What's happening in space (that's interesting)


The latter.


I am a sucker for exclusive imagery, be it of molecules or stars:

To somebody as uneducated as me, the prospectives described in the release sound absolutely awesome.


It still boggles my mind that we can see other stars as anything but points of light, or that we have visual observations of extra-solar planets.


New PBS film on the Voyagers.

Caught some of this last night - recording another showing so I can have the whole thing. What I saw was really excellent, especially for us old farts who grew up with humanity having no clue what Uranus and Neptune look like. I particularly enjoyed the interviews with the JPL folks who first noticed some of the totally unexpected and flabbergasting things that came through in the photos.


Another SpaceX launch today.


Hmm. It seems odd they’re concerned with aesthetics at all. I would think when you’re concerned with keeping people safe in space, function would clearly take top priority over looks – “well he died, because we decided that a slightly thicker glove-to-suit connection would have made the suit look weird, but at least he died looking good.”


I hear you, but remember they are just a backup to life support on the SpaceX anyway. These suits aren’t meant for spacewalks. So they need to comfortable, allow the user to use the controls, and move around inside without issue.

For comparison, there are the new Boeing suits linked upthread.



I just learned about this, but will refrain from panicking for now. In about 1.5 million years, a star about .6 our Sun’s mass will hang out at a distance of only about 90 light days, somewhere in the Oort Cloud. Gliese 710.

Maybe the Voyager probes really will make it to another star.


If you really want to panick, check out the Andromeda Galaxy sometime.

The Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are expected to collide in 4.5 billion years, eventually merging to form a giant elliptical galaxy[14] or perhaps a large disc galaxy.

Now that will be a fireworks show.

Every time I think of it I think of Marooned in RealTime. I’d love to bubble up and come out every 100 or 1,000 years to check out Earth & our Solar system is fairing.


Oh, great call. When they started throwing around the term “megayears” in that book, I thought Vinge was trying to coin some silly technobabble. Then I realized his characters were literally talking about increments of time measured in millions of years…


God, that’s going to really fuck-up the Oort cloud. Lotta comets gonna get bounced around. If there’s any life on Earth at that point, they could be fucked if they can’t take out incoming planetoids.




Check out this clip -


The one lesson I learned from Steve Jobs, is that aesthetics matter even in techy things like computers. The engineer in me says the shouldn’t but they do.


Such imagery makes a galaxy look so alive. Wonderful.




The largest solar flare of the current sunspot cycle happened early this morning (US time). If you’re far enough north, keep your eyes open for aurora over the next couple of nights.


Too bad about all the smoke in the west.


It worth noting that Elon tweeted this videos of SpaceX biggest failures at 2 AM in the morning Pacific time.

The music is great.