Wednesday, 4 February 2015

To infinity and beyond!

Homelessness averted! Since my last post I have successfully managed to secure myself a new place to live. I'll be moving to an area of Uppsala called Eriksberg, which is quite a bit closer to Ångstöm than my current location in Gränby: my commute will go from about 5.5km down to about 3km! Woohoo! I don't honestly know whether I got my place from Blocket or Studentboet (see the helpful links), but it is definitely second hand, which as I mentioned before is the easiest type of housing to get.

There's been a lot more snow this week. It's not overly deep but because it has been coming down more or less constantly it's very hard for them to keep the paths clear, making biking a nightmare. I fell once, but I was going slow and landed on my feet so no big deal. I have been taking the bus to and from Ångström though because it hasn't been worth the trouble to bike the past few days.

So, I don't normally just share cool stuff on the blog but I thought this was worth it. I saw this video today on reddit and I wanted to post it. It's a video (as in, a compilation of actual photographs, not CGI) taken by the Cassini spacecraft approaching Saturn, with bonus fly-bys of a few moons. I'm seriously blown away at how detailed these images are, and just in general by the fact that we as a species are capable of pulling things like this off.

In Saturn's Rings 5.6k Saturn Cassini Photographic Animation - Expanded, Improved from Stephen van Vuuren on Vimeo.

I am not an astronomer, but I definitely take an interest in space exploration. If you have a more academic interest, Uppsala's Astronomy and Space Physics division may be the place for you. Interestingly there is also a separate institute which has a location at Ångström: the Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF). IRF have been involved with the probes on a variety of recent space missions, including CassiniMars Express, Venus Express, the widely publicized Rosetta mission, and the upcoming JUICE mission (Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, Swedish link only).

A nice feature of Uppsala University is that there is a kind of unspoken open door policy: you can often just knock on a researcher's door and if they have the time they're usually happy to tell you about their research. UU also offers project courses, which basically allow you to pursue any research project that you can find a supervisor for. For example, a friend of mine is currently doing a project involving observing exoplanets, which I think is very cool. So getting involved in a mission like these is not out of the question. Just do it! 

No comments:

Post a Comment