Friday, June 26, 2009


Just got my latest edition of Meteorite Magazine and there were some interesting facts in it about the Buzzard Coulee Meteorite, so I thought I would add some of my interesting Microscopic meteorite pics to the fold to better illustrate what I'd like say in this post.

You may know that back on November 20 of last year a 10 tonne meteoroid collided with our Earth's atmosphere over Saskatchewan creating temperatures as hot as the Sun, exploding with the force of 300 tonnes of TNT and witnessed by 1000's from British Columbia to Manitoba, what we have come to know as the Buzzard Coulee Meteorite. What you may not know is that 12 other fireballs were spotted across the globe that same night from Florida to Scotland.........coincidence?........perhaps, but how do you explain the above suspicious looking alien monitoring device thingy with an arrow, probably pointing to a landing site?

On the opposite side of the suspect bug,(image above), was another suspicious looking item, kinda like a telecommunication Fiber Optic strand, image below.

Or how bout the microscopic image below of Martian Meteorite NWA 4925, hey look at where it joins the meteorite, such fine alien craftsmanship.

Or how bout the image below , a 2 parter of another suspect fiber from Martian Meteorite DAG 476. People..... look at it, it's in the shape of an ear, those crazy Martians, they're messing with us, leaving all kinds of clues thinking no one is going to be wacky enough to figure them out.

When I first opened up the package of my Buzzard Coulee meteorite I commented on a post it smelt like space....the more I think of it , it may have smelt like burnt electronics....interesting.

Finally the microscopic image above of Martian meteorite LA 002. This has all been in fun, thought I better add that since in real life people don't know if I'm joking or not, I am joking around, just in case you think I'm nuts, well yes I am, but I really don't believe that is a cucumber above.

Apparently I wasn't the only person to smell the meteorite, there were 3 other reported incidences of odd smells, but during the fall, also one reported case of heat. Someone felt heat on the side of their face and then turned in the direction of the heat to catch the fireball.

Lots of reports of sounds of the fireball crashing through our atmosphere, as far away as Avonlea Saskatchewan, 500km away from the crash site. People witnessing the sonic boom and light show actually went out looking for the fall site only to be disappointed to find the fall was hundreds of kilometers away.

Lastly I'd like to leave you with an animation of a place I had lunch at while searching for meteorites. I had a moment, stopping and taking it all in, that I was lucky enough to be searching for rocks from space. As I was looking around I noticed a meteorite, just sitting there a few yards away, right in an area the whole search team had just been a few hours before. I got up and walked further only to find yet another meteorite. It is a place I will remember for the rest of my life.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Next Stop, China

Now that my daughter's wedding is complete, my next major point of focus will be the final preparations for my Total Solar Eclipse tour of China, only 23 days away.

I should mention here that the wedding was a complete success, a good time was had by all and everything went like clockwork, boils down to good organization and the tons of work my wife put into it, even picking out my suit and tie. Even the weather co-operated, if my trip to China goes the same way I'll be a happy camper.

The major contributing factor to a good trip will of course be the weather, if cloudy skies, no see eclipse, having said that even with no Solar Eclipse I will still be in China, what a remarkable place to visit, so rich in history and tons of cool things to do and see.

I have bought lots of books on China since first deciding on doing the tour and have learned a lot about this fascinating place, such as;

-China's climate ranges from sub-arctic in the north to tropical in the south.

-China straddles 5 time zones but has adopted UTC, (Coordinated Universal Time), which is Greenwich Mean Time + 8 hours.

-China has the world's oldest continuous civilization dating back 8,000 years.

-China has the longest continuously used written language system in the world.

-Chinese astronomers were the first to record a meteor shower in 2133 BC. and a Solar Eclipse in 1217 BC.

-Over a million prisoners, peasants and soldiers were used to build the Great Wall of China. It took over 1700 years to build and stretches 1500 miles, and I'll be seeing it live and in person.

-Many religions are practiced in China; Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Heaven worship, Chinese folk religion, Christianity, and several other new religions and sects.

-The Chinese language has over 20,000 characters.

- Chinese invented the first ice cream in the 7th century.

- The Chinese actually invented a lot of cool things, gunpowder, rockets and fireworks, printing, books, papermaking and paper money, the abacus, stirrups, wheelbarrows, seismometers, porcelain, silk, the compass and kites. The kite was used for military purposes, spying or carrying messages.

-China's name came from the Qin Dynasty, (pronounced chin).

Somehow this whole going to China seems so surreal to me still, me...... who is so afraid of flying and an going off to China by myself, what am I thinking? It is kind of liberating to be able to tackle so many of my fears at one time, like I'm taking control of my life and doing what I want and not letting the phobias take control of me.

I'm going to leave you now with a You Tube video of the Terra-Cotta Warriors, one of my stops on my surreal tour.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My Daughter is Getting Married, So Black holes is Giving away Galileoscopes

You may remember back in March I gave away a meteorite to mark my daughter's, (Amanda), birthday, then I thought what will I do to celebrate with you, my other daughter's,(Lindsay, image above), wedding this coming Saturday, June 20..... enter the Galileoscope. Back in March I headed over to the Galileoscope site and saw that for only $15.00 US you can own a scope, wow, at that price I could give away I bought 5....1 for moi, cause I like scopes, 1 for the happy couple and 3 to give to you all.

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The Galileoscope is another awesome cornerstone project for the International Year of Astronomy 2009, a high quality low price telescope kit. Called the Galileoscope because it has basically the same specs as the telescope Galileo first used to point towards the heavens 400 years ago, see what Galileo saw, and for really cheap.

