Photo Op July 15 (see blog entry)

By: LowerCal , 10:40 PM GMT on February 26, 2012

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CURRENT MOON

moon phases

CURRENT PLANETS and brilliant stars in early July. Directions and times are for the northern subtropics and vary somewhat for other latitudes.
• Bright & golden Mercury is close to the western horizon at dusk, sets WNW after dark.
• Bright & orange Mars is SW at dusk, sets west near midnight.
• Bright & yellowish Saturn is SSW at dusk, sets west after midnight and is
accompanied very closely by the bright and blueish star Spica.
• Very brilliant off-white Jupiter rises ENE predawn, is low east late dawn.
• Extremely brilliant white Venus rises ENE predawn, is low east before sunrise and is
accompanied very closely by the bright and orange star Aldebaran.
• Brilliant & blueish star Sirius will rise before the Sun late July.
• Brilliant white star Canopus will peek above the horizon before the Sun around late August.


Scroll past the links below to find special events for current and future dates.
Scroll farther to find past events.


***** Links *****

Today - SpaceWeather.com
also EarthSky,
Astronomy Picture of the Day,
Lunar Photo of the Day,
365 Days of Astronomy
& Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine
This Week - SkyandTelescope.com - This Week's Sky at a Glance
also Jack Horkheimer - Star Gazer, Current Scripts
This Month - SkyandTelescope.com - Sky Tour Podcasts
also HubbleSite - Tonight's Sky: Your guide to constellations, deep sky objects, planets, and events
Anytime - Stellarium (free planetarium for your computer)
also Sky & Telescope Interactive Sky Chart (online planetarium)

Visible Satellites:
Simplest - Satellite Flybys by SpaceweatherPhone.com
More satellites and more info - Heavens-Above.com.

Launches:
Spaceflight Now - Worldwide Launch Schedule
also Vandenberg AFB Launch Schedule
& Wallops Flight Facility Launch Webcast & Blog
Reentries - Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies - Upcoming & Recent Reentries

Live Aurora Cams:
Sodankyla, Finland,
Kiruna, Sweden,
Jokkmokk, Sweden (cam 4),
Jokkmokk, Sweden (cam 5),
Abisko, Sweden,
Reykiavik, Iceland,
Yellowknife, Canada (click on CONNECT AURORAMAX LIVE),
& Poker Flat, Alaska


Most events described below can be viewed with your eyes alone.
Occasionally simple binoculars will improve the view and that will be noted.


***** Current & Future Events *****

Photo Op - Crescent & Morning "Stars"

Image created with Stellarium, a free download.

July 15 before Dawn
ENE before dawn the bright & orange star Aldebaran and the ">" shaped Hyades star cluster will be visible close to extremely brilliant white planet Venus. The tiny dipper shaped Pleiades star cluster will be visible well above very brilliant off-white Jupiter.

Even in the very bright dawn shortly before sunrise the thin crescent moon, Venus and Jupiter will still be visible.


Events earlier than those listed below will be found in previous blog entries.

***** Past Events *****

Moon Rides with Jupiter (& Jupiter's Moons)

WunderPhoto: Jupiter, Venus and the crescent moon....Day 2 by rds817 — Sunday February 26, 2012

February 26 after Sunset
A crescent moon will travel beside the brilliant off-white planet Jupiter. Below them is the brilliant white planet Venus. Jupiter and Venus will appear very close March 12 & 13.

As the sky darkens through binoculars as many as four of Jupiter's largest moons can be seen.

Interactive Animation of Jupiter's Moons
- Current, Past and Future


Jupiter & Venus' Cozy Evenings

WunderPhoto: Jupiter & Venus from the Front Yard by phnielsen — Monday March 12, 2012

March 12 & 13 after Sunset
Brilliant off-white planet Jupiter travels close to even more brilliant white planet Venus.

As the sky darkens through binoculars as many as four of Jupiter's largest moons can be seen.

Interactive Animation of Jupiter's Moons
- Current, Past and Future


Virginia Nightlight Cloud Launches

Milky white tracer clouds from a prior mission.
Credit: Miguel Larsen/Clemson Univ

Mission: Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment (ATREX)
Launch Vehicle: Terrier-Improved Malemute
Launch from Wallops Flight Facility, Virgina
March 23
12:00-3:00am EDT
March 25
morning

March 27
12:00-5:00am EDT
2:00-5:00am EDT


".... where the rockets may be visible while the motors are burning ...."
Credit: NASA/Wallops


".... the projected area in which the chemical tracers released from the rockets may be visible ...."
Credit: NASA/Wallops

The Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment (ATREX) will study the 200-300mph ultra-high level jet stream at the edge of space 60-65 miles above the Earth's surface. For details on the mission see
NASA - NASA Jet Stream Study Will Light up The Night Sky.


