Archive for the 'Space' Category

Watch the next Solar Eclipse in Second Life

July 02nd, 2008 | Category: Education, Environmental, RL Meets SL, Science, Space

Solar Eclipse
Here is something pretty cool, and even if you don’t use Second Life, you’ll still be able to enjoy it. On August 1st, the next solar eclipse will happen, and, if you live in the US you won’t be able to see it live, but thankfully, San Francisco’s Exploratorium science museum will be streaming it live inside Second Life.

Second Life users can view the 45-minute Webcast, starting at 3:30 a.m. PDT August 1, on the virtual world’s so-called Exploratorium Island. Avatars can also gather at the Pi Day Theater at the Sploland Sim, at the Science School Sim, and at the Spindrift Sim. The eclipse will be accompanied by video and commentary of Exploratorium and NASA scientists.

Starting July 1, Second Life members and their real-life makers can use Exploratorium Island to learn about solar eclipses, Chinese culture, and solar science. Source:

Non Second Life users will also be able to watch the solar eclipse on the exploratorium website.

On August 1, 2008, a total solar eclipse will occur as the new moon moves directly between the sun and the earth. The moon’s umbral shadow will fall first on Canada, then zoom across northern Greenland, the Arctic, central Russia, Mongolia, and into China, where an Exploratorium team will be waiting. Our fifth eclipse expedition brings our team to remote Xinjiang Provence in northwestern China, very close to the Mongolian border, where we’ll Webcast the eclipse live. Please check back, as the date nears, for more details.

Check here for more details.

Popularity: 50%

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The Power of the Dark Side: How Dark Matter and Dark Energy dominate our Universe

April 04th, 2008 | Category: Discussion, Science, Space, Technology

The MICA - VW Astrophysics group is sponsoring a talk Friday April 4th at 8 a.m. Pacific, 11 a.m. Eastern, 3 p.m. GMT/UTC at the Galaxy Dome on Spaceport Bravo (LM attached). The title of Rob’s talk is “The Power of the Dark Side: How Dark Matter and Dark Energy dominate our Universe.”

Rob Knop (Prospero Frobozz in SL) was on the team that discovered the accelerating expansion of the universe. The presentation and the discussion afterwards are aimed at the general public.

Second Life URL

Popularity: 11%

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Privateer Space: Scourge of the Red Planet

March 20th, 2008 | Category: Aribella Lafleur, Sims Worth Exploring, Space

Privateer Space: Scourge of the Red Planet by Aribella Lafleur

Diving rapidly through the shimmering, folded moonlight towards certain death, I braced for the inevitable crash. Absorbed by my panic, I missed the spectacular view of the planet beneath; a rugged brocade, stained with the ochre-blood of the land. Jagged rust-tipped outcroppings interspersed between the gently sculpted plains broke the monotony of the dusty scene, which merged seamlessly into the birth of a coppery sunrise.

My head jerked alarmingly as the freighter clipped house-sized boulders like a frog evading the cleaver of a French chef. The impact left chunks of the container ship, akin to a breadcrumb trail, strewn across the planetscape, its cargo of EVA suits scattered like the clothing of young lovers.

Grinding to a halt amidst clouds of choking red dust, the remains of the ship teetered on the brink of a precipice. A held breath (one I had feared would be my final gasp) escaped my lungs as I checked myself over for compound fractures, broken nails and tears in my dress. Apart from whiplash and a skinned knee I had survived virtually unscathed. Had I been a cat, I would have been down to my ninth life…. Not feeling particularly feline, I considered buying a lottery ticket but discarded the idea since I had already used up a triple-helping of good fortune.

The Twister

My luck held out long enough for the entire crew to drag themselves from the wreckage moments before the crumpled shell lurched and tipped over the rim to slide down the cliff, finally exploding in a ball of flames. We peered over the edge, watching in awe a scene which rivalled the special effects of a Hollywood cinematic experience.

The restless world, alive with distant deep rumblings, dragged us back from our silent gaping. We fled the onslaught of dust storms and twisters, giving a wide berth to abandoned vessels and space junk in which the local wildlife (human-sized reptilian creatures and giant goggle-eyed slug beasts) had taken up residence.

