Category Archives: Astronomy

That Old Blue Moon

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Total Eclipse of the Moon of 2018 Jan. 31
Delta T: 69.7s

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Location: W 95°38’00.0″, N39°04’00.0″, 200m
(Longitude referred to Greenwich meridian)

Moon’s Position
UT1 Altitude Azimuth Angle
d h m ° ° °
Moon enters penumbra 31 10:49.8 29.1 268.5 89.3
Moon enters umbra 31 11:48.1 18.1 277.0 83.2
Moon enters totality 31 12:51.4 6.4 286.0 241.1
Maximum Eclipse 31 13:29.8 -0.4 291.6 10.4
Moonset 31 13:32 —- 292.0 —–

Penumbral Duration: 2h 42.6m
Umbral Duration: 1h 44.2m
Duration of Totality: 0h 41.0m
Magnitude: 1.321

Hi Readers…… Thanks for coming by for a read.

A while back I came across a vintage Meade 114mm EQ telescope still in the box, evidently never having been out of it.   Just the sort of thing I dreamed about down on Gale’s meadow down in Texas.    But now it’s here in my apartment complete with a multitude of eye-pieces, a motor drive, moon filters, and a complete lunar eclipse coming at me January 31.

I’ll confess to your I find it mildly annoying that a blue moon doesn’t have a dadgummed thing to do with the visual aspects …… it just means it’s the second full moon in a calendar month, which doesn’t happen all that often.   And while I’m being mildly annoyed moon-wise, I might as well wring it out further and say, what’s the deal with calling four total eclipses in a row a Blood Moon?   How unspectacular is that, anyway?   Blood moon Blue Moon and all we get is just another plain old ordinary full lunar eclipse.

Yawn.

But you have to admit there have been a number of really good songs about blue moons….. Sinatra, Billie Holliday, the Marcels, Ella Fitzgerald, Elvis, Dean Martin, Jo Stafford, Greta Keller, Ritchie Valens, and even Sam Cooke sang about it.    So whatever it lacks in spectacular out-of-the-ordinary-eclipse visuals, you have to admit there’s plenty of fine background music.

I don’t know about you, but if I can stay awake and if it isn’t too frigid I’m going to be looking at that blue moon this time around.    And maybe have myself a little concert of dead singers harmonizing about it so’s I won’t forget how special it is.

Thanks for the visit.

Old Jules

 

 

 

 

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Old Sol: “Quit trying to play God!” – “Move Israel to Puerto Rico”

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

This pre-dawn Old Sol laid it on fairly thickly.

Old Sol:  With this procedure I’ll be going through I need some quiet time.  I don’t need any unexpected emotional upheavals nor any drama to add to the stress.  I’m depending on my Chosen People to keep things settled down.  You don’t have anything in the works to rattle things do you?

Me:  I don’t think so.  The Japanese seem to have the Pacific Ocean fairly well taken care of so you won’t have to concern yourself with it much longer.  I suppose Israel might nuke someone and get itself wiped off the map, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise.  They’ve been working on that fifty years.

Old Sol:  I swear!  Things were calm in the Middle East for almost a thousand years.  Then you people and the British had to play God.  Moved those people back there and I haven’t heard about anything but trouble there for half a century.

Me:  Just trying to do what was right.

Old Sol:  What was right?  If I wanted those people living there making trouble I’d never have allowed the Romans to run them off.  If you wanted to give them a homeland why there, where they were sure to make trouble?  Why not Puerto Rico?  You OWNED that.  Water on all sides.  Nobody to piss off except the people already there.

Me:  They didn’t want Puerto Rico.  They thought you wanted them where they used to be.

Old Sol:  Why would they think that?  I haven’t even hinted they’re Chosen People since a long time before the Romans ran them out.  If they want to be Chosen People they need to be in the US or a US territory.  Give them Puerto Rico.  They’ll be part of the Chosen People again.  Part of the United States.  And the only borders they can violate will be salt water.  End of problem.

Me:  But what about the Puerto Ricans?  They think they already own the place.

