Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Launch Day


Launch day for the Discovery. Still a chance the launch might be delayed due to incoming clouds but as of this writing they are fueling up the shuttle. Despite concerns raised by an independent safety group about cracks in the shuttles wing panels the launch will proceed at 11:38am EDT. NASA is saying "the defects are too small to allow hot gasses to burn through the composite carbon covers and destroy the spaceship during atmospheric re-entry".

Shuttle Discovery's main mission is to install the Harmony module. They will also be testing new space shuttle heat shield repair methods, also moving a solar truss segment, this will be a huge job, or as they put it " like moving an entire house from one neighborhood to another. There are 5 planned spacewalks, the most ever during a shuttle flight, plenty of opportunity to catch them on NASA TV which is what I'm watching right now as I'm doing this post. T minus 3 hrs and holding, that's what the guy just said now on NASA TV, I will be watching the launch as well, remember cool TV camera angles during launch. The shuttle is planned for return on November 6th. 4:47 am EST.




I love Earthshine! Moonlight is what we see when the Sun's light bounces off the Moon onto the Earth, Earthshine is what we see on the Moon when that same light is bounced back off Earth onto the Moon again. Earthshine is the faint glow on the dark portion of the crescent Moon. I took the above image during the last waning crescent. The Moon was low on the horizon so it got a nice yellow tint to it. You can see because of the Earthshine some of the Lunar surface features on the dark portion of the Moon, like the dark Maria,(seas) Another cool thing is, look at the terminator, you can see the highlight of craters as it makes it's way across the Lunar surface.

Leonardo Da Vinci first discovered what Earthshine was back around 1510, he said the ghostly glow was due to sunlight bouncing off Earth's oceans and , in turn hitting the Moon, well he was partly right, the reflected sunlight bouncing off the Earth's clouds is the major source of Earthshine.

My name that puppy poll is now closed and it looks like drowseymonkey won, so unless me and drowseymonkey have some sort of falling out, which is kind of hard to do since we never had a falling in, don't even really know this person, (in fact I'm beginning to suspect drowseymonkey isn't her real name), I will be naming my puppy drowseymonkey. It will be a good conversation starter as I try to explain the name to friends and family, but deep down inside I know it's the right name. I'd like to take a moment to thank all of those who participated in the poll and to those of you who didn't, don't complain when I mention my dog's name drowseymonkey in my posts, you had your chance.

22 comments:

Rand said...

I'm watching the Nasa feed right now, but sadly I'm gonna have to go to bed, so I'll likely miss the proper event.

Drowseymonkey, cool name and when you tell people the story behind it well Drowseymonkey may get some publicity out of it, unusual marketing techniques "name your pets after your blog".

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Rand, too bad you'll miss the launch, well there will be plenty of time for NASA TV, and they always do replays of the launch. This is a first, I was still editing the post when I got the first comment.

Susanne in Key West said...

Hi Bob,

I was watching the start of the Discovery! Always a very impressive show!

Nice post again!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Susanne, it's amazing how fast they get up to speed, and in just a few minutes they are in space.

DrowseyMonkey said...

I'm so honoured my name will live on in your puppy!!! :) Makes me so happy.

lol @ rank...yes I guess it is a good marketing tool!

Now to your post ... very interesting about earth shine. I've heard of that but really didn't know what it meant...thanks for the great explanation & picture! Very cool!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks drowseymonkey, took me awhile to fiqure out what lol@rank meant, I thought it was computer drowseymonkey talk, then I knew you meant rand,lol.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Bob,
I voted for Drowseymonkey. :D Bet you'll post some awesome drowsey-eyed dog photos.

And never heard of Earthshine before. Awesome moon photo!!! Now I'll know what to look for. :D

I don't like it when we have to worry about the shuttle's re-entry.

Hugs, JJ

kml said...

Your Earthshine is gorgeous!

I'm anxious to hear what your nickname for Drowseymonkey will be - the name is quite a mouthful!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JJ, when I get my puppy they'll be plenty of pics, lol.

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Kathy, I was thinking dm

Anonymous said...

sasha e um cara lindo

DrowseyMonkey said...

oh yes...I did mean rand. Obviously I needed to move my fingers one key over that way -->

Watashi Alamo said...

Great post Bob, and, as usual, fantastic pictures. You definitely have the skill.

Bob Johnson said...

Hey drowseymonkey, I thought so,lol.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks watashi alamo!

Rick said...

Can't believe you really named your puppy drowseymonkey!! I just got DirectTv out where I live and I have never seen NASA TV. Well worth the bill in itself!

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Rick, did you vote for Boba?,lol. NASA TV is awesome and like you said well worth the cost just for that, it always has something on it.

Anna said...

Bob, this is an excellent post. Everyday I visit and read your posts I really do learn something. Never really knew about the Earthsine, cool stuff. And also about the Discovery shuttle, I always thought they just go there for a walk, okay and partially some experimental work something to do with life in space, lol. Not been following the NASA, so is it flying yet? Okay may be you have it in your next post, this is where I am going now. And if they not flying yet, then I hope everything turns out to be okay with these little cracks, being an engineer, I just don't trust things like that. Anna :) BTW nice photo, and you always have a way to add to it, so it is even more interesting.

Lynda Lehmann said...

I always learn something when I read your posts, Bob! I had never heard of "Earthshine," but of course, it makes sense!

As for your dog, what will give him for a nickname? Just curious...

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Lynda! that's the beauty of it, don't need a nickname, can use part of the whole, example, drowsey, or monkey, : ))

Rose said...

I love that shot. My son wants a telescope for Christmas. Any advice for a newbie?

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Rose, it all depends on the price point, I always suggest a celestron starhopper 6" scope, they are going for about $250 right now, that will give him lots of power to view planets and deep sky objects as well.