…can affect Earth by disrupting electrical grids, airline and military communications, GPS signals and even cell phones, the agency said.
However, according to those who should know more, they have absolutely no effect on Earth’s climate or weather. I really think otherwise. Look at that pic again and look at how little Earth is compared to all that energy. Granted, it dissipates before it gets here, it’s still a load of energy that affects satellites and stuff in space. But, according to them, that has no effect on Earth alone. I’m a tough sell on that issue. Today is the beginning of that cycle. Let’s see what happens around 2010 or so.
This is the time for the Geminid meteor show. It was cloudy and overcast here, so I didn’t go out of my way. However, about 11:30pm Eastern time, I stepped outside to try to reign in Moonlet after a night of regaling with his friend. He was wound up, so I was letting him run around a bit. Whilst outside, I saw a flaming ball shoot across the sky and most likely explode. It was BIG! I mean that in relation to your average Geminid, which is a pin sized shot. This in appearance was at least a glowing marble. It was very exciting.
A couple of weeks or so I posted the Chang’e 1′s picture of the Moon on my Bowie blog because they named their spaceship after a Bowie album. That was about as exciting as I thought the story would get. Here it is again:
I post it again here for a different reason. The story got strange. Several noted astronomers couldn’t help but notice there were strange things about the pic. Originally, it was kind of upside down. The Chinese explained that fairly well. Then, there were things where they were not supposed to be. Like a little crater. The Chinese claimed they had discovered a new crater. Emily Lakdawalla solved that one. It seems the pics came back in strips and they cut and pasted it together to make what it is we see. Apparently they didn’t do a very good job. So, the bottom line is nothing terribly exciting has come from the Chinese venture to the Moon. Which is sorta how I felt in the first place.
And, in the immortal words of Bowie, who this whole adventure seems to reflect his earlier works, this whole thing seems to have turned to face the strange.
( This is not an endorsement of Photoshop, I use that generically as the process used. )
The Venus Express finished it’s second Venusian day of work. That took about 2/3 of a year or more. Venusian days are 117 Earth days. That means if I were living on Venus, I’d be about three months old with grey hair. That sounds just plain wrong. What also sound just plain wrong is living in an evironment that looks something like:
What’s also way wrong is they think volcanoes are an important clue as to the climate of Venus. I’m here to tell them now, they wouldn’t make much difference. It’s hell. Whether it’s oxygen, carbon, or methane, it’s hell. There’s no life there. Probably never has been. Comparing it to Earth is thoroughly meaningless. They’re about the same size. That’s all.
Venus does make for some very cool movies tho. I want the real think next time tho.
Check this out:
To the right is object we are all quite familiar with, the sun. To the left, is Comet Holmes that’s been in the news of late. Now, this is where it gets real weird to me. This is a true-scale comparison! Comet Holmes right now is bigger than the Sun. Now, it doesn’t have the mass or energy the sun has, but I can’t recall seeing a comet nearly this big ever.
I might finally be motivated to try to see this thing with something a little more pwerful than my naked eye. This is very cool!
The minor planet 2007 VN84 does not exist and the designation is to be retired.
This incident, along with previous NEOCP postings of the WMAP spacecraft, highlights the deplorable state of availability of positional information on distant artificial objects (whether in earth orbit or in solar orbit). The Distant Artificial Satellites Observations (DASO) page lists a number of such objects, but has to be updated on a fairly regular basis from five different sources and data is not always available for the timespans needed. A single source for information on all distant artificial objects would be very desirable.
This just leads me to wonder how Denis could figure it out and not MPC, which is assigned the duty of doing so? And, it also makes me wonder if they bother to read any news at all regarding man-made objects since the Rosetta fly-by has been all over various astronomy sites. I have no dog in this issue, but I knew Rosetta was coming for weeks.
My instinct tells me there are too many agencies doing the same thing and not talking to each other. The last thing we need when researching near Earth objects is beauracratic turf fighting. NEO and MPC need to be one and the same. If the IAU wants to help fund these types of services, then they need to join WITH NEO and not be totally detached from it as they obviously are now. Now, I’m no fan of NEO’s efforts either. But maybe, if they combine the efforts of the two, then we’ll get better information on something this important.
This is pretty cool. I’m not sure it’s ever happened in my lifetime before. Every so often a comet will fly by that catches the Sun just right and puts on a show for a few days. This week or so, we’ll have TWO putting on somewhat of a show! Is that cool or what?
First up is comet Holmes. This is a fairly regular guy that no one ever normally sees. Only very powerful telescopes have ever seen it. However, for reasons yet unkown, he decided to light up this year and is visible to the eye right now:
Not sure how long this will last being as it wasn’t really supposed to happen. It’s very cloudy here, I’ll probably miss it.
Second on the list is comet Loneos. This one’s staying fairly dim, but MIGHT be visible in the Northern Hemisphere around sunset:
Jupiter’s easy to find, it’ll be right around it.
2029. Where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, I wrote about this over two years ago…..
The call to action stems from an orbiting hunk of stone that for a few days around Christmas had scientists on the edges of their seats.The asteroid, named 2004 MN4, was found last year. It orbits the Sun but crosses the path of Earth. In December, preliminary observations showed it might strike in 2029, according to NASA scientists. It briefly had the highest odds ever assigned to a possible collision. Further investigation ruled out the 2029 impact scenario, but scientists cannot yet rule out an impact in 2036.
Could this possibly be the same asteroid, or has this Russian suddenly discovered something already known? Well, according to NASA’s Near Earth Object Program, Apophis and 2004 MN4 are one and the same. So, what is the point of this article? Although Boris Shustov’s statements may have been made yesterday, the story is old. Scientists have already stated it would be fairly catastrophic, and have already come to the conclusion it won’t hit the Earth in 2029.
But, it might in 2036.
But that’s not what Shustov is saying now. But that IS what the media is reporting.
Bad, bad, Shustov. Even badder media. Fact check just for once. Please.
You see all kinds of animations and stories about stellar objects colliding with incredible visuals and big booms and such. Here’s one that sort of defies the norm and in my opinion, is probably a lot more common. Watch this:
Comet Encke gets too close to the Sun, gets slammed by a corornal mass ejection, and loses its tail. No big massive booms or Star Trek like explosions, it just falls off. And, what’s even cooler to me, Encke immediately grows another one. If you missed that split second collision, you’d never know it ever happened.