Open Contest To Name 20 New Moons Of Saturn


Today, Scott Sheppard of Carnegie Institution for Science launched a contest to name 20 newly discovered moons of Saturn. For those keeping score,  Saturn (now with 82 moons) leapfrogged past Jupiter (79 moons) to claim satellite supremacy.

Illustration is courtesy of the Carnegie Institution for Science, Saturn image is courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute. Starry background courtesy of Paolo Sartorio/Shutterstock.

Dust off history books, brush up on Norse, Gallic and Inuit mythology – between now and December 6, 2019 the contest is open to anyone who follows IAU rules. Follow link below to enter contest.

From Wikipedia –

In 1847 the seven then known moons of Saturn were named by John Herschel. Herschel named Saturn’s two innermost moons (Mimas and Enceladus) after the mythological Greek Giants, and the outer five after the Titans (Titan, Iapetus) and Titanesses (Tethys, Dione, Rhea) of the same mythology. Until then, Titan was known as the “Huygenian (or Huyghenian) satellite of Saturn” and the other moons had Roman numeral designations in order of their distance from Saturn. Subsequent discoverers of Saturnian moons followed Herschel’s scheme: Hyperion was discovered soon after in 1848, and the ninth moon, Phoebe, was named by its discoverer in 1899 soon after its discovery; they were named for a Titan and a Titaness respectively. The name of Janus was suggested by its discoverer, Audouin Dollfus.

Current IAU practice for newly discovered inner moons is to continue with Herschel’s system, naming them after Titans or their descendants. However, the increasing number of moons that were being discovered in the 21st century caused the IAU to draw up a new scheme for the outer moons. At the IAU General Assembly in July 2004, the WGPSN allowed satellites of Saturn to have names of giants and monsters in mythologies other than the Greco-Roman. Since the outer moons fall naturally into three groups, one group is named after Norse giants, one after Gallic giants, and one after Inuit giants. The only moon that fails to fit this scheme is the Greek-named Phoebe, which is in the Norse group.

  • Two of the newly discovered prograde moons fit into a group of outer moons with inclinations of about 46 degrees called the Inuit group. All name submissions for this group must be giants from Inuit mythology.
  • Seventeen of the newly discovered moons are retrograde moons in the Norse group. All name submissions for this group must be giants from Norse mythology.
  • One of the newly discovered moons orbits in the prograde direction and has an inclination near 36 degrees, which is similar to those in the Gallic group, although it is much farther away from Saturn than any other prograde moons. It must e named after a giant from Gallic mythology.

https://carnegiescience.edu/NameSaturnsMoons

Place Your Bet….


This Canadian considers herself informed, dare I say dialed in to global political affairs. Who knew dialed in included knowledge of novelty bets sanctioned by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation. Novelty bets? In Canada they appear on the Lottery Corporation website PlayNow under “Sports Other”. Politics a novelty sport? Fine, I’ll play along. Canada’s lottery corporation lists eleven Trump “specials” open for wagers, everything from impeachment to Trump Mexico, Russia and North Korea. (See link below). If Trump were impeached (current odds are 6-4 for not impeached), a $4 bet is a $10 win. WTF?

https://www.playnow.com/sports/other-sports/novelty-politics/donald-trump

Right now, this very moment I could bet on Trump being banned from Twitter, Melania running against Donald in 2020, Trump building a wall along Canada/US border or any Mexican airport being named after Donald Trump. I’m not making this up!

Why Canada, why? Oh Canada, please explain when, how and why it became acceptable for government sanctioned political gambling to flourish under the category of novelty sport bets. Is there no end or limit to the lottery corporation’s absurdity? Politics aren’t a game. This Canadian resonates with disdain for your flagrant shenanigans.

Pastor: Nothing Angers Christians More Than an Impeachment Inquiry Into Trump


Scotties Toy Box

Pastor: Nothing Angers Christians More Than an Impeachment Inquiry Into Trump

They’re not upset about his racism, his coziness with White Nationalists, his affairs, his pussy-grabbing, his hush money payments, his policy ignorance, his infantile tweets, his shady business dealings, or his constant lies. None of that truly bothers them.

But asking questions about Trump’s action? Trying to discover the truth? That’s what gets them more riled up than anything else. It’s not about Jesus. It’s not about ethics. It’s not about a policy decision. These Christians only care about political power. The idea that they might lose it — and the steady stream of young unqualified right-wing judges who will rubber-stamp the Religious Right’s legal wishlist — is the only thing that matters to them.

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You Stole My Purse


It wouldn’t be a wedding without a sloppy drunk woman accusing us of stealing her purse. We take it in stride, every situation presents unique challenges. Tonight’s drunk accused staff of stealing her purse while she went to the bathroom. “I left it on table 6, a black designer bag with $300 cash and all my ID. I was gone 2 minutes, one of you stole it” she slurred. Dead set on accusation, sloppy drunk unleashed a torrent of “you’d better fucking find it”.  We didn’t touch your purse!

Sensing sloppy drunk’s looming meltdown, boyfriend trumpets “this is fucking serious, which one of you stole her purse? Hand it over now!” Emboldened by her partner’s bravado, sloppy drunk parrots “fucking serious”.  Hysteria escalates, she’s wailing incoherent protestation. Rage pulsates from boyfriend’s throbbing temples, “she was gone 2 minutes, who the fuck stole her purse?”

Instead of laughing or calling security to escort the lovely couple out, I ask a server to check the bathroom. Sure enough, “stolen” purse rested where sloppy drunk left it – top of toilet paper dispenser inside a bathroom stall.

Did they apologize? Nope! They accused “thief” of planting it and stormed out. Sigh. So ends another day at the office.

Black Hole Visualization


This week NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center released a black hole visualization. Jeremy Schnittman, astrophysicist specializing in computational modeling of black hole accretion flows enlisted computer software to animate black hole glory. From https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2019/nasa-visualization-shows-a-black-hole-s-warped-world

Viewed from the side, the disk looks brighter on the left than it does on the right. Glowing gas on the left side of the disk moves toward us so fast that the effects of Einstein’s relativity give it a boost in brightness; the opposite happens on the right side, where gas moving away us becomes slightly dimmer. This asymmetry disappears when we see the disk exactly face on because, from that perspective, none of the material is moving along our line of sight.

Closest to the black hole, the gravitational light-bending becomes so excessive that we can see the underside of the disk as a bright ring of light seemingly outlining the black hole. This so-called “photon ring” is composed of multiple rings, which grow progressively fainter and thinner, from light that has circled the black hole two, three, or even more times before escaping to reach our eyes. Because the black hole modeled in this visualization is spherical, the photon ring looks nearly circular and identical from any viewing angle. Inside the photon ring is the black hole’s shadow, an area roughly twice the size of the event horizon — its point of no return.

“Simulations and movies like these really help us visualize what Einstein meant when he said that gravity warps the fabric of space and time,” Jeremy Schnittman, who created the images at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said in a statement.

Simulated black hole.

Click in to see more angles. | The black hole is seen nearly edgewise in this new visualization from NASA. The turbulent disk of gas around the hole takes on a double-humped appearance. The black hole’s extreme gravity alters the paths of light coming from different parts of the disk, producing the warped image. “What we see depends on our viewing angle,” NASA said. Image via NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Jeremy Schnittman.

NASA creates stunning new black hole visualization

Hidden Monsters


Life Unscripted

It has always been that the old despise the young. I have no doubt about that. Those with age and maturity seem to think, sometimes seem to demand, that those who lack age and maturity owe it to them to listen and obey the ways of the aged and more experienced.

What has not always been is a culture in which the young not only have access to all the information the aged think is their exclusive domain, but their experiences are completely different than the experiences of those who have gone before because the generation now reaching maturity has:

  1. Never had the experience of being a prosperous American (they are saddled with education debt and too many of them cannot find jobs commensurate with their education)
  2. At the same time they live in a society where our definition of poverty is 31X (yes, I did actually mean to write…

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