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

pursuit of light nasa offers your weekly dose space porn sun

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.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Computing

The Surface Pro 6 is a minimalist update on the best tablet 2-in-1

The Surface Pro 6 is officially here, though it's not as big of a redesign as you might have hoped. With a new coat of black paint and an 8th-gen processor, it's a small, but notable update.
Emerging Tech

Does a steam-powered spacecraft hold the key to exploring the solar system?

A newly developed spacecraft prototype capable of using steam as a propellent may help the first miners survey potential dig sites and identify space rocks best fit for mining missions. Future versions may be fitted with sensors, allowing…
Emerging Tech

The 10 most expensive drones that you (a civilian) can buy

OK, these drones may be a bit beyond your budget: Check out the most expensive drones in the world, from industrial giants to highest-end filming tools.
Emerging Tech

Global Good wants to rid the world of deadly diseases with lasers and A.I.

Global Good, a collaboration between Intellectual Ventures and Bill Gates, aims to eradicate diseases that kill children in developing nations. It tackles difficult problems with high-tech prototypes.
Emerging Tech

A river of stars one billion years old flows across the southern sky

Astronomers have identified a river of stars flowing across our galaxy and covering most of the southern sky. The estimated 4000 stars that comprise the stream were born together and have been moving together for the last one billion years.
Emerging Tech

Of all the vape pens in the world, these 5 are the best

Vaping concentrates has become significantly more popular, especially among those that use cannabis for medicinal purposes. But don’t use just any vape pen: we found these five devices to be our favorites in 2018.
Computing

The HoloLens 2 will be announced at MWC. Here's what we know about it so far

The HoloLens 2 is ripe for an announcement. Here's what Microsoft has revealed so far, what's likely in store for the next generation HoloLens, and everything that we know about this mixed reality headset.
Emerging Tech

Descending at an angle could be key to landing heavier craft on Mars

Landing on Mars is a challenge: The heavier the craft, the more difficult a safe landing becomes. Scientists propose using retropropulsion engines and angling the craft to create a pressure differential to land heavier crafts in the future.
Emerging Tech

Ant-inspired walking robot navigates without GPS by using polarized light

What do you get if you cross Boston Dynamics and Ant-Man? You get Antbot, a robot from the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) which uses ant-like navigation to move around without the aid of GPS.
Emerging Tech

InSight’s heat probe will dig 16 feet beneath the surface of Mars

New images from NASA's InSight mission to Mars have confirmed that the lander succeeded in setting the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package instrument onto the surface, from where a self-hammering spike will burrow downwards.
Emerging Tech

White spots on Ceres are evidence of ancient ice volcanoes erupting

Scientists are pouring over data collected by NASA's Dawn mission to learn about the dwarf planet Ceres and the bright white spots observed at the bottom of impact craters. They believe that these spots are evidence of ice volcanoes.
Emerging Tech

NASA to launch SPHEREx mission to investigate the origins of our universe

NASA is launching an ambitious mission to map the entire sky to understand the origins of the universe. The Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) mission will launch in 2023.