ellarien: Image of the Sun at multiple wavelengths, with prominence (astronomy2)
Kepler Mission Manager Update: K2 Has Been Approved! | NASA

This is much happier news than my last Kepler post -- and a nice bit of scientific make-do-and-mend. With only two reaction wheels the spacecraft can't point at its original target field with enough stability to be useful, but the engineers figured out that they could stably point it at the ecliptic instead.


Sep. 29th, 2011 06:53 pm
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
Asteroid conspiracy theorists may be even worse than solar activity conspiracy theorists.

Five+ hours in the slow cooker was probably too long for a mix of red lentils and dried vegetables previously boiled for ten minutes, plus a coarsely chopped^H^H^H cut up onion. Tasty enough (if rather the reverse of appetizing in appearance) but pretty close to mush in texture.

The indicator light on my coffee maker seems to have died. Fortunately the coffee-making function hasn't.

The derelict car dealership just up the road is going to be a car dealership again. I don't know whether the extensive gutter-cleaning exercise holding up traffic along their frontage for the last couple of days is at all connected. And that can't be the only reason why buses that are supposed to be running at ten-minute intervals between here and the far side of the city have been turning up in pairs more often than not for the last fortnight.

I was just starting to work on re-convincing my system that 65 F is a perfectly comfortable indoor temperature, and we get a heatwave.
ellarien: Image of the Sun at multiple wavelengths, with prominence (astronomy2)
Here's the Sun in 171 Angstroms today:

and here's how it looked a year ago:

That's the solar cycle (finally!) in action.

I've been spending a lot of time lately looking at data from very early in the life of SDO, when sunspots were few and far between, and it's startling to look at the current Sun -- now sporting the most sunspots so far this cycle -- and see how much things have changed.
ellarien: Image of the Sun at multiple wavelengths, with prominence (astronomy2)
We had a magnificent M-class flare and prominence eruption from the Sun this morning, as explained in the video below.

Read more... )

And those external shots of the space station and Endeavour from the departing Soyuz finally came back from the chemist, as seen on NASA websites and elsewhere. I think they were worth the wait!
ellarien: Image of the Sun at multiple wavelengths, with prominence (astronomy2)
There's about half an hour of it, which seems a little excessive, but the first seven minutes or so follows one solid rocket booster from lift-off to splash-down. Which is kind of awesome, as long as you don't get motion-sick from video of spinny things.

Youtube video under the cut. )

Waking up

Feb. 18th, 2011 11:14 am
ellarien: Image of the Sun at multiple wavelengths, with prominence (astronomy2)
The Sun has been pretty active this week. The highlight was an X2.2 flare on the 15th (that's a big one, though still less than a tenth of the size of the monster flares of late October 2003; the biggest so far this cycle by quite a margin.) There might be aurora tonight even here -- though it'll probably too cloudy and/or moonlit to see much.

Below the cut is yesterday's APOD (2kx2k pix), showing the flare at the 193 Angstrom wavelength as seem by AIA.
Read more... )


Aug. 7th, 2010 10:11 pm
ellarien: sunspot (astronomy)
I wouldn't have pegged active region 11093 as "most likely to produce an M-class flare," but it did. It will be interesting to see what the subsurface flows looked like -- and with the HMI pipeline cranking away, we should have some preliminary indications on that in a couple of weeks.

By the way

Jun. 2nd, 2010 12:58 am
ellarien: Image of the Sun at multiple wavelengths, with prominence (sdo)
The images at the Sun Today site look a little odd the last few days, but it's not something wrong with the instrument -- just an aesthetic choice in need of some fine tuning, as far as I can tell, that's currently making most of the colorized images look overexposed. The FITS versions look fine. I think I approve the choice to ditch the cherry-pink for the 304 images in favor of orange, anyway.
ellarien: Image of the Sun at multiple wavelengths, with prominence (astronomy2)
Live! Local! Late-Breaking!

The SDO/AIA team are making current solar images available. I'm not sure how often they're updated, but the stuff below the cut is supposed to link to the most recent image. (There are other wavelengths, but these are my favorites. 171 for pretty loops and flares, 335 for erupting prominences, continuum for sunspots. And 1700, which is UV continuum from the upper photosphere, because it's a novelty to me.)

Cut to avoid friend-page breakage in case of table coding problems, and to spare everybody's bandwidth. )
ellarien: sunspot (astronomy)
Heroic efforts to keep the bits NASA Goddard needed for the Shuttle and SDO launches open through the Snowpocalypse.

Launch Party in Second Life

Video showing the shockwave as the rocket hit the sound barrier and a thin layer of cloud.

Another video of the shockwave, taken by a 13-year-old girl and showing the destruction of a "sundog" in the cloud.
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
Unofficial launch video.

Official launch video.

I'm still somewhat bemused by the whole rubber-chicken aspect of the SDO public outreach effort. There's even a rubber-chicken's-eye view YouTube video of the meeting I was at in Stanford in September. (And yes, I wandered into shot a couple of times, and no, I'm not going to link to it.)

More seriously, some nice launch photos are available at Kennedy Space Center's media archive.. I suspect some of those are going to show up as wallpaper on no few solar scientists' computers for a while.


Feb. 5th, 2007 08:47 pm
ellarien: sunspot (astronomy)
So Britain has a shiny new synchrotron! I'd never heard of this until I saw the BBC story.

This brings back memories; in my postgrad (US: grad student) days, I did some work at both the old Daresbury synchrotron and the ISIS Spallation Neutron Source at the Rutherford Appleton lab -- which is on the same site as the new facility. The SNS was the shiny new thing in those days -- so new that it barely managed to squeeze out enough neutrons for my project. Google maps shows what is obviously the new thing under construction, as well as my old familiar stamping ground, the HRPD building, off in the other corner of the site.

Mission Statement

Reading, writing, plant photography, and the small details of my life, with digressions into science and computing.



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