Worlds Beyond Earth... Waiting #703

By: LowerCal , 8:05 PM GMT on July 03, 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 SkyWeek | Sky and Telescope TV
& 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 *****

See the comments or the links above.


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

***** Past 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.

(For earlier events see previous blog entries.)


Past 24 Hours Visitors
web counterVisitor Map
Create your own visitor map!

REVISED FORECAST!.VERY IMPORTANT NEWS=7/12/12 Photo At 3:19 PM (Ralfo)
Of AR1521,AR1520 & AR1519...X-FLARE! Big sunspot AR1520 unleashed an X1.4-class solar flare on July 12th at 1653 UT. Because the sunspot was directly facing Earth at the time of the blast, this is a geoeffective event. Stay tuned for updates about possible CMEs and radio blackouts. Solar flare alerts:
REVISED FORECAST!.VERY IMPORTANT NEWS=7/12/12 Photo At 3:19 PM
northern lights from the observation deck (blu56jay)
northern lights from the observation deck
X1.4 Auroras! (emixam101)
1h14 AM - The storm intensified drasticly and reached a G3 Level (Strong) with an Index of KP7! (Severe).Auroras were briefly visible to 110° on highest! Great Auroras show since August 2003!!! Somes shots the focus is quite bad because of the VERY Hazy conditions.It was still very warm to at this hour with 69F/21C!
X1.4 Auroras!
Northern Lights 1 (smyezek)
Taken east of Grafton Iowa, 7/14/2012
Northern Lights 1
Aurora Australis 1 (astrophotographer)
Oh boy what a beautiful sight. A CME from the sun has hit us and sparked this wonder of nature.
Aurora Australis 1
Aurora Australis 1 (astrophotographer)
A panorama of two photos and the streak is a satellite crossing the visual path.
Aurora Australis 1
Looking East (IC)
Jupiter, Venus, Taurus and Moon
Looking East
Celestial Spectacle (snapperone)
This morning offered a treat just before sunrise. The waning crescent moon is seen here nestled between Venus, Jupiter and Aldebaran. The Hyades and Pleiadies are also in this frame!
Celestial Spectacle
Endeavour Leaving for California (Skyepony)
Endeavour Leaving for California
Endeavour Leaving for California (Skyepony)
Endeavour Leaving for California
Endeavour Leaving for California (Skyepony)
Endeavour Leaving for California
Space-X Dragon Launch (dcfrench)
Headed to the International Space Station with 1,000 pounds of cargo on board. Even ice cream
Space-X Dragon Launch
Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) (Endosidney)
Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS)
Comet Pan Starrs (Westerberg)
Pan Starrs and the New Moon as seen from Joshua Tree National Park, California
Comet Pan Starrs
Comet PanSTARRS (Shotonsite)
the skies over Deming NM, March 12, 2013.
Comet PanSTARRS
Comet & Moon in Nautical Twilight (CJSprinkle)
Looking out toward Ventura from Mt.McCoy in Simi Valley, CA. Comet with the crescent moon made for an excellent shot with the setup of the city lights and the ocean, and the colorful skies following sunset.
Comet & Moon in Nautical Twilight
Delta IV Nocolucent Clouds (Skyepony)
A United Launch Alliance Delta IV has launched with the fifth Wideband Global SATCOM satellite on Friday night, following a 24 hour delay caused by an issue associated with a ground support system helium pressurization line. Liftoff from Space Launch Complex 37B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force occured at 20:27 local time.
Delta IV Nocolucent Clouds
Delta IV Noctilucent Cloud (Skyepony)
A United Launch Alliance Delta IV has launched with the fifth Wideband Global SATCOM satellite on Friday night, following a 24 hour delay caused by an issue associated with a ground support system helium pressurization line. Liftoff from Space Launch Complex 37B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force occurred at 20:27 local time. From the area of sky where the rocket separation occurred grew two small Noctilucent Clouds. This is the one that went bird shape a bit.
Delta IV Noctilucent Cloud
STS131 Noctilucent Cloud (Skyepony)
This is the short life of the Noctilucent Cloud beast created by the launch of Shuttle Discovery as I watched from the Turn Basin at Kennedy Space Center. Here is a link to a NASA study done on Shuttle created Noctilucent Clouds.
STS131 Noctilucent Cloud

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dagnabbit- we got a heavy cloud layer here in jacksonville to the south, southeast-
I figured I had missed it already-

haven't missed it YET but doesn't look like I'll be able to see it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
That Delta IV Heavy sure looks pretty but the camera is jiggling from the breezy conditions.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
Anomaly team recommends a remedy attempt and we'll see if that resolves the issue.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
Anomaly team will work the issue.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
HOLD for fuel system problem.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
T minus 4 minutes and counting.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
Sorry, make that 8:26am EDT.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
New launch time 9:26am EDT.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
:^)

Air Force weather anticipates a possible break in the winds during today's remaining launch window which closes at 9:44am EST.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
Hold,

Launch winds criteria violation.



