NASA Honors Second Anniversary Of New Horizons Pluto Encounter


Launched January 19, 2006 NASA’s New Horizons probe buckled down, unfazed by billions of miles between Earth and mission objectives – exploration of Pluto, Pluto’s moons and the Kuiper Belt. A few days ago, July 14, 2017 marked the second anniversary of New Horizons first fly-by of once a planet Pluto.

https://www.space.com/37485-new-horizons-pluto-flyby-anniversary-two-years.html

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft looked back toward the sun 15 minutes after its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015, capturing this near-sunset view of the dwarf planet’s icy mountains and flat ice plains. The image was taken from a distance of 11,000 miles (18,000 kilometers) from Pluto; the scene is 780 miles (1,250 km) wide. – https://www.space.com/16533-pluto-new-horizons-spacecraft-pictures.html

Ponder New Horizons at – https://notestoponder.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/new-horizons-nearing-pluto/

To honour New Horizon’s second “closest fly-by” of Pluto anniversary, NASA released two short commemorative videos –

 

The magnitude of New Horizons defies comprehension, it’s tough to fathom 7.5 billion kilometers culminating in near perfect dalliance with outer edges of our solar system. Rather than dismiss New Horizons for lack of tangible perspectives, ponder distance and time traveled with new eyes. Invite New Horizons images for tea, sip politely, let cosmic wonder tickle your toes. Laugh out loud when I tell you New Horizons has enough spring in her step to cross 1.6 billion kilometers beyond Pluto for a hand shake with asteroid 2014 MU69 on January 1, 2019. Beyond that, New Horizons will wait as only good soldiers can. Ready to rise from trenches when fresh orders dictate another charge into the great unknown.

https://astronomynow.com/2017/01/22/new-horizons-to-continue-mission-of-discovery-with-kuiper-belt-encounter/

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Smallest Known Star Discovered


This week astronomers at University of Cambridge announced discovery of EBLM JO555-57Ab, the smallest star ever identified by science. To ponder EBLM JO555-57Ab, cast an eye of imagination 600 light years across the cosmos. Recline in upholstered comfort, search for unmistakable washes of sunlight emanating from a cosmic body smaller than Jupiter, barely larger than Saturn. Marvel at the fickle nature of our universe while dismissing notions of mandatory solar enormity. Despite a meager footprint, know that a star, is a star, is a star.

Demure as EBLM JO555-57Ab appears, mass not size determines star status. More mass = more gravity, exceptional gravity smashes particles together creating nuclear fusion which releases energy as light, radiation and solar wind. See How Stars Work at – http://science.howstuffworks.com/star5.htm

Alexander Boetticher, lead study author doubts stars get much smaller than EBLM JO555-57Ab.

“Our discovery reveals how small stars can be. Had this star formed with only a slightly lower mass, the fusion reaction of hydrogen in its core could not be sustained, and the star would instead have transformed into a brown dwarf.”

EBLM JO555-57Ab resides in a double star system, but for this critical detail, astronomers might never have noticed EBLM JO555-57Ab passing in front of her larger companion star. Curiously, dim, coolish, barely a star like our now know smallest star, are the “best candidates” for finding Earth sized exoplanets with surface water. Boetticher adds –

[EBLM J0555-57Ab] is smaller, and likely colder, than many of the gas giant exoplanets that have so far been identified. While a fascinating feature of stellar physics, it is often harder to measure the size of such dim low-mass stars than for many of the larger planets. Thankfully, we can find these small stars with planet-hunting equipment, when they orbit a larger host star in a binary system.

It might sound incredible, but finding a star can at times be harder than finding a planet.

Artist’s concept of newly-measured smallest star, called EBLM J0555-57Ab, in contrast to planets Jupiter and Saturn and to the small, cool star Trappist-1, known to be home to at least 7 planets. Image via University of Cambridge.

http://earthsky.org/space/discovery-smallest-star-eblm-j0555-57ab?utm_source=EarthSky+News&utm_campaign=9d598c024d-EarthSky_News&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c643945d79-9d598c024d-393970565&mc_cid=9d598c024d&mc_eid=a5b828713b

The Pope Is Fuming


The Catholic Church rarely crosses my mind, there are vastly more important issues to dwell on, but every so often a Vatican news ticker begs pondering. The headline tonight on Vice read “”Police Broke Up A Drug Fueled Vatican Priest Orgy”. Do tell .

