Thursday, October 29, 2015

It's been a while, and a lot has been going on...

The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross is now on Twitchtv! Who doesn't love happy little trees!

At 383 days and counting, Scott Kelly has been in space longer than any other American Astronaut.

Someone 3D printed this pretty awesome Turbofan Engine.

and I took this pretty awesome picture of Jupiter, Mars, and Venus in conjunction last week:

Note, the moons of Jupiter... I was pretty excited when I found out I could get that through my 300 mm lens!

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Goodnight Space Man...

I had only heard the name George Mueller in a couple documentaries talking about the various Apollo Missions, the Space Shuttles, and a couple of random other books on space flight. He may not have walked in space, but he oversaw that completion of the Apollo Missions and the start of the Shuttle Missions. He pushed reorganization on a massive scale in one of the most inertia bound groups in history.

Dr. Mueller passed away on October 12, 2015. May he rest well after a job well done.

The full NASA write up is here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

October Conjunction Craziness

This is a photo I took a couple weeks ago just as Jupiter was becoming visible before sunrise. In this show Jupiter is low, and to the left of the scoreboard, directly above the scoreboard at two-thirds from the bottom is Mars in red, and on the right toward the top is the bright dot that is Venus.

In October, these planets get extremely close (photo from Stellarium app) on their approach. For those of you with clear skies, look east in the mornings and you'll see these dots nearly converge on the 27th. The Moon gets in the mix between now and then, over the next couple days. Universe Today talks about all of the pre-dawn happenings this month here!

2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to:
Tomas Lindahl
Francis Crick Institute and Clare Hall Laboratory, Hertfordshire, UK

Paul Modrich
Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA

Aziz Sancar
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

“for mechanistic studies of DNA repair"

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

2015 Nobel Prize in Physics

The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics goes to:
Takaaki Kajita
Super-Kamiokande Collaboration
University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan
Arthur B. McDonald
Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Collaboration
Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada
“for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass”

Monday, October 5, 2015

2015 Nobel Prizes

It's Nobel Prize week! This is always a great time for people to recognize scientists, engineers, artists, and humanitarians who have given something great to humanity.

The first Nobel Prize this week is in Medicine/Physiology, going to:
divided, one half jointly to William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura "for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites" and the other half to Youyou Tu "for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria".
Congratulations! More to come tomorrow!

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Ferryman

In Greek Mythology, Charon is the ferryman of the kingdom of the dead. He would take souls across the rivers Styx and Acheron, and served the God of the Dead, Hades. It is for this reason that the largest satellite of Pluto share this name. Across the solar system, planets (and dwarf planets) are named for the gods of roman mythology, while (for the most part) the satellites are named for the equivalent greek god's close allies.

Charon, the moon, was one of the objects imaged by New Horizons on its flyby back in July. NASA just released this picture of it, along with a whole bunch of new data. Check it all out here!