A pair of loyal readers have sent me some cool links recently that I feel are worth sharing. How would you like to have your very own personalized image from space? You can if you’re on Twitter or willing to send an email. I’d say it’s just that easy, but more on that in a moment.
Meet Tiffany Fields, third-year astrophysics student at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her proud father alerted me to this article and video. For those who can’t be bothered to click the link, I’ll sum up. This telescope is in its social media infancy as users can tweet to @ to obtain authorization to submit photo requests which will be tweeted back to you when a clear image is available. Users can also submit email authorization requests. Back to the “it’s just that easy” comment from above.
At the present, there are some limitations, or quirks, in the authorization process. The BGO (Burke-Gaffney Observatory) can’t accept tweets from private Twitter accounts. I’m guessing this is because the responses are using general tweets and not private messages. If so, it would stand to reason since people not following a private account can’t see your tweets. If you’re like me and have a private Twitter account, you’ll have to request authorization via email.
I copied & pasted the contents of my tweet into the email with the appropriate #listentome in the subject line, but heard nothing back. Apparently the datareader that scans the email for the authorization string couldn’t recognize my #authorize in the second line of text. So I sent my third request and this time just used #authorize in the top line. That at least netted me the auto-response and I’ll hopefully get to explore all sorts of galactic goodies very soon.
The other tidbit I got came from loyal reader, K, and it’s courtesy of xkcd.com (by Randall Munroe, author of What If?).
If for some reason you’re unable to view the bottom pane in order to click and drag around in it, feel free to check it out here – http://xkcd.com/1110/.