Tripping over each other as we scurried across the uneven ground, my comrades and I distractedly tumbled into a valley which housed a remote weather station. The commotion drew the attention of a sanitation droid who was busy washing clothes. For a nominal fee the robot cleaned my discoloured dress and gave us directions to the major mining outpost on the planet.

Washing

The droid also offered us fresh vegetables from his crop, but cautioned us against using the station’s vending machine which had not been restocked in the last decade. In true vandal style, my team set to tilting and rocking the machine until it yielded up an assortment of comestibles including a sludge-filled foam cup (smelling vaguely of coffee) and two suspiciously pulsating burritos which were instantly devoured by the ravenous horde.

Don’t Buy the Burrito

I opted to sample some fresh hydroponically grown produce from the greenhouse as much to escape the burrito-induced methane expulsions of my lackeys as from any desire to dine.

Hydroponics

We continued walking, the crunching of pebbles underfoot covering the sound (if not the disturbing odour) of my fellows as we marched towards the harsh afternoon sun. As the sun sank into bronzed twilight, drawing with it our depleted spirits, the fractious band of stranded pirates began throwing rocks. A challenge to pitch the farthest distance ensued, with boasts far exceeding the skill of the participants.
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Popularity: 25%

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4th Annual Satellite Exhibition

March 13th, 2008 | Category: Exhibit, Exploration, Places to Visit, Space, timeless prototype

Coming March 22nd, 2008 - 4th Annual Satellite Exhibition. Learn more about science, space and innovative scripted creations in Second Life.

Looks pretty neat.

4th Annual Satellite Exhibition

4th Annual Satellite Exhibition 2

From the group information:
4th Annual Satellite Exhibition
This year’s event is in March 2008

The exhibition seeks to demonstrate the various autonomous, moving, scripted projects that Second Life residents have created.

Hosted by Timeless Prototype

Gold sponsors:
Wayne Porter

4th Annual Satellite Exhibition 3

4th Annual Satellite Exhibition 4
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Popularity: 11%

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Privateer Space: a Galactic Mistake…

February 26th, 2008 | Category: Aribella Lafleur, Places to Visit, Sims Worth Exploring, Space

Privateer Space: a Galactic Mistake… by Aribella Lafleur

For a select few, the thirst for adventure can never be slaked; whilst others are the unwilling victims of circumstance - dragged through Interesting Times with their designer sunglasses blinkering their eyes and iTunes filling their ears. Some choose to seize the day with gold-tipped tweezers or attempt to hurriedly capture it under a glass, lest it escape and bite them. Caught with both tweezers and glass in hand, I….

Into the Void

…Stirred to the disquieting awareness that I was trapped in the frigid confines of a space vessel, glazed eyes staring out through fogged breath and frosted portals into the swirling abyss. Wiping a trace of drool from my chin, I tried to comprehend how I could have been transported to the far reaches of the cosmos. Seeds of remembrance awakened slowly within the swirling miasma inside my skull. Replaying the scene in my mind, it became yet another tardy reminder about the hazards of drinking with a crowd of pirates in a seedy tavern.

It has been said that in the depths of the void no one can hear your scream. My crew heard. Far-reaching galaxies will hear, in millennia to come, that primal scream and the angry tirade that ensued…to no avail. I was caught like a hamster in a wheel, with nowhere to run. As asteroids whizzed past faster than I could say “Where’s the brake?” I closed my gaping mouth and reached for a seatbelt, assuming the increasingly familiar crash position.

Exploring Space

Our route meandered through the treacherous asteroid field towards a giant hunk of rock which appeared to contain a drab and dreary refueling station. The promise of a chocolate bar was enough to add a mote of excitement, but the turbulent landing dampened my growing enthusiasm.