Crescent & Planets PhotoOps
(and beautiful binocular & naked eye views too.)

March 24-27 after Sunset
There will be good photo opportunities with the crescent moon in the western sky. (See the series of images just below.) Total darkness comes about 1½ hours after sunset. Between half an hour to an hour after sunset are some nice twilight skies. You can step outside any evening starting now, see the brilliant planets Jupiter and Venus, get an idea of lighting at various times and take some test shots.

After dark the two star clusters closest to Earth are easily seen above Jupiter and Venus. To the naked eye the Pleiades cluster appears as a tiny white dipper shaped pattern of stars standing above brilliant white Venus. The Hyades cluster appears farther above as a larger V-shaped pattern of stars with the bright and orangeish star Aldebaran at one corner. Binocular views of these star clusters are spectacular.

Crescent Moon, Venus & Jupiter - March 24, 2012 45 min. after Sunset


Crescent Moon, Venus & Jupiter - March 25, 2012 45 min. after Sunset


Crescent Moon, Venus & Jupiter - March 26, 2012 45 min. after Sunset


Crescent Moon, Venus & Jupiter - March 27, 2012 45 min. after Sunset

Images created with Stellarium, a free download.


Vandenberg Delta IV Launch

Photo credit: USAF/Airman 1st Class Lael Huss

Mission: National Reconnaissance Office Launch 25 (NROL-25)
Launch Vehicle: Delta IV Medium+ (5,2)
Launch from Vandenberg AFB, California
March 29
2230-(March 30)0015 GMT
6:30-8:15pm EDT
3:30-5:15pm PDT (local time).
March 30
2238-(March 31)0023 GMT
6:38-8:23pm EDT
3:38-5:23pm PDT (local time).
April 2
2304-? GMT
7:04pm-? EDT
4:04pm-? PDT (local time).

April 3
2312-? GMT
7:12pm-? EDT
4:12pm-? PDT (local time).

The smoke column produced by two solid rocket boosters will be easily visible for this afternoon launch.

Launch status updates are at
Spaceflight Now | Tracking Station | Worldwide launch schedule.

More details and updates appear on a launch blog at
Spaceflight Now | Delta Launch Report | Mission Status Center.

You can find a live launch webcast at
United Launch Alliance.


Annular Solar Eclipse

Photo Credit: sancho_panza
May 20
Partial begins: 2056 GMT
Annular begins: 2206 GMT
May 21
Annular ending: 0139 GMT
Partial ending: 0249 GMT

A VERY IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT VIEWING THE ECLIPSE:
"....no matter what, do not use "filters" such as smoked glass, stacked sunglasses, polarized filters, camera filters, candy wrappers, or compact discs. They might reduce the Sun's glare, but enough harmful radiation can sneak through to damage your eyes. Only use materials specifically manufactured for safe solar viewing, or #14 arcwelders glass."

That quote is from Safely View the Upcoming Eclipse and Transit - Observing Highlights - SkyandTelescope.com which gives directions for additional methods for viewing the Sun such as projecting an image, etc.


Map credit: Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA's GSFC
For a explanation of all the lines and terms on the map see
NASA - Key to Solar Eclipse Maps.

See a zoomable and clickable NASA - Annular Solar Eclipse Map that will show specific times and amount of Sun eclipsed for any locations you select.

Some phase of the eclipse will be visible for most of North America before or during sunset. The path of annularity (where the Sun will appear as a "ring of fire" arround the Moon) is at least 150 miles wide. The path of annularity makes landfall at the California-Oregon border and continues into NW Texas. See the general visibility map for North America.


Cape Canaveral Falcon 9 Launch

Photo credit: NASA/Tony Gray and Kevin O'Connell

Mission: Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Demo Flight 2
Spacecraft: Dragon C2+
Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Launch from Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida
May 19
0855 GMT
4:55am EDT (local time)
1:55am PDT.
no earlier than (NET)

May 22
0744 GMT
3:44am EDT (local time)
12:44am PDT.

Berthing at the International Space Station (ISS)
May 22
1505 GMT
11:05am EDT
8:05am PDT.

