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Science Pictures of the Week: A spectacular star-forming wall, Yuri's night, and an ultra-hires rocket launch

Scott Sutherland
Meteorologist/Science Writer

Sunday, April 12, 2015, 3:49 PM - The spectacular Cygnus Wall, what Yuri Gagarin would have seen 54 years ago, and what a space launch looks like in ultra-HD. It's Science Pictures of the Week!

The East Coast of the North America Nebula

Roughly 1600 light years away, in the constellation Cygnus, there is a vast cloud of gas and dust known as NGC 7000 or, due to its resemblance to a familiar sight from back here on Earth, the North America Nebula.

Along the 'East Coast' of the Nebula is a structure known as The Cygnus Wall, and recently, Weather Network meteorologist and astrophotographer Kerry-Ann Lecky Hepburn captured the following image of The Wall.

Yuri's View

Yuri's Night logo.

54 years ago today, on April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit our planet.

This incredible achievement has since led to us visiting the Moon, launching NASA's first space shuttle, Challenger, on the same day in 1981, set up a permanent settlement/space-lab in orbit, and send robotic missions to our neighbouring worlds and to the edges of our solar system.

Every year on this date, people around the world observe Yuri's Night, celebrating "humanity’s past, present, and future in space."

Parties are planned, events are held, all with the goal of recognizing what we've done so far, and inspiring us to go further in the future.

One of the biggest inspirations for those that have made the journey into space, not only to continue the space program but also to preserve our home, is the view from orbit. What might Yuri have seen on that day, 54 years ago? Very likely, something like this:

Credit: NASA

For more information, check out the Yuri's Night website.

SpaceX launch goes ultra-HD

Witnessing a space launch is an awe-inspiring experience, especially when you can be there in person. However, thanks to SpaceX, now there's a chance to get that experience, right from your own home, as they present several of their launches (including their 'Grasshopper' tests), filmed in Ultra HD 4K quality.

Once the video starts, set the video quality to the highest your computer can handle, then go full-screen for the best experience.

What will SpaceX show us next? Forecasters are currently giving a 60 per cent chance of good weather for their launch to the space station on Monday afternoon. If liftoff goes as planned, there's a very good chance that we'll be seeing an Ultra HD view of their Falcon 9 rocket's successful landing on a barge at sea!

Sources: WeatherAndSky.com | Yuri's Night | NASA | SpaceX | MyNews13

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