The Union Recorder


June 6, 2013

OUR SPACE: Live videos from outer space!

MILLEDGEVILLE — Webcams have been all the rage for quite some time now. The thrill of sitting at home — or wherever you are — and being able to watch a live video feed of another place is a guilty pleasure of many (and I will readily admit that I tune into my favorite scuba place on Roatan with frightening regularity).

There’s the sheer curiosity of what’s going on elsewhere, or reminiscing about a place you’ve been to, or longing to be there. There’s also the anonymity and safety of being able to spy on a place on your laptop or even your phone or tablet. It’s voyeurism without the seedy aftertaste: most webcams are in well-known locations, allowing people a glimpse from all over the world. For example, lets you look at places like Times Square in New York or Teahupoo in French Polynesia, and what it’s like there right now.

Along with those terrestrial cams there are a few others WAY up there — some Eyes in the Sky that give you a very unique view that you couldn’t get any other way.

Check out the webcam at SDO - the Solar Dynamics Observatory. We’ve discussed this great telescope before, and its ground-breaking solar science mission. For most of us this means incomprehensible scientific papers that require quite literally a PhD for basic comprehension. But SDO is also way cooler than that: it carries a webcam so you can watch the sun in real time.

Whoa. Won’t that burn your eyeballs to a crisp? Nope, because SDO has some fantastic filters on board that reduce the sun’s glare to a dull red glow and make the turbulent surface of our local star visible. It’s mesmerizing to watch — the roiling lines of convection movement as material from inside the sun bubbles to the surface. Sun spots appear and disappear and move across the surface ever so slowly. And if you’re lucky you can catch a solar flare or even a coronal mass ejection (CME) happening live before your eyes. Check it out at

Another stunning view is brought to you by the live webcam aboard the International Space Station. There are actually several cams up there, constantly filming every little thing, but the one that points down to Earth is probably the most fascinating one (it may be fun to watch an astronaut run on a treadmill for about 5 minutes, but then the novelty wears off).

It’s almost like being there. With a few sections of the ISS clearly visibly you get a good idea just how fast the station is going. Earth rotates by — clouds, deserts, oceans, snow-covered mountains … When the ISS transits to the night side of Earth the cam shows the almost impossibly fast change from daylight to night. And then it’s mostly black, but if you look closely you can see hundreds of thunderstorms flicking faintly in the dark picture. Large cities glow like tiny jewels, and then just as quickly the sun rises and we’re back over the daylight zone. You go once around the Earth every 90 minutes, and if you’re ever in a meditative mood it’s worth taking the trip.

Lose yourself in the beauty of our Blue Planet at

Beate Czogalla is the Professor of Theater Design in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Georgia College & State University. She has had a lifelong interest in space exploration and has been a Solar System Ambassador for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/ NASA for many years. She can be reached at   


Text Only
AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
NDN Video
Grumpy Cat Not Impressed at "Idol" Is Shaquille O'Neal the World's Best Ex-Athlete? Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 2 BASE Jumpers Set World Record Screaming 2-year-old gets psyched at Penguins game Pineda: Put pine tar because he didn't want to hit anyone Beyonce on Her Biggest Influence Michael Strahan's First Day on "GMA" Clerk catches on fire after man throws Molotov Cocktail into Brooklyn store Amazon's Deal With HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India