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Star Gazing
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Jimmy Jam



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 2417
Location: Evanston, IL

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:54 am    Post subject: Star Gazing Reply with quote

My Mother was a star gazer. Orion & Betelgeuse were 2 of her favorites. She always made a point to point them out in the sky if she could. To this day I still look at the star book she bought us for Christmas 1957, where she inscribed something about us "hitching a wagon to a star." Maybe it's because of that I've tried to look up every now & then to see what's up there.

Or maybe it's because I've had late night Roxie duty. I'm not sure. But lately, and by that I mean March of 2012, has been an incredible time to view the sky. Not only have we just had a full moon, but we've also had 5 planets visible. Venus & Jupiter, close & very obvious in the early evening Western sky. Mercury is also on the Western horizon. Mars & Saturn are visible in the Eastern sky.

Five visible planets. Amazing!

Here's a link to help you enjoy the splendor! http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/visible-planets-tonight-mars-jupiter-venus-saturn-mercury
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GBN



Joined: 27 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right with you, Jimmy. My daughter can now identify Venus, Jupiter and Mars on sight. Now I'm just hoping to get some aurora in the sky with all this solar activity.
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Jimmy Jam



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty cool stuff here. (including the math prof's take on Usain Bolt's potential)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/29/milky-way-photo-billion-stars_n_1387596.html#s809197&title=Entire_Sun_Imaged

I can't look at that first photo, and not think of Carl Sagan.
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kent



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jimmy Jam wrote:
Pretty cool stuff here. (including the math prof's take on Usain Bolt's potential)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/29/milky-way-photo-billion-stars_n_1387596.html#s809197&title=Entire_Sun_Imaged

I can't look at that first photo, and not think of Carl Sagan.


Very, very cool. For another mind-blower, google the Hubble deep field and Hubble ultra deep field images. Similar to the Milky Way image except that they show thousands and thousands of galaxies, with each galaxy containing billions of stars. You need to look at these images in their highest resolution for it to really sink in just how totally insignificant we are.
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Doctor F



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been absolutely enjoying the celestail show and have only been disappointed that we missed out on auroras.
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Jimmy Jam



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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The celestial show continues. Super moon tonight.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-mct-on-saturday-full-moon-to-be-absolutely-super-20120504,0,414885.story
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dcarson



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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was cloudy in Minneapolis last night, so we missed the Super Moon. I would have loved to have seen it. Oh well maybe 2029.
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Doctor F



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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Didn't see the Supermoon because it was cloudy. Supermoon +1 wasn't so bad though.

Upcoming:
http://www.tgdaily.com/space-features/63211-nasa-uses-moon-as-mirror-to-watch-venus-transit-sun
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Jimmy Jam



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This week we get to witness the "transit of Venus," i.e., Venus crosses the sun. Pretty cool.

http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/visible-planets-tonight-mars-jupiter-venus-saturn-mercury

http://www.chicagotribune.com/videogallery/70262228/News/Venus-set-for-rare-solar-pass
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no twitch muscles



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jimmy Jam wrote:
This week we get to witness the "transit of Venus," i.e., Venus crosses the sun. Pretty cool.

http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/visible-planets-tonight-mars-jupiter-venus-saturn-mercury

http://www.chicagotribune.com/videogallery/70262228/News/Venus-set-for-rare-solar-pass


I was watching the Weather Channel (don't ask) while reading this and they were talking about the transit of Venus at the same time. Spooky. Or something.
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Jimmy Jam



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

no twitch muscles wrote:
Jimmy Jam wrote:
This week we get to witness the "transit of Venus," i.e., Venus crosses the sun. Pretty cool.

http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/visible-planets-tonight-mars-jupiter-venus-saturn-mercury

http://www.chicagotribune.com/videogallery/70262228/News/Venus-set-for-rare-solar-pass


I was watching the Weather Channel (don't ask) while reading this and they were talking about the transit of Venus at the same time. Spooky. Or something.


I sometimes watch the weather channel myself (although River Monsters on Animal Planet is my new favorite tv show) So, from one nerd to another, here's a great link showing where & how to watch tonight's transit.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/04/venus-transit-2012-how-to-see_n_1568997.html
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Jimmy Jam



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a webcam link: http://events.slooh.com/
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Trent



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jimmy Jam wrote:
This week we get to witness the "transit of Venus," i.e., Venus crosses the sun. Pretty cool.


The NPR story made me giggle.

In the story, the NPR reporter states that Yohannes Keppler predicted the transit of venus in December 1631, but died a year before he could see it. Jeremiah Horrocks saw it, then predicted and saw the followup transit of 1639, but died less than 2 years later. The reporter goes on to state: "lest you think the transit is bad luck, plenty of others have watched since then with no apparent ill effects. In fact…the transits of 1761 and 1769 drew a huge following."