Asteroids

Galactic Truckstop

We carefully entered a dimly-lit teleport chamber, the walls slick from years of grease deposits. Abruptly and haphazardly transported in a jumbled huddle, we landed in a rather unexceptional galactic truck stop convenience store. Passing the reeking rest rooms (which were, of course, out of order; a mandatory feature of truck stops throughout the known universe and possibly beyond) my space-pirate crew followed their assaulted olfactory organs to the source of the fried, fatty cooking smells – the diner.
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Popularity: 27%

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Jump to Privateer Space

January 12th, 2008 | Category: Places to Visit, Sims Worth Exploring, Space

The sim Privateer Space is definitely one you will want to check out, if only to get the free space ship, and especially if you are a Star Wars fan. ;)

I noticed a post on New World Notes about it, he mentioned a post by Gwyneth Llewelyn in which she creates her own story around the sim, much like Aribella’s stories on this blog, it is worth a read. So, I’m going to leave the storytelling to them and just show some pics and some info. Here is a quote from Gwyn’s post:

“Gwyneth,” Commander Au said to me, twirling his moustache behind the floating desk at HQ. “We have, uh… an issue.”

I dropped the pad on my lap and looked up to him. His mischievous smile was getting on my nerves. Sighing, I scratched my head, and mumbled: “What issue?” Source: To Boldly Go To Where No Avatar Has Gone Before

Privateer Space

Privateer Space 2

They have a challenge called The Kessel Run, which is supposed to be the longest straightaway distance in Second Life, from the notecard:

This is not a race, there is no start time and no prizes, it is a challenge

The object of this challenge is to deliver some imaginary important cargo from the southern most point of the main two linked SL continents to the northernmost point.

Seems simple right? TRY THE SL KESSEL AND SEE FOR YOURSELF!!! :D

RULES
(1) must use a flying physics vehicle (any will do)
(2) must use the SAME vehicle with no mods to get to the finish point. you can re use as many copies as necessary, just not a different vehicle.
(3) must copy your crash locations (the notices you get in text when you kabloowy) to notepad, a notecard etc, then restart in the Sim listed. if there are no rez areas in the sim ?
you may go to the EAST or WEST nearest sims to try, NOT A NORTHERN SIM! North is the direction your goal is.

That’s it!
Note: if you fly between altitudes 800m and 900m you will both avoid builds and be low enough to prevent ejection from full parcel crossings :)

*The Kessel Run was an 18-parsec route used by smugglers to move glitterstim spice from Kessel to an area south of the Si’Klaata Cluster without getting caught by the Imperial ships that were guarding the movement of spice from Kessel’s mines. Worlds along the Kessel Run included Fwillsving, Randa, Rion, and possibly Zerm.

It took travelers in real space around The Maw leading them to an uninhabitable—but far easier to navigate—area of space called The Pit, which was an asteroid cluster encased in a nebula arm making sensors as well as pilots go virtually blind. Thus there was a high chance that pilots, weary from the long flight through real space, would crash into an asteroid.

Han Solo claimed that his Millennium Falcon “made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.” The parsec is a unit of distance, not time. Solo was not referring directly to his ship’s speed when he made this claim. Instead, he was referring to the shorter route he was able to travel by skirting the nearby Maw black hole cluster, thus making the run in under the standard distance. However, parsec relates to time in that a shorter distance equals a shorter time at the same speed. By moving closer to the black holes, Solo managed to cut the distance down to about 11.5 parsecs. The smuggler, BoShek, actually beat Solo’s record in his ship, Infinity, but without cargo to weigh him down.

A few months later, Han Solo beat both his own and BoShek’s records in a run he made with Luke Skywalker.

Privateer Space 3
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Popularity: 8%

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Space, the Second Life Frontier

October 13th, 2007 | Category: Sims to Explore, Space

Space

Just visited a pretty cool sim, Space on Euclidia, a representation of the planets in our Solar System, it certainly doesn’t have the typical layout. Everything is inside this planet.

Space the outside

The initial teleport takes you to a platform floating outside the Earth, with this big cube above it and a ring circling it.

Space the Earth

From the platform, you can walk to the Earth and into it and you will see all the planets on the inside, and it looks like you are inside the Sun.

Inside the Earth
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Popularity: 7%

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Spaceport Alpha - International Spaceflight Museum

September 08th, 2007 | Category: Sims to Explore, Space

Here is a pretty cool place, if you are interested in being an astronaut, a rocket scientist, or just like space stuff in general, the International Spaceflight Museum at Spaceport Alpha (115, 157, 22) PG is a place you ant to check out. They have videos you can watch at anytime, they have one with astronomers talking about stars and some new extra technique, the next one was an early broadcast of a rocket taking off. Pretty cool spot.

