Friday, September 28, 2007

Harvest Moon

I took the above picture around 10:30pm September 26th. I was hoping to get a shot of the Moon as it rose from the horizon to get more of a yellow tinge to it, but unfortunately it had just finished raining, but I did get a real nice rainbow shot.

Never fear, I did get a good shot of the 98% Harvest Moon the night before as it was low on the horizon, has got a nice yellow tint to it. The pictures below illustrate the effect the atmosphere has on the color of the Moon. The top one was taken at 7:00pm, the one below it was taken at 7:24pm, the higher the moon is the less atmosphere it's light travels through, therefore less tint caused by the Earth's atmosphere. The picture below is one of my favorite pictures of the Moon I've ever taken. Since it was still a little light out when I took it, you can see the blue sky contrasting against the wall of the telescope, looks as if your looking through the window of the Lunar Crew Exploration Vehicle as your approaching the moon.

The Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the autumn equinox, in the northern hemisphere, this year it happens to be September 26th. Called a Harvest Moon because it rises as the Sun sets giving the farmers much needed light as they work long into the night to get their crop off, back in the olden days farmers never had lights on their tractors so the harvest moon was a welcome sight indeed. Anna over at My Only Photo took some great pictures as well check them out.

Tycho Crater , top left side of the Moon in the above picture, the major crater with the vast ray system, some reaching as far as 2000 kms, I've mentioned this crater a couple times before, what can I say it's my favorite. Tycho was in 2001: A Space Odyssey the book and the film, Tycho was a location for one of the monoliths, also in the film Star Trek First Contact, Tycho was the location of Tycho City.

To give you an example of how much the full moon lights up the night sky, I was up at 3:30am Wednesday morning to do some astronomy, it was going to be a warm night , by warm I mean 10 degrees C so I thought I'd take advantage of the last warm nights before winter and do some stargazing. I get outside and the moon is directly overhead casting it's blue gray glow over everything. My pod was actually glowing a blueish color, spooky yet beautiful. This strange moonlight is what our eye night sensitive rods pick up, which are 1,000 times more sensitive than our eye cones which are used for day viewing, but the rods are colorblind and are more sensitive to the blues more so then the reds. In astronomy we use averted vision, when we can't see something directly, we look off to the side of where we think the target should be and let our rods find the target, works all the time. The strange moonlight article has some cool sayings, "Moonlight steals color from whatever it touches" or "it's a bit like seeing the world through an old black and white TV set". Needless to say it was too bright that morning for viewing galaxies or nebulae, but the globular and open star clusters were magnificent as usual.

A Press Release issued last Thursday by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory stating a team of 5 astronomers has found a "mysterious" pulse from outer space, about 3 billion light years distant. It was a one time pulse lasting under 5 milliseconds. To date no other pulse or signal has the same characteristics as this one and as they put it "represents an entirely new astronomical phenomenon". The team had gone through approximately 500 hours of archival data recordings by Parkes Radio Telescope of Apollo 11 fame. Scientists are not sure exactly what they have found, could be anything from superdense neutron stars colliding to evaporating black holes. Right now no one knows or has seen anything like it, that's why it is so exciting.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Race To Mars

The Discovery Channel's Race To Mars is a 4 hour mini series, started Last Sunday night and will finish next Sunday. The show takes place in the year 2030. China has surpassed America in the exploration of Mars for extraterrestrial life. This fact draws America, Canada, France and Japan into a partnership to form an alliance and it's on. I watched the first part on Discovery HD it was very good, Basically what happens is some people from all different countries in the alliance get launched into space, they orbit, some don't like each other, they break orbit, they have some bad things go wrong with the ship while they're watching a fifties space movie, then they argue some more, then they get to Mars and they have trouble with their Martian Orbital Insertion because some of the electronics was made on the cheap, so the guy who doesn't like the other guys and they don't like him fixes the electronics and they like him a little more, I still see problems here though, then they land and someone gets their arm caught under a landing leg, puts him out of commission, storm comes and that's it, now you can watch next weeks conclusion, your caught up.

The Race To Mars website is very cool and has 6 mini games that are great, some you have to download others just use the flash player. One game I downloaded you drive the little rover guys and perform various tasks, you have a time limit so it's exciting, the first few times I ran out of time, but being a gamer, I never surrendered and have developed good scores, another mini game is where you try to land their ship on the surface, lots of fun, the first few times I crashed and burned, still a lot of fun, anyone can have fun with these games, try them out! plus there are forums and lots and lots of info, awesome site.

After the miniseries is complete there's a 6 hour companion documentary series Mars Rising . This documentary is shot in High Definition and in over 90 locations. The documentary will be narrated by William Shatner. This series will highlight some of the problems and challenges that have to be solved if we are to land a man on Mars. Over 300 scientists and 60 space experts were consulted in the making of this series. Finally to wrap things up on Sunday November 11 at 7 pm. Earth to Mars The Great Debate will air. This one hour special will have scientists and space experts debate the risks and challenges and dangers of the 3 year mission to Mars.

I was downloading all my software onto my new computer, I thought I have really got to blog about Virtual Moon Atlas. It's completely free and if you are a Moon fan, it is a must have. Go to their site and download either the expert or pro models, both are just great , the pro has extra pictures included, but with the expert you can download images taken by the various lunar probes and the Apollo missions separately. Once downloaded all you do is click anywhere on the lunar globe and tons of info on the particular target are displayed, click on the camera icon and images come up, more if you have downloaded the various additional packages. Below is an image taken by one of the Apollo missions of the Copernicus Crater and is waiting for you at this awesome site.

On a final note, On Wednesday September 26th. at 3:45pm EDT we will have a Harvest Moon
Called the Harvest Moon because it rises as the Sun sets, giving much needed light to the farmers working in their fields late into the night to get their crop off. Because the moon arcs low in the sky this time of year , it looks bigger and sometimes has a colour to it as we are viewing it through many layers of our atmosphere, this tends to lead to a very beautiful photo op Moon.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Seeing In The Dark

" Sky-watching Tunes- Up Your Brain", when you view the cosmos your mind lights up, that is the general consensus of amateur astronomers interviewed in "Seeing In The Dark" a new film by Timothy Ferris . The film started showing on PBS last Wednesday. When viewing the cosmos we are amazed and humbled by the inability to put what your seeing into words. Professor Timothy Ferris states in the film "to see a galaxy is to see time". The show is a mixture of history, technology and art show with music. Timothy profiles more than 20 amateur astronomers, one being Michael Koppelman a record producer for Prince and Paula Abdul . NFL running back and amateur astronomer Robert Smith is also interviewed. The film is shot in 1080p High Definition, and let me tell you it looks great, saw it last night and I give it 5 stars. The main thing you pick up is the passion these amateur astronomers have for their hobby, An amateur astronomer who has been viewing the stars for 25 years states, "no matter how many times I look at Saturn through the telescope it blows my mind, takes my breath away".

Google Earth is getting a face lift. The launching of Digital Globe's WorldView-1 satellite will be able to give you the highest resolution allowed by the U.S. Government (20 inches). WorldView-1 can take tons of images faster as well. A Delta II rocket carrying the WorldView-1 lifted off September 18 at 11:35am PDT from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Google Moon also got a big update, better quality images. This website has photographs from various lunar orbiters and all the Apollo missions. All of the Apollo landing sites are on the maps, you can zoom onto added detailed high resolution images, showing points of interest that sometime include audio visual aids. You may want to check out Google Mars as well, cool site, check out the Face Of Mars , it has a little write up on it.

NASA is looking for new Astronauts, if you have multiple advanced degrees, a body of steel, experience flying jet aircraft and a strong stomach, have they got a job for you. NASA is accepting applications for the 2009 Astronaut Candidate Class. People who apply and are accepted may be either staffing the ISS or heading back to the Moon. The last time NASA recruited for Astronauts was back in 2004, they hired 11 U.S. candidates and 3 international people. Salary ranges from $59,000- $130,000 a year. The press release states the destinations you might travel to; " Texas, Florida, California, Russia, Kazakhstan, The International Space Station and the Moon.

Shirley at Way Cool Pictures posted about my Lunar Eclipse photos on her blog. That was just great thanks very much Shirley. I love her blogs, very cool pictures and a blog on Mandala Art
and Way Cool Quotes, don't know where she finds the time to do a great job on her sites.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Death Star

We'll there's still hope for us after all, there was an article released last week on Universe Today ,"Planet Survives Its Sun Becoming a Red Giant". Our Sun is about 4.5 billion years old now, in about another at 5 billion years Our Sun will double in brightness and expand in diameter almost to Earth's orbit. Needless to say this will end all life as we know it.

Scientists have discovered another Sun like ours in it's dying stages, but instead of swallowing up one of its planets which was orbiting the same distance from it as we are from the Sun it caused the planet to spiral out to the equivalent distance of Mars. It explained it as saying the Suns centre of gravity changed, probably because of the fact dying stars loose mass, less mass less pull on its planets. Scientists are in new territory here so they're not quite sure what will happen to Earth specifically, but it shows there may be hope. Some scientists say that in just a billion years the Suns brightness will increase by 10% which will in turn super heat our planet because of the green house effect and boil off our oceans and seas and all life will end at that stage, either way we have a billion years to find a new home, that's why we have to go to the Moon and then Mars, we have to get out, colonize other worlds, maybe even billions and billions of miles away, maybe like in the Orion Nebula below.

I had some fellow amateur astronomer friends over on the weekend and they helped me tune up my scope to get longer exposure times so as to get more detailed images of various deep sky targets. So I get everything set up again this time for Sunday morning at 4 am, that's when my Orion Nebula is up and its still dark. So I'm all excited gonna get me some happy images of the famed Orion Nebula. Turned on the scope, turn on the computer, open my observatory dome, did I mention this was at 4 in the morning, start up my camera program, cross my fingers,.... yes the scope was doing well, I would be able to get some good long exposures times, pressed the start button on the computer imaging program, it takes one image and it looks great, but before it could take another my computer crapped on me. The above picture is one image, I usually like to stack about 40 images to bring out the detail and color, I am happy with the results so far, I can kind of see where I'm going to be with the pic when I get my new laptop.

I go out Sunday morning to look for a new laptop, find one I like bring it home. All shiny and new, 17" screen and has that new computer smell, you know the electronic smell all electronic items have when you pull them out of the box, I absolutely love it. The first thing you notice is the Vista operating system. This is the worst of the worst operating systems in the known universe, no, in all the dimensions of all the multiverses on every brane and then some!!!! It blocks this, won't allow that, half my expensive software programs won't work properly, I have to disable all the protection crap to download from some of the sites I go to, at the very least it slows things down immensely. Now I will say to be fair, I haven't read the big manual I got with the computer, you know the one, it tells you how to put the battery in, and then how to plug it in and turn it on, and then there is the 10 pages that tell you how to care for your brand new computer, oh wait I guess I have read it. If anyone has blogged with this and you like it, tell me what I'm doing wrong, as it won't let me download pictures, I had to go to my XP desk computer to do that, and forget links, I went to open a page to get a link to put on my post and the program opened the site over top my post.

I am taking a Power Engineering course till the end of December so my posting will be cut back to Tuesdays and Saturdays. I will post more depending on my time and whether or not something important comes up that I feel you should know, like maybe an Earthbound Mass Extinction Asteroid, want to give you time to get to your bunkers and as long as you have a few years of canned products you should be good to go.


