• Curiosities,  Science

    Early times of the ROA-Montsec Baker-Nunn camera

    I found among my archives the article by Michael R. Pearlman with title «Early Experience of the SAO Satellite-Tracking Program», originally published in EOS: Transactions of the American Geophysical Union –The Weekly Newspaper of Geophysics). This piece explains the origins of the world-wide network of fast photographic cameras set up in the fifties by the United States of America (the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory), for artificial satellite follow-up. The network played an interesting role in the early times of the research on orbital dynamics, and it got the first Western measurements of the orbits of Soviet spacecraft. The article includes the first Western image of Sputnik 1 (the booster, in fact).…

  • Curiosities

    Cut out and build your own icosahedral Earth

    Stop discussing!: Earth is neither flat nor round, there is a consensus solution! Directly imported from the past (Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Vol. 64, No. 25, June 21st 1983), here we present the cut-out-and-do-it-yourself model of the icosahedral Earth. For a further outlandish turn, the model includes the contour lines (at 5 m intervals) of the ocean geoid determined by Seasat satellites. Download the model from these links, in formats jpg, tiff or pdf.