Well, it is a known fact that every single individual who witnessed the transits in 1631, 1639, 1761 and 1769 is DEAD.

Doing a little research on the internet, I found that there were also transits in 1874 and 1882. Guess what? Yep. All the witnesses are DEAD.

Not bad luck? I don't think so.

I fear for those who witnessed today's transit, as well as those who saw it in 2004. I fear deeply. This will not turn out well.
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Tom L



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are right Trent; I predict that no one who saw yesterday's transit live will ever see another one.
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Doctor F



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jimmy Jam wrote:
Here's a webcam link: http://events.slooh.com/


Thanks, Jim.
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Jimmy Jam



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spectacular photos from Mars.

http://news.yahoo.com/photos/the-surface-of-mars-slideshow/heres-most-stunning-photo-mars-world-ever-seen-photo-175757710.html
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kent



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stunning HD video from the ISS:

http://vimeo.com/knatephoto/iss
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Jimmy Jam



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely spectacular!

Pretty sure that's Great Britain & Ireland a little after the 3:00 mark, followed by an upside-down Great Lakes. The earlier shots I couldn't figure out, although I thought I saw India (dwarfed by the Indian Ocean) in there somewhere. But I could easily be wrong on that one.

The composer of the inspiring music is John Murphy, who wrote it for Danny Boyle's 2007 movie, Sunshine. That's the movie he did right before Slumdog and 127 Hours. Boyle always incorporates terrific soundtracks into his movies, and Sunshine is no exception. It's one my son's favorite movies.

Thanks, Kent!
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Jimmy Jam



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With our talk of "hero worship" on the Paterno thread, I'm reminded of why Carl Sagan was a such a true hero to so many.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nl5dlbCh8lY
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kent



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn, we lost a good one today. Sad

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/sally-ride-first-american-woman-to-fly-in-space-dies-of-cancer-at-age-61/2012/07/23/gJQAas574W_story.html?hpid=z1

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/people/features/ride.html
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GBN



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kent wrote:
Damn, we lost a good one today. Sad

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/sally-ride-first-american-woman-to-fly-in-space-dies-of-cancer-at-age-61/2012/07/23/gJQAas574W_story.html?hpid=z1

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/people/features/ride.html


This sucks. I remember as a boy watching her shuttle go up from my home in Florida.
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littlewally and farnk



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can not wait.....12 days and 5 hours! Curiosity travels on Mars will be spectacular!! (If she can land properly)
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/index.html
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kent



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

littlewally and farnk wrote:
I can not wait.....12 days and 5 hours! Curiosity travels on Mars will be spectacular!! (If she can land properly)
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/index.html


Here's a video showing the landing process, it's unbelievable everything that has to go right.

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html
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Jimmy Jam



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Curiosity lands tonight. NASA says they hope to "thread the needle" with the landing. With an Olga Korbut tribute in the background, "sticking the landing" might be a better analogy.

Either way, here's hoping they do it.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/la-me-nasa-mars-rover-landing-site-20120805,0,1633867.story
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Jimmy Jam



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Touchdown!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/06/mars-rover-curiosity-landing-live-updates_n_1742499.html
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kent



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jimmy Jam wrote:
Touchdown!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/06/mars-rover-curiosity-landing-live-updates_n_1742499.html


The first images coming back are amazing...


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Julie Jam



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim has been after me to watch the YouTube of Sagan for a week now and boy am I glad I finally did. "Rivers of blood..." Great stuff Carl.

Do any of you listen to Radio Lab? It's an NPR show/podcast. Here's a link to a webpage that breaks their "Escape" episode down into three parts. Radio Lab Escape Episode

The entire episode is fascinating, but of particular interest to this thread is the middle section, "Is There an Edge to the Heavens." This section deals with Voyager I and II and their trip beyond our solar system. It talks specifically about The Pale Blue Dot image and how it came about. Moving and inspirational to say the least.
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Jimmy Jam



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perseid Meteor Shower

http://www.space.com/16988-perseid-meteor-shower-2012-peaks-sunday.html
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kent



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not star gazing, but still pretty damn cool. My office is 100 yards from Moffett/Ames, you can bet I'll be out Friday morning for the flyover.

http://www.mercurynews.com/mike-cassidy/ci_21565641/cassidy-space-shuttle-endeavour-expected-take-final-flight
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kent



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kent wrote:
Not star gazing, but still pretty damn cool. My office is 100 yards from Moffett/Ames, you can bet I'll be out Friday morning for the flyover.

http://www.mercurynews.com/mike-cassidy/ci_21565641/cassidy-space-shuttle-endeavour-expected-take-final-flight


Big damn bird, flew directly overhead. There were several thousand people out on the levees to cheer it on. Very impressive!




