April 15, 2014
blood moon, lunar eclipse, orbital dynamics, warning from god
A Lunar eclipse occurred last night, with the Moon slipping into the Earth’s shadow. The refraction of light through the Earth’s atmosphere created the reddish hue, not quite darkening our sister planet. (The Earth and Moon are more accurately a binary planet system, rather than a primary and satellite system.)
The term “Blood Moon” seems to be the result of the media glomming onto a doomsday prophet, ‘end of the world’, God is coming book seller. It doesn’t seem to have any historical relevance, but since it’s caught the fancy of reporters around the world, we’re stuck with it. Some have gone so far as to claim it’s a sign from God, warning President Obama (about something… pick a wingnut cause and use that, for all the sense they make).
Several more of these eclipses will happen in the next few years, just as they’ve happened ever since the Moon reached it’s current orbital distance from the Earth. (the Moon used to be much closer to Earth, but tidal friction and orbital dynamics have been moving it further away ever since it formed. Using devices left on there by the Apollo missions, we can measure that movement precisely.)
Space Cadet Jimmiejoe contributed to this blog.
April 6, 2014
Curiosity, HiRISE, Mars, NASA pics, space science
Curiosity, on Mars, from orbit. Photo taken by HiRISE. Just wow.
To give you a sense of scale, here’s the Curiosity’s twin on Earth:
(and, as an aside… if NASA can take pictures like this from orbit, and release them, can you imagine what spy satellites are capable of these days? It boggles the mind. Next time you’re outside, look up, smile, and wave. It’ll give the CIA and NSA guys something to wonder about!)
March 22, 2014
astronaut selfie, george clooney, gravity, NASA, sandra bullock
I’m sorry, but Sandra and George didn’t come close.
March 17, 2014
commentary, geek, Personal
chinese space station, george clooney, gravity, ISS, sandra bullock, space movie, space shuttle explorer
They say you have to “suspend disbelief” to enjoy some movies, but when a movie is about something you’re really interested in, it becomes more difficult as the filmmakers take “artistic license” to the extreme. The new movie “Gravity” is one such example. Where to begin with all that’s wrong with this film?
First, let me tell you what was good. The technical aspects were first rate. The visuals, the micro-gravity, most of the movement were spot on. It looked almost like it was filmed in space! The scenes of the astronauts in orbit, the Earth, the space shuttle and space station looked incredibly real. The story line was mostly good, but some really odd things popped in from time to time, making one wonder “what the hell was that?” (the chinese guy talking with the barking dog and crying baby? huh?)
Now, for the bad…
March 5, 2014
commentary, geek, Personal
cell phone, communications satellite, hoverboard, I live in the future, jimmiejoe, SpaceCadet
A few minutes ago, I was sitting in my living room, holding a little piece of plastic and metal to my ear, no wires connecting me to any plugs on the walls, talking to a friend in Virginia as he drove down a highway. Space Cadet JimmieJoe was jumping up and down in my head again, amazed.
When I was 12, the Space Cadet often daydreamed about the future. There were spaceships and incredible computers. Meals would be selected on a screen, and be magically transported to the table by a conveyor. Communication anywhere on the planet would be simple, quick, and complete with video. Super sonic jets would whisk you to anyplace on Earth in a short time, and, of course, flying cars would be everywhere. Think – “The Jetsons”.
Well, the future is here, but it looks a bit different than Space Cadet JimmieJoe imagined.
February 10, 2014
Curiosity rover, dune running on Mars, Mars, Mars rovers, NASA
February 10,2014. Mars. Unbelievably freaking cool.
The JPL source page, here.
January 31, 2014
Curiosity, Mars, Mars rovers, NASA, science, space science, space travel
Pictures like this just enthrall me. This is a real place. On another planet.
December 29, 2013
drone training, Fresno, friant dam, video drone, visalia
Important first steps in training your very own drone.
October 4, 2013
9-1-1, geek, Personal
911 dispatch, dispatch, tulare, tulare county sheriff, visalia
10-4-2013 Tulare County Sheriff’s Dispatch, Channel 1, south end of Tulare County.
October 2, 2013
blooper, city on the edge of forever, edith keeler, fallout shelter sign, Kirk, McCoy, Spock, star trek
Ok, fellow Star Trek fans, here’s a mission for you. Can you spot the technical error in this screen capture from the ST: TOS episode “City on the edge of forever”? If you’ll recall, the story involves Kirk, Spock, and McCoy travelling to 1930 New York City by way of the Guardian of Forever. First aired April 6, 1967, our intrepid heroes must right McCoy’s interference in history in order to restore the timeline, and save the world from being conquered by the Nazis.
Well, I’m sure the sharp eyed among you have noticed the More