A moon rising iPhone 7-plus photo worthy of archiving

| June 3, 2020

Every once in a while when seeing what cellphone cameras can do, I wonder why I even bother to ever grab my camera bag and relatively expensive DSLR camera anymore? Last night the weather in Cincinnati was clear and humidity low. The moon was large and rising in the sky in the southeast and looks […]

How big is the largest volcano? On Mars it is as big as France!

| March 31, 2020

Olympus Mons is the tallest mountain and largest volcano on any planet in the solar system. It is about the size of France (or the U.S. state of Arizona) and is a shield volcano 624 km (374 mi) in diameter, 25 km (16 mi) high, and is rimmed by a 6 km (4 mi) high […]

Prediction: An advancement in superconductivity is coming

| March 25, 2020

It may not come from space in the form of meteorites as mentioned in the story below, but I think the biggest advancement in this decade will be in superconductivity. Physicists have made fantastic advancements in reducing electrical resistance ever since Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes experimented with ferromagnetism in 1911, but getting superconductivity state […]

Music Monday: That sorrowful bluegrass sound from Alison Kraus – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Catfish John” for the slew of bad news

| March 9, 2020

There has always been a part of me that enjoyed looking at the night sky … perhaps it is the “want-to-be” sailor in me or just growing up with space exploration? Studying the night sky really was never a passion until Katelyn took an interest in space (Space Camp, NASA Sharp, Astronomy as a hobby) […]

Semi-Tech Friday: Solar Telescope view of our the Sun

| January 31, 2020

A wide-angle view of the solar surface from the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope is the highest-resolution image of the Sun ever taken, showing details as small as 30 km wide. Seen here are granules, the tops of giant convection cells. Credit: NSO/NSF/AURA Whether it is gazing at the millions of stars night sky (the […]

Wrinkly-Nosed Tooth-Faced Shark – accurate, but not polite

| July 28, 2019

Who wants to go swimming?  The Great White Shark can detect blood in the water up to 3 miles away! Just look at those expensive teeth. I watched several science programs regarding space and the Apollo 11 moon landing these past couple of weeks … and one the other night explaining the Big Bang theory […]

A story with 2 of my favorite subjects – photography and space

| July 27, 2019

A lot of things needed to go right when NASA sent three astronauts rocketing towards the moon in July of 1969 … but one real close call happened after their safe return to earth. It seems, some of the iconic photographs were “almost lost to posterity,” explains Zeiss, the company that provided the lenses for […]

Anniversary: 50 years ago we landed on the moon – July 20, 1969

| July 20, 2019

As has been highly celebrated and reported in every form of media this week (and mention in not just one, but two earlier blog posts), today is the 50th anniversary of the landing a man on the moon. It was the historic Apollo 11 eight-day mission to the moon and back with the goal of […]

Fifty years ago NASA launched Apollo 11 in our race to land a man on the moon in the 1960s

| July 16, 2019

In the space race with the Soviet Union (USSR) during the 1960s, the United States “rocketed” ahead on July 16, 1969 as NASA sent the three men of Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins into space at 9:32AM EST. The Apollo command module and Lunar Module (LM) sat atop the huge 363-feet […]

Book: Moondust – In Search of the Men Who Fell to the Earth

| July 14, 2019

As we approach the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon in 1969, I’ve been enjoying both television anniversary shows, articles and the book Moondust – In Search of the Men Who Fell to the Earth. The Andrew Smith book, in particular, has been enjoyable as it blends events from the author’s memory […]

From “One Giant Leap” boldness, to “Interstellar” brain cramps

| June 15, 2019

Brenda and I watched the movie Interstellar (2014) once before, but we watched it again this past week, and as often happens, we picked up on a few more interesting facts that made our brains hurt … well at least mine: General relativity, The Science of Interstellar, Black Holes and Time Warps. Thankfully I could […]

The Moon and planets gave me a show tonight in Cincinnati

| June 14, 2019

With the colder weather and clear sky over Cincinnati late Thursday evening and Friday morning this week, I took my Lumix GX-8 camera and 100-300mm lens out in the backyard to see what I could photograph. Not much as expected from Jupiter, but I think I could make out a couple moons in the pixelated […]

