Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Blizzards and Space Exploration

Meteorologists in the North-East warned of a blizzard via an approaching winter storm named Juno.

Folks there are going through the blizzard quite well so far, having listened to the warnings and then having prepared ahead.

That having been done, now it is time for the sledding, snowshoe-hiking, skiing, and other snow fun from Central Park in New York, to Boston, on up to Maine:
Tens of millions of people along the East Coast hunkered down for a storm that for most failed to live up to predictions that it would be one of the worst they'd ever seen.

Forecasters originally said the storm could bring 1 to 3 feet of snow and punishing hurricane-force winds. But early Tuesday, they downgraded most of those numbers, saying New England would fare the worst, but even then not as bad as expected.
(East Coast Snow Storm). It is so good to see people prepare as governments take appropriate heed and warn folks ahead of time.

Good luck to all the folks up in the North-East!

On other fronts, the Dawn spacecraft is approaching the largest "asteroid," Ceres (NASA Dawn), as NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is approaching Pluto (Close Encounter with Distant Pluto).

Those two planetoids are being approached for the first time for a more close-up photo shoot, as well as for serious scanning by other instruments to gather "relevant information" (the NSA must have been in on that design).

The EPH ("exploded planet hypothesis") people are going to be looking for "clues."

Clues which indicate whether or not Ceres could be composed of some of the remains of a large ocean.

The remains of a large body of water which was once part of a planet.

A planet which orbited the Sun, somewhere between Mars and Jupiter.

Yes, that planet orbited the Sun, until it exploded, to become the debris field we now call the "asteroid belt" (eg. EPH, Weekend Rebel Science Excursion, 7, Exploded Planet Hypothesis).

Why that planet exploded is, among other things, a debate, in science fiction circles, associated with Dyson Grids (as discussed in the links just above).

Meanwhile, the Voyager I and II spacecraft are entering interstellar space:
Voyager 1 has entered interstellar space. The NASA spacecraft, which rose from Earth on a September morning 36 years ago, has traveled farther than anyone, or anything, in history. Now Voyager 1 is in the space between the stars.
(NASA Voyager). Not to mention the Mars Rovers crawling over the very interesting Martian landscape (Curiosity, Opportunity).

I will close with a report from Australia about radio signals received there from space:
Astronomers in Australia have picked up an “alien” radio signal from space for the first time as it occurred. The signal, or radio “burst”, was discovered on May 15, 2014, though it’s just being reported by the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. “The burst was identified within 10 seconds of its occurrence,” said Emily Petroff, a doctoral student from Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology. “The importance of the discovery was recognized very quickly and we were all working very excitedly to contact other astronomers and telescopes around the world to look at the location of the burst.”

Emerging from an unknown source, these bursts are bright flashes of radio waves that emit as much energy in a few milliseconds as the sun does in 24 hours. “The first fast radio burst was discovered in 2007,” Petroff tells FoxNews.com, “and up until our discovery there were 8 more found in old or archival data.” While researchers use telescopes in Hawaii, India, Germany, Chile, California, and the California Islands to search for bursts, it is the CSIRO Parkes radio telescope in Eastern Australia that is the first to catch one as its happening.

The cause of these mysterious signals remains unknown, with possible theories ranging from black holes to alien communication. However, UFO hunters shouldn’t get too excited. According to Petroff, “We're confident that they're coming from natural sources, that is to say it's probably not aliens, but we haven't solved the case completely. The two most promising theories at the moment are that these bursts could be produced either by a star producing a highly energetic flare, or from a neutron star collapsing to make a black hole. Both of these things would be from sources in far-away galaxies just reaching us from billions of light years away.”
(Fox News). There is nothing like the Earth, so we should care for it each and every day, never polluting and ruining it with overuse.

Bright spot (frozen lake in crater?) becomes visible on Ceres as Dawn spacecraft approaches:


  1. In the blame the messenger wars, some support the messenger (link).

  2. My wife and i felt the same way, Randy - that people didn't interpret their areas correctly. The storm depiction indicated that the brunt of the effects would be felt along the coast line from NJ to ME with diminishing precipitation the further inland you live. So we got the 1 to 3 that was predicted (and even that was enough to close the college i work at yesterday), where in Boston they got like 3 feet.

    What was too cool for words was that i got to see Contact and Blade Runner, back to back on cable on my day off.

    Thanks for the thoughtful post, Dredd. Great stuff.