Saturday, October 22, 2011

Our Future in Space

I would like to share a video today that is not exactly current—it was shot back in July at the annual TAM Conference in Las Vegas—but the validity of the topics discussed in it more than justify the delay. In fact, I think I am not exaggerating if I state that, for any person with even the slightest interest in space, science, and astronomy, this video is a must-watch!

It is basically a panel discussing, as the title suggests, humanity’s future in space. What makes this video unique, however, are: 1) The participants who are all world-renowned scientists and 2) The typically thought provoking topics they discuss—and their often conflicting viewpoints.

It is a little long—53 minutes—but well worth the time!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Spectacular Draconids

Skywatchers rarely consider the annual Draconid meteor shower a noteworthy phenomenon, often regarding it as lackluster and uninteresting—especially when compared to other meteor showers, such as the Leonids or the Perseids. Not this year though!

On October 8th, Earth will move through the denser regions of the debris left by the Comet Giacobini-Zinner, resulting most likely in a spectacular display of falling stars, estimated to reach 750 meteors per hour. This is many times more than the above mentioned Leonid and Perseid meteor showers’ average. In fact, the Draconids this year are expected to be so abundant that NASA is afraid that they might damage satellites or the International Space Station.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Astro Photography and Slooh

Today, I would like to take a detour from my usual Route 66 topic and venture into the field of amateur astronomy.

In the past year or so, I had spent considerable time clinging onto’s robotic telescopes. During this time, I had snapped hundreds of pictures, on occasion revisiting the same celestial object time after time waiting for the perfect conditions to produce the clearest pictures. At the bottom of this post, you can find a gallery of some of these images. Before getting to them, however, I would like to talk a little about Slooh, more precisely, about the discontinuation of their “Free Tier” service and how I think this might impact users.