Approaching Comet As Big As The Full Moon


Work ground to a halt this afternoon when an alert from http://spaceweather.com/ declared, “A Comet As Big As the Full Moon” was fast approaching Earth. I read on…

On Dec. 16th, Comet 46P/Wirtanen will approach Earth less than 11.5 million km away–making it one of the 10 closest-approaching comets of the Space Age. It’s a small comet, with a nucleus barely 1 km wide, but such proximity makes even a small things appear large. The comet’s gaseous atmosphere is now as wide as a full Moon. Mike Broussard of Perry, Louisiana, photographed the comet on Dec. 2nd and inserted the Moon for scale:”

Logically, a full moon size comet wasn’t about to graze Earth. Kudos for making me click, but the key phrase is “proximity makes even a small thing look large”. 46P is a Jupiter-family comet, one of over 400 identified comets with orbital periods less than 20 years, whose farthest point from the Sun is near the orbit of Jupiter. From https://www.space.com/42575-see-comet-64p-wirtanen-earth-flyby-december-2018.html ….

Jupiter-family comets will occasionally have their orbits perturbed when they make a close approach to Jupiter because its strong gravitational field can alter — sometimes quite significantly — a comet’s path through space.

In the case of 46P/Wirtanen, it underwent two such interactions with Jupiter — in April 1972 and February 1984 — that pushed its orbit about 50 million miles closer to the sun as well as very near to the orbit of Earth. With its current orbital period of 5.4 years, it has been alternating between evening-sky and morning-sky returns. But the evening-sky returns have been getting progressively more favorable.

Comet 46P Wirtanen
Taken by Gerald Rhemann on December 3, 2018 @ Farm Tivoli, Namibia, SW – Africa

Bottom line – On December 16, 2018 at 8:06 a.m. EST, 46P/Wirtanen will pass 11,586,350 kilometers from Earth, making 46P one of the top ten close approaches since 1950 and top twenty since the 9th century A.D.

 

Comet 46P/Wirtanen will be closest to Earth on Dec. 16, 2018. Look for it above the eastern horizon after dusk all month long! It will be bright enough to see with the naked eye, and will look even more spectacular with binoculars and telescopes.

Credit: SkySafari App

 

 

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On The Cusp Of Silly Season


On the cusp of silly season is lost on those without an inkling of what my job entails. The magnitude of Christmas party season poised to ignite defies explanation. I could say I’ll be busy, I’m always busy, busy isn’t silly. Silly is working 18 days straight, working 80 hours a week, getting home at 4 am, showering and heading back to work. Silly is loading and unloading 3 cargo vans in the middle of night, silly is brewing hot chocolate at 2:30 am, loading 7,000 pastries out at 6:30 am and serving canapes to 2,400 guests at the ballet. Silly is how many pounds of turkey and bottles of wine we’ll transport in the next three weeks.

Image result for office christmas parties

Those of us crazy enough to embrace my profession live for silly season. Surviving Christmas party season is a badge of honour, we live for silly season. The more extreme, physically challenging, convoluted, impossible timelines or elaborate execution, the better. Bring it on! It’s silly season and I’m stoked. See you in a few weeks.

Uneven Gravity


Our planet isn’t a perfect sphere, as such Earth’s mass is distributed unevenly. Ponder how uneven mass manifests itself as uneven gravity.

There's uneven gravity

Pictured above Hudson Bay, Canada, one of Earth’s gravitational anomalies.

Science has pondered lower gravity in Hudson Bay since the 1960s. Basic laws of gravity dictate its force is proportional to mass in a given region. One theory steps 20,000 years back to the last ice age, a time when behemoth ice sheets crinkled Earth’s crust, displacing mass. Another theory credits tectonic plates, movement of magma and subduction.

We think of gravity as constant, one planet, one equal gravitational force. I wonder how many know they weigh 1% less at the equator than the poles. Rotation creates centrifugal force which varies by latitude because our planet is a oblate sphere. Centrifugal is an outward force, gravity a inward phenomenon. Earth spins fastest at the equator, outward centrifugal forces cancel gravity resulting in diminished measurable weight. The link below is a great resource –

http://wtamu.edu/~cbaird/sq/2014/01/07/do-i-weigh-less-on-the-equator-than-at-the-north-pole/

Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation states that every particle attracts every other particle in the universe with a force which is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between their centers.

https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s_law_of_universal_gravitation

Uneven gravity isn’t fickle or complicated, uneven distribution of mass and centrifugal force account for gravitational anomalies. Everything happens for a reason.

https://www.rankred.com/why-we-observe-uneven-gravity-on-earth/

 

Violet Road


Last week astro-photographer Adrien Mauduit filmed the first ever live concert under the Northern Lights. From the aurora borealis observatory in Senja, Norway – ponder Norwegian band Violet Road performing “Keep on Running” under aurora’s light….

