back to article Astronaut yells FIRE ... from SPAAAACE

Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield has posted photos of Australian wildfires taken from orbit on the In ternational Space station. One image is sufficiently detailed that it depicts flames licking at local foliage. Australia has, over the last ten days, been beset by fire. More than 100 homes were destroyed in Tasmania and …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. LaeMing
    Meh

    They also had to invent a new level of fire danger.

    Us Aussies are getting too used to 'Extreme' fire danger warnings, apparently, so now we have warnings of 'Catastrophic' fire danger.

    Next year we get 'Plaid' fire danger, I think.

    1. Knoydart
      Flame

      Re: They also had to invent a new level of fire danger.

      I still think here in New Zealand that our top fire rating above extreme should be called "Australian"

    2. Martin Budden Bronze badge

      Re: They also had to invent a new level of fire danger.

      Maybe the fire danger warnings need to be more descriptive:

      1. Go ahead and have a campfire, it's winter and you'll appreciate some hot marshmallows.

      2. Please be careful with your campfire so it doesn't spread to the next tent.

      3. Don't light a campfire because it might burn down a couple of nearby homes.

      4. Definitely don't light a campfire because it'll probably burn down dozens of homes including your own.

      5. DON'T BE A FUCKING IDIOT AND LIGHT A CAMPFIRE BECAUSE YOU'LL BURN DOWN THE ENTIRE STATE AND THEN YOU'LL GO TO JAIL. MORON.

      1. Chris007
        FAIL

        Re: They also had to invent a new level of fire danger.

        Point 1 is wrong as it's just gone into Spring down under.

        1. toxicdragon
          FAIL

          Re: They also had to invent a new level of fire danger.

          Fire danger warnings, as in a potential for how safe it would be to light a fire, not what it is now.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: They also had to invent a new level of fire danger.

          Spring? More like Summer, unless climate change has changed the Earth's angle to the sun since I lived in the civilised hemisphere (or the civilised part of the antipodes (not Australia).

        3. keith_w Bronze badge
          WTF?

          Re: They also had to invent a new level of fire danger.

          It has? In the northern hemisphere Winter started on Dec 21st-ish, so I would have thought that in the southern hemisphere that same date would herald the start of summer.

          1. Tim Bates

            Re: They also had to invent a new level of fire danger.

            >In the northern hemisphere Winter started on Dec 21st-ish, so I would have thought that in the southern hemisphere that same date would herald the start of summer.

            You'd think wrong then.

        4. Chris007
          FAIL

          Re: They also had to invent a new level of fire danger.

          Yes - I should have type summer. In fact I did and then changed it to spring for some unfathomable reason.

          Thanks for the downvotes and replies - suitably chastised :)

          icon: to myself.

      2. AndrueC Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: They also had to invent a new level of fire danger.

        6. PUT THAT FIRE OUT! YOU'RE DAZZLING THE GUYS IN THE ISS!

    3. Psyx
      Pint

      Re: They also had to invent a new level of fire danger.

      As opposed to 'Fluffy' and 'Totally Harmless' fire danger warnings?

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge
        Go

        Re: They also had to invent a new level of fire danger.

        the usual aussie way is simply. If there is a rope across then dont swim in the billabong as it is full of crocs. If there is no rope then swim away son.

        1. Captain TickTock
          Joke

          Re: They also had to invent a new level of fire danger.

          If there is no rope, the crocs ate it.

    4. Euripides Pants

      Re: They also had to invent a new level of fire danger.

      "Next year we get 'Plaid' fire danger, I think."

      Nah, you'll get "I just shit my pants" fire danger before Plaid.

  2. tkioz
    Unhappy

    Cool photos of a horrible situation. It's been bloody hot here and the idiots children and psychopaths (is there a difference?) out setting fires haven't helped.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Unhappy

      So nimrods are out setting fires in the 100+ Fahrenheit heat?