I was hooked at “Monsignor The Pope is reportedly “fuming” after cops allegedly busted up a Vatican based, drug fueled, gay sex orgy in the apartment of a high-ranking priest.”

According to Vice, Italian media site Il Fanto Quotidiano was first to detail shenanigans at an apartment owned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. A apartment inhabited by one of the Pope’s key advisors, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio. The apartment, also known as Palace of the Holy Office was reportedly raided following complaints by neighbors of odd behavior and “comings and goings” of visitors.

Police arrested Luigi Capozzi, an aide to Cardinal Coccopalmerio and reported party planner. Although arrested, Monsignor Capozzi hasn’t been charged. Vice did claim Capozzi was taken to hospital until such time as he could detox from drugs consumed at the soiree, it’s unclear if charges will ever be filed or if Rome will make it all go away. Il Fatto Quotidiano suggests Cardinal Coccopalmerio will likely face accelerated retirement in the wake of Capozzi’s arrest. Either way, the Pope is pissed.

Can’t you hear the “how could you be so careless” papal admonishments? The Pope has every right to fume. Long gone are glory days of do as I say, not as I do. Who do these sexually frustrated pedophiles think they are? Calling bullshit on numskulls doesn’t get much easier than this.

https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/ywgpa5/police-broke-up-a-drug-fueled-vatican-priest-orgy

What You Can’t Do In Vancouver B.C.


What can’t you do in Vancouver B.C.? Off the top of my head in no particular order, a list of Vancouver facts to ponder –

1 – Buy a detached home anywhere in the city for under a million dollars. This 2 bedroom, 1 bath bungalow built in 1946 is listed at $1,189,000.

2 – Purchase a cat, dog or rabbit from pet stores. Last week city council voted unanimously in favor of the ban, citing a means to curb unscrupulous puppy mills. ( Unrelated, but while on the subject of animals – since 2011 Vancouver households can keep up to 4 backyard chickens, but no roosters, turkeys, ducks or geese. And absolutely no backyard slaughtering or sale of manure. )

Experts say when animals are sold in retail stores it can be difficult to assess the breeding conditions.

3 – Smoke a cigarette in city parks or at the beach.

4 – Exercise as a group in city parks without a permit. No impromptu outdoor yoga, Tai Chi, swing dancing or cross fit without prior approval.

In Vancouver's Dude Chilling Park — also known as Guelph Park, in Mount Pleasant — a yoga group has held daily by-donation classes for several years, as shown in this aerial drone photograph showing them practicing.

5 – Purchase alcohol for off-site consumption after 11 pm, or buy liquor at a grocery store.

6 – Be in possession of or offer fireworks for sale other than between October 24 and November 1. Anyone wanting to purchase fireworks must produce a permit obtained after passing an online safety quiz.

7 – Rely on public transportation to make your way home from the bar. Train service shuts down between roughly 1:30 and 5 am. Clubs on Granville Street in the downtown entertainment district serve patrons until 3 am, an hour later than 2 am shutters mandated establishments outside the district. Not that it makes a difference, either way public transit is limited to several woefully inadequate bus routes.

8 – Remove any tree measuring 20 cm circumference at 1.4 meters above ground without a permit. Application for removable must be approved by an arborist, verified by utility companies as a risk or fall into a strident category of other considerations. Fines are steep and justice swift, Vancouver takes trees seriously.

9 – Wood burning fireplaces are banned in new home construction. Additionally, all new construction must be wheelchair accessible and electric car charging station equipped.

 

Space Gallery Of The Week


Each week https://www.space.com/32252-amazing-images.html?utm_source=sp-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=icymi posts “The Most Amazing Space Photos This Week”. Below, a gallery of personal favorites from this week  –

Brilliant Southern Lights and Milky Way Shine at South Pole

“Astrophotographer Hunter Davis captured two images of our galaxy’s band of neighboring stars sharing the sky with the southern lights. They were taken in Antarctica, just over a relay station at the South Pole before the winter solstice, Davis said. The snow that blankets the base of the photos accentuates the brightness of the lights in the sky.”

