Friday, June 13, 2008

Moon, Spica and Plutoids

While on my holidays to Winfield/Kelowna I got a cool shot of the Moon as a jet contrail was falling into it, I like to call it "Saturn Moon with Spica off the top right" as it looks kind of like Saturn and Spica is off the top right of the Saturn Moon, and yes it is framed, I'm am having way too much fun with this new framing software. Spica is the brightest star in the constellation Virgo and 16th. brightest star in the night sky. Spica is a blue giant, you can see it's blueness in the image above and is around 2,300 times more luminous then our own Sun.

The International Astronomical Union has just decided what to call Pluto and Pluto like celestial bodies; a "Plutoid", the definition of a Plutoid is; "Plutoids are celestial bodies in orbit around the Sun at a distance greater than that of Neptune that have sufficient mass for their self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces to that they assume a near spherical shape, and that have not cleared the neighbourhood around their orbit." Well La De Da isn't that special. As far as I'm concerned Pluto is and should be given the title planet back, if they think that by naming a new classification of celestial bodies after it and then hoping us "Pluto for Planet People" or the PPP as I liked to be called, are going to roll over and die, they're wrong and the vast majority of people are like mind. Don't get me wrong I'm all for calling the next dwarf planet or rock or whatever they end up calling them a Plutoid but lets grandfather little Pluto, sometimes you have to put science on the back burner to keep a little bit of our history and humanity alive.

JJ , in her comment asked if there were any petitions around to try and save the planet status of Pluto, there are a couple and you can find them at, Pluto Petition and Please Save Pluto, very easy and quick to use. Right now it's 21,456 for Pluto to remain a planet, and 4,682 for Pluto not to keep it's planet status.

The Mars Phoenix Lander has samples of the Martian soil in it's microscope station as well as in one of the lander's ovens, and all the people say "Burn Baby Burn". Phoenix lead investigator Peter Smith said "There could be real discoveries to come as we analyze this soil with our various instruments. We have just the right instruments to do the job." I for one am looking forward to the upcoming days and weeks to see what new and exciting things we may learn about Mars from this marvel of human technology.

I'd like to leave you now with an animated earthshine image I took a week ago.


AngelBaby said...

I love coming here, I learn so much. I agree Pluto should be a planet. The people on Pluto don't want to be left out of all of this!

I have a little something for you on my site my dear friend.

Love and Blessings,

Swubird said...


Nice ;ooking frame on the Moon.

Plutoid? For guys my age, that's going to take a while to get used to. But, all things change, and it's better that the old Pluto have its correct designation.

Go Phoenix - burn those samples and show us THE WATER! Can't wait.

As always, Bob, a very well done post.

Happy stargazing.

Susanne49 said...

Hi Bob,
I love to come to your blog and I'm also like "angelbaby": I'm learning every time so much new about earth, Moon, the starts and even Mars. Thanks again, Bob, for sharing with us all your knowledge and beautiful, creative photos.

And thanks for your comments on my blog. Very much appreciated.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks angelbaby and for thinking of me again for all these cool awards.\m/\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks swubird, heres hoping they find the water soon, can hardly wait.\m/\m/:greenalien:

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Susanne, so happy you find the site interesting, it's something I really enjoy doing.:D :-D \m/

Priyank said...

hummm.. Earthshine. I didn't know what that was until today.:)

Pluto - It was funny to watch Astrologers react to this. Suddenly all references about influence from 'planet' Pluto were in a state of confusion.

Drowsey Monkey said...

A Plutoid ... i like it, but you're right about Pluto...kinda hard to take away its planet status after all these years. History is important.

Love that last photo ... simply beautiful. Actually, your entire page looks fantastic! Everytime I come here it gets better & better! :)

Bob Johnson said...

Hey priyank, now you know what Earthshine is,cool.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks drowsey monkey, Plutoid is a cool name,just not for Pluto, it's like someone I don't know changing my name to Boboid,lol\m/\m/

Mae said...

I'm in favor of leaving poor little Pluto a planet, too!! When I heard that they had reclassified it, I was sort of upset. I mean, what's wrong with leaving Pluto a planet?

On another note, I hope they find something wonderful in all that dirt from Mars!! I can't want to hear what they find. How soon do you think info will be available?

And, as always, beautiful images!

Roger said...

Hey that looks like one huge Disco ball lol! Great stuff Bob!! :D

Peter said...

Hi! I'm with you. Leave poor old pluto alone. Now, how much is it going to cost to change every text book where pluto is mentioned. If it's not broken, don't fix it.

Take Care,

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Mae, thats what I say, what's wrong with leaving it a planet, dummies.

