its flyby in July, have been digitally combined to give an enhanced view of this ancient world sporting an unexpectedly young surface. The featured enhanced color image is not only esthetically pretty but scientifically useful, making surface regions of differing chemical composition visually distinct. For example, the light-colored heart-shaped Tombaugh Regio on the lower right is clearly shown here to be divisible into two regions that are geologically different, with the leftmost lobe Sputnik Planum also appearing unusually smooth. New Horizons now continues on beyond Pluto, will continue to beam back more images and data, and will soon be directed to change course so that it can fly past asteroid 2014 MU69 in 2019 January.
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The ISS and a Colorful Moon
Image Credit & Copyright: +Dylan O'Donnell 
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150731.html

Tonight's Full Moon, the second Full Moon in July, could be called a blue moon according to modern folklore. But this sharp and detailed mosaic, recorded with telescope and digital camera just before July's first Full Moon, actually does show a colorful lunar surface. The colors have been enhanced in the processed image but are real nonetheless, corresponding to real differences in the chemical makeup of the lunar surface. Also easy to see especially when the Moon is near full phase, bright rays from 85 kilometer wide Tycho crater at the upper right extend far across the lunar surface. Against the southern lunar highlands above and right of Tycho is an amazingly detailed silhouette of the International Space Station. Seen from Byron Bay, NSW Australia on June 30, the ISS lunar transit lasted about 1/3 of a second, captured with a fast shutter speed in burst mode.
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Charon
Image Credit: +NASA, Johns Hopkins Univ./APL, Southwest Research Inst.
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150717.html

Icy world Charon is 1,200 kilometers across. That makes Pluto's largest moon only about 1/10th the size of planet Earth but a whopping 1/2 the diameter of Pluto itself. Charon is seen in unprecedented detail in this image from New Horizons. The image was captured late July 13 during the spacecraft's flight through the Plutonian system from a range of less than 500,000 kilometers. For reference, the distance separating Earth and Moon is less than 400,000 kilometers. Charonian terrain, described as surprising, youthful, and varied, includes a 1,000 kilometer swath of cliffs and troughs stretching below center, a 7 to 9 kilometer deep canyon cutting the curve of the upper right edge, and an enigmatic dark north polar region unofficially dubbed Mordor.
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Amazing!
 
NASA Space Shuttle Columbia Launch: June 25, 1992 | STS-50
The Space Shuttle Columbia lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at 12:12 p.m. (EDT) on June 25, 1992. Five NASA astronauts and two scientists/payload specialists were aboard, beginning a 13-day trip that would feature extensive research in the U.S. Microgravity Laboratory I. Altogether, 31 experiments were completed, and the crew landed on July 9.

Space Shuttle Columbia was the first space-rated Space Shuttle in NASA's orbiter fleet. It launched for the first time on mission STS-1 on April 12, 1981—the first flight of the Space Shuttle program. Over 22 years of service it completed 27 missions before disintegrating during re-entry near the end of its 28th mission, STS-107 on February 1, 2003, resulting in the deaths of all seven crew members.

Credit: NASA

+NASA's Kennedy Space Center 
+NASA Johnson Space Center 

#NASA #Space #ISS #Shuttle #Columbia #Launch #STS50
#Astronauts #History #Kennedy #KSC #Florida #USA #UnitedStates
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An Unusual Mountain on Asteroid Ceres
Image Credit: +NASA, +NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory-Caltech, UCLA, MPS/DLR/IDA
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150630.html

What created this large mountain on asteroid Ceres? No one is yet sure. As if in anticipation of today being Asteroid Day on Earth, the robotic spacecraft Dawn in orbit around Ceres took the best yet image of an unusually tall mountain on the Asteroid Belt's largest asteroid. Visible at the top of the featured image, the exceptional mountain rises about five kilometers up from an area that otherwise appears pretty level. The image was taken about two weeks ago from about 4,400 kilometers away. Although origin hypotheses for the mountain include volcanism, impacts, and plate tectonics, clear evidence backing any of these is currently lacking. Also visible across Ceres' surface are some enigmatic light areas: bright spots whose origin and composition that also remain an active topic of investigation. Even though Dawn is expected to continue to orbit Ceres, officially dubbed a dwarf planet, for millions of years, the hydrazine fuel used to point Dawn's communications antenna toward Earth is expected to run out sometime next year.
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I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. (Galileo Galilei)
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