Comm Blog | 31. March 2011

The final stage in the construction of the German-Indonesian tsunami early warning system

On 26 December 2004, a devastating tsunami destroyed large parts of the coastline of the Indian Ocean. It is estimated that 250,000 people lost their lives because there was no early warning system. Shortly afterwards, the German government decided to spend 50 million Euros to develop a tsunami early warning system in Indonesia, the most severely affected country. Scientists from major German research centres presented innovative concepts for such a system to the political decision makers. Convinced of the feasibility of the proposal, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung; BMBF) decided to support the project, now named the German-Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System (GITEWS), as a joint development led by the German Research Centre for Geosciences (Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum; GFZ) in Potsdam. read more

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Comm Blog | 25. March 2011 | 4 Comments

Biggest full Moon in over 18 years

On 19 March 2011 everything came together perfectly – in a completely clear sky there was a full Moon and, what is more, at almost the exact time, the Moon passed through the point of closest approach to Earth on its elliptical orbit. This meant we were able to admire an unusually large and bright full Moon. Not wanting to let this opportunity pass, I photographed the Moon through my telescope. read more

Comm Blog | 03. March 2011 | 46 Comments

Captured from ground: ATV Johannes Kepler and Space Shuttle Discovery docked with the ISS

On Tuesday, 1 March 2011, Dirk Ewers, one of our readers, caught the International Space Station (ISS) on camera, as it was passing overhead in the evening sky near Kassel in central Germany. Ewers has sent in the fantastic images that show ATV-2 Johannes Kepler and Space Shuttle Discovery docked with the ISS. Using almost 2000 of these individual images, he has put together a video sequence of the docked spacecraft passing almost directly overhead. read more