NASA Goes off to Outer Space for Star Wars Day

This May the Fourth, NASA rules. Check out what they posted on the NASA Tumblr account:

NASA Tumblr Saturns Moon Mimas

“Worlds That Will Make You Believe Star Wars is Real

“The fantastical planets in Star Wars preceded our discovery of real planets outside our solar system… but fiction isn’t too far from the facts. When we send our spacecraft into the solar system and point our telescopes beyond, we often see things that seem taken right out of the Star Wars universe.

“Is there a more perfect time than May the 4th to compare real worlds to the ones depicted in Star Wars?

“Probably not… so here are a few:

What follows is pictures (mostly artists’ renderings) and short descriptions of eight planetary bodies that could serve as models for various locations in the Star Wars universe. And don’t let the photo of Saturn’s moon Mimas above fool you; it’s the most scruffy-looking of the bunch.

NASA’s post isn’t earth-shattering or deep or anything. But it does show a sense of humor, and combines pop culture geekery with science geekery in a very satisfying way. (YMMV, of course.)

I’m gonna go take you to Jabba now follow NASA on Tumblr right now.

Image: Saturn’s moon Mimas (the so-called Death Star moon) via NASA on Tumblr.

Out There is an occasional feature highlighting intriguing art, spaces, places, phenomena, flora, and fauna.

The Martian Cast & ISS Crew Chat

File 770 has a nice roundup of ten clips from and about The Martian, ranging from teasers and trailers to interviews and talks. The coolest is perhaps a 20-some minute call between two The Martian actors and two of six members of the International Space Station crew:

Space Station Crew Members Talk to Cast of The Martian

From the ISS, Expedition 45 Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren were on the horn; from the movie cast, Sebastian Stan and Mackenzie Davis during a visit they made to Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center in September.

Hey, look! We found a thing on the internet! We thought it was cool, and wanted to share it with you.

Fantastic Worlds Exhibit at The Smithsonian

The Smithsonian’s new exhibit Fantastic Worlds: Science and Fiction, 1780-1910 opened on July 01, 2015. In addition to the physical exhibit, the Smithsonian Libraries provide an online version.

The Smithsonian Libraries online exhibit Fantastic Worlds.
The Smithsonian Libraries online exhibit Fantastic Worlds.

From the online exhibit description:

“Travel with us to the surface of the moon, the center of the earth, and the depths of the ocean — to the fantastic worlds of fiction inspired by 19th-century discovery and invention.

“New frontiers of science were emerging. We took to the air, charted remote corners of the earth, and harnessed the power of steam and electricity. We began unlocking the secrets of the natural world. The growing literate middle class gave science a new and avid public audience. Writers explored the farther reaches of the new scientific landscape to craft novels, hoaxes, and satires.”

The online exhibit reveals a new thematic component (or chapter) each Tuesday. So far we’ve seen “Terra Incognita” and The Age of the Aeronaut”. The chapters include images, maps, and videos, plus intriguing curator’s notes. Sounds great for early science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts, as well as people interested in the history of exploration or late 1700s to 1800s.

Found via Smithsonian Libraries on Tumblr.

Out There is an occasional feature highlighting intriguing art, spaces, places, phenomena, flora, and fauna.