Thursday, June 21, 2012

Return of the Saturn V class beast?

Infographics are always fun.  Here is a nice one of NASA's plan for the SLS booster.  Something bigger than the Saturn V with nearly 10 million pounds of thrust - now THAT would be one to see in person!
So 2017 for the first flight of the SLS, I'm betting that SpaceX will fly their Falcon Heavy first though.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Another reason Seattle should have gotten a shuttle.

New York already broke Enterprise!
It would have been a quick trip across the street from BFI's large runway to the Museum of Flight's hanger that was ready for the shuttle.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Will we, or will we not?

No surprise at all that Seattle astronomers were again thwarted in our plans to see the annular solar eclipse the other week.  I did try to image a view of the backyard getting darker at totality then brighter again.  My efforts were unimpressive since the passing thicker/thinner clouds ruined the effect since it was always pretty dark in the first place.
Not totality yet, but did it even matter?
Last night we had plans to do our yearly star party for the Mt. Si high school up at Snoqualmie Point park.  A few of us did go up despite totally overcast skies.  It was cancelled but we mainly got out just for a nice drive to the mountains, and chat with some astronomer friends for a while and shake our fists at the sky cursing as the full moon did peek through a small hole now and then.
Click for larger view
Next week we'll have the chance to see an event that won't happen again in 100+ years - the transit of Venus across the face of the sun.   
Forecast for Tuesday - 

  • Tuesday: Showers. High near 61. South southwest wind between 10 and 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
  • Tuesday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 47. 
Hey!  Interpolate between 80 and 30% we may have about 50% chance of seeing something?  Or maybe that's just the chances we'll be outside and not get rained on.  Ah, yeah...

I've pretty much learned not to get too worked up over these things anymore, otherwise I'd be very disappointed, so I just shrug and say "meh....if it happens, great.  If not, there is the internet streaming view of the sun and Netflix for the evening".  hopefully soon my Netflix will be gathering dust as the summer weather arrives.  
If the rain gods spare us, I'll probably stop by Bellevue College and see the event from there.  
Clear skies!