Space caturday

By Phil Plait | February 4, 2012 7:00 am

This is cute and all, but I was debating whether to run it on the blog or not when I got to the 1:05 mark or so, and decided to go ahead. Why? Watch:

Did you get the joke?

It’s a Chandra X-ray Observatory image in the background if that helps. Note the cat.

Also, the next shot shown of a cat batting at Io was also pretty funny.

They did miss a sure bet, though: Cat’s Eye, and the Cat’s Paw nebula. Neither of which, I’ll note, is in Leo.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Humor
MORE ABOUT: space cats

Comments (17)

  1. Chris

    So wait, are there really cats which are light years across running through the universe? If they even get close to our solar system their gravitational force alone will be enough to destroy us! Now I have another thing to worry about. You’ll have to make an addendum to your book.

  2. bystander

    I had seen this and had a good laugh, but I completely missed the significance of the x-ray cat until you pointed it out. The sad thing is there are probably people out there who will take this as evidence of a NASA cover-up.

  3. Pete Jackson

    All purr-fectly reasonable!

    Got any good snow shots for us? The canines minor and major should be enjoying it.

  4. #2 bystander, I disagree. This will somehow be taken up by the climate change deniers and used to THEIR dubious advantage.

  5. there’s also the song by spaceScat, ” the decider”, about some alien cat who visits earth at a train station:

    http://vimeo.com/9448226

    -r.c. (a band member)

  6. SandyCat

    Oh it’s a NASA coverup all right, kitty revenge for not sending cats up in spacecraft. Dogs, monkeys, even goldfish but no cats. Not hard to understand NASA’s reasons — nothing but MEEEOWOWOWOWOW! all the way & all the way down, drive the rest of the crew batty, not to mention kitty litter in zero gravity,but if you know cats, those UFO’s [unidentified feline objects] were predictable. And those scientific spacecraft that go missing? Yup.

  7. Flah

    Wait… Does that mean that Lovecraft’s stories had a basis in reality? I think it’s time we stopped funding missions to Saturn, in that case.

  8. I think the first known space cat photobomb was done by Jones, an orange tabby. He belonged to Ripley on the ill-fated cargo ship Nostromo.

  9. ctj

    all your hubble are belong to us!

  10. Pete Jackson

    @8 Bob F: Don’t forget Isis, who was Gary Seven’s black feline constant companion in the original Star Trek series episode “Assignment: Earth”. And which cat had a very special ability.

  11. kitty

    so is all that static electricity causing problems? And does this help us figure out what dark matter is?

  12. To let the cat out of the bag (as it were), the momentary role of Victoria Vetri in this episode was both amusing and interesting. She could, possibly have been the only person that COULD have been able to take over the role of Catwoman in the batman series.
    pleasant dreams
    dave mundt

  13. Cute. :-)

    As a little kid I fondly remember reading a book called Star cats (by Andre Norton I think – maybe?) where it turned out cats were actually intelligent aliens who saved a couple of human kids – and all our Earth’s cats from extinction .. it almost makes sense! ;-)

    I ‘d also advocate restoring Lalande’s proposed constellation of Felis the cat. (Click on my name for info via Ian Ridpath’s ‘Star tales’ site – bonus worst ever drawing of a cat to be published!) With so many dogs in the night sky* it seems only fair!

    —————

    * Okay there’s a lion, minor lion and a lynx but they aren’t exactly cats as we know & love them and that compares with :

    Canis Major (incl. the “Dogstar” Sirius)
    Canis Minoris (incl. the “Little Dogstar” Procyon)
    &
    Canes Venatici (the hunting dogs – plural)

    So, come on, we gotta add at least one (domestic or feral domestic -preferably pet-able) cat constellation to redress the celestial balance, right? ;-)

  14. Bored Al

    He might consider removing himself from the video. Since nowadays everyone is being accused of narcissism, let’s go with that.

  15. Steve D

    There was once a constellation Felis, invented by the famous French astronomer Lalande, but it never made the official list. It included parts of what is now Antlia and Hydra.

  16. lepton

    Most of the cats they used looked too big.

    I like the x-ray cat and behind the pillar cat, I think they are the right size. :-)

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