Old Sol:  Send them to Texas.  Put them to work in all those new oil fields I just gave you.  No trouble.  Those Zionists will have a homeland and get to be part of the Chosen People again, and the Puerto Ricans will have jobs.  Besides, I always intended Texas to be mostly for Mexicans.  Puerto Ricans are mostly Mexicans.

Me:  I’ll pass this on, but nobody’s going to like it.

Old Jules

Old Sol’s gender change

The sun’s magnetic field is about to flip

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/05aug_fieldflip/

Hi readers. Thanks for coming by for a read.

Praying up Old Sol this morning He brought up a sensitive issue we’re all going to have to try to work with. Hurting the feelings of Old Sol might not be wise at this stage of the game.

Old Sol:  Now that you’re finally recognizing that the United States is My Chosen People instead of that bunch of imposters over in the Middle East there are a couple of things we ought to get straight.

Me:  I’m pretty much up for anything.  Is this a good time for you?

Old Sol:  It’s okay.  I’ve got a little time right now.  Later on I’ll have My people call your people to hammer out the details.

Me:  So what’s on your mind?

Old Sol:  Well, it’s about this Old Sol thing, and about He.  That’s been okay for the past eleven years, but it’s about to change.  It won’t be long before I’m a She instead of a He.

Me:  Hmmmm.  It’s going to take some getting used to.  I suppose we can work it in somehow.  We’ve changed all kinds of other things during the past generation.

Old Sol:  Actually it’s not just the He and She thing.  There’s more to it.  A male doesn’t mind being called old.  But I’m about to be female gender, and having My Chosen People throwing around the word ‘Old’ probably won’t be the best way of keeping things straight and level.

Me:  Wow.  I hadn’t thought about that.

Old Sol:  That’s the reason I’m bringing it up.  Old Lady Sun, Mama Sun, Mama Sol, none of those would be prudent under the circumstances.  Allowances can be made for slips using He because human habits are just not easy to change.  But flippancy could cause some anger.

Me:  Sheeze.  Okay.  I’ll have my people call your people.

Old Jules

Scientists are going to have to do something about this

Hi readers.  I don’t know whether you’ve heard about this yet, or not, so I’ll fill you in.

The creatures on Zeta Trianguli Australis, HR3384, HR1925, Beta Trianguli Australis, 85 Pegasi, and Rho¹ Cancri are all really pissed off about how this Vietnam war just goes on and on.  They’re all around 40 light years away, so the news on earth is a bit slow reaching them, but that ain’t their problem.   That’s the problem created by earth scientists with their dumbass speed limits on radio and light waves.

Fact is, they’ve got creatures taking to the streets rioting about that war.  Religious types setting themselves afire in protest.  National Guardsmen on Pegasi who support the war even fired laser rifles at a bunch of college kids.

But that ain’t the worst of it.  On Zeta Trianguli they’re all stirred up about President Richard Nixon and all the stuff he’s doing to get re-elected.  Heck, they want the President of the US impeached!

What’s so terrible about it all is that creatures on some nearer locations are getting exercised about the Iran hostage crisis, thinking Jimmy Carter needs to do something about it.  And down the road a little way they’re celebrating Ronald Reagan getting elected.

A bit closer in, those monster-looking creatures aren’t anywhere nearly so happy though, as the ones still dancing in the streets about Ronald Reagan’s trickle-down de-regulation policies and his proposals to sell off all the National Forests and BLM lands to real estate developers.  Busting up the Air Traffic Controller Union.

No, those closer garden-slug-things with 16 eyes already went through that and it’s old news.  For them it’s Bill Clinton using the CIA to bring hard drugs into a Federal airstrip in Arkansas, getting into all manner of real estate fraud scandals, and messing up the clothing of some White House clerk-typist.

There are insectoids fairly put out by that second Bush.  And even though they’re fairly up-to-date, the intelligent grapevines on Alpha Centauri are fairly hacked about the wossname, BLM oil spill and this guy in the White House now.

