Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Six Random Space Things

Stephanie has tagged me with a meme, I don't usually do memes, mostly because of all the rules, only one rule on this blog, and that is..... 1. There are no rules, well maybe one, I can't do swears, no swears, my wife would slap me silly.

I will follow the main rule, "Write six things most people don't know about one of your specialties. This could be hobbies, professions or whatever." So, where angels fear to tread, I will proceed.

1. The Earth is flat. You read me right, actually Anna told me about The Flat Earth Society over a year ago, I haven't stopped laughing since. They have some compelling theories that the Earth is really flat. They do a pretty good job of fielding questions from the Round Earthers, such as." If you guys think the world is flat how do you explain ships on the horizon disappearing?" Duh, and hello........... the "Bendy Light Theory"...need I say anymore?.....probably.

2. Shrouds of the Night. A newly released book that is just frigging awesome!! It stands out from all the other astronomy books I own, really, it is a real long book dimension wise, that's how it caught my attention in the bookstore. I don't know what I like more about this book, (that is apart from it's stickyouteeness), the poetic historical data from Bushman folklore about how the stars were formed, to the beautifully awesome images of our galaxy and auroras. Using state of the art near infrared technology and the best telescopes, the cold dark cosmic dust shroud that masks our view of our galaxy is removed to show ours and other galaxies in a whole new light. A lot of these images have never been released to the general population before this book. About the authors David Block and Kenneth Freeman, " Their voyage lies not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes."

3. Gamma-Ray Bursts. My favorite Massive Earth Extinction scenario. The biggest explosions in our Universe since the Big Bang. They emit as much energy in seconds as our Sun will produce in it's entire lifetime of 10 billion years. Bright as a million trillion Suns GRBs are the result of a dying collapsed exploding massive Sun shooting deadly Gamma-Rays into space, woe to the planet it's beams of plasma strike. Mind you there is only a 1% chance of one of them hitting Earth in it's entire lifetime, but hey..shit happens (oops), all the more reason we........

4. Do you know that back in 1969 the then Vice President Spiro Agnew's Space Task Group put forth the 10 year 78 billion dollar Man-to-Mars Program, we could have been on Mars by now, but it never got past the "great idea but we can't afford it" stage. We are closer to getting to Mars technology wise today then we were getting to the Moon back when Kennedy challenged NASA to land a man on the Moon by the end of the decade, and they did it in 8 years. Why should we spend the 400 billion dollars to put a few people on Mars? see point 3.

5. I have a pretty cool meteorite collection including a Moon and Mars meteorite and even a rare piece of asteroid Vesta, mind you they are like extremely small, can't afford the regular versions, in fact they are so small that if you were to sneeze in their general direction they'd fly like 23 feet in the air before floating to the ground. My most fav meteorite is what they call an Angrite.
Angrites are very rare, only about 11 confirmed rocks have been found to date, here's the thing, scientists don't really know their origin like they do all the other types of meteorites, the best guesses are a planetary type body or large asteroid, Vesta has been ruled out, there are some scientists that believe these Angrites originate from Mercury, how cool is that? When Messenger finally obtains it's Mercury Orbital Insertion March 2011 and begins it's surface composition analysis it will give us a better idea whether or not Angrites are actually from Mercury or not.

6. Space dust in the form of Spherical micrometeorites about the diameter of the human hair fall to Earth daily, you have probably been struck by some. I have spent literally hundreds of hours looking for them where they are most likely to gather, like at the bottom of my eavestrouph downspout, I spend countless hours digging in the dirt with a spoon looking for these little treasures. I have also set up huge poly vinyl collectors on the top of my mall's roof. I am in the process right now of imaging some of my best suspect micrometeorites with the Celestron LCD Digital Microscope. One day I hope to put them all together in a movie for your viewing pleasure.

Well that's it that's all folks, hope I at least told you something you didn't already know, after all that is what I set out to do, if you knew all this stuff already let me know, I'll send you a free pair of Hanna Montana/Miley Cyrus 3D glasses.


Moonshadow said...

Interesting stuff, Bob. I just talked to the dil about whether she'd taken the glasses to the grandkid's school yet. She hadn't, so I gave her links to your NASA blog posts and the one on making your own 3D images so she can take that information with her. Hopefully, before too long you'll have a bunch of schoolkids in Kansas checking out your blog. : )
(Am I the first one to comment?!! Usually I have a whole page of comments to go through to even find this box!)

Stephanie Barr said...

Yay! You did it. And I knew it; I learned something.

I don't have patience for some folks, so I think I'll steer clear of the Flat Earth Society. Plus, you gave me an idea on using Gamma Ray Bursts in a novel, always a cool thing.

It doesn't surprise me we were closer to Mars then. Damn I wish Von Braun would get reincarnated or something; we're overdue.

Believe it or not, another of my specialties is meteoroids and orbital debris, but I haven't paid much attention to what's hit the ground. How did you get a piece of Vesta and Angrite! You are so cool!

I'm so glad I came across you and your wonderful site.