It is a great week for night stargazing and sky watching – #Jupiter

| June 12, 2019

Just north of Cincinnati the sky was perfect for viewing the rise of Jupiter as the sky darkened about 9:30PM. The bright dot (photo below from my iPhone) rose in the SE sky and arched slowly until reaching its highest point due south at about 12:30AM and then moved lower well after I was in […]

Shuttle launch observed from the International Space Station

| April 21, 2019

Happy Easter … He Is Risen. He Is Risen Indeed! The resurrection of Jesus and His “ascension” to heaven is a vision we can only imagine. When I’m too busy to blog, a beautiful photo from space works well as an Easter post. Here’s a photo from the International Space Station (#ISS) just after a […]

Server problem test post – Blood Moon for January 2019

| January 21, 2019

It has been a morning of computer server problems after updating Certbot on one of my Linux servers in order to keep the Let’s Encrypt certificates updating properly (the email warning below). For customers on Consolidated Printing and Publishing servers, there will not be a problem as the certs are commercial … but for my […]

A catch-up International Space Station viewing post

| October 20, 2018

Earlier in October, as well as mid summer, I’ve been trying to get a better nighttime view of the International Space Station (ISS) passing over our house. It has been tracking overhead for the last few weeks an hour or so after the the sun set. The angle was such that our sky was completely […]

ISS & FaceTime with Annalyn brightens an otherwise sour day

| October 11, 2018

With the stock market tumble on Wednesday and Hurricane Michael ravaging Florida’s Panhandle, I was in the mood to post something positive … but what?  Dow Industrials plunge more than 800 points, Nasdaq loses 4% in biggest decline in months I contemplated talking about how impressive it was to view the International Space Station (ISS) […]

Yardwork, jury duty and enjoying the July 2018 night sky

| July 26, 2018

We been enjoying summer and mostly great weather around the house and yard so far this year in 2018 and Brenda‘s growing landscape mounds are all flowering and looking really nice (she has been working on them although her current Grand Jury duty is cutting into her free time). The last few days of slightly […]

Another great night for viewing our neighboring planets

| July 23, 2018

The moon and Jupiter circled from my iPhone on Sunday night July 22, 2018 I have fond memories of sitting out with Katelyn when she would get out her telescope and was learning astronomy … but I do also still enjoy special nights like last night to "try" to capture the amazingly bright and large […]

An impressive look at planet Jupiter this week #space

| July 14, 2018

It was a great week of skywatching in our backyard in Cincinnati this week. The sun magnificently lit up planets, especially Saturn and Jupiter while Mars, Venus (the brightest) and Mercury (doubtful) remained a bit low in the sky while I was out viewing. I was purposely out for Mars, but it will have to […]

Failed asteroid gazing leads to staring at Saturn and Jupiter

| June 20, 2018

Here are a couple dots from an evening of star-gazing; the photo on the left is Saturn and the one on the right is Jupiter — wouldn’t it be nice to have a telescope (hint – to my spacecamp daughter!)   Actually I was attempting to get a glimpse of the asteroid 4 Vesta, which is […]

Book: Rocket Men by Robert Kurson (author of Shadow Divers)

| April 22, 2018

Ordered the book Rocket Men, The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man’s First Journey to the Moon based on the author Robert Kurson and enjoying the writing style and content in his previous book Shadow Divers. If you enjoy history, space exploration, NASA and the heroic astronauts and scientist that […]

Impressive Crescent Moon so toyed with the Lumix GX8 #video

| March 12, 2018

It was a crisp and cold night for March in Cincinnati and with a pitch black sky at 6 AM (after the Daylight Savings time change), the Waning Crescent Moon (see Lunar Phase) gave me a chance to see if my Lumix GX8 and 100-300mm lens was up to the task. I’ve tried still photos […]

Successful SpaceX FalconHeavy rocket launch from Florida

| February 6, 2018

Watched an excellent SpaceX launch from  Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida this Tuesday afternoon as Elon Musk’s private rocket company is only second in payload capacity to NASA’s ancient SaturnV rocket. Everything, including the landing of their twin booster rockets were fantastic. We are definitely entering a new era in space […]

