February 1, 2018

Lost Satellite Found

IMAGE was a satellite launched in 2000 that suddenly stoped broadcasting in 2005. NASA declared it dead after 2007. They had waited that long to see if the batteries would drain which would trigger a reset that might make everything right again.

Then in January 2018, amateur radio astronomer Scott Tilley quite accidentally found IMAGE happily broadcasting away. They think the battery-drain-triggered reset happened sometime later than 2007.

permalink | February 1, 2018 at 10:45 AM | Comments (0)

November 30, 2017

Autopsy of an obese person

Here's a very good video that explicitly depicts the autopsy of an obese woman who died of heart failure. It includes clear, matter of fact explanations from the experts.

permalink | November 30, 2017 at 04:43 PM | Comments (0)

August 21, 2017

NASA Photo Of The Eclipse

2017 Total Solar Eclipse

permalink | August 21, 2017 at 11:23 PM | Comments (0)

January 14, 2017

SpaceX Launch And Landing This Morning

If you don't want to watch the whole thing, start it at 22:25 which may seem a bit early, but I think you'll find it entertaining. There's some great photography on this 100% successful mission that launched from Vandenburg. Cameras on the first stage give you a few glimpses of much of the coast of California (mostly clear everywhere, it seems) as it ascends. You also get to watch the perfect descent from the POV of the first stage. The second stage gets screen time too.

Maybe I've just missed it before, but the speedometer constantly displayed in the upper right is new to me. I notice that the speedometer and the altimeter both have red lines. What happens if it red lines? It's not going to throw a rod. Does it mean it's overreached and achieved escape velocity? Milky Way here we come?

permalink | January 14, 2017 at 02:07 PM | Comments (0)

December 6, 2016

Weather Channel tells Breitbart to cut the BS

What is it that right wingers don’t like about the facts supporting climate change? They seem to be okay with a round earth orbiting the sun, the proof for which is more abstract than the proof for climate change.

permalink | December 6, 2016 at 07:02 PM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2016

The Voyage To Mars Using Something Smaller Than A Saturn V

As visualized by SpaceX.

permalink | September 27, 2016 at 08:53 PM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2016

Vandalism At Devil's Hole

Devil's Hole is a non-contiguous part of Death Valley National Park over on the Nevada side. It's completely off limits to tourists as it is a home to the rare pupfish. It made the news (a little bit) in 2010 when it showed dramatic effects of the Mexicali earthquake hundreds of miles away.

On April 30 three men broke through the fence surrounding Devil's Hole by shooting off the locks. They then proceeded to vandalize the area and actually enter Devil's Hole itself.

One of the men waded and swam in Devils Hole, causing potentially significant disruption to their habitat. The shallow underwater shelf is vital to the Devils Hole pupfish’s survival, providing algae and invertebrates for food and a spawning surface. Video footage recorded this man walking on the shallow shelf, potentially stressing and crushing pupfish, which are slow-moving, docile, and as they have no natural predators, curious by nature. April through May is the peak spawning season for this annual fish, and so the intruder likely crushed and destroyed eggs on the shelf. Many peer-reviewed reports, published scientific studies, as well as a Supreme Court case (Cappaert v. United States 1976) have identified the integrity of the shallow shelf ecosystem as critical to the survival of the Devils Hole pupfish. Any impact to the habitat of this critically endangered species is a concern.

At this link you can see the underwater security video of the man walking on pupfish habitat.

A map of Devil's Hole:

UPDATE: The vandals have been identified, but not apprehended yet, I think.

permalink | May 13, 2016 at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)

May 4, 2016

Rocket Video

UP Aerospace Inc.attached a lot of GoPros to a rocket they launched last November. One camera is on one of the stages jettisoned from the main rocket. This allowed them to catch clear images of the rest of the rocket just sitting there in space like a 1950s science fiction magazine. Here’s the video.

permalink | May 4, 2016 at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

April 23, 2016

Seeing Clearly Underwater

Here's an article about the children in a Thailand tribe who can see clearly while swimming underwater. The researchers ruled out genetics and have determined that the children learn to voluntarily contract their pupils to their smallest size and change the shape of their lenses. A group of Swedish children learned to do it in one month. The ability disappears in adults.

permalink | April 23, 2016 at 05:02 PM | Comments (0)

March 7, 2016

Excavating A Wasp Nest

Pretty interesting, no magic about it. You just have to have a protective suit on that you rely on completely.

permalink | March 7, 2016 at 11:29 PM | Comments (0)

March 6, 2016

"you won’t be building a quantum computer and putting it on your desktop anytime soon"

Why does that sound like one of those quotes we'll all be knowingly chuckling over 20 years from now? MIT builds a 5-atom quantum computer. And, oh yeah, the University of Innsbruck in Austria helped.