      How charming..... If they get people burned or killed then they should spend their prison terms being forced to watch pics of those they killed or injured.

  3. Chris007

    scale of photo

    Would be good to know the scale of the photo - how many miles does it show

    1. Silverburn
      Flame

      Re: scale of photo

      It's about 2,000 London buses wide, and 3,000 Brontasaurases long. xx number of Olympic swimming pools of water have been poured on, and...ok, you get the picture.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If the fire don't get ya

    The escaping snakes will.

    1. Euripides Pants

      Re: If the fire don't get ya

      "I have had it with these motherf*#%^n' snakes on this motherf*#%^n' continent!

  5. J.G.Harston Silver badge
    FAIL

    Geometry fail

    270-degree bend? So it goes in a loop and crosses itself?

    A 90-degree bend would turn exactly right (or left). A 180-degree bend would leave you facing the way you came. A 270-degree bend requires you to turn to face the way you've come, and then turn *another* *90* *degrees*.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Geometry fail

      Depends on which way you look at it. 0%=up, 90%=right, 180%=down, 270%=left so the article appears to be describing the up to left angle. Thing is the river flows into the lake to the right so it would be more accurate to say that the rivier bends 90% to the right.

      1. Jolyon Smith
        Headmaster

        Re: Geometry fail

        Or another way to look at it...

        The river takes a 90 deg turn left, then another 90 deg turn, before striking out at another 90 deg right turn, resulting in a net right angle turn but involving 270 deg of actual turning.

        I'm here all week.

        1. CyberCod
          Joke

          Re: Geometry fail

          Three lefts make a right, but two wrongs do not.

    2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: Geometry fail

      As the convention is to count angles from 0 clockwise, 270-degree gives you absolutely geometrically correct description of the bend, and which does not need any additional qualifiers, like "right" or "left".

    3. AndyS

      Re: Geometry fail

      Are you all stupid?

      Assuming north is up, and the river flows from north west to south east, it enters said bend going north east and exits, having turned 270 degrees to the right, going south west.

      No, it doesn't cross itself. In fact, and this is where it gets complicated, there are other bends on either side of the 270 degree bend (that's the big squiggly one, by the way). So in fact it comes into the whole shebang going south, and exits it going south.

      Let's spell this out. It turns 135 degrees left, then 270 degrees right, then 45 degrees left.

      There, do we all understand? If not, ask your teacher to explain it, once she's finished setting out the sand and water play areas.

      1. Martin Budden Bronze badge
        FAIL

        Re: Geometry fail

        "Are you all stupid?

        Assuming north is up, and the river flows from north west to south east,..."

        I can confirm that north is up in the pic. Unfortunately for your assumption, the river actually flows from south east to north west.

    4. Euripides Pants
      Trollface

      Re: Geometry fail

      "270-degree bend? So it goes in a loop and crosses itself?"

      Non-Euclidean geometry

      1. FlatEarther

        Re: Geometry fail

        "270-degree bend? So it goes in a loop and crosses itself?"

        Non-Euclidean geometry"

        No - just a billabong

  6. ukgnome
    Happy

    From the headline I thought it was the ISS that was ablaze. It would of made for an interesting Stargazing Live tonight.

    1. fridaynightsmoke
      Flame

      Open a window,

      fire out. Job done!

      1. Phil W

        Re: Open a window,

        Open window, stop being able to breath, the fire is no longer your problem.

  7. Fuzz

    Cameras

    A lot of photography on the ISS is taken using dSLRs. Until recently I think they were using the Nikon D2x but they may have recently upgraded.

    Here's a video where one of the cameras is being used to demonstrate the effects of acceleration on the iss. You can see another couple clipped to the wall.

