mars attacked!

Tonights the night…

At around 10:30pm tonight, JPL and NASA will hopefully land
the newest mars rover successfully on the martian surface.
The landing will be accomplished by an altogether new concept
than their previous rover landings by using a rocket powered
sky crane. Lets all hope the rover makes a successful landing
and provides us with a ton of awsome science!

For live coverage of the Mars Science Laboratory landing, be
sure to click the following link tonight around 10:00pm Pacific,
1:00am eastern.

– - – U P D A T E - – -

Curiosity has landed safely with it’s wheels down on the
martian surface! According to the Data, Curiosity landed
perfectly and exactly as planned. Congratulations to all
the hard work and dedication of all the JPL gang in good
old Pasadena that made this historic event happen, and
right on time!

A very happy JPL tech dude. Don’t know who…


5k megapixel sky survey

Have some fun zooming in and out of our nite sky. Taken in some of
the darkest nite sky spots in the world, Nick Risinger stiched together
a beautiful 5000 MP image of our entire night sky. His efforts have
produced a beautiful photo that show things in the nite sky that some
people will never ever see with their naked eye in their lifetime.
Go ahead and check it out. Zoom into the Orien Nebula, then check
out the Andromeda Galaxy, then hop over to the Large Magellanic
cloud, then peer into the center of our galaxy. Enjoy.


messier marathon

This weekend, a few friends and I are going to attend yet another
Messier Marathon at GMARS in Landers, CA. Goat Mountain
Astronomical Research Site belongs to the great folks at the Riverside
Astronomical Society. Admission is free and so is camping but there
are rules. If any of you plan to attend (which I seriously doubt) you
must read and adhere to the rules on the RAS website.

In the picture above is the 22 inch reflecting dobsonian telescope
called Capella. Capella used to be owned by the club I am a member
of called the Pomona Valley Amateur Astronomers, PVAA, but was
falling into disrepair and was sold to the RAS group. They fixed her
all up and have her living at GMARS now. The views this telescope
provide are breathtaking to put it mildly. It is usually available to
anyone throughout the evening to look through for FREE! You can
see the giant splooge on the concrete left by the last guy to
look through it.

Hope to see you there although it’s pretty damn dark. Be sure to
bring a red, not too bright flashlight. If you use any other color out
there some big dude from RAS will come over and kick the shit out
of you. Just giving you fair warning.



“Skywatchers, grab your blankets. December’s night sky spectacular
will feature the best meteor shower of 2010”... Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ve
heard that one before. Well, i guess we shall see. At least those who
are serious about watching meteor showers anyway. Seriously however,
if you check out at least one meteor shower a year, this should be the
one. It usually is the best of them all.

There will also be a total lunar eclipse on the 20th of December visible
in North America this year too so be ready for it. It’s just 10 days away.



under new managment

Hold onto your sunscreen, the sun is now owned by a woman
in the region of Galicia in Spain. She has just recently registered
the star as her own property. It gets better, She plans to charge
everyone who uses the sun too. Sun rates havent been made
public yet but she sure knows what she is going to do with the

I can’t wait to hear about the lawsuits for skin cancer and
droughts and exposed film and flyballs lost in the sun. What other
lawsuits can be thought up? The skies the limit.

Read the article.


Book some time on a real scientific grade telescope through the
web and snap some pictures. It’s free! There is also a ridiculously
low price upgrade to access other options on this website. Check
it out. I think Firefox may be a better experience than IE on this one.


what if they had crashed?

Fourty one years ago, man took his first steps on the moon.
When you think of the incredible odds against that monumental
task and then think about leaving the moon and returning home
unharmed with a story to tell and a box of rocks to show for it
becomes a little mind numbing. To think that against all odds it
was done, and not once but six times in total. Now with the
exception of the launchpad fire that took the lives of astronauts
Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee during the attempted
launch of Apollo 1 and the near death of astronauts James A. Lovell,
John L. “Jack” Swigert, and Fred W. Haise in Apollo 13 due to an
oxygen tank rupture, you have to admit that we were pretty
lucky to pull them off at all. Now just think what it would have been
like if the first moon landing had failed and the mission only returned
with one astronaut instead of three. Take fifteen minutes to listen
to a fictional story made by Johnathan Mitchell and Hillary Frank
based on contingency speech written by William Safire for Richard
Nixon titled “In the Event of Moon Disaster” just in case Buzz Aldrin
and Neil Armstrong never made it back from the moon.
I think you’ll like it.


tour of the ISS

One of the coolest videos I’ve seen in a while. I am amazed at just
how big the International Space Station is now. Soon the United
States space shuttles will no longer dock with this enormous
station because they are going to be retired leaving the task of
shuttling personnel up there to the Russians. Enjoy the tour of
the ISS. Let me know what you think.

vis kq6zz