Author Archives: Chompsky

Behold: the 2022 Maxlider Brothers Ford Bronco 6×6.

Maxliders Brothers custom house (an officially licensed Ford partner) has been tweaking Ford’s iconic SUV since 2013. This variant features a 460bhp Coyote crate engine (upgradable to bespoke-tuned turbo and supercharged performance) powering all six wheels.

Currently accepting orders for delivery early next year with the entry level model priced at $399,000 in the US.


Behold: a striking composite image taken by NASA’s Odyssey Orbiter between 2002 and 2004 showing (in false colour) the long dunes surrounding the northern polar cap of Mars.

Areas touched by the sun emit a golden glow, while the chillier regions are tinted blue. The image frames  dunes carved into a 19-mile swath of land extending into an area the size of Texas. The picture celebrates the 20th year of Odyssey – launched in 2001 – the longest-running spacecraft in history.


Behold: airglow. Whatnow, sez you? Airglow. Atmospheric air glows all of the time, but it’s usually hard to see. A disturbance like an approaching storm, however, can cause noticeable rippling in the Earth’s atmosphere – a phenomenon seen here as a  giant repeating rainbow. But why? To wit:

These gravity waves are oscillations in air analogous to those created when a rock is thrown in calm water. The long-duration exposure nearly along the vertical walls of airglow likely made the undulating structure particularly visible. OK, but where do the colours originate? The deep red glow likely originates from OH molecules about 87-kilometers high, excited by ultraviolet light from the Sun. The orange and green airglow is likely caused by sodium and oxygen atoms slightly higher up. The featured image was captured during a climb up Mount Pico in the Azores of Portugal. Ground lights originate from the island of Faial in the Atlantic Ocean. A spectacular sky is visible through this banded airglow, with the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy running up the image center, and M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, visible near the top left.

(Image: Miguel Claro (TWAN); Rollover Annotation: Judy Schmidt)


Behold: the bright elliptical galaxy Messier 87 (M87) – home to the supermassive black hole whose spectacular image was captured in 2019 by the Event Horizon Telescope – the first ever visual of its kind. To wit:

 Giant of the Virgo galaxy cluster about 55 million light-years away, M87 is the large galaxy rendered in blue hues in this infrared image from the Spitzer Space telescope. Though M87 appears mostly featureless and cloud-like, the Spitzer image does record details of relativistic jets blasting from the galaxy’s central region. Shown in the inset at top right, the jets themselves span thousands of light-years. The brighter jet seen on the right is approaching and close to our line of sight. Opposite, the shock created by the otherwise unseen receding jet lights up a fainter arc of material. Inset at bottom right, the historic black hole image is shown in context, at the center of giant galaxy and relativistic jets. Completely unresolved in the Spitzer image, the supermassive black hole surrounded by infalling material is the source of enormous energy driving the relativistic jets from the center of active galaxy M87.

(Image: NASA, JPL-Caltech, Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration)