Archive for August, 2011

Saturn’s Shadow

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

That’s a nice shadow, Saturn. Would look good on my wall.

Shake It, Baby

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Hey, we just felt an earthquake here on the U.S. East Coast, confirmed by the USGS to have been centered in Mineral, VA.

It was felt as far as Boston and Cleveland. Oh, and that Dominion nuclear plant is 12 miles from the epicenter.

Launching From The Jungle

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Another spectacular launch from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana (technically a “department of France”). The payload included ASTRA 1N and BSAT-3c/JCSAT-110R satellites — both big geo spacecraft, an Astrium Eurostar 3000 and a Lockheed Martin A2100, respectively. Both are intended as replacement capacity for DTH services in their respective markets in Europe and Japan.

Love the ASTRA version, complete with interviews and German voice-over, “ASTRA 1N Satellitenstart an Bord einer Ariane 5 Rakete by SES ASTRA”


Monday, August 8th, 2011

Besides an over-the-top Flash site, the Juno mission to Jupiter is pretty fascinating. It began years ago, culminating in a spectacular launch the other day. Since it’s got a long way to go, strap-on solid rocket boosters were called in to help make really move on up…

Now all we need to do is wait five years to get there.

Besides a very interesting payload system, it carries three LEGO figurines

NASA’s Jupiter-bound Juno spacecraft will carry the 1.5-inch likeness of Galileo Galilei, the Roman god Jupiter and his wife Juno to Jupiter when the spacecraft launches this Friday, Aug. 5. The inclusion of the three mini-statues, or figurines, is part of a joint outreach and educational program developed as part of the partnership between NASA and the LEGO Group to inspire children to explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

In Greek and Roman mythology, Jupiter drew a veil of clouds around himself to hide his mischief. From Mount Olympus, Juno was able to peer through the clouds and reveal Jupiter’s true nature. Juno holds a magnifying glass to signify her search for the truth, while her husband holds a lightning bolt. The third LEGO crew member is Galileo Galilei, who made several important discoveries about Jupiter, including the four largest satellites of Jupiter (named the Galilean moons in his honor). Of course, the miniature Galileo has his telescope with him on the journey.

LEGO is cool.

Fatheads for Space Nuts

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Some people might enjoy putting up a Dwight Freeney print on their wall. How long can that last? Do you take it down when he retires?

For us rocket scientists, nothing is more timeless than images of space. Would you rather stare at A.J. Pierzynski in the morning or a nice nebula? The folks at Big Bang Prints may be on to something (disclosure: the editor of ReallyRocketScience is Roman Tytla’s brother).

You can cover a wall with these prints. All natural imagery, full color and absolutely gorgeous.

Crop Circles

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

“Crop circles are not made by man, but by electromagnetic point-sources of unknown origin.” So said UFO-Blogger.

Lights Forming Crop Cirlces by ovnis_et_fantomes

I’m not so sure about this, seeing as the story in The Daily Mail (U.K.) writes about a physics professor at the University of Oregon who can make a crop circle with a magnetron, make from a common microwave oven.

Dispensing with rope, wooden planks and bar stools that have traditionally been used to create such designs, Prof Taylor suggested these spectacular patterns could also be carved with lasers.

And he believes the satellite Global Positioning System could track the markings.

Mathematical analysis of some of these ever-more complex designs has revealed the use of constructions lines, invisible to the eye, that are used to design the patterns.

Writing in Physics World, he said: ‘Crop-circle artists are not going to give up their secrets easily.
‘This summer, unknown artists will venture into the countryside close to your homes and carry out their craft, safe in the knowledge that they are continuing the legacy of the most science-oriented art movement in history.’

Physics World editor Matin Durrani said: ‘It may seem odd for a physicist such as Taylor to be studying crop circles, but then he is merely trying to act like any good scientist – examining the evidence for the design and construction of crop circles without getting carried away by the side-show of UFOs, hoaxes and aliens.’
But as fascinating as the patterns are to scientists, farmers find crop circles infuriating.

Tim Carson, who owns the land where the recent alien design appeared, has had 125 circles on his land since 1990.

The price in ruined crops is particularly steep this year because of soaring fuel and fertiliser costs, and a 25 per cent drop in wheat yields due to the drought.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

No TV For You!

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

So this “action” in Libya has been going on for some time, so why did it take NATO so long to figure out satellite TV uplink sites should be taken out? Must be their consensus decision-making process.

Over the weekend, it was bombs away

NATO warplanes bombed three Libyan state TV satellite transmitters in Tripoli overnight, targeting facilities that have been used to incite violence and threaten civilians, the military alliance said Saturday. A series of loud explosions echoed across the capital before dawn. There was no immediate comment from Libyan officials on what had been hit, but state TV was still on the air in Tripoli as of Saturday morning.

NATO said the airstrikes aimed to degrade Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s “use of satellite television as a means to intimidate the Libyan people and incite acts of violence against them.” “Striking specifically these critical satellite dishes will reduce the regime’s ability to oppress civilians while (preserving) television broadcast infrastructure that will be needed after the conflict,” the alliance said in a statement posted on its website. It called Gaddafi’s TV broadcasts inflammatory and said they were intended to mobilize his supporters.

Check out this clip…