Friday, February 6, 2009

Not space-related.

But utterly awesome.

Do you know how many times in my life I've said, "Screw the top of the Eiffel Tower. Screw Times Square. Someone needs to put a live webcam on the ocean floor."

Well, guess what?

Someone did. I am addicted to this thing. I have been watching for a couple of hours and I have seen some of the coolest stuff swim by.

Here is the link to ORCA'S "Eye in the Sea" camera.

Your birthday star.

A fun thing to do when stargazing is to look at your "birthday star."
Your birthday star is a star whose light left on the long journey to Earth the year you were born.
Of course, your birthday star changes each year.
Being 37, my birthday star this year is Arcturus.
Last year, it was Denebola and next year it will be Lambda Ser.
Here's a fun chart to look up your star.
I'd imagine that if you're having a stargazing party, breaking out the Birthday Star Chart and letting everyone see "their" star would be a humongous hit.

Above: Arcturus

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I know I put it here somewhere

Comet Lulin briefly lost its tail yesterday. In what is being called a "disconnection event," which sounds vaguely like something psychosomatic, a gust of solar wind tore off part of the comet's tail. Comet Lulin will come within 38 million miles (a trip to the corner store in astronomical terms) on Feb. 24. Meanwhile, tonight, the comet will be visible near the double star, Zubenelgenubi (pronounced "elephant,") in Libra.

As the Ward sisters and sister-in-law will be in O'Neil, Fla., with a still-fairly-dark sky next week, we will be watching for it. Here's what the tail thing looked like.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Gemini Ale

It's no secret that I often decide which beer to purchase based on the label.
By fortunate coincidence, I have found that the beers with the prettiest, most interesting, or most unique labels are also the best tasting beers. Thankfully, I have a liquor store within walking distance which, though small, surely has the biggest collection of beautifully-labeled beers outside of the big liquor chains.
Don de Dieu ("Gift of God") pairs nicely with the peppery Maudite ("Damned") and I first bought them because of their beautiful labels.
Naturally, opening a Maudite is a charming wink-wink nudge-nudge precursor to opening a bottle of Salvation for your guests:

The point of this is the latest fab beer label I came across, which turned into a new fab beer discovery.
Gemini beer not only has a beautiful label; it's space-themed, too.
I'm not one to wax poetic about piquant aftertastes of leather and cigar - I'll just tell you this is a really good beer.
If you'd like to hear the poetic waxing, it's all here on Beer Advocate's page devoted to the brew.

Perhaps you can find some Gemini for your next "Yuri's Night" party.

Sunday, February 1, 2009