The eastern Balkans from space.
The largest clump of lights to the right of center of the picture is Istanbul. Follow a straight line down the photo and that’s Sofia. Over to the left a bit is Bucharest, and the C-shaped city on the right is Athens.
(Source; click to embiggen.)
The space age was ushered in 55 years ago today (4 October 1957) with the launch of the satellite Sputnik-1. My favourite quote on Sputnik:
“Nobody back then was thinking about the magnitude of what was going on: everyone did his own job, living through its disappointments and joys.” -Oleg Ivanovsky, deputy designer for Sputnik
As you might already know, NASA’s Voyager 1 probe, which was launched 35 years ago, is about to become the first object from Earth to leave our solar system. As it makes its way into the unknown, it carries with it a gold record, inscribed with images and sounds from earth, a message in a bottle from our planet to the universe.
Izlel e Delyu Haydutin is a Bulgarian folk song and this performance of it by Valya Balkanska is on the gold record.
(If you want to hear another version, when Nevena Tsoneva won the first season of the talent show Music Idol, she sang it for her final performance. Personally, I think Nevena is adorable and has a great voice so have a link.)
Soviet science has opened the way to cosmic flight.
Czechoslovak stamps honoring milestones in Soviet spaceflight, issued in 1957.
(Source: Flickr / ad_symphoniam)