Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday song video.

There is just so much wrong with this, physics-wise, that it makes my head hurt.
Still, it looks awesome.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Grunsfeld at the Adler

Not Ernest Grunsfeld, who designed the Adler Planetarium - his grandson John, Telescope-Repairer Extraordinaire.
On Wednesday, June 24th, be at the Adler box office when it opens at 9:30 A.M. to get tickets to hear Astronaut John Grunsfeld talk about the recent Hubble Servicing Mission. He will also be bringing back the Adler telescope he snuck out on his last visit when security wasn't looking the Adler gave him to take on his recent mission, with the understanding "You break it, you bought it."
Admission to the event is free with paid Adler admission but it will likely sell out, so if you're not in line at 9:30, you might be SOL.

Grunsfeld's talk will begin at 2 P.M.

The beautiful Adler Planetarium, designed by a talented guy's talented grandfather. Brings to mind* what Felix Mendelssohn's father (the son of a preeminent Jewish philosopher) once remarked: "I used to be known as the son of Mendelssohn. Now, I am known as the father of Mendelssohn."

*In fairness, John Grunsfeld's father is also an accomplished architect which, around these parts, affords one near-rockstar status, too.

To the Moon!

Fingers crossed...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Happy Birthday to You!

Today is Cathy's birthday. That means she gets a new official birthday star, eta bootis, the southeasternmost visible star in Bootes. Also known by its Arabic name, Mufrid or Murphrid, eta bootis is one of a somewhat unusual breed of "super metal rich" stars, which means pretty much anything but hydrogen and helium. Muphrid has a metal abundance about twice that of our sun. It is surrounded by a corono nearly twice as hot as that of the sun.

It is the third brightest star in Bootes.

There are a lot of mythological stories about the origins of Bootes, the Plowman. One is that Zeus raped Callisto, a nymph who ran with Artemis. And that when she gave birth to Arcas, Hera found out and got all, like, "Hey! You been running around on me or what?"

And when Hera tried to kill Callisto and Arcas, Zeus caused a mighty whirlwind to take them into the sky. Other stories involve Artemis killing Callisto, and, again, Zeus sorrowfully sending her into the sky.

Anyway, my sister, Mary, also has a birthday coming up, and her birthday star is some nondescript star in Draco. Mine, meanwhile, is Caph, the upper right star marking the W of Casseopeia.

Your birthday star is, of course, the star whose light began its journey to earth on the day you were born. Look it up if you're bored:

So happy birthday to my little sister, who was born when I was 18. She is the funniest one of us all, and the reason this blog is so wonderful.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Teen discovers supernova

At 14, she's the youngest person ever to discover a supernova.
Way to go, Caroline!

I'd love to know more about this young lady.
I'm sure she's absolutely fascinating, and what an inspiration for young folks who sometimes feel nerdy or out of touch with the rest of teendom.

But there's only so much typespace, and ya know, they've got to use that to keep us informed of what Kate Gosselin ate for lunch.