Departure from ISS
May 31
1000 GMT
6:00am EDT
3:00am PDT

Deorbit burn
May 31
1451 GMT
10:51am EDT
7:51am PDT

Splashdown west of central Baja California
May 31
1542 GMT
11:42am EDT
8:42am PDT (local time)

If all the ambitious mission goals are met the SpaceX Dragon capsule will be the first private commercial spacecraft to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) and it will also return cargo to Earth.

Launch status updates are at
Spaceflight Now | Tracking Station | Worldwide launch schedule.

More details and updates appear on a launch blog at
Spaceflight Now | Dragon Mission Report | Mission Status Center.

You can find a live pre-launch and launch broadcasts at
NASA TV via cable, satellite or internet and
SpaceX.


Partial Lunar Eclipse

WunderPhoto: Lunar Eclipse by jajayy

June 4
Partial eclipse begins 1000 GMT
Partial eclipse ending 1206 GMT


Map credit: F. Espenak, NASA’s GSFC

The partial lunar eclipse will be in progress at moonset/sunrise for all but the most eastern and northern area of the Americas. The entire eclipse sequence will be visible from nearly all the Pacific Ocean including eastern Australia and eastern Indonesia. The partial lunar eclipse will be significantly in progress at moonsrise/sunset for the most eastern areas of the Asia.


Transit of Venus (across the Sun)

Photo credit: Jan Herold

June 5/6
First contact
2209 GMT
6:09 EDT
3:09 PDT

Final contact
0449 GMT


Map credit: Fred Espenak, NASAs GSFC

The transit of Venus will be visible on June 5 until sunset for the 48 states. Alaska and Hawaii will be able to observe the entire transit. Starting west of the International Date Line (IDL) the transit will be visible on June 6. Farther west the transit will be in progress at sunrise.

You can find timetables for major cities at 2012 Transit of Venus - Cities.

A VERY IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT VIEWING THE TRANSIT:
"....no matter what, do not use "filters" such as smoked glass, stacked sunglasses, polarized filters, camera filters, candy wrappers, or compact discs. They might reduce the Sun's glare, but enough harmful radiation can sneak through to damage your eyes. Only use materials specifically manufactured for safe solar viewing, or #14 arcwelders glass."

That quote is from Safely View the Upcoming Eclipse and Transit - Observing Highlights - SkyandTelescope.com which gives directions for additional methods for viewing the Sun such as projecting an image, etc.

I was able to buy a pair of eclipse shades like this...

... for $1 at a local camera & telescope store.


JPL Open House


June 9 & 10
9AM - 4PM

The annual Open House at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., welcomes over 38,000 visitors. This year's theme is "Great Journeys," inviting visitors to share in the wonders of space through high-definition and 3-D videos, live demonstrations, interactions with scientists and engineers, and a first look at JPL's new Earth Science Center.

Find directions and other vital info at Open House - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


Cape Canaveral Atlas V Launch

Image credit: NASA/JPL/KSC/Lockheed Martin Space Systems

Mission: National Reconnaissance Office Launch 38 (NROL-38)
Launch Vehicle: Atlas V 401
Launch from Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida
June 20
1228-1327 GMT
8:28-9:27am EDT (local time)
5:28-6:27am PDT.

With no smoke producing solid rocket boosters the launch vehicle will rise on a bright flame with a long barely visible tail. A condensation trail may form at higher altitude.

You can find status updates and launch coverage at
Spaceflight Now | Atlas Launch Report | Mission Status Center.

You can find more information and a live webcast starting a 8:08am EDT on launch day at
United Launch Alliance.


Skinny Moon & Mercury - 20 June 20 min. after Sunset looking WNW

Image created with Stellarium, a free download.

Binoculars can help you find both or just offer another interesting view if you can find them with your eyes alone.


Skinny Moon & Planet Mercury - 21 June 20 min. after Sunset looking WNW

Image created with Stellarium, a free download.

The crescent moon should be more obvious this evening but binoculars still might be needed find Mercury 20 minutes after sunset. Binoculars will also give an improved view of the craters and mountains in the Moon's thin crescent.

By about 45 minutes after sunset Mercury should be obvious to the right of the thin crescent. The pair will make a nice photo op against a twilight sky with silhouettes on the horizon below.


Cape Canaveral Delta IV Launch

Image credit: US Air Force

Mission: National Reconnaissance Office Launch 15 (NROL-15)
Launch Vehicle: Delta IV Heavy
Launch from Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida
June 28
Target
1016 GMT
6:16am EDT (local time)
3:16am PDT,

June 29
Target
1013 GMT
6:13am EDT (local time)
3:13am PDT,

Window?
0930-1430 GMT
5:30-10:30am EDT (local time)
2:30-7:30am PDT.