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
T minus 4 minutes and counting.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
Into the Terminal Count..T minus 4 and counting
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
GREEN Board..

Lets try it again boyz'...

New T-ZERO time is 07:55 EST

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
Anyone having problems with
Live coverage: Orion's first space mission | Spaceflight Now

can get live voice and video coverage (but not status updates) at
NASA TV on Ustream | NASA
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
Quoting 640. Patrap:

Apollo 12 comes to mind,,er, "Flight, were going to Launch during a thunderstorm seems.."

LOL!

Anomaly is resolved. Now considering what to do about those winds. :^)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
Currently working on an anomaly resolution. If and when resolved we'll have a new launch time.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
Apollo 12 comes to mind,,er, "Flight, were going to Launch during a thunderstorm seems.."
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
Launch Director and Control now discussing a new T-ZERO time, Seems we had a Gust that held the count right at Handover from the planned Hold.

One Flag on console for a anomaly team to look at has cropped up as well.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
Quoting 637. Patrap:

HOLD...

Weather..

Ground wind criteria violation.

... but unlike Shuttle launches with their ±5 minute launch window today's launch window is open until 9:44am EST.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
HOLD...

Weather..

Ground winds criteria violation.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
Quoting 634. Patrap:

Somewhere, a few past Apollo CDR's are smiling I bet.



Glad to see us continuing what they started.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
High hopes for a successful test today and sustained American interest human colonization of our Solar system.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
Somewhere, a few past Apollo CDR's are smiling I bet.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
Quoting 630. LowerCal:


America is retracing steps made in the past while starting steps toward other worlds.


A very nice way to put it.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
Launch time reset to 7:17am EST.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
T- ZERO is now 07:17 am EST
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
Quoting 626. Patrap:

Hard to fathom that were going to witness, again, after 41 years for me,, a Low Orbit Man rated Vehicle...make that 2nd Burn outta low Earth orbit.




I've dreamt of this day, and for us I know,,,the New Beginning is very exciting.

Still complete night here..

I do admit to GO fever myself.

Best of Luck off the Pad and a safe ride for Orion up and over the hill.

Im sure skyepony is readying the cams.

Its gonna be a good morning.

America is retracing steps made in the past while starting steps toward other worlds.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
Waiting on the boat and maybe also second stage conditioning.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
Always one in every Bunch seems.


All seems well as the final Poll approaches.....seems they will HOLD in that config ,,till we're go for the Terminal Count.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
Launch window will open at 7:05am EST but a boat in the restricted downrange area may delay the actual launch time.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
Hard to fathom that were going to witness, again, after 41 years for me,, a Low Orbit Man rated Vehicle...make that 2nd Burn outta low Earth orbit.




I've dreamt of this day, and for us I know,,,the New Beginning is very exciting.

Still complete night here..

I do admit to GO fever myself.

Best of Luck off the Pad and a safe ride for Orion up and over the hill.

Im sure skyepony is readying the cams.

Its gonna be a good morning.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
Less than 20 minutes until the launch window opens and chances of acceptable weather conditions is still 70%.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
It has been a while for us, Pat.

Go Orion! Delta IV Heavy... let's get ready to RUMBLE!
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
Good early morning on the West Coast Lc.

Been quite while since we "kicked the tires and lit da fires", eh?

GO Orion, GO Delta 4 Heavy!!







Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
Good morning, Pat. I'm going to launch the local coffee maker now at 3:15am local time.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
Live coverage: Orion’s first space mission | Spaceflight Now
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
T-Minus 56 Minutes and counting.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
619. Skyepony (Mod)
Packing a camp for the NASA causeway..

Nice tweet..

A #selfie for the history books, KSC Center Director Bob Cabana earlier today with #Orion & the @ulalaunch #DeltaIV
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 225 Comments: 39380
The Orion EFT-1 Countdown clock will refresh every minute, just re-load the page here.





Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
Forecast is for a 70% chance of acceptable weather for tomorrow's (way early for me) launch.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
"In the future, Orion will launch on NASA’s new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System. More powerful than any rocket ever built, SLS will be capable of sending humans to deep space destinations such as an asteroid and eventually Mars."
Orion | NASA


Current Launch window 7:05-9:44am EST, Thursday, December 4.
Updates at: Launch Schedule | Spaceflight Now

Current Status Updates
Live coverage: Orion’s first space mission | Spaceflight Now
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
Ok, let's settle in and get er done..Ladies and gentlemen...

RSO, Flight,,,,,,the countdown has started.



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841



Countdown begins for test flight of NASA’s deep space craft Orion

by Justin Beach

On Thursday, December 4 the Orion spacecraft will lift off from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Although this will be an automated test, Orion is NASA’s first craft designed to carry human passengers since the space shuttle was retired in 2011.

However, this craft is designed to do things and go places the space shuttle never could. If all goes according to plan the 4.5 hour test flight will take it 3,600 miles from Earth, 15 times further out than the International Space Station. It will return to Earth traveling at 20,000 miles per hour and experience temperatures as high as 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

The primary concern with this first, automated, test flight is the safety of the craft. In addition to the incredible speeds and searing temperatures the Orion will be exposed to intense levels of radiation once it is outside of the Earth’s protective Van Allen belts.

Orion is designed to provide adequate shielding against radiation and equipped with a heat shield 16.5 feet in diameter, the largest such shield to date. The spacecraft also has a built in Launch Abort System (LAS) which will allow astronauts to escape during take off or ascent.

“The data we will collect during Exploration Flight Test -1 (EFT-1) will shape every future deep space mission, and will help to ensure that when a crew is onboard, our systems will keep them safe. We’re constructing Orion to be the safest spacecraft ever built. For example, to pull the crew to safety in an emergency on the launch pad or during descent, we’ve developed a Launch Abort System (LAS). The LAS has half a million pounds of thrust and accelerates from 0 to 500 mph in 2 seconds. It can pull the crew a mile up and a mile away from the launch pad in an emergency,” Allison Rakes, Lockheed Martin spokesperson told Astrowatch.net.

Lockheed Martin was originally awarded the contract to build Orion in August, 2006. The Lockheed Martin team is holding its breath along with NASA as the test flight approaches, particularly after the fatal accident that consumed the Antares rocket in October.

“We live for this kind of project. We will tell our kids and our grandkids about this, The company’s hard working crew literally lives for this first step of future deep space exploration. We’ve had a team in Florida working around the clock for the past several months preparing for this moment. Once that Delta IV lifts off, you’re going to see quite the celebration,” said Rakes.

Additional information about the Orion project, and future plans for it can be found on the NASA web site.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
GO Orion EF-1, GO Delta 4 !



Crew Module Cabin the Focus for Weekend
Posted on November 28, 2014 at 11:00 am by Stephen Fox.


Engineers and technicians prepping Orion for its first flight test Dec. 4 began putting the finishing touches inside the crew cabin today and will continue the work through the weekend. Although Orion will not carry any people on its flight test, it's designed for astronauts, and engineers want to find out what conditions will be like inside the cabin as Orion travels through high radiation and extreme temperatures during this flight test. Launch pad teams also will start on a lengthy list of closeout duties to make sure Orion and its vital instruments and recorders are ready for space. The steps will set the stage for the first launch week in Orion/s career. The spacecraft and its United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket are on track to lift off Thursday at 7:05 a.m. EST, the opening of a 2 hour, 39-minute window for the day.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
Launch date: December 4th, 2014

Go Delta 4, GO Orion !!!



Orion Batteries Installed, Live Sky Test Complete
Posted on November 20, 2014 at 3:41 pm by Steven Siceloff.


The teams working to ready Orion for its flight test on Dec. 4 are making progress preparing the spacecraft for its first trip to space. At Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, engineers installed Orion’s batteries today, completing a critical step in the final preparations process. Because the spacecraft’s batteries have a limited lifespan, they are installed as close to launch as possible. On Wednesday, engineers also completed testing the communications links between the Orion spacecraft and the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) system in an evaluation known as a live sky test. NASA’s TDRS network will be used to send commands to Orion during the flight test and receive data from the spacecraft.