I am expecting the scopes to reach me by the end of June-beginning of July, when they I arrive I will do a review, then start giving them away. I'm thinking some kind of draw, if you are interested in getting one, comment here or send me an email and I'll throw your name in the hat, or you could head over to the site and order one right now, at $15.00 US you just can't go wrong.

You have 2 options when purchasing, you can get some, price $15.00 US or give some, $12.50 US, give some is when you purchase anonymously and allow the Galileo people to donate to someone or group of their choosing.

You should know, you're on the hook for a tripod, doesn't come with. You can always go pirate, get yourself an observer's eyepatch, walk around saying Arrr Matey holding your scope and wearing the eyepatch, impress friends and family alike. I bought one when I first started using a scope, it impressed the wife, well actually she gave me the, gee what now look, but deep down inside I knew she was thrilled. It's supposed to cover your eye so you don't have to squint, so you are more relaxed, couldn't get into it, I squinted anyways, force of habit.

I'll leave you now with a video of the Galileoscope.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Cloudy Moon and The Mars Hoax...Once Again

I was just sitting on my deck a few days ago admiring the Moon when a thin layer of clouds crossed it's path, I used the binoculars to see the effect they were having on it, and it looked beautiful.

Thought great, got my camera out, took some images but something got lost in the translation. So I noticed the Moon was going to be coming into view of my telescope sight in about 20 minutes, thought to myself, I got to try and translate what I am seeing into a picture, maybe the scope can do it. Clouds in just the right amount can add so much to the character of the Moon, acting like a filter they can actually bring out more detail and add mystery to it.

Opened up my POD, (Personal Observatory Dome), got everything set up but the clouds disappeared, this was actually a good thing, gave me time to focus on the Moon, image below, it is so hard to get a tight focus when clouds are in the way.

From this point on it was hurry up and wait, I just kind of hung out in my POD for almost an hour till the clouds finally came back, just in time, I did not want to loose the daylight, the daylight was a big part of what I was seeing, I love a daytime Moon, so pretty.

Eventually some more clouds crossed the Moon's path once again, and what you are seeing in these images are the results of a cloudy daytime Gibbous Moon, (gibbous meaning the Moon being more then half illuminated), I thought they turned out pretty good, a good representation of what I saw that night.

Heads up, the good old Mars Hoax is going around again. I have had plenty of emails already this year, even one from one of the directors of the company I work for about the validity of an email going around stating that in August, Mars, being so close to Earth will look to be the same size as our Moon, not true!!

This hoax started when back in August of 2003 Mars orbit put it only 56 million km from Earth, the closest it had ever been in recorded history. Somebody thought it would be neat to start a rumor stating that because Mars was so close to the Earth it would look the same size as the Moon.

It mixes truth and fantasy. True, back in August 2003 Mars was closest it had ever been to Earth, also true it wouldn't be this close to us again till 2287, but not true about Mars being the same size as the Moon.

I remember the first time I encountered this hoax, a friend of mine, after reading the email back in July of 2004 called me to ask if I would take an image of Mars for him seeing that it was going to be as big as the Moon, I said sure, no prob......... wait, what'd you say....... better send me a copy of that email.

He then forwarded me the email, a power point presentation. The next time I saw him, I explained that the email was bogus and the reasons, but he gave me the, yeah but it is on the internet, it must be true look. I finally convinced him and gazillions of other people, well at least 5 I can think of off the top of my head, that Mars will never be the same apparent size as the Moon, will this ever end........ probably not.

I took the image below back in December 2007 when Mars was in conjunction with the Moon, it shows the real apparent size comparison, you can see they aren't the same size by any stretch of the imagination.

I'll leave you now with another Milky Way animation.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How To Build A Robot Army, and New NGC Premiere

My wife, knowing my love for Robots picked me up "How To Build A Robot Army". Robots have gotten a lot of bad press, what with shows like Battlestar Galactica or the Terminator series of movies, you know the cliche-ick (wd) plot line... Man creates Robot, Robot gets smarter and stronger then Man, Robot tries to destroy Man, very unfair for the Robots....People ..Robots are our friends, they only want what's best for their creators and this book shows that side of Robots.

The Book does a good job of letting the reader know the state of affairs concerning Robots in today's world and also how we might improve them by weaponizing and training them for battle, because we all know, surely the world of tomorrow is going to be fraught with danger, anybody that's watched movies knows this to be true.

So where do you start, author Daniel Wilson suggest starting your own Robot army can be as simple as duct taping a steak knife or Scissors to the top of a Robot vac, if an alien attacks, just point the bot at the unsuspecting Alien, then when the Alien goes to step on your low profile bot, you have your first victim, I'm thinking especially if it is a one legged variety Alien.

With titles of chapters like"How to Convert your Car into an Unmanned Ground Vehicle", "How To Keep A Sexy Fembot Fit For Battle" or "How To Deploy Spying Robots Bugs", you'll be set for any battles against any evildoers whether it be , Aliens, Vampires, Ninjas, Godzilla, Werewolves or White Sharks.

Just a heads up, tomorrow, June 4 at 9 pm EDT on the National Geographic Channel," World's Toughest Fixes: Satellite Launch." Get a behind the scenes look at what goes into launching a 250 million dollar 2 ton communications satellite on top of a rocket the size of a 12 story building. Watch as teams of scientists and engineers race to make final repairs and the launch window from French Guiana. I am hearing through my National Geographic Channel contact there are more excellent space show premieres coming up in August so stay tuned for further updates.

I 'll leave you now with an excellent YouTube video about Robots.