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Jimmy Jam



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kent wrote:
kent wrote:
Not star gazing, but still pretty damn cool. My office is 100 yards from Moffett/Ames, you can bet I'll be out Friday morning for the flyover.

http://www.mercurynews.com/mike-cassidy/ci_21565641/cassidy-space-shuttle-endeavour-expected-take-final-flight


Big damn bird, flew directly overhead. There were several thousand people out on the levees to cheer it on. Very impressive!





Wow!! Amazing shots. You're lucky to have witnessed this!

Here are some other cool shots. http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_21600162/space-shuttle-endeavour-ready-loop-over-bay-area
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kent



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who said NASA doesn't have a sense of humor - here's how the shuttle attaches to the 747:


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Jimmy Jam



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More spectacular photos.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/21/astronomy-photos-2012-royal-observatory-greenwich-winners_n_1904191.html#slide=1552006

My 2 favorites were #12 & #20, the Jupiter - Venus beach shot, and the Milkey Way "arch" on Reunion Island.

Simply amazing.
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kent



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great pics, I liked #2, #5, and #7. Amazing that #5 & #7 were taken by 13 year-olds!
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kent



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kent wrote:
Jimmy Jam wrote:
Pretty cool stuff here. (including the math prof's take on Usain Bolt's potential)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/29/milky-way-photo-billion-stars_n_1387596.html#s809197&title=Entire_Sun_Imaged

I can't look at that first photo, and not think of Carl Sagan.


Very, very cool. For another mind-blower, google the Hubble deep field and Hubble ultra deep field images. Similar to the Milky Way image except that they show thousands and thousands of galaxies, with each galaxy containing billions of stars. You need to look at these images in their highest resolution for it to really sink in just how totally insignificant we are.


And now Hubble gives us Extreme Deep Field, giving us a view of galaxies only 450 million years after the big bang. Unbelievable!

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/xdf.html
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Jimmy Jam



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kent wrote:
kent wrote:
Jimmy Jam wrote:
Pretty cool stuff here. (including the math prof's take on Usain Bolt's potential)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/29/milky-way-photo-billion-stars_n_1387596.html#s809197&title=Entire_Sun_Imaged

I can't look at that first photo, and not think of Carl Sagan.


Very, very cool. For another mind-blower, google the Hubble deep field and Hubble ultra deep field images. Similar to the Milky Way image except that they show thousands and thousands of galaxies, with each galaxy containing billions of stars. You need to look at these images in their highest resolution for it to really sink in just how totally insignificant we are.


And now Hubble gives us Extreme Deep Field, giving us a view of galaxies only 450 million years after the big bang. Unbelievable!

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/xdf.html


Simply amazing. I am in awe. Thanks, Kent.

In other NASA news, water-transported gravel has been photographed by Curiosity. http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/news/msl20120927.html
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kent



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No longer topical but still pretty cool:

http://bcove.me/35gaf8ip
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Jimmy Jam



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Life on another planet? Could be. http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2012/11/newly-discovered-earth-like-planet-could-be-habitable/?utm_source=smithsoniantopic&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=201211011-Weekender

I love this line: "One of these (planets) HD 40307g, is the one that seems capable of potentially harboring life (exoplanets are named for their host star, along with lowercase letters starting with b and moving outwards—although some have argued that we really ought to be giving these distant planets more interesting names)"

More interesting names? I don't think that's necessary, but I do appreciate how they use understandable terms like "Goldilock zones" Not too hot. Not too cold. Just right.
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kent



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Total solar eclipse today. If you're not in the path of totality then you can watch it live here, starting around 1130a PST:

http://events.slooh.com/
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Jimmy Jam



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kent wrote:
Total solar eclipse today. If you're not in the path of totality then you can watch it live here, starting around 1130a PST:

http://events.slooh.com/


I remember looking at my first solar eclipse through a couple of those "negatives" that came along with our Kodak photos that the drug store developed. My eye doctor Dad freaked out when I showed him how I stared directly at the sun through those things. Not the first time he was pissed at me.

Leonid Meteor shower also peaks this week. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/12/leonid-meteor-shower-2012_n_2117455.html?ref=topbar

And this photo of colliding galaxies taken from Hubble is incredible. http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2012/11/12/hubble_image_ngc_2623_cosmic_train_wreck_of_two_colliding_spiral_galaxies.html

The "crash' takes place over a million trillion kilometers. (which is just a little less than what G$ runs in a week)
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GBN



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The merging galaxies phenomenon fascinates me. The galaxies are pulled together by gravity but, due to the immense distances between each star, the chances of any two stars actually colliding is virtually nil.

There's a lot of space out there.
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Doctor F



Joined: 24 Jun 2005
Posts: 9579
Location: The Empire State

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spock, boldly going where no man has gone before.