The beginning of the previously announced launch window is early dawn. The Delta IV Heavy configuration uses two additional first stage engines as strap on boosters. The three RS-68 liquid hydrogen-oxygen engines create long orange flames and water vapor exhaust that shows up as a heavy condensation trail.

The announced target time of launch is about 10 minutes before sunrise. This could result in a condensation trail that rises from low light into bright and reddish sunrise colors - a nice photo op.

You can find status updates and launch coverage at
Spaceflight Now | Delta Launch Report | Mission Status Center.

You can find more information and a live webcast on launch day at
United Launch Alliance.


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Jupiter, Venus and the crescent moon (rds817)
Jupiter, Venus and the crescent moon
Important Sunspot Up Date 3/11/12 (Ralfo)
Up Date Photo 3/11/12 . VERY IMPORTANT NEWS. Photo taken at 10:05A.M. What is going on now is the #1 event of importance regarding the Sun and Earths Weather and conditions for now and future. I am and have been entering Photos to advise. Below is a copy of updates and interest info! Sunspots - News Results Solar Storms Continue, Northern Lights Increase WebProNews - Mar 09 08:55am Earth Braces for Geomagnetic Storming After More Solar FlaresPC Magazine - Mar 10 02:48pm Biggest solar storms.
Important Sunspot Up Date 3/11/12
()
Ice and light (Altred)
Ice and light
MidnightDance! (katy99780)
Dynamic, bright, and moving 'at the speed of light.' Constant motion, fast as a shiver in the cold, shimmering in the night sky. 18 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, wee hours this morning.
MidnightDance!
Planets at Night (SBKaren)
I believe these are Jupiter (below) and Venus (above). Just shot this photo without taking any kind of care. I wasn't even sure if they would turn out.
Planets at Night
Red and green (Altred)
Red and green
()
()
Early Evening Conjunction (CameraGuy)
This evening's beautiful conjunction of the Moon, Venus, Jupiter, and the Pleiades.
Early Evening Conjunction
Moon & planets form Tringle while Corn Takes Over. (Skyepony)
All hail the corn, it's 8' high & the planets & moon have aligned to form a triangle, with Jupiter sitting with the moon & Venus above. Got 0.21" of rain, followed by perfect weather.
Moon & planets form Tringle while Corn Takes Over.
()
ATREX Misson (Maciejewski)
WALLOPS ISLAND, VA – NASA successfully launched five suborbital sounding rockets this morning from its Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia as part of a study of the upper level jet stream. The first rocket was launched at 4:58 a.m. EDT and each subsequent rocket was launched 80 seconds apart. Each of the rockets released a chemical tracer that created milky, white clouds at the edge of space.
ATREX Misson
Jupiter, Moon and Venus (CecileWNC)
Jupiter, Moon and Venus
Coastal Flooding (SunsetSailor)
This is the road to my house. We only get this kind of flooding when hurricanes are off shore. Tides were 4-6 ft above normal this evening due to the gravitational pull of the moon.
Coastal Flooding
Fireflies (PruzenskiPhotos)
A sure sign that summer is on it's way. A view from Canadice Lake early this morning revealed fireflies dancing infront of the Milky Way.
Fireflies
Oregon Annular (silverbeaver59)
Oregon Annular
2 hours of the annular eclipse of the sun (redtim)
from Pyramid Lake, NV
2 hours of the annular eclipse of the sun
Solar Sunset Eclipse (LianesLightroom)
View of the partial solar eclipse from the Manhattan Beach Pier. Edited using special filters from NIK Software.
Solar Sunset Eclipse
Annular Eclipse Sunset over Mt. Taylor (witokazu)
Absolutely awesome event. Shot from Albuquerque, NM, USA on I-40 Frontage Rd on MM-245. Nikon D300 and 50mm (non-DX) @ f/5.6 at 3-min intervals centered at mid-annularity.
Annular Eclipse Sunset over Mt. Taylor
Sunset Eclipse (Mousecrafter)
2012 Solar eclipse sunset overlooking Lake Ray Hubbard with clouds.
Sunset Eclipse
Moon Eclipse 3 (gilg72)
Partial Eclipse. Was cloudy all the way thru. Had to wait for clouds to move enough for photos. Different settings etc.
Moon Eclipse 3
walkabout (cyril8)
partial eclipse still visible as the full moon sets
walkabout
VENUS TRANSIT & MANY SUNSPOTS (Ralfo)
Cloudy most of the day but got a break in between clouds. Took this picture at 6:37P.M. with many Sunspots. One of the rarest solar system events (only seven have happened since Galileo's time). Venus' transit of the Sun
VENUS TRANSIT & MANY SUNSPOTS
Delta IV Heavy (Skyepony)
Excellent rumble.
Delta IV Heavy

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Hi Ya'll.
So happy to see the comment about the Lyrid showers. I was so very much looking forward to them, and have been planning my viewing spot for weeks. Excitement accelerated when I saw there would be a new moon to welcome them. And now, I am sad as there are storms/rain moving in Saturday evening all day Sunday here on the east coast.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
True That!

