Caturday’s Astrophenia | Winter’s Linguistic Blues


Namaskar. Slamalaikum. Vanakkam. Namaste. Ikktighar furiit. Greetings. This week, a little heads up on things going on from yours truly! Study has gone well despite the almost painful slowness of progress in Bengali, at least on understanding and reading. My penmanship still annoys me, and I’m still hesitant to speak the language with any real confidence, but I’m on the 18th unit of the text (Teach Yourself Complete Bengali) out of 35, and well underway to completing Part 2 of the text within the next four months, up to Unit 26. Then begins a more intense regimen of practicing what I’ve learned to date. After that, I’ll be studying Tamil for the following six months before focusing on Hindi for the first six months of 2019, then Bengali again. I’m also listening to Bangla podcasts, Bangla online radio broadcasts (There’s a station out of Dhaka I listen to a lot.), so I’m getting some practice even now. I’m more than halfway through Algebra II, reviewing practice exercises from Algebra I, and will start Precalculus and Geometry beginning in July. That language study has been slow no longer bothers me. Bangla is NOT an easy language, and learning it with two other languages, all with significant differences to each other, merely compounds the effort. But I’m learning at my own pace and minding my mental health in the process, so there’s really no problem. I must persist. The cats are doing well, with Eccles and Ricky behaving themselves fairly well after the last time they caused mischief during an attack of the zoomies on morning last month. Gorgeous, well she’s being Gorgeous, and still patient to young Eccles despite her age. Family life is kinda so-so, nothing particularly noteworthy to mention. Over all, things are going well, though how long that lasts remains to be seen.

Stay warm, or cool, according to your preference in your latitude and hemisphere of residence, and thank you for clicking on this blog!

Tf. Tk. Tts.

Clouds, Birds, Moon, Venus

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field in Light and Sound

Colorful Airglow Bands Surround the Milky Way

Arcs, Jets, and Shocks near NGC 1999

Cyclones at Jupiter’s North Pole

Horsehead: A Wider View

Phases of the Moon

The Astrognuz:

A New Planetary System Has Been Found with Two Super Earths

A Star is About to Plunge into a Monster Black Hole, Scientists are Ready to Watch

Computers Could Help in Assessing Asteroid Threats

360 Video: Tour A Mars Robot Test Lab

Jupiter’s Mysterious Geometric Polar Storms

An Asteroid is About to Embark on an Interstellar Journey

Big Picture Science Radio Show | Space: Why Go There?

Space Images | Glare on the Window

Caturday’s Astrophenia | GarageBand Blues


Hey, guys! I’m busy this weekend composing musical tracks by using GarageBand, mostly for podcasts and YouTube videos among other purposes. I’ve already created one track this evening, lasting a minute and a half, and I’m really having fun with this. I’ll be creating a bunch more tomorrow, some of which I’ll release online, others to distribute to friends and family, still more to experiment with. One objective is to create a musical track lasting anywhere from 5 to 7 minutes that sounds good when played on continuous loop, for my reading and writing periods. I hate reading or writing in silence, and creating music to help me do that will be hugely fun.

Stay brilliant!

Tf. Tk. Tts.

Three Galaxies and a Comet

Rigel and the Witch Head Nebula

An Elephant’s Trunk in Cepheus

In the Valley of Orion

Blue Comet in the Hyades

Clouds in the LMC

Old Moon in the New Moon’s Arms

The Astrognuz:

Titan has a Sea Level for its Lakes and Seas

A Nearby Star Walks over the Sun’s Grave

Big Picture Science Radio Show | Geology is Destiny

Asteroid 2002 AJ129 to Fly Safely Past Earth Feb. 4

A New Low-Cost, Low-Weight Method of Searching for Life on Mars

Swole Star

UFO Believers Got One Thing Right – Here’s What They Got Wrong

Sneak Peek of JPL Missions and Activities

A Black Hole is Pushing Stars Around in this Globular Cluster

To Search for the One-Armed Spiral

Laser SETI 2018

Multi-Planet System Found Through Crowdsourcing

xkcd: The End of the Rainbow

Mr. Eccles Presents | Spokes in Saturn’s Rings & Cassini Huygens Landing


I’ve a couple of great vids by Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer this morning! In the first, we see spokes, almost like those of a wheel, in the rings of Saturn. The mechanism by which they come about is a bit complex to get into here, but one explanation involves micron-sized ring particles electrically charged by the ionizing UV radiation from the distant Sun, focused by Saturn’s magnetosphere outward along the width of the rings, creating what basically amounts to enormous natural linear particle accelerators. How kewl is that? When Voyager I was here on its survey of the Saturn system, it was basically being blasted with radiation when crossing the plane of the rings along the path of the spokes! I love the fact that our species can build craft that durable, a craft now venturing in to the space between the stars!