I think you can see how this thing amounts to a crisis, and how the only people who can deal with it are the same people who created it.  Scientists.  Getting laws passed about how fast light and radio waves can travel.

That’s going to have to be changed.  Get everyone singing from the same songbook.

But while we’re at it we probably ought to end the Vietnam War and get Tricky Dixon out of the White House.

Old Jules

The planetary hurricane plague cry for mitigation

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

You won’t be seeing this anywhere else because of the conspiracy of silence and the failure of global governments to take responsibility for what man is doing to screw up the weather on the planet Venus.

Mystery on Venus: ‘Super-Hurricane’ Force Winds Inexplicably Get Stronger

http://weather.yahoo.com/mystery-venus-super-hurricane-force-winds-inexplicably-stronger-104226704.html

The howling, hurricane-force winds of Venus are blowing even faster lately, and scientists aren’t sure why.

Average cloud-top wind speeds on Venus rose 33 percent between 2006 and 2012, jumping from 186 mph (300 km/h) to 249 mph (400 km/h), observations by Europe’s Venus Express orbiter show.

“This is an enormous increase in the already high wind speeds known in the atmosphere,” Igor Khatuntsev of the Space Research Institute in Moscow said in a statement. “Such a large variation has never before been observed on Venus, and we do not yet understand why this occurred.”

If you’re like me you’re naturally deeply concerned about this claim it’s not yet understood.  What’s happening on Venus is plainly and simply the result of something else man’s doing.  Attempting to shirk responsibility is merely an attempt to avoid changing our behaviors causing it.  Whatever it is that man is doing to cause those winds on Venus to skyrocket needs to be identified, then curtailed.

We owe it to ourselves, and we owe it to the solar system to recognize that anything unexpected happening on a planetary scale anywhere can’t help being a consequence of something human beings are doing.

Even though nobody understands the specifics of those Venus wind changes a good place to begin correcting it would be for people in Indonesia to put out those damned forest fires and quit playing with matches.  After that we need to reduce the size of the roofs on our dwellings and paint them black so’s they absorb sunlight instead of reflecting.

Likely it won’t do any good insofar as the wind speeds on Venus, but at least we’ll be doing something and will be able to feel better about ourselves.

Remember where you heard it first.

Old Jules

Disambiguating Phobos

phobos

If you’re like me you’re probably getting fairly impatient with all this shilly-shallying around that’s been happening with finding out what’s going on with the Mars moon, Phobos.  That thing has been out there making people who know everything feel less good about themselves than they want to almost since it was first discovered.  Forcing them to use terms such as, ‘poorly understood’, ‘not completely understood’, ‘not yet fully understood’, when they write things about the way it behaves.

Problem is the thing refuses to behave itself the way the people who know how objects in orbit ought to behave.  As I recall it’s the fastest moving object in the Solar System, and I mean FAST.  And it isn’t anywhere near as dense as it ought to be.  Just for beginners.

If there’s an ‘artifact’ anywhere in the Solar System, Phobos probably stands a better chance of being it than anything else anyone knows about does.

NASA Eyes ‘Hedgehog’ Invasion of Mars Moon Phobosby Elizabeth Howell, SPACE.com ContributorDate: 19 January 2013 Time: 10:35 AM ET

http://www.space.com/19342-space-hedgehogs-mars-moon-phobos.html

A daring, “Angry Birds”-like NASA mission could bombard a Martian moon with robotic “hedgehog” probes in the next few decades, scientists say.

The space hedgehogs are actually small, spiky, spherical rovers that form part of a novel mission idea called Phobos Surveyor. The rovers would take advantage of the low gravity on the Mars moon Phobos, its sister moon Deimos, or asteroids in the solar system. Engineers have designed the devices to work in concert with a nearby mother ship.  

The hedgehogs would work well in the low gravity of the 16-mile-wide (27 kilometers) Phobos, a force 1,000 times weaker than the gravity on Mars itself, where NASA’s Curiosity and Opportunity rovers currently explore, said researcher Marco Pavone of Stanford University. Gravity on Mars is about one-third that of the Earth.