Have just had light showers this pm as the sea breeze storms blow up. Looks a lot like June/July on the radar. Severe stuff on all four sides, but not quite here.

Skye might be fixing to get hammered!
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 96 Comments: 31886
Rob Thanks.

If that forecast does come true at least you know you won't be looking at smoke.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9167
Hmmm....I might need to add foul weather gear to that list.
But...you never know, it might clear up for a bit.
Florida weather forecasts are never good for more than 3 hours anyway.

Good luck meteor watching.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 96 Comments: 31886
The Lyrid meteor shower will be making its appearance this year late Saturday night through early Sunday morning. Viewing time begins around midnight and visibility gets better until about 1½ hours before sunrise.

The Lyrid meteor shower's maximum rate has ranged from 14 to 90 per hour in ideal viewing conditions (away from city skyglow and with dark local surroundings).

Information source: International Meteor Organization - 2012 Lyrids

Dress very warm. Take a reclining chair, sleeping bag or blanket and watch the darkest part of your sky - usually overhead. If insects may be a nuisance be sure you're carrying repellant.

Below are the hourly rates observed so far.

2012 Lyrid Meteor Shower Activity

Graph credit: International Meteor Organization (IMO)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9167
Titanic's Celestial Connections - SkyandTelescope.com
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9167
seflagamma, juslivn, GardenGrrl and shoreacres Thank you for the gifts. :^)

Pat Thanks for the reminders of those great milestones in the history of human spaceflight.

Rob Thanks for passing along that spectacular example of 22° circular halo. Kudos and thanks to Pottery too.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9167
Found this interesting photo in my email from Pottery
Thought folks here would like it:

Subject: The Sun%u2026.
From:Pottery
Date: 4/14/2012 11:22 AM
To: Rob

This is the best image I could get, 15 mins ago.
Photo does not do it justice.
Central area was very dark - almost gray -
The local cellphones were all a-buzz with the Phenomena.




Very Cool!
Thanks for sharing Pottery!
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 96 Comments: 31886
Also come tomorrow,Vostok 1 (Russian: Восток-1, East 1 or Orient 1) was the first spaceflight in the Vostok program and the first human spaceflight in history.

Piloted by Yuri Gagarin

The Vostok 3KA spacecraft was launched on April 12, 1961.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127810
Tomorrow, April 12th is the 31st year since the first Space Shuttle Launch, STS-1 Columbia with Young and Crippen aboard.




Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127810
Apollo 13 Launched this date in 1970 at 13:13 CST from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127810
And just in case the Easter Geek didn't leave one for you... Hope your day was happy!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey tomorrow is another national half price chocolate day!

Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 253 Comments: 9445
Photobucket">
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hello LowerCal,

Just stopping by to say Hello and

Have a Blessed and Happy Easter Weekend!

Hallelujah Egg image
Easter Christian Graphics
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
sp Amazon has forwarded my request to make Alas, Babylon available on Kindle. If it isn't available by the time I finish the Hunger Games series then I'll have to go retro... to the library.

Pat Some of those features are very nifty and to get them all we'd have to do is give up any notion of privacy. Hmm. ;^)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9167
Project Glass: Google Shows Off, Teases Augmented Reality Spectacles (VIDEO)

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127810
I saw a rocket! Well, no, not really. I saw a rocket plume! Well, part of a rocket plume. There were a lot of low clouds and the cone-shaped plume just poked through between layers. Still, it seemed pretty clearly to be a rocket plume. Considering the time, and all. It did not go in the usual direction, as you note, so that was all I got.
I was in Oxnard and not sure where, exactly, to look, so I'm happy to have seen anything at all.

Quoting RobDaHood:

I was just a baby, but my dad loaded us up and headed for Miami to board his ship. I still give him grief for driving us towards the nukes!