    1. Onid
      Thumb Up

      Re: Cameras

      Also good shot of those massive zoom lenses:

      https://twitter.com/i/#!/Cmdr_Hadfield/media/slideshow?url=pic.twitter.com%2F3VIdnEUl

    2. Phil Koenig

      Re: Cameras

      NASA bought nearly a dozen D3S's shortly after they came out. As well as a bunch of high-end Nikkor lenses, reputedly at least 7 14-24mm Nikkors to add to their other collection of top-of-the-line Nikkors. So I'd guess it's a D3s. Though they'll probably bring D4's up there pretty soon as well.

      http://nikonrumors.com/2010/07/08/new-images-from-space-captured-with-nikon-d3s.aspx/

      Which makes sense because at the time (and probably still today), the D3S was the best DSLR in the world in low light conditions, and NASA has been using Nikons for decades. The Russians are apparently using them in space too:

      http://www.nikon.com/news/2010/0614_energia_01.htm

  8. Neil Hawkins
    WTF?

    Stuff strapped to his arm?

    What is that he seems to have strapped to his arm and hand?

    1. A K Stiles Silver badge

      Re: Stuff strapped to his arm?

      From the twitter feed the other day - He's conducting biological experiments (on himself) and it's part of the monitoring kit for at least one of those experiments.

  9. trashbat

    That second camera

    Looks like a Nikon D4 or D3X.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Devil

    Those were fun days......

    A few years back in Central / Western Victoria, Australia... it was about 52 or 53*C, and the wind was blowing at 120Kmh +

    And half the country was on fire.

    Fuck it was a "difficult time".....

    2 years later, half of the country was under water.....

    I Love A Sunburnt Country

    The love of field and coppice,

    Of green and shaded Lanes,

    Of ordered woods and gardens,

    Is running in your veins;

    Strong love of grey-blue distance,

    Brown streams and soft, dim skies -

    I know but cannot share it,

    My love is otherwise.

    I love a sunburnt country,

    A land of sweeping plains,

    Of ragged mountain ranges,

    Of drought and flooding rains,

    I love her far horizons,

    I love her jewel sea,

    Her beauty and her terror -

    The wide brown land for me.

    The tragic ring-barked forests

    Stark white beneath the moon,

    The sapphire-misted mountains,

    The hot gold hush of noon.

    Green tangle of the brushes

    Where lithe lianas coil,

    An orchids deck the tree-tops

    And ferns the crimson soil.

    Core of my heart, my country!

    Her pitiless blue sky,

    When sick at heart around us

    We see the cattle die -

    But then the grey clouds gather

    And we can bless again

    The drumming of an army,

    The steady, soaking rain.

    Core of my heart, my country!

    Land of the Rainbow Gold,

    For flood and fire and famine,

    She pays us back threefold;

    Over the thirsty paddocks,

    Watch, after many days,

    The filmy veil of greenness

    That thickens as we gaze.

    An opal-hearted country,

    A wilful, lavish land -

    All you who have not loved her,

    You will not understand -

    Though Earth holds many splendours,

    Wherever I may die,

    I know to what brown Country

    My homing thoughts will fly.

    He forgot a bit about,

    "I love the flaming fireballs,

    As they race on through the sky,

    Every time they touch down,

    All are sure to die,

    As the annual bush fires,

    Have us running for out lives."

    1. Magani
      Headmaster

      Re: Those were fun days......

      "He forgot a bit about,"

      Umm, I think you'll find 'He' was actually a 'She'. Dorothea Mackellar.

  11. Crisp

    All that technology to get a man into space

    And he's taking photos by pointing a camera out of a window!

    1. Steve Evans

      Re: All that technology to get a man into space

      Hope they cleaned the outside before they left... Birch of a job otherwise

    2. The FunkeyGibbon
      Joke

      Re: All that technology to get a man into space

      Well pointing at a wall wouldn't had achieved much...

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: All that technology to get a man into space

      But it shows the value of manned spaceflight.

      How else would we get pictures of Australian wildfires on twitter

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Where's Lewis Page when you need him?