An impressive final Supermoon of the trilogy (see previous post)

| January 31, 2018

I haven’t been wielding my camera around much lately as it is so much easier to whip out the iPhone and take a photo or some video … but occasionally there’s a subject that can’t be photographed easily with a smartphone or even with a DSLR. Here was my quick attempt last night with the […]

Once in a lifetime event – a supermoon trilogy

| January 31, 2018

  A Supermoon chat with John Rowe & Mike Hasking – 1/31/2018 Tonight is your last chance to witness a once in a lifetime lunar event. A super blue blood moon will be visible in the night’s sky for just over an hour, from 11.50 tonight. It’s the third in a trilogy of large, red […]

Astronauts may soon be eating goo from their poo

| January 30, 2018

It’s a long way to Mars and there’s "not a drop to drink" (author Mindy McGinnis) or "plop to eat" on the way … so what’s the plan? Since astronauts are already recycling their urine into drinkable water, the next step should be obvious: "Goo made from their Poo." (in observing the current lab conditions […]

Beautiful Supermoon this weekend – the largest of 2017

| December 3, 2017

Sadly trying to capture the moon with a smartphone is not so smart … but hopefully those who wanted to see it found the time, and a clear sky, to enjoy the large early evening Supermoon. Besides looking up, we enjoyed looking at our granddaughter at 9-months. So great to see Annalyn smiling so big […]

The Apollo 14 mission and a long distance technical support call

| September 3, 2017

What a great story told by YouTuber Scott Manley about the early days of NASA, their Apollo 14 computing problem and a "tech support call" to a programmer (video below). The story is longish and likely only of interest for those on the geeky side who work with computer or are programmers — it would […]

Quick time-lapse attempt to photograph Solar Eclipse 2017

| August 22, 2017

For the good photos check in with NASA (above) or a professional photographer who travels to the optimal locations and spends more than 5 minutes taping a welding filter to his camera … for a less than perfect “time-lapse” solar eclipse attempt, check my photos below. It was at least fun to mark the occasion; […]

Ready to check out the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse?

| August 21, 2017

The last time our continent had a total solar eclipse was 1991 and so getting a chance to view 2017’s is a rare opportunity. Not everybody will be traveling to the “belted area” across the country, but most will have a chance to see a partial eclipse. According to NASA, “an estimated 500 million people […]

Stratolaunch emerges from the hanger

| June 3, 2017

Stratolaunch, cited as the "world’s largest plane," has been under construction for four years, but is finally ready to come out of the hanger. The plane has a wingspan larger than a football field and according to the design firm Stratolaunch Systems, is designed to carry rockets into the stratosphere before firing the payload into […]

Merry Christmas and God bless all of us on the good Earth

| December 24, 2016

The Apollo 8 Christmas Eve Broadcast Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the Moon, entered lunar orbit on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1968. That evening, the astronauts; Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders did a live television broadcast from lunar orbit, in which they showed pictures […]

John Glenn, the 1st American to orbit Earth, has died at 95

| December 8, 2016

Godspeed, John Glenn. Astronauts were heroes to kids like me in the 60s. I remember it well when he visited our flooded Ohio home on Lake Erie in 1973. He was on a PR stop and making a run for the U.S. Senate … yet took time to talk and inspire impressionable 14 year old me […]

Enjoying the night sky and the EXTRA Supermoon this month

| November 16, 2016

The autumn Supermoon of 2016 has certainly been a beautiful sight in the night sky these past few days. The last couple of evening I’ve enjoyed the view and "attempting" to capture the using only my iPhone 5s since my son has my DSLR for an upcoming trip to Hawaii; I’m hoping he will practiced […]

Neil Armstrong memories … he would have been disappointed

| November 11, 2016

A lot has changed in the 11 years that have passed since I posted on “First Man” Neil Armstrong … but after re-watching the 60 Minutes clip and pondering going “back to the moon and to Mars by 2018,” Armstrong would have been disappointed as a lot hasn’t changed. Click for post from 11/11/2005 WHY […]

The moon passing between climate observatory and earth

| July 28, 2016

Astronaut Rick Mastracchio (‏@AstroRM) posts some terrific space oriented photos. Here’s one showing he moon passing between the NASA climate observatory and earth. As he tweets, "almost unbelievable that this is a real photo."