Saturday, September 15, 2007


So I got up an hour later then I wanted to , 5:00am. I was hoping to get up early enough to get some images again of the Orion Nebula, now I only have an hour before the Sun is up! Get up quickly, run into the edge of the bedroom door, no time for a bathroom stop , now if there is one thing I can't get away without doing and that's feed the cat, if I don't she gets between me and the door and it's not pretty. So I feed the cat and run out to my dome, flip the switch on the telescope and think somethings missing.... the computer, run back to the house but not before I stub my toe on my telescope leg throwing it out of alignment, I had spent the previous night setting up the scope basically to the center of the universe, took me an hour, all for not. Orion Nebula was out of the question, as I'm sulking I happen to look towards the east and see Venus, I wasn't too sure if Venus was in one of her phases or if she was full. Venus goes through phases like our Moon from crescent to full and back again. If I could get a pic of Venus in one of her phases, that would be cool, took a quick look, I was lucky Venus was in one of her phases as you can see from the image I took above, (click on pic for larger image).

Venus, the second closest planet to our Sun has a highly reflective cloud cover made up mostly of sulfuric acid so you can't see any surface detail in visible light. The size of Venus is only 650 km. less than Earth's. The surface temp is about 464 degrees C., hot enough to melt lead. The surface pressure is the same on Earth, if you are 1 km. below the surface of our oceans, so even though Venus is called our sister planet you wouldn't want to live there, you'd be poisoned, fried and squashed.

The pic above was taken by the rovers on Mars, notice the wispy clouds? too cool. It's one of many firsts imaged by the rovers, the first Earth like clouds photographed on another planet.

The pic above is another first, the first dust devils imaged on another planet, it gives scientists a rare look into forces that are shaping the Martian surface today.

Another first, the first meteorite discovered and imaged on the surface of another planet.

But most importantly the image above provides our best evidence that water was once flowing freely on the surface of mars, silica rich soil, blueberries and rippled-rock layers would only have formed if water had been present on the surface of Mars. It's confirmed, NASA is allowing Opportunity to enter the Victoria Crater. There was some questions about Opportunity loosing traction because of the loose surface but NASA is satisfied that Opportunity has a good escape route out with good traction if needed. First stop, Opportunity will be heading for a light two toned layer of exposed rock that may preserve evidence of interaction between the Martian atmosphere and the surface from millions of years ago.

The images from Cassini are coming fast and furious of the odd moon Iapetus. the latest image is a close up of the mountain range that circles the equator of the moon.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

NASA Missions Updates

Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't. September 10th. NASA's Cassini spacecraft made it's closest flyby of Saturn's moon Iapetus. Cassini took images of Saturn's 3rd. largest two toned moon (the pic below) from 1640 kms high. This bizarre moon has a mountain range that runs along the equator. It also has two different colored hemispheres, dark and white, too weird. In Arthur C. Clarke's novel 2001: A Space Odyssey Astronaut Dave Bowman finds an alien monolith waiting for him on Iapetus.

A few of NASA's goals on this flyby are:

1. Determine the characteristics and geological history of Iapetus.

2. Define the different physical processes that created the surface of Iapetus.

3. Investigate composition and distribution of surface materials on Iapetus-particularly the dark organic rich material and condensed ices.

Iapetus is cool, my third fav moon in the universe, the first being our moon but my second fav moon in the universe is Mimas shown below.

Mimas is Saturn's 7th. largest moon, whatever hit the little moon that caused the large crater at the top nearly destroyed it, there are fracture lines on its opposite side. Mimas is made up of ice and water with a little smattering of rock. May the force be with you.

NASA's rover, Opportunity started into the Victoria Crater on Tuesday but when it had slipage problems it backed out again. NASA is now trying to figure out whether or not the loose ground is going to be a problem for Opportunity and may prevent Opportunity from doing any science in the crater at all.

The Phoenix Mars Lander which was launched on my birthday August 4, 2007, the day not the year was my birthday, is doing well. NASA did some tests and all its crucial stuff that has to be working like its landing radar checked out well. The Phoenix Lander will be landing on Mars May 25th, 2008 to perform various on board tests with it's cool built in lab. The lander has travelled more than 50 million miles but has another 600 million to go. Below is an artistic rendition of the Phoenix Lander on the surface of Mars.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

In The Shadow Of The Moon

Only 24 humans have Flown to the Moon, only 12 have walked on the moon, out of those 12 only 9 are alive. "In The Shadow Of The Moon" which opened last Friday in New York and Los Angeles is a documentary about the Astronauts who circled or landed on the Moon between 1968 and 1972.

