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  1. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    Since the Moon is drifting away from the Earth, by the time that ever happens, it will have to make a long journey back, and both Earth and the Moon will likely be crispy critters in the growing Sun. (From what I've read, we're talking about something like 65 billion years from now, which is almost 14 1/2 times how old the Earth is now.)
    Will Donald Trump still be contesting the election in 65 billion years??

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Checked it out last night. Saturn is right above Jupiter and maneuvering to land on top of its big brother in about two weeks.
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  3. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    In more positive news, China landed on the Moon today.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/china-suc...154101997.html
    Update:
    https://www.space.com/china-chang-e-...e=notification

    Samples on board, on their way home.

    Larry
    DevilHorse

  4. #84
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    Checked it out last night. Saturn is right above Jupiter and maneuvering to land on top of its big brother in about two weeks.
    I'm hoping for clear skies on the 21st so I can get a decent shot with my scope.
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  5. #85

    Death, Taxes, and Gravity

    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    The radio telescope at Arecibo has completely collapsed.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/huge-puer...123335082.html
    Here is video (within the article) of the main detector and the supporting towers crashing down.
    https://www.theverge.com/22150330/ar...-footage-video

    It is almost poetic when you think that this instrument that probed the invisible universe created by the weakest of the known forces, yet the most dominant, succumbs to it here on earth.

    Death, Taxes, and Gravity.

    Larry
    DevilHorse

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilHorse View Post
    Here is video (within the article) of the main detector and the supporting towers crashing down.
    https://www.theverge.com/22150330/ar...-footage-video

    It is almost poetic when you think that this instrument that probed the invisible universe created by the weakest of the known forces, yet the most dominant, succumbs to it here on earth.

    Death, Taxes, and Gravity.

    Larry
    DevilHorse
    Money quote from article:
    The collapse of Arecibo didn’t come as a surprise. Following the failure of two support cables in both August and November, engineers had concluded that there was no safe way to repair Arecibo and that the platform could fall onto the dish at any moment. NSF hoped to do a controlled demolition of the telescope before that happened, but the collapse occurred before any kind of action could take place.
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  7. #87

    Rash of Returns

    Well here is an interesting thing to watch for on Saturday night, right after the Duke Football game. After a multi-year journey, a Japanese spacecraft is returning samples from the Asteroid Ryugu. I expect the whole thing will be somewhat anti-climactic.

    Although it does beg the question, what kind of differences are there when you bring a sample back from an Asteroid (or Mars or the Moon [like the Chinese mission]) vs. bringing people back from space. Obviously, you want the people to 'survive' so there is a maximum temperature and gravity impulse (G's) that the capsule contents can experience. I wonder what those parameters are for this type of payload.

    Supposedly, the maximum target for Astronauts (i.e., US Space Program and Soyus) is designed for 6 Gs (humans can only withstand 12 Gs [how did you get that number NASA? Dr. Mengele's notes?!]). The Space Shuttle surface reaches just below 1477 degrees F, but people wear space suits inside. And of course, we all know that computers prefer it be below human room temperature. If there is any kind of organism (or organic compounds shall we say) in a sample, you wouldn't want to expose it to extreme temperatures, to keep it safe (unless you wanted to cause a pandemic of course).

    For the Space Shuttle, and for future SpaceX/Virgin Galactic space tours, they would be even more mild than Mercury/Gemini/Apollo.

    Just wondering.

    Larry
    DevilHorse

  8. #88
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Outside Philly
    China planted a flag on “the moon”.

  9. #89
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by bundabergdevil View Post
    China planted a flag on “the moon”.
    Phhht. You believe in China?

  10. #90
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Quote Originally Posted by bundabergdevil View Post
    China planted a flag on “the moon”.
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  11. #91

    RIP John Kolena

    This is as good a place to put this obit as any:

    https://www.clementsfuneralservice.c...?obId=19186264

    John Kolena was the only teacher of Astronomy at Duke for many years. John also taught at the local High Tech high school. Astronomy was his love and expertise. John was a friend to students and faculty alike. He was the first member of the faculty to join our graduate student led Intramural Teams. He led Tuesday evening Astronomy sessions on the Physics building roof for anyone who wanted to come and observe the heavens (there were 5 nice telescopes on the roof at the time). There was a particular telephone number, at the physics department, when it was off-hook on Tuesday night, it meant that John was on the roof and there was observations tonight! A colleague saw John recently and he was doing well.