We should know within the next few days what they have found in their first samples. \m/\m/:greenalien:

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Roger, lol, disco ball, cool.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Peter, amen to the "if it's not broken, don't fix it":greenalien:

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob. Excellent...excellent. As usual your posts are entertaining, and informative with great eye candy to boot as well. BTW, I just saw something on TV the other day on a show called "Naked Planet" that they have discovered a planet that is significantly bigger than Pluto and further out in orbit. Have you heard about this?
Again....well done my man.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JD, the Plutoid is called Eris, as it meets all the definitions, it crosses Pluto's orbit, making it an official Plutoid along with Pluto, it is around 30% larger then Pluto, I was going to give it a mention but I didn't want to disgrace it as well,lol, as it was going to be the 10th planet until the IAU met and redifined the planets, good catch.

kml said...

I like the trees with the moon - came out great!

We all anxiously await the Mars discoveries.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Great photos and post, Bob. The moon/jet contrail shot is my fav.

Is there a petition we can sign for Pluto to have its name back? I don't like the new name either.

Hugs, JJ

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Kathy, we should hear pretty soon, they only have around 3 months for the complete mission,things should move fast.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JJ, yes there are a couple of petitions out there, thanks for bring that point forward. I'm going to add them to my post.\m/

gt281 said...

Nice pixal editing on the photo of
Pluto. Did you do that yourself?..
And how did you make the edges so
round with a square pixal...
ah,, the mysteries of the cosmos...

Bob Johnson said...

Lol gt281, I wish that was mine, it isn't actually an image but a map put together by some scientists by tracking brightness changes from Earth of Pluto during times when it was partially eclipsed by it's moon Charon.I left the link for you because I know you'll want to head over there right away,lol

Franx said...

Bob It's great and interesting post. Now I can see the moon, spica and plutoids more closed and detail

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Franx, glad you like the info and pics.\m/\m/

Swubird said...


Have you been to this link?

If not, check it out.

Sherer said...

Bob, nice post once again - i enjoyed the read - Should we be expecting any particular exciting events this summer?

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks swubird, never been to that one, cool, thanks a lot! \m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Sherer, hopefully water on Mars, other then that the regular conjunctions which I will point out on my blog, this coming Wed look to the east at Moonrise to see a really giant June Full Moon, this is due to the Sun setting as the Moon is rising, it is called a Solstice Moon illusion. I will be posting about it Tuesday. to find out the exact time the Moon rises in your location go to

Do a search of your city by clicking on the find tab, typing in your city and then once it has your location in the program you can see exactly to the minute when the Moon will rise where you are,any questions on how to use this software just email me.\m/\m/

Marvin the Martian said...

Poor GT, can't spell "pixel" (sigh). ;-)

So whatcha testin' thar, Bob? Space.Weather.Alert.Service? They should include a tagline that says "--and there's not a darn thing you can do about it! Bahahahahah!"


I can understand why they revoked Pluto's planet license, but perhaps they could have set the tonnage limit a bit lower so that it would pass. Oh well.

Bob Johnson said...

Lol marvin, if you notice some of his images are , well just say lacking on the pixel, I mean pixal count area, that might be one of the reasons.

How did you know I had a space weather alert? I belong to about a gazillion alert/newsletters, I was alerted about a geomagnetic storm by email and phone at 1:ooam Friday morning, quite intense, alas it was cloudy out couldn't see the Auroras.\m/\m/

Max said...

Hey Bob,

Oh Yes...Pluto should definitely keep its name! Pluto! Pluto! Pluto!!
We have to stand up for history indeed, and grandpa P should get to keep its designation (sometimes I could just kick science in the butt)!

Loved the "Saturn Moon With Spica off the top right" - beautiful! It was very well captured, Bob *thumb up*!

Aaah, they have managed to take samples off Mars...that is exciting!! I wonder what news it will bring us!

Now, a funny tale: my mom was looking, through the window, at the moon; and so she called me "Max, come and see the moon, it's gorgeous!" I replied "Yeah, yeah...I will see it on Bob's blog!" LOL LOL...of course I ended up by actually seeing it cause you just can't say "no" to my mom lol *nodding*!

Have a great week ahead, my friend!


Bob Johnson said...

Thanks max, Lol, good for your Mom, Mom's are usually pretty hard to say no to.

About Pluto: some actually thought that when the IAU met this year they were going to change their decision on Pluto, but instead the IAU thought that by creating a new classification of celestial bodies after Pluto the Pluto People would be happy with the compromise, not so.

We should know more about the samples from the phoenix lander later this week.\m/

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Bob, thanks for the mention. I'm off to check out those Pluto petitions and will also post them on my blog. :D

My agent accepted all of the photos of my first project. :D Exhaling.

Hugs, JJ

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks a bunch JJ, and CONGRATULATIONS!! JJ, exhale,lol. That rocks.\m/\m/\m/

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