Swubird said...


Hey my friend, I used to be a member of the Flat Earth Society. Great fun. I bought a bunch of cool posters from those guys. Can't find them anymore. I had completely forgotten about that thing until I read your post.

I don't do those mime things. I just don't have time. In fact, I can barely make it around to everybody's site. Which I love to do, of course. But extra stuff taxes my brain.

Of all those pictures on your post, I truly love those round little micrometeorites. I remember that post of yours. I think it was then that I started thinking of you as the absolute King of amateur astronomy.

Happy trails...

Drowsey Monkey said...

Okay, this was the best meme I ever read! If only for the phrases, "slap me silly" "bendy light theory" and "frigging awesome!"


Bob Johnson said...

Lol, thanks Moonshadow. Great you gave the kids the links on how to make their own 3D images, they will have a blast.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Stephanie, wow, even you learned something, I threw in the book for you, I thought even you probably wouldn't know about it,lol.

The FES is too cool, I imagine there are people on there that actually believe the Earth is flat, but it's all in fun for most of the visitors. It's a hoot to see new people come on especially intellects, they are so outraged,"well I never" type of comments.

Yes Von Braun was the man, we lost something, I think it's called vision.

I knew you'd be up on your Meteoroids, and meteorites, you did know about Angrites, as far as where I get this stuff, it is possible to get Vesta at a reasonable price but Angrites are still pretty rare and watch the prices if Messenger confirms they are from Mercury. The link to purchasing Angrites,

Only one I've found, was actually in contact with the owners and got myself a slide. I will be posting microscopic images of it soon, I think it is too cool.

Thanks Stephanie, right back at you about finding your site, I think we are on the same wavelength so to speak,lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks swubird, cool you knew about the Flat Earth Society and that you bought posters.

I hear you about memes, I too am not a fan but I thought I 'd give this one a shot, mostly because it was about things I like as opposed to about me, plus I didn't tag anybody at the end,lol, bet you're glad about that, you would have been picked,lol.

Thanks for remembering about my micrometeorite post, I love micrometeorites.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol thanks Drowsey, I actually thought of you when I put down some of these phrases, knew you'd get them.\m/\m/

Ivanhoe said...

I love learning new stuff :o)
I got tagged, too, just did not make up my mind yet what to write about.
Good luck with collecting more dust, it would be an interesting video ;o)

Ruth said...

I knew it all already.

Glasses please.

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

I do not usually spend too much time on sites that differ from what I write. However, I am astronomy freak (my secret) and when I hit your site well, I read and read and then read some more. Wonderful stuff here. Thank you.


Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Ivanhoe, I'll look out for your post. I should have the video out in a month or so, just finding the time to get it together.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, Ruth, you deserve the glasses, you crack me up, unless you really did know everything then wow!!,lol.\m/\m/

ps email me your address.

Bob Johnson said...

Well thanks so much for stopping by Inside our hands, outside our hearts. Cool you're an astronomy freak too.\m/\m/

Sherer said...

The flat Earth Society! I love that site. Oh my goodness that is great! I keep my eyes peeled for any Gamma Ray Bursts too, could make for a interesting day. Very enjoyable as always.


Marilyn said...

I want, I want, I want that microscope... but there's no way.

I have a goat named Vesta when I was younger. It sounds awful but we ended up eating her.

I learned a ton in this post. I posted about the year of Astronomy on my science sight today... and Masers. Let me know if I got something wrong?

Marilyn said...

have=had. My brain gets ahead of my fingers.

MoonGoddessLAe said...

Wow... I have so may things to know here. Anything in the outer space interests me! I find it very amazing to hear stuffs about meteorites!

AngelBaby said...

Well I think I already knew all this stuff now send me my glasses. Just Kidding, you know me I just can't resist sometimes. LOL! This really is a great meme and I did enjoy reading all about the stuff you know about the universe. It is so interesting I just love coming to your site. Thanks for sharing.

Love and Blessings,

astrogalaxy said...

You have a really COOL blog with lots of infos about Astronomy!
I like your blog very much so I've done a link of your blog.
Have a great weekend!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Jesse, hey if you happen to catch a GRB coming towards us let me and NASA know then hide in your basement, you'll survive a little longer,lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol Marilyn,poor Vesta, you wouldn't want to eat my Vesta.

I will take a look at your post, I was just over there must have missed the new post, I will take a look.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks MoonGoddessLAe, glad you like stuffs about meteorites, they are so cool.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol and thanks a lot AngelBaby, if you want a pair of 3D glasses just email me your addy, you have given me so much, including awards through your site.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks astrogalaxy, you have a cool site too, I will link to you as well.\m/\m/

Final_Transit said...

I agree the world is flat - not physically ofcourse but with all these communications and travels it all seems to be one little place. Too bad I don't get another pair of glasses because all this was new. btw, I had mail from you which I found only few days back on arriving to Toronto, thanks so much Bob for the glasses :) I guess its for the smiley face pic!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Priyank, yes they were for the Smiley face, thanks again for submitting it.