British director David Sington told reporters "it's kind of like an astronauts home movie". David Sington went through 60 hours of material from NASA's archives, including unseen film, which he then remastered to produce a 100 minute high definition film.

Astronaut Charlie Duke, the Lunar Module Pilot from Apollo 16, likened his experience to being a five year old and able to celebrate your birthday, Christmas, and every holiday in between at the same time.

Charles Duke also said and I quote "we went to the moon 9 times- why would we fake it nine times?" I"ve mentioned Charles before in one of my posts "Moon Passes Gas Apollo 16 Witnesses". He seems like someone I'd like to meet, I could talk about my blog, he could talk about how he walked on the Lunar surface. Do you know that 400,000 engineers and scientists worked on the Apollo Project? If it was a hoax it would have had to involve that many people. You may ask me the question, "Bob what do you think about the fact that these 400,000 engineers and scientists only knew about their own little area, and not about the big hoax picture?" well let me answer that question with another question, Shut up!

The release of this movie marks the 50th anniversary of spaceflight. Back in October 4 1957 Sputnik was launched into orbit.

The movie was a limited area release, but will be released to most major cities September 21st. I was doing some checking for Canada, here in Saskatoon it will be released September 21st as well. One final cool thing, the original Apollo film is stored in liquid nitrogen for protection and to prolong its life.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Starting Out

"The man on the street does not know a star in the sky"
Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I remember it like it was yesterday, got my brand new scope, set it up outside to take a look at the Moon. The Moon was big and full and in plain view, this is gonna be an easy first target for me, being it was my first night out. Pointed the scope at the Moon looked in the eyepiece and presto .... the neighbours blurry tree, what went wrong? Well after reading the instructions which is something I usually leave to last, aligning this, moving that and thinking crap maybe I should have bought a car instead, I finally got my finder scope aligned with the main scope and the Moon was in my eyepiece, and it was beautiful, and I was hooked.

After looking at the Moon for lots of hours I thought, I need to look at something else. So I checked out Skyview Cafe. Saturn was going to be low in the east at 4:00am! Got up at 3:30 went outside, set up my scope and saw what looked to be a yellow star in the east just where skyview said Saturn would be. I thought that must be Saturn, pointed the scope using my finder scope at the little yellow light, held my breath, looked in the eyepiece, I couldn't believe my eyes, it was magnificent, just like in the pictures. The telescope had brought Saturn to life, the rings looked surrealistic, and you could see 4 of Saturn's 48 confirmed moons.

That evening my wife come and got me , took me outside, pointed to the night sky and said, should be good for your scope. I'm thinking wow look at all the stars, I only wish I knew some of them. Crash course, go down to my computer, print off some star charts from Skyview Cafe go outside and find some constellations. First one Hercules. The first thing I noticed when looking for constellations is they're a lot bigger in person then when you look at them on paper.

My next goal was to find the great Hercules Globular Star Cluster, how hard could it be? it is supposed to have 100's of thousands of stars in it, well 2 hours later I'd finally found it, learned some tricks along the way, oh well the journey is the fun part, right? Usually I hate journeys, they generally suck, I want to get to where I want to go now, hate journeys, but with astronomy I've found the journey to be the best part, for me that's remarkable.

Years later, the journey's been full of blood, sweat and tears, and I mean that literally, if there is a sharp edge on a scope I'll find it. I've found 100's of items, know all the constellations, I'm thinking, how do I get this cool stuff out to others, enter astrophotography. Little did I know the journey for astrophotography would be such a sucky one. This is where the tears come in.

April 2006 is when I got my first Deep Sky Imager. Basically, you put the camera in where your eyepiece would be, plug the imager into your laptop which in turn runs the camera and stacks the individual images to produce hopefully nice pictures that make you happy. Needless to say there is a lot more to it that requires you the smart human to do, which is beyond the scope of this post, or me at this time, hey it's the journey that counts. Below are some of my first images taken followed by my most current ones.