Below, we have the recording of the entry of the Cassini Huygens lander entering and landing on the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan with the aid of a parachute. Here, we can see details of the surface, below the ever-present upper clouds of smog, worse than L.A. California in the 1970s, and the mountains and other land formations near the landing site. These are details that no one on Earth had ever seen before!

And now, you see them too!

Tf. Tk. Tts.

Caturday’s Astrophenia | Tonight: Doctor Madblood’s Halloween Scream 2016


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This evening at 10:00 p.m. EDT airs the annual Doctor Madblood’s Halloween Scream at whro.org/madblood. This year’s movie will be the director’s cut of the original Night of the Living Dead.

Zombies! The Shambling Dead! How cool is that??

*braiinsss…*

Ahem.

To me, the skits involving the Madblood gang are the best part, but the movie is okay as well if you like the quintessential film by George Romero! The skits take place at Madblood Manor, the home of retired mad scientist Doctor Maximillian Madblood and his monsters.

Pungo Virginia’s resident vampire, Count Lacudra (Dracula spelled sideways 🙂 ) makes an appearance, as Madblood characters lighten the movie segments with humor.

A certain Ninth Doctor impersonator does not appear in the skits, only during the costume party scenes, which are very brief. There are Daleks though, thankfully not encountered by said Ninth Doctor impersonator, as being exterminated by an angry Dalek with only the Sonic as a defense would have been unpleasant. They were made of wood, and the Sonic doesn’t work on wood!

The other cosplayers, though, were brilliant, funny, and very nice people who made the early evening of September 25 enormously fun and memorable.

Enjoy the movie!

Cylindrical Mountains on Venus

An Atlas V Rocket Launches OSIRIS REx

The Antlia Cluster of Galaxies

M45: The Pleiades Star Cluster

The Tulip in the Swan

Full Moon in Mountain Shadow

Cerro Tololo Trails

Eagle Aurora over Norway

HI4PI: The Hydrogen Sky

Clouds Near Jupiter’s South Pole from Juno

Propellor Shadows on Saturn’s Rings

A Giant Squid in the Flying Bat

Haunting the Cepheus Flare

Moonset at Whitby Abbey

Zoom into The Center of Our Galaxy:

The Astrognuz:

MIT Programs Humanoid Robots to Explore Mars

MRO Sees Impact Site of ESA Mars Lander

New Horizons: Possible Clouds on Pluto, Next Target Reddish

Historical Records May Underestimate Sea Level Rise

Seasonal Change on Titan is Dynamic Business

September 2016 is 12th Month in a Row for Record Breaking Temperatures

Space Station Crew Gets Special Delivery from Virginia

Big Picture Science Radio Show | Moral’s Law

Can We Get Space-Madness?

Three Stars Illuminate NGC 6188

Evidence Mounts for Planet Nine

Colliding Galaxies, Black Holes in X-Rays

xkcd: Rosetta

Caturday’s Astrophenia | Doctors and Dusters: 2016.10.15


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G’day! I had the cosplay session at the studio on the 25th of last month, but I neglected to take pics! Here is one that the parental unit took before filming began (I look old, just short of 900 years, I think!):

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But the filming went well, and the episode should air on the 29th of this month, the Saturday before Halloween. I’ll post links to it on social media, including the next Astrophenia for this blog before regular posting ends. Stay cool, or warm, depending on your hemisphere of residence, and as always…

Tf. Tk. Tts.

Aurora Over White Dome Geyser

Explore Rosetta’s Comet

Nest of the Eagle Nebula

A Crumbling Layered Butte on Mars

Trifid, Lagoon, and Mars

The Hydrogen Clouds of M33

Moon, Mercury, and Twilight Radio

Hurricane Ivan from the Space Station

The Winds of Earth

The Cygnus Wall of Star Formation

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

Galaxies from the Altiplano

Herschel’s Orion

Gemini Observatory North

The Astrognuz:

What Was Sputnik I?

