Friday, January 25, 2008

Winter Night at Pic du Midi

Credit & Copyright: Alain Sallez (, David Romeuf (Université Lyon 1)
Explanation: This dreamlike view looking south from the historic mountain top Pic du Midi Observatory combines moonlit domes, a winter night sky, and the snowy peaks of the French Pyrenees. Encroaching on the night, lights from the La Mongie ski resort illuminate the mountain slopes nearby while the glow along the distant horizon is from urban areas in southern France and Spain. The night sky features stars of the constellations Orion and Gemini with a bright planet Mars very near the top edge, left of center. The three prominent domes visible (from left to right) house a 0.6 meter telescope reserved for amateur astronomers, a 1 meter telescope that was used to support the Apollo lunar landing missions, and the new, Sun-watching CLIMSO.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ezra Levant and the Kangaroo Court

If you haven't seen this yet, it's really worth the time (about 10 minutes):


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Wolves fishing for Salmon!

Candidate Calculator

This is interesting: Hat tip JB Williams

According to my answers:
Duncan Hunter 95.5%
Tom Tancredo 95.4
Fred Thompson 90.1
Huckabee 86.4
Romney 86.3
Guilliani 72.7
McCain 68.2
Obama 40.9
Clinton 36.3
Kucinich 13.5

HA HA HA! Funny... Try it!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A Jupiter-Io Montage from New Horizons

Credit: NASA, Johns Hopkins U. APL, SWRI
Explanation: As the New Horizons spacecraft sweeps through the Solar System, it is taking breathtaking images of the planets. In February of last year, New Horizons passed Jupiter and the ever-active Jovian moon Io. In this montage, Jupiter was captured in three bands of infrared light making the Great Red Spot look white. Complex hurricane-like ovals, swirls, and planet-ringing bands are visible in Jupiter's complex atmosphere. Io is digitally superposed in natural color. Fortuitously, a plume was emanating from Io's volcano Tvashtar. Frost and sulfuric lava cover the volcanic moon, while red-glowing lava is visible beneath the blue sunlight-scattering plume. The robotic New Horizons spacecraft is on track to arrive at Pluto in 2015.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Blogger to be arrested for speaking freely about islam...

hat tip Always on Watch

Here's a great comment from LGF on the subject, by Shug:

"The Pen is mighter than the sword....... but the sword is gaining ground as the dhimmis lay down their pens"

Saturday, January 5, 2008

M51: Cosmic Whirlpool

Credit: S. Beckwith (STScI) Hubble Heritage Team, (STScI/AURA), ESA, NASA
Explanation: Follow the handle of the Big Dipper away from the dipper's bowl, until you get to the handle's last bright star. Then, just slide your telescope a little south and west and you might find this stunning pair of interacting galaxies, the 51st entry in Charles Messier's famous catalog. Perhaps the original spiral nebula, the large galaxy with well defined spiral structure is also cataloged as NGC 5194. Its spiral arms and dust lanes clearly sweep in front of its companion galaxy (right), NGC 5195. The pair are about 31 million light-years distant and officially lie within the boundaries of the small constellation Canes Venatici. Though M51 looks faint and fuzzy in small, earthbound telescopes, this sharpest ever picture of M51 was made in January 2005 with the Advanced Camera for Surveys on board the Hubble Space Telescope.

Friday, January 4, 2008

The Milky Way

Credit & Copyright: Serge Brunier
Explanation: Climb up to 5000 meters (16,500 feet) above sea level, near Cerro Chajnantor in the northern Chilean Andes, and your night sky could encompass this cosmic vista. Recorded from that high and dry locale, the spectacular fish-eye image features the myriad stars and sprawling dust clouds of our Milky Way Galaxy. The direction toward the center of the Galaxy is near the zenith and center of the picture, but the Galactic Center itself is hidden from view, located far behind the obscuring dust. Brilliant Jupiter rules this scene just above the Milky Way's central bulge with the noticeably fainter, yellowish, giant star Antares to its right. Small and faint, near the right edge of the picture is one of the Milky Way's many satellite galaxies, the Small Magellanic Cloud.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A Galaxy is not a Comet

Credit & Copyright: Emiel Kempen
Explanation: This gorgeous galaxy and comet portrait was recorded on December 30th, in the skies over Hoogeveen, The Netherlands. The combined series of 60 x 60 second exposures finds the lovely green coma of Comet 8P/Tuttle near its predicted conjunction with the Triangulum Galaxy. Aligning each exposure with the stars shows the comet as a streak, slowly moving against the background stars and galaxy. An alternative composition with exposures centered on the comet, shows the background stars and galaxy as streaks. The alluring celestial scene would also have been a rewarding one for the influential 18th century comet hunter Charles Messier. While Messier scanned French skies for comets, he carefully cataloged positions of things which were fuzzy and comet-like in appearance but did not move against the background stars and so were definitely not comets. The Triangulum Galaxy, also known as M33, is the 33rd object in his famous not-a-comet catalog. The modern understanding holds that the Triangulum Galaxy is a large spiral galaxy some 3 million light-years distant. Comet 8P/Tuttle, just bright enough to be visible to the unaided eye in dark, northern skies, is about 40 million kilometers (2 light-minutes) away.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year 2008!

Happy New Year to all my blogger friends in cyberspace!