I predict that with a few more atoms the computer will become self-aware and design quantum computers that anyone can build on his or her own desktop.

permalink | March 6, 2016 at 10:40 PM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2016

Drives Right Into A Funnel Cloud

The driver said he didn't see it. You can skip the first 1:15, unless you like sitting in stopped traffic. Florida.

permalink | February 17, 2016 at 09:04 PM | Comments (0)

February 2, 2016

Southern California Geology

Brand new: "Roadside Geology of Southern California." And only $22.

Since Mountain Press started the Roadside Geology series forty years ago, southern Californians have been waiting for an RG of their own. During those four decades which were punctuated by jarring earthquakes and landslides geologists continued to unravel the complexity of the Golden State, where some of the most dramatic and diverse geology in the world erupts, crashes, and collides. With dazzling color maps, diagrams, and photographs, Roadside Geology of Southern California takes advantage of this newfound knowledge, combining the latest science with accessible stories about the rocks and landscapes visible from winding two-lane byways as well as from the region s vast network of highways.

Join Arthur Sylvester, an award-winning UC Santa Barbara geologist, and Elizabeth O Black Gans, a geologist-illustrator, as they motor through mountains and deserts to explore the iconic features of the SoCal landscape, from boulder piles in Joshua Tree National Park and brilliant white dunes in the Channel Islands to tar seeps along the rugged coast and youthful cinder cones in the Mojave Desert. Whether you want to find precious gemstones, ponder the mysteries of the Salton Sea, or straddle the boundary between the North American and Pacific Plates, be sure to bring this book along as your tour guide.

permalink | February 2, 2016 at 12:48 PM | Comments (2)

January 13, 2016

Lithium & Water

I had a vague recollection about lithium reacting with water to create a potentially dangerous situation, like this:

And that's what I thought of when I watched this video about the unfortunate situation of being the owner of a brand new hoverboard. But I guess sometimes nothing happens.

Notice when he opens the box at the beginning, the packing material is cracked on the right end. Is that an indication this was dropped on that end?

permalink | January 13, 2016 at 10:24 PM | Comments (0)

Historic SpaceX Launch and Landing

SpaceX staff is exuberant over the successful controlled return and landing of the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket last month. This particular video was released just a few days ago.

permalink | January 13, 2016 at 10:03 PM | Comments (0)

Fun with expanding foam

permalink | January 13, 2016 at 02:11 PM | Comments (0)

December 9, 2015

Possible Aerial Display Thursday Morning

Tomorrow, Thursday morning, between 5:30 AM and 6:30 AM (Pacific time) the Army will launch a missile in New Mexico. It will travel 215 miles to the White Sands Missile Range. It will leave a contrail that, depending on how the morning sun strikes it, may appear quite unusual. It's possible it may even be visible from the Palm Springs area. The contrail may hang in the atmosphere for about 45 minutes.

permalink | December 9, 2015 at 05:03 PM | Comments (0)

October 6, 2015

Project Apollo Archive


NASA has posted all of the photos (12,426 of 'em) from the Apollo project on Flickr.

permalink | October 6, 2015 at 09:53 PM | Comments (0)

Possibly Visible Rocket Launch Thursday (Oct. 8) Morning

This comes from Launch Alert:

The launch time for Thursday morning's Atlas V launch from Vandenberg AFB is 05:49 PDT. Following liftoff, the Atlas will rise vertically for several seconds and then probably begin a gradual turn towards the south.

The announced launch time is several minutes before the start of morning twilight at Vandenberg. If the rocket makes a gradual climb into orbit, the powered phase of the launch will probably end before the Atlas climbs into sunlight. In this case, the Atlas will resemble a moving orange or white light.

However, if the rocket makes a steep climb into orbit, the Atlas initially will resemble a moving orange or white light. The rocket may then climb high enough during the powered phase of the launch for the exhaust plume to catch the Sun's rays, creating a weak Twilight Effect.

Regardless of the angle of the rocket's climb, the event could be visible to the naked eye for a few hundred miles.

The probability of acceptable weather at launch time is 70%.

Webcasts of the launch should be available from the following web sites:




For information about viewing Vandenberg AFB launches, go to:


For information about photographing Vandenberg launches, go to:


permalink | October 6, 2015 at 01:43 PM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2015

Here's A Way To Look At It

Yes, the whole New Horizons mission that just went past Pluto cost $720 million, but that's less than the cost of one NFL stadium. Examples:

  • New Minnesota Vikings stadium: $1 billion.
  • MetLife Stadium: $1.6 billion.
  • Tokoyo's 2020 Olympic arena: $2 billion.

The article also points out that the cost of the space mission works out to 24¢/mile.

permalink | July 16, 2015 at 12:38 PM | Comments (0)