Follow Adrien Mauduit at – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCC0CLzCpM6nuLSAi1JNBjkA

Choir! Choir! Choir!


In 2011 Toronto visionaries Daveed Goldman and Nobu Adilman launched Choir! Choir! Choir! Twice a week, Clinton’s Tavern in Toronto opens its doors to anyone wanting to participate in a sing-a-long. Goldman and Adilman teach arrangements for one song, then film the performance. The results are magical.

When I watch Choir! Choir! Choir! videos my heart sings in harmony.

https://choirchoirchoir.com/sing-with-us/

Choir! Choir! Choir! transcends race, religion and politics. Voices of everyday people erupt in inspiring song.

In May 2016, 1,999 voices filled Toronto’s Massey Hall to remember Prince with When Doves Cry.

On October 11, 2018 Choir! Choir! Choir! gathered at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto to mark the first anniversary of Gord Downie’s death. Led by Goldman, Adilman and surviving members of Tragically Hip,  Grace, Too enveloped the night.

For those who might not know Downey, the Hip or Grace,Too – I conclude with the Tragically Hip performing Grace,Too at Woodstock 1999.

Masculine Toilet


November 7, 2018 dawned with Trump firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In less time than it took Sessions to clean out his desk, headlines declared Session’s former Chief of Staff Matt Whitaker “acting” Attorney General.

So who is Matt Whitaker and why did Trump appoint him? A few research minutes later my jaw lay on the carpet.

In 2014 attorney Whitaker joined the advisory board of Florida based World Patent Marketing, a fraudulent invention marketing company shut down in 2017 by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) for bilking would be inventors out of millions. WPM misrepresented successful inventions, retail partners, Better Business Bureau rating and invention “review panel” of respected Harvard and MIT advisors.

According to the FTC, WPM used heavy handed threats of litigation to squelch complaints from duped inventors. Enter the Advisory Board, whose sole purpose was to reel in new money and threaten those dangling on a hook. From Wikipedia

Matthew Whitaker was named to the advisory board of World Patent Marketing in 2014. He also appeared in promotional materials and assisted in emailing threats to disgruntled customers.[26] Two months into his association with the firm, Whitaker said in promotional material, “As a former US Attorney, I would only align myself with a first class organization. World Patent Marketing goes beyond making statements about doing business ‘ethically’ and translates those words into action.”[27] Following the shut down the other advisory board members returned fees they had received, however according to news reports, Whitaker did not respond to a request for fees to be returned.[28]

Stay with me, it gets better. During Whitaker’s stint on the advisory board WPM pitched some true gems. How about Sasquatch dolls marketed with claims DNA evidence collected in 2013 prove Big Foot is real, or a time traveling Bitcoin based currency (Time Travel X)? Ponder this…..

In November 2014 . . . World Patent Marketing, announced the “marketing launch” of a “MASCULINE TOILET,” which boasted a specially designed bowl to help “well-endowed men” avoid unwanted contact with porcelain or water. “The average male genitalia is between 5” and 6.”” the firm’s press release said. “However, this invention is designed for those of us who measure longer than that.”

https://www.prlog.org/12395827-inventvillagecom-announces-the-marketing-launch-of-the-masculine-toilet.html

Image result for masculine toilet

https://boingboing.net/2018/11/14/time-traveling-bitcoin.html

Back to the question of why Trump appointed Whitaker. You tell me! Maybe a racist pussy grabbing misogynist fancies himself a big dick.

Jovian Close Encounter


October 29, 2018  7,000 kilometers above the cloud tops of Jupiter, NASA orbiter Juno captured this image –

Image Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/Seán Doran

https://earthsky.org/space/juno-spacecraft-image-nov-2018-eichstadt-doran?utm_source=EarthSky+News&utm_campaign=31140f2af9-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_02_02_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c643945d79-31140f2af9-393970565

Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran created this color-enhanced image using data from the spacecraft’s JunoCam imager. JunoCam’s raw images are available for the public to peruse and to process into image products here.