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kent



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 4530
Location: The wrong end of a leash

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty cool stuff. Recommend you start with the tour. Hard to believe these 100,000 stars represent just a tiny, tiny fraction of the 200 to 400 BILLION stars in the Milky Way, which itself is just one galaxy out of possibly one TRILLION galaxies.

http://chrome.blogspot.com/2012/11/explore-stellar-neighborhood-with-your.html

Somehow the problems I deal with at work every day seem a little insignificant right now.
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Running slow40 Hazelnut Butter Rutabagas Bulgur - the new tofu brussels sprouts ART Neti Pot 16 cool.
"I was a good kid, but it just seemed that most of the things I did were either stupid or illegal, go figure." - Evil Don
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kent



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 4530
Location: The wrong end of a leash

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vote for the Mars Rover for TIME Person of the Year (no registration required):

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2128881_2128882_2129215,00.html
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Running slow40 Hazelnut Butter Rutabagas Bulgur - the new tofu brussels sprouts ART Neti Pot 16 cool.
"I was a good kid, but it just seemed that most of the things I did were either stupid or illegal, go figure." - Evil Don
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Jimmy Jam



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 2417
Location: Evanston, IL

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kent wrote:
Vote for the Mars Rover for TIME Person of the Year (no registration required):

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2128881_2128882_2129215,00.html


Done! (although I was tempted to vote for Felix Baumgartner)

Heard about this on the radio today. Ice discovered on the poles of Mercury. (Or, at least "compelling support" for that claim.)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/29/water-on-mercury-nasa-announces-ice-poles_n_2212433.html

The comment about "ice on Uranus" cracked me up.
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Jimmy Jam



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 2417
Location: Evanston, IL

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Geminid Meteor Shower peaks tonight & tomorrow.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/13/geminid-meteor-shower-2012-shooting-stars_n_2296054.html
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kent



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 4530
Location: The wrong end of a leash

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jimmy Jam wrote:
Geminid Meteor Shower peaks tonight & tomorrow.


No Geminids for us last night/this morning, heavy marine layer of clouds settled in the area.

This photo arrive in one of my daily emails. I love this photo! Maybe because I was editing a PowerPoint deck from hell when it arrived, but the simplicity of the supporting graphics really tells a compelling story. And I think it is only with 50 years of technology behind us we can really appreciate this photo.

First there are the hand applied letters (note how the word Date is crooked at the top, and how the O in Geocentric slipped). Then there is the drawing of the inner solar system, with nothing drawn to proper scale but with perfect engineering technique. And the dotted line around the text box at the top to denote a future event!

And as a perfect counterpoint to the simplicity of the drawing you have the guys holding a massive computer printout, almost as if taunting the viewer to challenge the accuracy of the drawing and statistics behind them (data that today would fit on a computer chip the size of freckle).

This same information today would be represented in a high definition, 3-D, photorealistic animation, that while visually more stimulating, to me would not tell the same story as this photo.


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Running slow40 Hazelnut Butter Rutabagas Bulgur - the new tofu brussels sprouts ART Neti Pot 16 cool.
"I was a good kid, but it just seemed that most of the things I did were either stupid or illegal, go figure." - Evil Don
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kent



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 4530
Location: The wrong end of a leash

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jimmy Jam wrote:
Geminid Meteor Shower peaks tonight & tomorrow.


No Geminids for us last night/this morning, heavy marine layer of clouds settled in the area.

This photo arrive in one of my daily emails. I love this photo! Maybe because I was editing a PowerPoint deck from hell when it arrived, but the simplicity of the supporting graphics really tells a compelling story. And I think it is only with 50 years of technology behind us we can really appreciate this photo.

First there are the hand applied letters (note how the word Date is crooked at the top, and how the O in Geocentric slipped). Then there is the drawing of the inner solar system, with nothing drawn to proper scale but with perfect engineering technique. And the dotted line around the text box at the top to denote a future event!

And as a perfect counterpoint to the simplicity of the drawing you have the guys holding a massive computer printout, almost as if taunting the viewer to challenge the accuracy of the drawing and statistics behind them (data that today would fit on a computer chip the size of freckle).

This same information today would be represented in a high definition, 3-D, photorealistic animation, that while visually more stimulating, to me would not tell the same story as this photo.


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-k e n t

Running slow40 Hazelnut Butter Rutabagas Bulgur - the new tofu brussels sprouts ART Neti Pot 16 cool.
"I was a good kid, but it just seemed that most of the things I did were either stupid or illegal, go figure." - Evil Don
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Jimmy Jam



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 2417
Location: Evanston, IL

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool photo, Kent. Here's another 50 years, and one day later. Like staring down the barrel of a gun.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/01/04/mt_vesuvius_from_space_photo_of_volcano_from_space_station.html
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Jimmy Jam



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 2417
Location: Evanston, IL

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another awesome video from Slate.

Landscapes Vol 3.

http://vimeo.com/56879439
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