See, that's dads for you! Always got everything in hand :)

Rob, you and LC both would probably enjoy Alas, Babylon. It's just a matter of realizing when it was written and yes, LC, definitely a story for its time. The description of rural Florida was fun for me. I finally read it after years of hearing it touted as the first real post-nuclear-apocalypse novel.
I read Hunger Games last month. Not sorry I read it.
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
All seemed to be going well after the National Reconnaissance Office Launch from Vandenberg AFB today right up until the expected news blackout at 4:18pm local time.

I wasn't able to see anything from Woodland Hills but this launch was in a SSW-SW direction as opposed to the more usual SSE direction so that isn't too surprising.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9167
Pat Thanks for that article. Looking for sister Earth, it won't be too much longer.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9167
Getting to Know the Goldilocks Planet

NASA's Kepler spacecraft is discovering a veritable avalanche of alien worlds. As the numbers mount, it seems to be just a matter of time before Kepler finds what astronomers are really looking for: an Earth-like planet orbiting its star in the "Goldilocks zone".
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127810
Rob I think that late fog burn off is the key. Here it's 79° with a dewpoint of 19°. Whatever the temp is there the dewpoint can't be far behind. Sounds like your summer humidity has arrived a little early, lol.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9167
Is the sun cooking extra hot today?
Sure seems like it! Had unusually dense fog this am and took until nearly 10 to burn off, but once it did crystal clear sky and baking!

Think I need to hit the shower before lunch.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 96 Comments: 31886
From Spaceflight Now | Delta Launch Report | Mission Status Center:
SUNDAY, APRIL 1, 2012
3:30 p.m. local (6:30 p.m. EDT; 2230 GMT)

DELAY. At a Sunday afternoon meeting of the management team, the decision was made to delay the launch an additional 24 hours. Liftoff is retargeted for Tuesday at 4:12 p.m. local (7:12 p.m. EDT; 2312 GMT).

The previous upper stage engine problem that slipped the last from last week has not yet been cleared after all, and the team needs more time to work the concern.

"The team is continuing to review data from an observation on the upper stage engine and requires additional time to complete its final assessment prior to launch," ULA said in a statement.
....
You can find more information on the planned launch in the blog entry.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9167
Rob You're welcome.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9167
LC,
Thanks for the blog update and for the update on my blog on the traveling wall schedule. Grew up with older brothers of friends and older friends serving in 'Nam. Was just a given that I would end up there. Was not my fate, but I honor those who served there. Appreciate you letting me know.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 96 Comments: 31886
From Spaceflight Now | Delta Launch Report | Mission Status Center:
FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2012
9:45 a.m. local (12:45 p.m. EDT; 1645 GMT)

As attention turns to the next targeted launch attempt on Monday, weather forecasters are predicting the trend of gusty winds at Vandenberg to continue into the new week. There's a 30 percent chance of acceptable weather for the 4:04 p.m. local time launch Monday and 40 percent on Tuesday, all because of the winds.
....
You can find more information on the planned launch in the blog entry.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9167
Quoting RobDaHood:
Hmmmm...
You're not old enough for that to have been 1962...scary times in S Florida! ....
I wasn't quite old enough. It was several years later when Cold War tensions were still high and starting an exchange by mistake was a possibility too.

Anyway I couldn't think of a better way to be spending my last days than fishing in the Keys. :^/
Quoting RobDaHood:

I was just a baby, but my dad loaded us up and headed for Miami to board his ship. I still give him grief for driving us towards the nukes!
I was living in Ft. Lauderdale. The thinking of many was that the targets were all north of us although there was some debate about Port Everglades.


Pat My thanks to Gus. :^)

Neil, Buzz and Mike probably thought they would never see them again.

We Choose the Moon

Thanks for the heads up on Sunspot 1429. Keep an eye on those webcams in the "Live Aurora Cams:" section near the top of the blog entry.

Old Sol is having a restless year. From February...




sp I've read a lot of science fiction from that era. I don't recall reading that particular book but based on skimming a plot summary I'd guess more than fiction it really captures what was on everyone's mind at the time. I've started the Hunger Games series. I might add Alas, Babylon to my Kindle next.

Thanks for your update on the launch reschedule.

BC Thanks for the feedback. Compilation of the many wonderful astronomy related WunderPhotos should be among the top priorities of what I keep current.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9167
Quoting sp34n119w:
Thanks for the update on the Delta 4 launch, LC. I'm hoping to catch it but it's kinda hard to plan for those military payload launches. And the wind still looks to be a problem.

On watching nuclear Armageddon from the Keys ... Have you read "Alas, Babylon"?

