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.
This week I’m engaged in working on my study skills and putting them to use at the same time, and we are still getting Rickmeister Fluffington used to my parental unit and to Gorgeous, the most sedate and least scary cat in the house. Ricky is getting on wonderfully with Eccles, which is good given Eccles’ aggressively kittenish playfulness. No jumping on other cats’ heads or attacking fluffy tails for you, Doctor Eccles! The objective of the next week is to get pictures of Ricky trying to hide, either behind the couch, or in my spare room, amusingly in plain sight while thinking himself invisible. He reminds me of old Rocky, who used to try his cloaking device technique of jumping onto my desk and slowly creeping up to me, which of course never worked 🙂
I know that officially I’m supposed to be on a self-imposed spring break until the next study semester, but preparation is needed. I must catch up with practice on earlier material, lots of immersion in the subject, including speaking the language(s) however badly at first. Learning languages is not easy, especially three of them, and you cannot succeed if you are not willing to accept and exploit setbacks. It’s important to use “break time” to ready myself for more advanced material, to make demonstrable progress whatever the subject once study officially resumes. It’ll be fun, and it has been so far.
Tf. Tk. Tts.
Image Of The Week: Evaporating Peaks In 3D: Pillars In The Monkey Head Nebula
Bigelow and ULA Partner to Launch Commercial Space Habitat by 2020
KELT-4Ab is a Jupiter-Like Planet Orbiting in a Triple Star System
NASA Invests in Two-Dimensional Spacecraft, Reprogrammable Microorganisms
NASA Discovers 72 New Asteroids Near Earth
Robert De Niro Defends Anti-Vax Documentary, Parrots Long-Debunked Claims
Video: Two Years of NEOWise Asteroid Data
Hawking Supports Tiny Spacecraft to Alpha Centauri
Three Jupiters: A Jupiter Analog Orbits Another Star
Space Images: The Great Divide
Pluto Reveals More Secrets
The Laws of Cosmology May Need a Re-Write
Rogelio Bernal Andreo Photo of Faint Wispy Dust Between the Stars
A Space Spider Watches over Young Stars
April 12, 1961: The First Human in Space
Three Jupiters: Young Rogue Exoplanet Found in Sun’s Galactic Neighborhood
Saturn Spacecraft Samples Interstellar Dust
Big Picture Science Radio Show | Surfeit of the Vitalest