M42 The great Orion Nebula in the constellation Orion , is a birthplace for stars, can be found just under Orion's belt. The nebula is a cloud of ionized gas created by the young forming stars.
The top image was my first image taken last year, the image below I took yesterday.

M13 the great Hercules globular star cluster is located in the Hercules constellation is about 25,000 light years distant, contains several 100,000 stars, very old globular cluster, up to 15 billion year old stars! The top picture taken April/06, bottom April/07.

M57, the Ring nebula in the constellation Lyra. The dying central star produces the colorful ionized gases that create the planetary nebula, it is about 2,300 light years distant. The top image was taken in May /06, the bottom image was taken July this year.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Lunar Craters

I love Lunar craters, went out last weekend got my high power scope setup and took a couple of images of my 2 favorite craters.

So you're in your brand new Ares I crew module, you look out the window, you see the above Lunar landscape, you are about 120 miles above the Lunar surface and are slowing down to enter Lunar orbit at around 60 miles high. When ever I'm looking at the Moon through my telescope I daydream the above scenario, makes it a lot more interesting and fun.

The 3 billion year old crater Plato is the darkest and one of the most mysterious craters on the Moon. In the picture above it is the dark crater lower right of center. Plato is situated between 2 mountain ranges, the Montes Alpes, the mountain range on top of Plato in the pic above, and Montes Teneriffe, the mountain range just below Plato in the pic above. The mysterious part of Plato is that it has one of the highest occurrence rates for all kinds of Transient Lunar Phenomenon ranging from gaseous anomalies to bright flashing lights.

The relatively young crater Tycho at only 108 million years old is pictured below, just off center with a central rock formation peak. Tycho is noted for its impressive ray system, some as long as 2,000 kilometers. Actually one such ray intersected Apollo 17's landing site, 2,000 kilometers from Tycho, the Astronauts gathered some of the ejecta and that's how they determined Tycho's age, cool.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

To The Moon

It may interest you to know that more then half the people alive today, were born after America last landed a man on the moon. Do you also know the software, hardware and the know how to send a man to the Moon no longer exists, NASA has to start from scratch, once we beat the Russians to the Moon America lost interest and instead of saving, they shredded. Does this make any sense to you? I would have thought they'd have a whole area just set aside for Apollo parts and blue prints, I mean it was a huge event, probably the greatest technological breakthrough of all time to land a man on the Moon and bring him home safely, with I might add 1969 technology. How much will it cost to start from scratch? well there have been estimates anywhere from 109 billion to 160 billion dollars, the plan is to land a man on the Moon by 2020.

Why should we return to the Moon? NASA posed the question to more than 1,000 people across the world. Scientists, engineers, commercial entrepreneurs and the general public, the answers that came back fit nicely into six areas.

1. Extend human presence to the Moon to enable eventual settlement.

2. Pursue scientific activities that address fundamental questions about the history of Earth, the solar system and the universe- and about our place in them.

3. Test technologies, systems, flight operations and exploration techniques to reduce the risks and increase the productivity of future missions to Mars and beyond.

4. Provide a challenging, shared, peaceful activity to unite the nations in pursuit of common objectives.

5. Expand Earth economic sphere and conduct Lunar activities with benefits to life on Earth.

6. Use a vibrant space exploration program to engage the public, encourage students and help develop the high tech work force that will be required to address the challenges of tomorrow.

Nasa has just awarded Boeing the contract to build the upper stage of the crew rocket. they are totally scraping the Saturn V rocket, something that was extremely reliable and going into a system with 2 rockets. They would first launch the Ares V rocket containing the Lunar Surface Module and the Earth Departure Stage into a low Earth orbit, then launch the Ares I rocket containing the crew exploration vehicle, which once in orbit docks with the Lunar Surface Module and Earth Departure Stage. Once docked the Departure Stage fires its engines to achieve Earth escape velocity and we're off to the Moon. Once at the moon, all 4 Astronauts then transfer into the Lunar Surface Module and descend to the Lunar Surface. After they do their stuff, (the first initial stays will be 7 days, leading up to eventually 180 days on the Lunar surface.) they launch off the Lunar surface to rendezvous with the crew module and return home. The landing site is yet to be determined, they are thinking probably one of the Lunar poles because of the likelihood of water and the temp is more constant at the poles then anywhere else.