International Spaceflight Museum
Upcoming Events List

All events are free. Some events are posted at short notice and so this notecard might not be up-to-date. To find all events, click on “Search” at the bottom of your window, select the “Events” tab, then enter “spaceflight” in the Name/Desc text box, and click “Search”.

Always On:
A Live NASA TV feed is always available to be seen at the museum. There are two screens at the main stage and a third, smaller screen in the gallery under the ring of rockets, to the right of the main walkway at Spaceport Alpha (105, 93, 23).

Events Notifications:
If you would like to be notified whenever there is an event happening at the International Spaceflight Museum, then join the open-enrollment group “Spaceflight Museum Happenings”. To do that, click on the “Search” button at the bottom of your screen, select the “Groups” tab, search for “Spaceflight”, select “Spaceflight Museum Happenings” and then join the group. If you want help with this, IM Troy McLuhan.

Check out the information for this class

Rocket Class is on summer vacation July and August

Rocket Workshops may occur at any time on the sandbox

Rocket Class is taught by Mad Rocket Scientist Jimbo Perhaps to assist the next generation of Second Life Rocketeers.

Launched May 1, 2007 on University of Denver Science School, across the creek from International Spaceflight Museum, and moved June 1 to Space Frontier sandbox.

Week 1 - Rocket Intro Class:
Intro to rockets in Second Life. What makes a rocket “real”? Physics.
Tour the new Jimbo Perhaps Rocket Garden on Space Frontier.
Rocket launches and rides from Rocket Class.

Week 2 - Rocket Building Class
Basics of building in Second Life. Build a simple rocket shape. Tips on building more advanced shapes.

Week 3 - Rocket Texturing Class
Using textures to make your rocket look realistic. Finding, making and uploading textures.

Week 4 - Rocket Scripting Class
Using particle/texture effects and physics in your scripts to make rockets fly realistically.

Join Second Life Group “The Rocketeers” for updates, news and community support.

Join Second Life Group “Space Frontier” and bring your space and rocket projects to the sandbox.

Here are some great pics and the Second Life URL.

Spaceport Alpha - International Spaceflight Museum 1

Spaceport Alpha - International Spaceflight Museum 2

Spaceport Alpha - International Spaceflight Museum 3

Spaceport Alpha - International Spaceflight Museum 4

Here is their visitor guide.

Spaceport Alpha Visitors Guide

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West Shore
=======

The first place you arrive, the Landing Point, has informational plaques, a donation jar,

and flags from all of the countries represented by exhibits at the International Spaceflight
Museum (ISM). Directly to the northeast
(toward the center of the Rocket Ring) is a
“welcome” table with lemonade and a laptop.

Email laptops (courtesy of aEolus Computers) are located at several places around the ISM.
You can click on them to email suggestions or comments to the museum staff.

Across the path from the
welcome table is a height measurer. Since the rocket models
on the Rocket Ring are built to full-scale, it is useful to keep in mind the size of your
Second Life avatar for comparison.

To the southwest of the Landing Point (on your left as you face the rocket ring) is the
Planetarium. There you will find a short NASA
video, an interactive exhibit of the
constellations, and a telescope.

North of the Landing Point is the Canadian Robot Arm (”Canadarm”). This is an interactive
exhibit. the Canadian Arm is used to assemble spacecraft on orbit.

Further north, beyond the Canadarm is the Gemini 4/Titan II, an interactive exhibit blasting

off into low earth orbit. Right click, choose board, and say +blastoff. (Don’t forget the +
sign.)

When you get off the Gemini rocket, use the teleporters to take a tour of the

Solar System, including the Asteroid belt, with a side trip to the surface of Mars.

At the Gemini platform is a teleporter to go directly to the stratosphere and on to the
LEO (Low Earth Orbit) platform, bypassing the rocket ride if you wish.

North of the Gemini rocket ride there is a model of the Viking Lander. Click the sign for a
notecard with more information about this detailed exhibit.

Beyond the Viking is a model of the Soviet Union’s N-1 Moon rocket. Again, click the sign for a notecard.