Friday, June 30, 2017: In this view from the night side of Saturn, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured a sliver of sunlight peering over the horizon. Cassini arrived at the ringed planet 13 years ago today. — Hanneke Weitering

“The red giant star Betelgeuse is younger than the sun, but it’s living fast: The star has reached a life stage that the sun won’t hit for billions of years. New photos of the young star may help reveal the upheaval behind its mature appearance.

Stretched along the Chajnantor plateau in the Chilean Andes, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array Telescope, known as ALMA, captured its first image of the surface of this star. In doing so, it has provided astronomers and enthusiasts alike with the highest-resolution image ever captured of the red supergiant, European Southern Observatory (ESO) officials said in a statement.”

Jupiter’s Swirling Cloud Bands, NASA’s Juno spacecraft

Thursday, June 29, 2017: Jupiter’s intricate light and dark bands of cloud formations mesmerize in this enhanced image from NASA’s Juno spacecraft. Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran created the image using data Juno collected on May 19, when it was about 20,800 miles (33,400 kilometers) above Jupiter’s cloud tops. — Hanneke Weitering
The California Nebula
Tuesday, June 27, 2017: This long, faint cloud of interstellar gas and dust is the emission nebula NGC 1499. Because of its shape, astronomers nicknamed it the California Nebula. It lies about 1,000 light-years away in the constellation Perseus. — Hanneke Weitering

 

Don’t Think That Cake Will Serve 50


Myself and two staff, 50 guests, corporate golf tournament/Canada Day BBQ at a golf course.Tight timeline for set-up, no problem, not our first hustle. Buffet dinner of salmon, flank steak, Caesar salad, pasta salad, cut melon slices and cookies to open at 6:15. Chips and salsa on each table, bar open and notified guests would arrive in small groups relative to their tee-off times. Tournament prizes to be awarded after dinner, followed by our staff cutting/serving a Canada Day cake provided by client. Running a bit late due to venue not having tables/chairs in place – no big deal. Sorted it out and opened buffet to 20 guests at 6:30. Twenty guests, 20 pieces of salmon and half the beef, gone in the blink of an eye.

Silly me for assuming budget conscious client mentioned to invited guests free dinner was a choice of, not both proteins.Never mind that for the same price of salmon and steak, each and every one of them could stuff their belly with 2 burgers and grilled corn. Nope, they were adamant and customized the menu – 40 salmon fillets, 37 portions of beef (Why 37 is beyond me ) 40 portions of Caesar and pasta salads. This is supposed to feed 50 people? As always, our kitchen sent 4-5 extra goodwill portions of both proteins – drop in the bucket, this was an all you can eat pig fest.

We were in trouble. While not my responsibility to slap buffet hands, disgust left no choice but to shame ignorant second helping morons into waiting until first plates had a run at the buffet. Now client is in my face, angrily demanding to know why we didn’t hold dinner till 7. “We’re going to run out of food!” she shrieks, followed by “everyone is supposed to give you a ticket for choice of salmon or beef”. Excuse me, what ticket? Do you see mention of tickets in your contract because I don’t. Did you tell guests it wasn’t all you can eat? Do they realize how little food you ordered? Is your contract different than mine? Mine clearly states dinner at 6:15 and protein tickets are news to me.

Never mind. Client is beyond reason, demanding a refund, calling me a disgrace for cheating them.In the middle of all this my bartender interrupts – “What’s with these tickets? People keep asking if it’s for a free drink.” OMG!  A dozen guests go hungry, not so much as a cookie crumb left on the buffet, time to move on. I suggest we cut their cake.

How I managed to keep it together, calmly saying “don’t think that cake will serve 50” is beyond me. A team of comedy writers couldn’t script a more suitable punchline. Riveted, I watched as client ripped plastic cover off the naked 10 inch angel food cake, stunned by futile attempts to jab a small paper Canadian flag into the hard plastic center.

“Can you buy us a cake? We’ll stall tournament awards while you go for a cake”. Holy crap! How would you like to pay for it? I’ll send my chef for  cake when we sort out payment. Client agreed to put cake receipt total on her credit card. Chef made good time, back with what he could find in just over 20 minutes, a smallish slab cake and second small layer cake.  Client forgot about the stall. Awards over, only a dozen or so guests remaining. “That’s too much cake, I’m not paying for it” client announces. Oh yes you are!

Happy Canada Day