May 25, 2019

December 2009:Life in the Astro Blog-o-Sphere.

Coming to a December sky near you: The beginning of the month of December finds Astroguyz south of the equator exploring the environs of Quito, Ecuador and the surrounding area. Expect posts on such southern sky wonders as the Large & Small Magellanic Clouds, and perhaps a tour of the oldest observatory in South America. Will we endure the pseudo-science and contraversy that is the equator? Stay tuned. In more familiar skies, we visit an unfamiliar object: Groombridge 34.

Also on the docet; 51 Pegasi, home of one of the first exoplanets discovered! Finally, December 2009 hosts rare dual Full Moons, including an even rarer lunar blue moon partial eclipse on the 31st.

This Month in Science: Have you ever wondered what a death by gamma ray might entail? This month, Astroguyz will explore this lethal menace… also, its our yearly science and sci-fi wrap up. Ever wonder what’s going on this year in science fiction… poetry? Stay tuned!

This Months’ buzz in Sci-Fi: Our ace sci-fi reviewer, Sabrina kicks off the month with a review of The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie…Starship:Flagship by Mike Resnick is also out this month, the final installment in the Starship saga published by Pyr Books… in a sci-fi flash back, we also harken back to 2010: the review just in time for the dawn of the year of the same name… how does fiction hold up to reality?

Launches for December: WISE, NASA’s Wide Field Infrared Sky Explorer, is set to launch from Vandenburg AFB on Dec 9th at 9:09 AM EST…and on the other side of the globe, Soyuz TMA-17 will perform a manned launch to ISS December 20th at 4:51 EST. This crew rotation will also serve as an escape pod for the ISS… updates can be found at www.spaceflightnow.com.

Astro-Blooper of the Month: OK, faster-than-light-travel is not possible, right? Let’s just say that, for the sake of a sci-fi story line, it is. This week’s astro-blooper is brought to us courtesy of a recent rewatch of the 1st season of the re-imagined series Battlestar Galactica. There’s a point were they must calculate an FTL jump blindly, and the concern is that “they’ll wind up in the heart of a star…” The concern is pretty remote, as space is mostly… nothing! Pick a random point in the universe, and your pretty likely to end up in deep interstellar space. Even a realtively dense area like our solar system is a pretty safe bet. Incidentally, the first Star Wars movie gets this wrong, as well!

This Month in Astro-History: On December 25th, 2004, Christmas Day, the Huygens lander was released from the Cassini space probe. In early January of the following year, it landed on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, giving us some pretty mind blowing panoramas of the alien world. Huygens still stands as the most remote soft landing ever achieved! 

Quote of the Month: Climate is what you expect; Weather is what you get.”

-Robert Heinlein

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