Okay, fine.  But the fact is, I’d like to see some questions answered about this thing before I get dead, or much more senile than I am already.  I want to know whether that thing is hollow.  And going about it in slow steps, using things that haven’t even been invented yet is going to take a long time. 

We spent all that money during the 1950s and 1960s inventing hydrogen bombs we never got any use out of.  Maybe it’s time to put them to some useful work.  We probably have the technology today to get a hydrogen bomb delivered right there dead center of Phobos within the next couple of years.

Time someone, hopefully the Chinese or the Japanese, launched a hydrogen bomb at phobos to see what happens when it hits.  And whether it shoots back.  Time for some serious disambiguation.

Just saying.

Jules

Edit:  The thing’s obviously not able to defend itself anyway and the chances of it shooting back are almost certainly not all that likely.  Whatever made all those dents in it, the impacts are bound to have generated a lot of heat inside and rattled the eye teeth of the might-have-been computers and defunct Buffalo Bills aiming rockets and pushing buttons of weapons systems.  Knocking a nice hole right in the middle a person could focus a telescope on for a looksee would improve things enough to make it worth the risk and the cost.    Easily enough to make it worth the miniscule risk of it raining down nukes on the Japanese or Chinese launch sites.

Christmas morning assumptions to all

Old Sol

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

I assume all of you are responding to the Universe in whatever ways suit you best this morning, and I wish that on you with profound enthusiasm and cheer.

For those of you who haven’t noticed, things have changed a lot here on earth since last Christmas.  For instance, the barycenters of earth and moon:

                                   Earth                                 
    
                     Barycentric Equatorial Positions                    
                    Mean Equator and Equinox of J2000.0                  
    
   Date        Time               X                Y                Z  
        (UT1) 
             h  m   s             AU               AU               AU
2012 Dec 25 00:00:00.0    –  0.059985055   +  0.898520188   +  0.389478777

                                   Earth                                 
    
                     Barycentric Equatorial Positions                    
                    Mean Equator and Equinox of J2000.0                  
    
   Date        Time               X                Y                Z  
        (UT1) 
             h  m   s             AU               AU               AU
2011 Dec 25 00:00:00.0    –  0.048871098   +  0.900279920   +  0.390286717

                                   Moon                                  
    
                     Barycentric Equatorial Positions                    
                    Mean Equator and Equinox of J2000.0                  
    
   Date        Time               X                Y                Z
        (UT1) 
             h  m   s             AU               AU               AU
2012 Dec 25 00:00:00.0    –  0.058478965   +  0.900591248   +  0.390372982

                                   Moon                                  
    
                     Barycentric Equatorial Positions                    
                    Mean Equator and Equinox of J2000.0                  
    
   Date        Time               X                Y                Z
        (UT1) 
             h  m   s             AU               AU               AU
2011 Dec 25 00:00:00.0    –  0.048617062   +  0.897988672   +  0.389385589

Nothing to be alarmed about, at least not yet, but still something to keep in mind.  I’m a lot more concerned about Old Sol and that Frosty The Snowman carrot he’s got for a nose at the moment.  That can’t bode well for any of us.

However, on a more cheerful note.  Or less ominous, anyway.

I just got around to opening my latest Hawaii KONATE bulletin from December 19, expecting to find out what time it was somewhere sometime.  Instead, I got this:

human clock

time greetings

I’m not certain what to make of it.  The time might be ten minutes until twelve somewhere, or  what?  Ten pm?

Then there’s this thing declaring time is valuable and what I ought to do with mine.  What the hell do these people know about time?  If it’s so valuable, what the hell are they doing lying around pretending to be a clock?

Here I was wanting to know what time it was in Hamburg sometime last week and might be in Peking day-after-tomorrow.  Last thing I wanted Christmas morning was a lot of cryptic meaning telling me what to do with my time and people lying around somewhere sometime on an upside-down clock.

But I hope you’ll all respond to it in whatever barycentric way you choose.

The New Old Jules and the Enlightened Cats