I was just a baby, but my dad loaded us up and headed for Miami to board his ship. I still give him grief for driving us towards the nukes!
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 96 Comments: 31886
2:35 p.m. local (5:35 p.m. EDT; 2135 GMT)
DELAY. Launch of the Delta 4 rocket has been pushed back to Monday, April 2. The extra few days will give engineers more time to complete an assessment of the Delta 4's second stage engine, according to United Launch Alliance.

Liftoff on Monday will be at 4:04 p.m. local time (7:04 p.m. EDT; 2304 GMT).

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/delta/d359/status.h tml
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
I dropped by just to say Hi, but ended up lingering. You've got some really fascinating and beautiful photos this time around. Very impressive -- even for somebody like me, who's usually looking down at some flower or plant.
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Thanks for the update on the Delta 4 launch, LC. I'm hoping to catch it but it's kinda hard to plan for those military payload launches. And the wind still looks to be a problem.

On watching nuclear Armageddon from the Keys ... Have you read "Alas, Babylon"?
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
That's nasty ol Sunspot 1429 that gave us the Storms and Aurora earlier this month and is swinging around the Eastern Limb soon.

Advise Tin Foil Hat

..set Condition Alpha for the possibility of mo stuff raining down on us soon.


Magnetic Loops above Sunspot 1429 (Wednesday) - SDO



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127810
Dem boyz gonna need a good crane and calm seas to get one of these Big F-1's to da surface intact.

Should be a cool adventure.

We saw dem suckas lite and send them Downrange and 38 Miles up..

Would be cool to see one again.

As for Neil, Buzz and Mike, I wonder how they feel about it?



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127810
Lotsa space news and stuff.

I like it.



USAF Lt. Col. Virgil "Gus" Grissom
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127810
Quoting LowerCal:
Rob One summer when I was a teenager fishing in the Keys I saw something like that. I thought it might be the beginning of nuclear Armageddon. In that case I was glad I was fishing in the Keys. :^/


Hmmmm...
You're not old enough for that to have been 1962...scary times in S Florida!

Left some tunes on my blog that you might like.
Signing off...have a great evening!
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 96 Comments: 31886
From Spaceflight Now | Delta Launch Report | Mission Status Center:
4:50 p.m. local (7:50 p.m. EDT; 2350 GMT)
Officials have released the following statement on the reason for this one-day delay in the launch plans:

"During close out for launch, the team observed an upper stage engine condition that will require additional time for review. The launch is set for Friday, March 30 from Space Launch Complex 6 at 3:38 p.m. PDT."

3:50 p.m. local (6:50 p.m. EDT; 2250 GMT)
DELAY. Launch of the Delta 4 rocket has been postponed by 24 hours, officials have decided. Liftoff is retargeted for Friday at 3:38 p.m. local time (6:38 p.m. EDT; 2238 GMT).
....
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9167
Pat Thanks for those updates.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9167
Jeff Bezos: Apollo 11 Engines From 1969 Found In Atlantic Ocean
By Craig Kanalley
Posted: 03/28/2012 5:07 pm Updated: 03/28/2012 5:07 pm


Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced today that an underwater sea expedition he financed has discovered artifacts from the Apollo 11 mission to the moon at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, nearly 43 years after they landed there.

Bezos says that F-1 rocket engines were found 14,000 feet below the surface using deep sea sonar, and he intends to raise at least one, maybe more, above sea level.

The first-stage Apollo 11 engines that Bezos claims have been found helped lift Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins toward the moon in 1969, Scientific American reports. Bezos does not say how the team was able to prove their authenticity.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127810
ATV-3 Arrives at Station


Another camera view shows the ATV-3 and its distinct "x-wing" solar arrays moments from docking with Zvezda. Credit: NASA TV

The Edoardo Amaldi Automated Transfer Vehicle-3 (ATV-3) docked automatically to the aft port of the Zvezda service module at 6:31 p.m. EDT Wednesday. Initial hatch opening is scheduled for Thursday to install air ducts. A final ingress by the crew is planned for Friday when the crew will begin unloading 7.2 tons of food, fuel and supplies.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127810
Rob One summer when I was a teenager fishing in the Keys I saw something like that. I thought it might be the beginning of nuclear Armageddon. In that case I was glad I was fishing in the Keys. :^/
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9167
Hey LC and friends.
Figured I'd drop by and say hi!
As usual, lots of cool info, pics and links.

I'd love to see those sounding rockets. Can you imagine how freaked out someone would be seeing that and not knowing what it was? I wonder how many 911 calls result from it?

The one photo up top kinda makes me think of a wooden stonehenge.