    Shouldn't he be telling us how this is all perfectly normal and that australia has been experiencing these sorts of extreme temperatures and wildfires consistently for thousands of years and its all part of a natural cycle that purely coincidentaly matches the rise in CO2 due to human activity?

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Where's Lewis Page when you need him?

      Actually we have massive fires every couple of year. It just moves around the country, 1998 was Adelaide, 2004 was Western Sydney, 2006 was Canberra, 2009 was Victoria. This year Tassie and central NSW.

      Nothing to unusual about the fires, the temperatures are a bit higher then normal, but still its Summer - what do you expect?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Where's Lewis Page when you need him?

        "Actually we have massive fires every couple of year. It just moves around the country, 1998 was Adelaide, 2004 was Western Sydney, 2006 was Canberra, 2009 was Victoria. This year Tassie and central NSW."

        You might want to go back a bit further than 1998 for your examples to have much credibility.

        1. lglethal Silver badge
          Go

          Re: Where's Lewis Page when you need him?

          There's a full list on Wikipedia going back to 1851 if you're that interested...

          Just look under Australian Bushfires.

          1. pepper

            Re: Where's Lewis Page when you need him?

            Its Australia! Short of anything living, now everything non-living is also trying to kill those that venture there!

      2. Martin Budden Bronze badge

        Re: Where's Lewis Page when you need him?

        2003 was Canberra, not 2006. It will be the 10 year anniversary the day after tomorrow, and it still gives me the horrors.

      3. Paul 129
        Flame

        Not our most destructive fires either

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1967_Tasmanian_fires

        The temerature was the same then as when this set of fires occured.

        Of the 4 main fires in Tassie. The reported causes were

        An inproperly extinguished campfire.

        The big one destructive on was due to a stump that had caught fire a number of days earlier reignighting. Apparently the roots could have still been smouldering underground.

        I have not hear of reports of the other two.

  13. Denarius Silver badge
    Meh

    under that smoke

    saw ISS pass slightly west of Temora Sunday night. Some Android App as well as Mac something or other gives whats going overhead. Now if only something up there could get infra-red fine detail of the hot spots in the river canyon so the water bombers could hit the hottest areas. They are doing a great job as it is. Fires are still way smaller than the ones in northern Tanami Desert in the mid 1970s. Odd how a normal Oz summer after two wet cool summers is proof of the next apocalypse.

    The whole ecology was shaped by regular incineration. That's why the FNQ rain forests began to spread after white settlement. Fewer fires to maintain grasslands. Just don't tell the greenies, it might upset them to hear dogma questioned.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: under that smoke

      "Now if only something up there could get infra-red fine detail of the hot spots in the river canyon so the water bombers could hit the hottest areas"

      There is something up there already. Even though NASA calls it a "Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer", it can direct firefighters within about 1000m.

      http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=80127

  14. Graham Marsden
    Flame

    All I can say is...

    ... Strewth!

  15. mark 63 Silver badge
    Coat

    did anyone hear him?

    .that is all

  16. Greg D
    FAIL

    Subtitle fail

    Thought the ISS was on fire till I read the article!

  17. Alan Firminger

    How can one ditch a camera in space ?

  18. Dagg
    Mushroom

    Mercury is NOT a unit of measure!

    It is temperature NOT mercury, Mercury is a planet or a heavy metal. It has been decades since it was used in any thermometer. These days they are either red alcohol or electronic!

    So If you have to use stupid terms like "The mercury hit .." the correct option should be "The red coloured alcohol hit.." or "The Electrons hit..".

    1. Tim Bates
      Coat

      Re: Mercury is NOT a unit of measure!

      Thanks, Sheldon.

  19. John 62
    Flame

    campfires

    this is australia in the summer. Why would you need a campfire? Does it get cold at night? Do you need them to scare off the predators? For heating food on a planned hike (and why would you do that in the middle of summer in australia?) you could probably use those exothermic cooking packs soldiers get.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021