Home > Cool Tech > Pursuit Of Light: NASA offers your weekly dose of…

Pursuit Of Light: NASA offers your weekly dose of space porn

Let’s be honest: We’ve spent all week slaving away at work in an effort to appease the entirely theoretical gods of capitalism, and now that it’s the weekend, we just want to relax and be entertained. Sure, the local theaters are playing The Avengers, and it is Free Comic Book Day, but for those whose geek cred leans more heavily toward the hard sciences, there’s no better passive entertainment than NASA’s latest promotional video.

Dubbed “Pursuit Of Light,” the six-and-a-half minute clip is more or less a montage of the kinds of gorgeous imagery the space agency creates and compiles as a result of its quest to explore the skies. On paper, a description of the thing would seem dry and dull. Weather patterns over the Pacific don’t exactly inspire wide-eyed anticipation. Yet once you actually see these things through the eyes of NASA’s billion-dollar technology, it’s hard to resist screaming at your nearest elected official for the eternal budget cuts the agency faces.

Of particular note is the sequence that kicks off at the video’s 2:10 mark. It would appear to be a CGI flyby of the lunar surface, but in truth it’s compiled from real images of our moon, artfully rotated and maneuvered to offer a stunning glimpse of a celestial body that very few human beings will ever see. Granted, in sum, it’s a bunch of mountains and shadows, but flying over the surface to the strains of a dramatic soundtrack really drives home the majesty and grandeur of the place.

Then there’s the sequence focusing on our Sun. You’ve seen that glowing fiery ball a billion times over the course of your life, but until you get a good, close-up look of that spinning plasma sphere, you can’t really grasp just how impressive it is. At the risk of anthropomorphizing the thing, it’s hard not to view this video and suddenly worry that we’ve done something terrible to enrage our key source of light. It just looks so angry, like the eye of a drunk sailor who is only now realizing that he will never again work on a ship because he’s made entirely of super-heated gas.

Alright, that was a bizarre analogy, but please view the clip before you argue its accuracy in the comments below.