Western University helps the world understand photographs of astronauts


CSA astronaut David Saint-Jacques answers questions from the media on the International Space Station (Frame grab from the Canadian Space Agency)

Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques views the world from a different perspective – and Western Universities help the world understand what it sees.

The Canadian Space Agency astronaut has orbited the Earth on the International Space Station since December 3. His observations were recorded on the Exploring Earth website, which was launched on Tuesday, which featured photographs of geological, environmental and ecological systems, which matched the interactive map.

Supporting material for Saint-JacquesThe images have been put together by the Planet Science and Exploration Center (CPSX), with help from the faculty of science, the faculty of social sciences and the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Gordon Osinski, director of CPSX, said "great effort, cooperation" would provide a greater understanding of the work Saint-Jacques was doing in space.

"We are experts in subject matter. "We write all the content to be followed by all the blogs related to the image," Osinski said.

Some blogs have been created before and already on the website. But over time, and depending on conditions, Saint-Jacques had to send more images to NASA to match the areas of interest. He has been given a list of targets, but when they will be seen depends on the orbit and the weather.

And, said Osinski, Western contributors "are ready to react in real time" if Canadian astronauts can capture images of extreme weather or something unexpected.

Osinski, who calls himself @dcrater on Twitter, has a special interest in the impact crater of meteors. He was happy when Saint-Jacques sent back a picture of the crater in Quebec for the initial blog post.

"It's nice to have one of the first," he said.

Blogs can be found at visit http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/missions/expedition58/activities/exploring-earth/map.asp

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