Thanks to everyone for posting all the interesting stuff.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 96 Comments: 31886
The odds of favorable wind conditions for the Vandenberg Delta IV launch are only 30% for Thursday and Friday. See the blog entry for more details on the mission.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9167
Pat I learned something new. Thanks! :^)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9167
Welcome to the J-2X Doghouse: Old Dogs, New Tricks

Posted on Mar 26, 2012 03:35:23 PM | William D. Greene

A couple of articles back, I asked the following question:

"The whole orange-flame thing is not something I entirely understand...Any ideas from anyone else?"

I was talking about the flame stack during a night test at the NASA Stennis Space Center. It was a legitimate question. Combustion chemistry is really not my specialty. Lots of things are not my specialty. Try as I might, I've found that I can’t know everything about everything. Indeed, considering the many brilliant and knowledgeable people with whom I have the privilege of working here at NASA, I've come to accept the conclusion that there is a lot more stuff to know than can ever be learned. But that can never stop you from learning something new. And so I have with this.

In response to my blog question, we received a number of comments on the blog and those are posted. Thank you for your inputs and interest.

However, behind the scenes (so to speak), a coworker of mine, Robin Osborne, who does have experience with this kind of stuff read the blog and starting poking around amongst her notes and amongst her fellow experts in the field of flame spectroscopy. Below is a picture taken of igniter testing at MSFC using a gaseous hydrogen-oxygen mixture. Here too you can see a red-orange flame although it takes a distance for that colored portion to show itself.

According to Dr. Robert Pitz from Vanderbilt University, "Pure hydrogen (with no sodium) -- air flames will glow red in a dark room due to the water vapor emission lines." Both Dr. Joseph Wehrmeyer working in support of the Air Force and Richard Eskridge from NASA concur, noting that water vapor generates an orange-red-infrared continuum in such flames. However, all of these individuals also noted that there is a strong orange coloration in such flames due to sodium contamination within the hydrogen. The sodium is present as sodium hydride within the liquid hydrogen which decomposes at high temperatures to generate the vibrant color. The sodium contamination is a byproduct of how large, industrial quantities of hydrogen are made for uses such as, for example, flying the Space Shuttle. Dr. Christopher Dobbin of NASA noted that in the 1990 timeframe he was engaged in an analysis of the flame plumes ejecting from the Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSME). He said, "The (time) average sodium concentration we measured in the SSME exit plane was 0.091 parts per billion." That doesn’t sound like much, and it's not enough to impact engine performance or operation, but it's still enough to measure based upon spectral analysis of the plume. Another possible contaminant, according to Richard Eskridge, is potassium and that can further contribute red emissions.

So, there you go. It's a matter of water vapor at the right temperature and pressure (and therefore density) and a couple of key contaminants in the fuel. It's "common knowledge" around here amongst us Datadogs that the plume of a Lox/Hydrogen rocket engine is clear. But that's not entirely correct. It's nearly clear. It still has the characteristic red-orange tint, but it's at a density where the emission is too low to see. On the other hand, for the flame stacks at the test facility -- the origin of this whole discussion -- we're talking combustion at atmospheric pressure so the water vapor products are denser as are the relative contamination levels since it's a fuel-rich environment. And that's why they show up at those brilliant colors in the nighttime pictures.

See, even old Datadogs can learn new tricks. Thank you to everyone who added their two cents, but especially to Robin Osborne for her inputs and insight.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127810
I added one more WunderPhoto of the evening progression at the bottom of the blog entry.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9167
Pat If only mankind was riding them to other places. :^\

Skye The Moon on average takes about 24 hours and 50 minutes to go around the sky. The other residents of the sky vary only slightly from 24 hours. Luna appears to be the most independent celestial body.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9167
94. Skyepony (Mod)
Had to come see all the pics:) I didn't get a pic tonight, though it was beautiful.. Very neat how quick everything chances in a day.
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Rocket engines burning fuel so fast
Up into the night sky they blast
Through the universe the engines whine
Could it be the end of man and time.
Back on Earth the flame of life burns low
Everywhere is misery and woe
Pollution kills the air, the land and sea
Man prepares to meet his destiny.

Rocket engines burning fuel so fast
Up into the black sky so vast
Burning metal through the atmosphere
Earth remains in worry, hate and fear
With the hateful battles raging on
Rockets flying to the glowing sun.
Through the empires of eternal void
Freedom from the final suicide.



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127810
I added info on the March 29 Delta IV launch from Vandenberg AFB, CA to the blog entry.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9167
At the bottom of the blog entry I added a WunderPhoto of the luminous night clouds created by the ATREX mission.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9167

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