Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Russian Meteor Video

I know you have probably already seen dozens of these but I thought this one was pretty cool. 

Happy Birthday Nicolaus Copernicus

Few people have as much curiosity as Nicolaus Copernicus had. He was one of the founding fathers of modern astronomy, born on this day in 1473. He had no formal astronomical education when he began his observations. If not for his efforts, in part we would not know all that we know about space today. 


What a late week we had! First I saw news that we would be receiving a fly by from a large asteroid within the Moon's distance and then mere hours before there is a meteor impact in Russia. How crazy! Now my lack of schooling tells me that this is bad astronomy but I have to think that one and the same are somehow related. I know that our planet has its own gravity and that some larger (though in relative terms very small) objects such as DA 14 also have some gravity), so I concluded that the Russian impact might be related to the larger asteroid. Now this has no basis in science, just a conclusion I drew myself, silly really. Anyway it does make one think. I find it funny that now suddenly there are so many "meteorite" videos suddenly flooding the news. It takes one event to make people wake up and realize that while we believe life revolves around ourselves and what we believe is important, there are things that occur overhead everyday. Look up people, you can see incredible things. We are after all one tiny little planets circling around space. An infinite number of stars, greater than grains of sand on this planet, exist. Among those stars are other planets, other moons and far, far too many asteroids, meteors and other space debris to comprehend  Our planet is bombarded every day by not only radiation from space but other debris. You can see these things ALL the time. Hell even if you look up doesn't mean you will always see it. I have seen so many objects at night on a regular basis that I almost find it silly that I haul myself out in the cold of winter to make meteor shower observations. Looking up on any given night you can at least see one satellite. I will stop ranting now but the point is this, you are one little being and there is SO much out there, just look up.

Here is a fantastic video of DA14 from last week. This asteroid is about the size of an apartment building and again is still relatively small but big enough to do major damage had it hit Earth.

Tonight in the sky Taurus will have an assist from the Moon. The moon will appear near the horn of the bull just before Orion rises for their nightly battle. If you have a clear sky you should enjoy the sight. Of course Jupiter will be there shining brightly through it all. Happy Star Gazing all!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Amazing Moon Shots

My absolute favorite thing to stare at in the night sky is the moon. I am far enough north that the brilliant, clear, cold winter nights make for some really great moon gazing. Sadly I am too far south to see Aurora. Also I am Urban enough that stars can be harder to see but the moon is always begging for attention. I can recall many a winter night when I was younger, seeing the moon light shining off the snow. I am still enthralled to this day. When I find a gorgeous moon picture or take one that I am proud of, I just have to share. Here are a few I just love.

Mmmmm, Spacey Food Fun!

I LOVE sugar Cookies

Chocolates for Your Valentine?

I just don't think they would get this far in my house.

Spectacular Nebula

Butterfly Nebula

Fairy Pillar

Ghostly Orchestra

Wish I knew how to paint my nails like this

Wouldn't it be SO COOL?!?!?!

Or this...

I really don't have any artistic ability at all. 

I love Venus Transit Pictures!

I found this one on Pinterest and had to share. 

Transit of Venus by Roger Smith, via Flickr

Movie Favorites: The Fifth Element

The Fifth Element is a 1997 English-language French science fiction film directed, co-written, and based on a story by Luc Besson. The film stars Bruce WillisGary Oldman, and Milla Jovovich. Mostly set during the twenty-third century, the film's central plot involves the survival of humanity, which becomes the duty of Korben Dallas (Willis)—a taxicab driver (and former special forces Major)—when a young woman (Jovovich) falls into his taxicab. Upon learning about her significance, Dallas must join efforts with the girl to recover four mystical stones essential to defending Earth from an impending attack.

Super Old, Super Cheesy, Super Awesome! 

Have to admit I may be a bit swayed, I have been a Bruce Willis fan ever since I was a young girl and saw Die Hard. What can I say! I just adore this movie, I think I have watched it at least a dozen times. Hey every time it comes on TV I can't seem to stop myself. I actually bought a copy now so I can watch it as often as I want. Well except when the hubby is around, apparently he can't stomach it anymore. So if you have been trapped under a rock YOU MUST SEE IT! If you are interested, discuss. I would love to read your feelings on it.


I read ALL the time so I should probably throw some of my more bizarre reads on here. For the most part I read Childrens' Astronomy books, they have great pictures and dumbed down language. Hey I am not Steven Hawking, I get confused when things go to far into the math realm. Though every so often I will surprise you.  So without further ado here are some of my recent favorites.

The Alien Hunter's Handbook by Mark Brake:  
Brilliant! The explanations of how live came to be on Earth as well as evolution is fantastic. The illustrations are very amusing and pulled my eye to the little tidbits of information provided by each. This book not only gives well thought out Scientific explanations, in an easy to digest form it also opens the mind to vast possibilities. The references and experiments in the back are pretty neat as well. This is one of my new favorite "Alien" books.

Children's Night Sky Atlas by Robin Scagill:  
This atlas had a wealth of knowledge and kept me looking long after I finished reading the pages. The photographs and illustrations from space were very impressive. The broken down sky maps through each month are very helpful when looking at the night sky. I borrowed this book but feel I could purchase this one as a handy reference. Most of the explanations were simplified though not too dumbed down. I would recommend this book to newer star gazers and children of course.

Earth: The Life of Our Planet by Mike Goldsmith:
Brilliant illustrations, and easily understood facts. The timeline and clocks were very helpful. I appreciate that the dates are guesstimates but one can't possibly now the actual dates. I found this book woke my brain to some new questions I want answers to and THAT is why I read things like this. There wasn't an overload of information on any pages and the explanations were complex but not overly so. Again an excellent, I think adults can appreciate this book as well as children.

Alien Investigation:  Searching for Truth About UFOs and Aliens by Kelly Millner Halls: 

This had a nice balanced presentation of information. The book has a "can you imagine" story from an Alien perspective to follow along with the facts. Presents several stories of Alien and UFO encounters from around the world. There is excellent photographs and illustrations as well as various expert Q & A.

My kids won't listen anymore!

So, I decided I would just make a blog to track my obsession. What is that obsession?  Well basically all things space. If it's up there and visible after dark I want to know about it. I spend far too much time reading and googling space related topics. I find pictures all the time that I think are neat but no one in my house wants to see it anymore. I have a crick in my neck, a decided lack of sleep on astronomical nights and I can't tell you how close I have come to freezing off some bits at night. I have more than a passing interest in backyard astronomy but lack any kind of education. In my adult life I have merely searched for answers to the questions that pick at my brain. I will now use this space as my info dump to spare my husband and children the pain anymore.  If at any point someone has something they think I would find interesting PLEASE share. Perhaps someday my kids will finally spark some interest and come see what mom has done???