Ahead of Orion’s voyage, NASA is also sharing information about different elements of Orion and the flight test. The flight test will examine all sorts of systems on the spacecraft during its uncrewed test, including the heatshield. The vital armor protecting against searing hot plasma as the spacecraft enters Earth’s atmosphere, the heatshield for this test is expected to experience temperatures around 4,000 degrees F as Orion enters the atmosphere at 20,000 mph. The speed will help engineers evaluate how Orion endures returning from deep space destinations in the future when astronauts are on board.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841


Orion Spacecraft Rolls Past the Vehicle Assembly Building

At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the agency's Orion spacecraft passes the spaceport's iconic Vehicle Assembly Building as it is transported to Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. After arrival at the launch pad, United Launch Alliance engineers and technicians will lift Orion and mount it atop its Delta IV Heavy rocket. Orion began its journey to the launch pad at at the Launch Abort System Facility, where a 52-foot-tall protective fairing and the launch abort system were attached to the 10-foot, 11-inch-tall crew module. Resting atop a specialized Kamag transporter, Orion was moved to Space Launch Complex 37B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The move began at 8:54 p.m. EST and concluded at 3:07 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 12.
Orion is the exploration spacecraft designed to carry astronauts to destinations not yet explored by humans, including an asteroid and Mars. It will have emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities. Orion is scheduled to launch Dec. 4, 2014 atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket in its first unpiloted flight test, and in 2018 on NASA’s Space Launch System rocket.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
live now

https://twitter.com/Philae2014
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608. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Mark Thursday (Oct. 23) on your calendar as "Solar Eclipse Day," for if the weather cooperates, you should have no difficulty observing a partial eclipse of the sun.

Nearly all of North America, except for a portion of eastern Canada and a slice of eastern New England, will experience the partial solar eclipse this week. People who live east of a line running from roughly Quebec City to Montauk Point, New York, will miss out on the solar show, since the sun will set before the dark disc of the moon begins to encroach upon it.

The several hundred thousand people who inhabit parts of Siberia will get a brief view around local sunrise time — but on Friday (Oct. 24), because this part of the eclipse visibility zone is to the west of the International Date Line. So, for this part of the world, the event will begin on the day after it ends!

Partial Solar Eclipse To Darken United States Skies This Week (October 19-25)
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Launch Abort System Installed for Orion Flight Test

The launch abort system for the Orion Flight Test is lowered by crane for installation on the Orion spacecraft inside the Launch Abort System Facility, or LASF, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The completed crew and service modules will be tested and verified together with the launch abort system. Orion will remain inside the LASF until mid-November, when the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket is ready for integration with the spacecraft.

Orion is the exploration spacecraft designed to carry astronauts to destinations not yet explored by humans, including an asteroid and Mars. It will have emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities. The first unpiloted test flight of the Orion is scheduled to launch in December atop the Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to an altitude of 3,600 miles above the Earth's surface. The two-orbit, four-hour flight test will help engineers evaluate the systems critical to crew safety including the heat shield, parachute system and launch abort system.

Image Credit: NASA/Cory Huston
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
According to the write-up on spaceflightnow.com: "The sunrise liftoff Dec. 4 should be visually spectacular, lighting up
the Space Coast with three distinct pillars of fire from the main
engines trailing more than 200 feet long."

When they launch this thing, you better believe I'll be in Titusville to watch. The Delta IV Heavy is the next best thing to a shuttle launch. I really wish it could be a night launch, but I'll take it no matter when it goes up.

Quoting 605. Patrap:

Let's get this Blog up and running Flight....






Delta IV Heavy Rocket Rolls to Launch Pad for Orion's First Flight Test

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About LowerCal

Astronomy with a minimum of terminology and technology.

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Personal Weather Stations

APRSWXNET Woodland Hills CA US
Calabasas, CA
Elevation: 984 ft
Temperature: 51.0 °F
Dew Point: 34.0 °F
Humidity: 53%
Wind: Calm
Wind Gust: 2.0 mph
Updated: 5:33 AM PST on December 01, 2013
At Gonzales Drive
Woodland Hills, CA
Elevation: 984 ft
Temperature: 48.8 °F
Dew Point: 46.0 °F
Humidity: 90%
Wind: Calm
Wind Gust: 0.0 mph
Updated: 12:31 AM PST on December 21, 2014

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