Eastern Shore
=========

At the Northeast corner of the ISM we have a model of the Saturn V, built to full scale. Click the

sign for a notecard. Next to the rocket is a model of the launch (umbilical) tower. You can walk up the

stairs (144 meters) for an aerial view of the ISM. Just be sure your avatar is in good

physical shape and you have a lot of time!

Alternatively, you can use the elevator on the platform to go to the top of the
Saturn V and
beyond to the elevator platform under the upper sim’s “space” level. Say “goto floor 1″
(or 2 or 0),
with no space between “go” and “to.” From the platform you can teleport to the LEO (low earth orbit)
platform.

South of the Saturn V is a model of the Space Shuttle on its “stack” — external tank and
secondary booster rockets (SRBs).

In the southeastern corner of the ISM you will find an interactive map of Cape Canaveral. There are red

and blue markers on the map. Click on each red marker for a notecard with information about
the point of interest it indicates.

South Shore
========

West of Cape Canaveral is the NPL exhibit, a guest installation from the National Physical Laboratory in the UK.

Follow the brick path beyond the NPL pavilion to the Gift Shop.

A model of the Voyager space probe is at the end of the walkway that goes in front of the Gift Shop.
Click on the sign in front of it for a notecard.

On a platform above the walkway is the Real Time Satellite Propagator. This is an interactive exhibit
that rezzes
satellite models that move into their real time orbital positions above the earth.

South of the Satellite Propagator is a small park with a boat landing. Relax awhile, rest your feet
and enjoy listening to the seagulls.

Sim Center
=======

Lower Rocket Ring - The pillars supporting the upper ring have plaques acknowledging some

of the contributors to the ISM. There are also several exhibits on the lower level. On the

eastern curve is a model of the Pluto New Horizons space probe that is presently on its way
to the outer solar system and beyond after being launched in early March 2006.

Upper Rocket Ring - There are many models of rockets here, built to life-size scale. Signs located

around the ring give notecards with information about selected rocket exhibits.

On the upper north east curve (temporary location) is a model of the Space Ship One, the

first space craft built by private enterprise, and the winner of the X-Prize. This model is

to scale. Right click and choose “sit here” to see if you can fit. Keep in mind most Second

Life Avatars are larger than real life.

In the center of the rocket ring is the amphitheater where special programs take place.

On a viewing platform above the amphitheater is a clockwork model of the solar system. Read the
sign to learn how to command the planets to move into position for any specific date (within
some limits).

And here is a Hubble Space Telescope notecard.

The Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was named in honor Edwin Hubble, who, in the 1920s, became the first person to identify galaxies outside of our own Milky Way. Using the 100-inch Hooker Telescope atop Mt. Wilson in Pasadena, California, his findings provided the foundation for the Big Bang Theory and our current understanding of the expanding Universe. Edwin Hubble was named one of Time magazine’s Most Influential People of the 20th century.

The HST was placed in orbit by the crew of Shuttle Discovery on April 25, 1990 and was immediately in trouble due to a poorly-ground mirror. It drifted for three years while scientists and engineers struggled to understand the imaging problem. Finally in December 1993, the crew of Shuttle Endeavour inserted what was, in essence, a contact lens to help the telescope focus.

Since that time, Hubble has orbited the Earth nearly 100,000 times covering roughly 2.3 billion miles. Almost 4,000 astronomers the world over have used Hubble to examine the depths of our Universe, taking over 700,000 images of more than 22,000 astronomical treasures.

Since it began operations back in 1993, Hubble has been in need of basic repairs. Gyroscopes need to be replaced and some of its batteries are failing. NASA has been leery of sending a Shuttle for a repair mission because the telescope’s orbit is different than that of the International Space Station. If the astronauts run into problems while working on Hubble, there is no “safe haven” for them to turn to. But, in October 2006, NASA announced plans for a repair mission to Hubble, scheduled for Spring of 2008. After that, the Shuttle fleet is slated to be retired in 2010.

For more information, visit:

http://hubblesite.org/
http://hubble.nasa.gov/index.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubble_Space_Telescope

Notecard by Deejr Richez

Popularity: 7%

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