This cool YouTube Lunar video basically sums up NASA's Lunar program real well, enjoy. Something cool just happened to me, when I was surfing the NASA site a questionnaire popped up for me to fill out, they don't occur that often, I've never had one, so that was neat.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Our Sun

Well this has got to be the coolest Solar Video I have ever seen! Just released by NASA last week, it shows our Sun in action. Pictures taken by Stereo (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) are stitched together to produce the video. Stereo is basically two space based observatories providing stereoscopic measurements to give us a better understanding of Coronal Mass Ejections or CMEs.

The Stereo mission provides us with a better understanding of why CMEs happen and also provide early warnings for any Earthbound CMEs, since they do major damage to satellites, just about anything electrical, have been known to cause blackouts and if there are any Astronauts working out in space they have to take cover.
Warnings are issued to various tech companies to prepare them for the CMEs, my daughter's boyfriend is an IT guy and gets them so he can prepare for it and warn any clients that he feels may be affected by the CME.

CMEs are the "biggest" explosion in our solar system, equivalent to one billion hydrogen bombs and can travel up to two million miles per hour making the trip to Earth in just 2-4 days!
Since we're on the topic of the Sun I thought I would add a couple of pics I took of the sun. below are pictures taken with a Solar Hydrogen Alpha Telescope, it allows only the hydrogen wavelength of the Sun through, allowing us to see the Chromosphere where all the neat stuff happens. Below you can see on both pictures Solar Prominences, shooting into space, the pic right below you can also see a sunspot as well as the Suns "orange peel" look which is created by thousands of Solar Granules , small convection cells 200-2,000 km in diameter, ever changing, have lifespans anywhere from 8 to 20 minutes.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

I Luv Your Blog Award

I'm honored to have received the "I Luv Your Blog" award from Kathy over at Photography by KLM, I actually Luv her blog, she has some great pics, take a peek. I would like to pass this award on to a few of the blogs that I visit frequently.

Zunnur over at A Little Time Has a great blog with many words of wisdom, Check the site out its great.

Rose's site, World Outside my Window , has lots of good information about blogging, controversial topics, and current affairs, I'm always over there asking questions about blogging.

Paula's site, self taught artist, lots of cool pictures and makes cool things out of stuff, oh and she's funny, her posts make me happy.

Shirley's site, More Cool Pictures has lots of cool pics, makes me real happy, and Shirley's writing makes me happy too.

Finally Aura over at Encounters With The Unexplained has lots of unexplained stuff at her site , plus her freaky picture that scares me, its like shes a ghost, and speaking of ghosts, she has a ghost at the bottom of her web page, it's scary too!!, but I watch it cause its cool, go take a look, but only if you want to be scared!

Way back when I first started blogging Vienne over at Eavesdrop Writer awarded me with the "schmooze" award which I still have to award some bloggers with, also I still have a "nice matters" award to pick up from Lisa over at Life Prints, problem is it's pink and it has flowers on it!, I told Lisa I couldn't put it on my blog, my blog is about space, the most hellish environment known to mankind, can't have pink or flowers or both on my site, Lisa understood, maybe if it was black, and had a skull somewhere on it, and daggers coming out of the skull, and then daggers coming out of the daggers, I might consider it. I would like to give out a nice matter award right now to Anna at My Only Photo, Anna has great photography at her site, she has pictures of animals, moons,and meteors, a great site and she's nice, pink would be okay for her site. Another site I just found out about I would like to award the nice matters award is Peter's site Scruffyhippo's, about all things psychic, spiritual and metaphysical. I don't know if you are allowed to nominate just a few people at a time or what, well I did so there, hope the blogging award police don't come by to give me a ticket or what ever they do.