Peter said...

Hi Bob! The earths round? Why didn't anyone tell me? Oh! Boy! I feel such a fool! Anyway, thanks for letting me know.

I see you pinched my favourite term, "shit happens". "Poo happens" doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?

Good tip about the space dust. The next time I'm late home from work, I'll tell the wife I got hit by a bunch of micrometeorites.

Now for some serious comment. What are your thoughts about President Elect Obama considering combining the Military with NASA in an effort to save money?

Great Post and thank you for letting us know more about you.

Take Care,

Stephanie Barr said...

The consensus around here is that the concept of combining the two was taken far beyond by the media than was the original intent.

I'm butting in on this question, Peter, because I'm not sure that there is not room for some more cooperation between our military and space endeavours.

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, sorry Peter, didn't you get my email, my people were supposed to let you know a long time ago,lol.

No, it just doesn't do the job,lol.

What Stephanie said, I don't not think, I think. In principle it is a good idea if all else fails, it might just make going to the Moon and then Mars a little more doable, as long as they all keep focus on the long term goal,and stop invading countries they think might have WMD,lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Stephanie, and thanks for the link, very interesting, I can see the benefits and the possible downfalls of such a combination.\m/\m/

Peter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter said...

Hi Stephanie Barr and thank you for directing me to that link. Just had to add "_wedding.html" at the end.

I can see some sense in it, if it meant getting NASA where they wanted to be.

Take Care

P.S. Hi Bob and thank you for your quick reply, much appreciated.

Anna said...

Okay I am little late, 30 posts later, but you know who rules the world in my house now, lol.

Bob thanks for the mention, I still laugh at it too. There is a Newfoundland commercial promoting tourism, and they actually mention Flat Earth Society, something that Newfoundland is part of the four corners of the world, lol.

Okay Bob, that I did not know, you have 'Moon and Mars meteorite and even a rare piece of asteroid Vesta' - how in the world did you get these??? I know you have property on the Moon, did you fly there, lol.....

Love your sense of humor in this post, keep it up, lol about the working with the 'spoon', yeah I can have clear picture of you with camera and telescope, but with the spoon, that is funny....

Thanks for the mention again, and letting me know.

Anna :)

Ruth said...

If you think I deserve them because I cracked you up, that works for me. 'Cause it sure isn't the other reason.


Bob Johnson said...

No problem Peter.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol Anna, yes I know who's in charge now.

Lol Anna, no didn't fly there, about the Moon and other collectible meteorites, they are out there to purchase, just have to look real hard and then spend the money, but they are cool to hold in your hand, you are holding a piece of another celestial body, love it.

Lol, the neighbors use to always ask me what I'm doing with the spoon, now they just watch, probably shake their heads.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol Ruth, no problem, I got your addy I will send you off a pair.\m/\m/

Linda said...

Great information along with congrats on your awards!

My Journey said...

hi friend! nice blog U got here..would U mind if we xlinks? pls let me know..thx :)

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Linda, and thanks for dropping by.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hi My Journey, sure, sounds good, I liked your Must see astronomical object post.\m/\m/

betchai said...

Sad, I could not get a free pair of Hanna Montana 3D glasses :) LOL

My Journey said...

thx u linked my blog. sure...i linked your blog :) thx u for visiting my blog...and i drop ec :)

Genie said...

#6 made my mouth fall open. I had no idea! You are one dedicated space geek!

I got my new 3D shades in the mail today, woot! Thank you!!!!!!

It was cloudy here tonight, messed up my perigee shots but good. Yet I wouldn't have known about it at all if you hadn't alerted me.

I'm waiting to see if you got shots of Castor and Pollux tonight near the moon, I hope so!

You're the best, Bob!

Gracie said...

Wow, what an interesting post. I learned a lot of things. So cool!

Bob Johnson said...

Lol Betchai, this post I have been offering a pair regardless, if you want I will ship you a pair, just email me your address.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

No problem My Journey, and thanks for the drop.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

No problem Genie. Was cloudy here yesterday so I didn't get a shot, but I did get a cool shot of the 98% Full Moon the night before when the Moon popped through the clouds for a bit.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks a lot Gracie.\m/\m/

Marvin the Martian said...

Cool angrites! Yes, I sweep out my gutters and I'm sure I am sweeping out meteorites too. Since I replaced my tile roof with asphalt shingle, it will be that much harder to identify them among the detritus.

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Marvin, yes, it is hard to tell them apart, that's why I need a microscope, I have asphalt tile as well, lots of imposters,lol

Brian Steele said...

Just checking out your review of Shrouds of the Night. Looks like it will be right up my alley. I love books that take a historic look at a scientific discipline.


Bob Johnson said...

Hey Brian, thought you would like it.\m/\m/

zsygab said...

You have many interesting posts here, Bob, but this one... this one is a really remarkable post! I can't only, but to congratulate! And to say a Thank You!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks zsygab, so glad you liked the post, one of my fav too.\m/\m/

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