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20 January 2010

The Universe is Just Awesome

I have a script that runs every day at 05:00 on my primary computer (a Linux box playfully named nostradamus) that hits one of NASA's public-facing webservers and retrieves the picture of the day, sets it as my desktop background, and archives the previous picture of the day for later reference. It's lovely to be able to wake up every morning to a brand new astonomy-themed picture of the day, especially when they look like this:

Grab your 3D specs, 'cause that's a way-cool stereoscopic picture of the moon.

Or like this:

Dark sand cascades on Mars. Star Trek seems so underwhelming faced with this.

But this morning I noted that my desktop background was somewhat barren. I checked the cron job, reran the script, and still had nothing. So I went to the site myself and was startled to find that the picture of the day was not a picture at all, but instead this lovely video of the known universe:

Science is awesome.

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