Climate Change Denial: Like Saying the Earth is Flat

Big Picture Science Radio Show | Science and the Election

NASA’s Opportunity Rover to Explore Mars Gully

Hurricane Matthew Forces Closure of Cape Kennedy Space Center

Blue Origin Tests Spacecraft Escape System

Methane on Mars: Potential Origin and Seepage

NASA’s Kepler and Comet 67P

JPL Predicts Global Mars Dust Storm

Arctic Sea Ice Second Lowest Extent in 2016

World’s Biggest Radio Ear

Hubble Detects Giant ‘Cannonballs’ Shooting from Star

Can You Buy Land on the Moon?

Calculating How Big A Black Hole Can Get

Pluto’s Interacting Surface and Atmosphere

Where are All the Alien Robots?

Rosetta Mission Ends

Zombie Vortices in Star and Planet Formation

NASA-Produced Maps Help Gauge Italy Earthquake Damage

Moonshot

Caturday’s Astrophenia | Fortnight and Half Again Edition: Oct. 2016


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Welp, I’m a week off for this, as life issues and events prevented posting over the weekend, and the diabolical Mister Eccles is not happy with me!  I had a game last Caturday, while this last Sunday, the cosplay event happened. There, I discovered that I’m not camera-shy even with nigh-crippling stage-fright. There’s something about not seeing the audience directly that allays the terror. I had an awesome time, and both the set crew and other cosplayers were “…fantasic, absolutely fantastic…”* Recording lasted only about 90 minutes, and the Ninth Doctor’s duster I wore was just right for the room temperature, adjusted downward to protect the equipment from overheating. The camera crew was stellar, and all on set got exactly the right instructions to minimize the number of retakes. I’ll post links to the show on this blog and other social media when it airs later this month. So now, I’m back to study, and there is much catching up to do. Please have a glorious October. I have something special planned for the 31st of this month, with posts in between, and I’ll see you between now and then.

Tf. Tk. Tts.

*a partial quote from Chris Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor near the end of the 2005 season finale episode, “The Parting of the Ways,” as Nine says his goodbyes to Billie Piper’s character Rose Tyler just before regenerating into Dave Tennant’s Tenth Doctor. Time Lords do that.

All the Water on Planet Earth

Philae Lander Found on Comet 67P

NGC 1672: Barred Spiral Galaxy from Hubble

The North and South of Jupiter

Retrograde Mars and Saturn

Full Moon over Brno

M33: Triangulum Galaxy

Starry Night Scavenger Hunt

50000 Kilometers over the Sun

The Helix Nebula in Infrared

Zooming in on Star Cluster Terzan 5

Sunset at Edmontonhenge

Harvest Moon Eclipse

Heart and Soul and Double Cluster

Saturn from Above

Gaia: Here Comes the Sun

Jupiter’s Europa from Spacecraft Galileo

NGC 3576: The Statue of Liberty Nebula

Five Hundred Meter Aperture Spherical Telescope

Lynds Dark Nebula 1251

Rosetta’s Farewell

The Moving Stars of the Southern Hemisphere

The Astrognuz

Musk Reveals Plans to Colonize Mars

First Photo of the Sun, Taken in 1845

Judy Schmidt Image of Dust Complex Cyg X

No, NASA Didn’t Change Your Astrological Sign

Time Lapse Animation of the Night Sky

Kilauea Volcano: Active and Wonderful

Mount Pinatubo Only Briefly Slows Global Warming, Sea Level Rise

August 2016: The Hottest August on Record

The Largest Galaxy in the Universe

Climate Change: Already Changing Our Weather

Retro Posters for Fighting Infectious Disease

Blue Origin to Test a Capsule Abort System

Like the American Southwest: Sandstone Deposits on Mars

Presidential Candidates Answer Science Questions

Optical Illusion: The Dots Disappear When You Look Away

Evolution: Video Shows Bacteria Developing Drug Resistance

xkcd: Earth Temperature Timeline

Xkcd Takes on Global Warming

Xkcd Takes on Global Warming: Partial View