    Very sad that he is gone.

    Larry
    DevilHorse

  12. #92
    Quote Originally Posted by bundabergdevil View Post
    China planted a flag on “the moon”.
    More than you wanted to know:
    https://www.space.com/china-flag-on-...e=notification

    Larry
    DevilHorse

  13. #93
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilHorse View Post
    More than you wanted to know:
    https://www.space.com/china-flag-on-...e=notification

    Larry
    DevilHorse
    The Chang'e 5 team spent more than a year selecting materials for the flag. A new type of composite material was chosen so that the five-star red flag can withstand the harsh environment of the moon and does not fade, color or deform.
    Makes me wonder how the American flags are holding up. They've been up there for almost 50 years.
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  14. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    Makes me wonder how the American flags are holding up. They've been up there for almost 50 years.

    Here is a passage from Wikipedia, "Since the nylon flag was purchased from a government catalog, it was not designed to handle the harsh conditions of space. Some experts theorize that the colors of some flags may have turned white due to sunlight and space radiation, or that the fabric might have disintegrated entirely.[18] A review of photographs taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) indicates that flags placed during the Apollo 12, Apollo 16, and Apollo 17 missions were still standing as of 2012.[12]

    Due to the resolution of the LRO cameras, shadows from the fabric of the flag can be seen but the pole cannot, showing that the flags did not disintegrate entirely.[19]"

    Larry
    DevilHorse

  15. #95
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    SpaceX is doing a Starship test flight today. Some time. Eventually.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gPM65OIyPk
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  16. #96
    US satellite sees the Chinese lander on the moon. 100m resolution, impressive.
    https://www.space.com/change-5-moon-...e=notification

    The article mentions "the 4 ton" spacecraft, although I assume this is an earth measure, since it would only weigh 2/3 of a ton where it is right now.

    Larry
    DevilHorse

  17. #97
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC area
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilHorse View Post
    US satellite sees the Chinese lander on the moon. 100m resolution, impressive.
    https://www.space.com/change-5-moon-...e=notification

    The article mentions "the 4 ton" spacecraft, although I assume this is an earth measure, since it would only weigh 2/3 of a ton where it is right now.

    Larry
    DevilHorse
    Maybe they meant metric tonnes?

    -jk

  18. #98
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilHorse View Post
    Update:
    https://www.space.com/china-chang-e-...e=notification

    Samples on board, on their way home.

    Larry
    DevilHorse
    Just some additional 'dirt' on the Chinese lunar mission. Samples on Earth, being examined.
    https://www.space.com/china-chang-e-...e=notification

    Larry
    DevilHorse

  19. #99
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Outside Philly
    Jupiter and Saturn will form a planetary conjunction w/ the best viewing for most of us tomorrow night.

    Skywatchers are in for an end-of-year treat. What has become known popularly as the “Christmas Star” is an especially vibrant planetary conjunction easily visible in the evening sky over the next two weeks as the bright planets Jupiter and Saturn come together, culminating on the night of Dec. 21.

  20. #100
    Quote Originally Posted by bundabergdevil View Post
    Jupiter and Saturn will form a planetary conjunction w/ the best viewing for most of us tomorrow night.

    Skywatchers are in for an end-of-year treat. What has become known popularly as the “Christmas Star” is an especially vibrant planetary conjunction easily visible in the evening sky over the next two weeks as the bright planets Jupiter and Saturn come together, culminating on the night of Dec. 21.
    Yes, my daughter and I were able to view this conjunction of the two planets on Friday night (not as close as it will be tomorrow night but the weather prediction here for Monday night is for cloudy skies (ugh) so we may not be able to view it when the planets are at their closest) and it was still fabulous to see the two bright planets so close to each other in the lower Southwestern sky right after dusk (especially because the last time these two planets were so close and visible to humans was 1226 AD).

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