My Challenger Story

| January 28, 2016

On the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, I re-read a post from my blog back on the 20th anniversary — thought I would share. Saturday morning, January 27, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger and seven astronauts prepared for a cold morning ride into space at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida; they […]

Watched the phases of a super moon lunar eclipse Sunday night

| September 28, 2015

A few of my photos on Sunday night of the Super Moon Solar Eclipse in the sky over Cincinnati, Ohio. Very cool.     Graphic from skyandtelescope.com and usatoday.com below.

SpaceX Dragon CRS-6 launch postponed due to weather

| April 13, 2015

It was interesting while it lasted … the launch of the SpaceX Dragon CRS-6 Falcon9 was scrubbed this afternoon and scheduled for tomorrow, April 14 at 4:10PM; weather could be a problem again. My daughter Katelyn and her husband Drew were at Kennedy Space Center (photo below) to watch it on their 2nd wedding anniversary […]

Memories: Deep Impact Mission inside Comet Tempel 1 #TBT

| January 22, 2015

My wife has been busy cleaning out our closets and getting rid of “old stuff.” One the the items dates back in 2003 and brought back memories of my “space girl.”  My daughter Katelyn was inspired by science and particularly by an adventurous NASA, space exploration and astronomy. In part, her interest could have been […]

This has not been the week for U.S. space oriented vehicles

| October 31, 2014

The debris photos are starting to show up on the Internet on Twitter after the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo prototype was lost after its first powered test since January. The crash of this suborbital “passenger carrying” spaceship happened at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California according to officials. Two pilots were aboard the craft […]

TechFriday: MeteoEarth website, mobile app and weather

| October 10, 2014

Sort of a timely website find if you are an amateur meteorologist or just enjoy watching and learning about weather. Check out MeteoEarth.com or their MeteroEarth smartphone app for $2.99. (explainer video) There are some pretty powerful features and the real time software offers stunning visual views of weather happenings — like the current Typhoon […]

Spectacular images from NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope

| September 5, 2014

Having an interest and studying a little bit of astronomy with my daughter when she was a teenager, I can’t help but share this spectacular Hubble Space Telescope image from NASA Goddard’s pix feed showing the galaxy PGC 54493 in the constellation of Serpens (The Serpent). Click for larger as its definitely worth seeing full […]

Fly Me To The Supermoon

| August 11, 2014

A plane flies in front of a supermoon above Westminster in central London en route to Heathrow airport on August 10, 2014. The full moon is positioned closest to the earth on its orbit in over 20 years. It is 50,000 kilometers closer than normal and 14% bigger and 30% brighter than usual. The scientific […]

Are you prepared for a Coronal Mass Ejection – CME?

| July 25, 2014

Did you know that in July of 2012 that the earth was nearly hit by a CME (video)? According to the Nation Academy of Sciences, the cost of a large CME similar to the July 20, 2012 “storm” could cost $2 Trillion. On July 23, 2012, the sun unleashed two massive clouds of plasma that barely […]

Ten aeronautical advancements thanks to NASA

| May 21, 2014

The Dryden Flight Research Center posted ten technology examples on their site that made a big impact on aviation. Most assume NASA has contributed to our science and engineering advancements, but the debate continues over the the high cost of the taxpayers through government funding the NASA research centers or if the private sector can […]

A frozen Lake Erie from space and rising water temps

| January 13, 2014

Here’s a beautiful satellite photo from NASA showing the ice formation on Lake Erie from  January 9, 2014 and a link to an interesting Discovery Magazine blog post discussing ice on the Great Lakes. Since I grew up on the south shore of Lake Erie and a lot of time “recreating” in all seasons on several […]

Great ISS over Europe photo

| November 2, 2013

The movie Gravity and an ISS demonstration from space

| October 21, 2013

If you are looking forward to seeing the new Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. space oriented movie Gravity, here’s an interesting real life International Space Station demonstration showing just how much (or little) effort it takes to move in zero gravity. While thinking about it … check out the Gravity Trailer.

This jaw-dropping Milky Way galaxy pano is now on my iMac

| October 9, 2013

The U.K.’s Royal Observatory Greenwich and National Maritime Museum awarded Mark Gee’s photos showing the Milky Way galaxy as it lights the sky at Cape Palliser, New Zealand lighthouse this year. The photo (click for VERY large) was made by stitching together 20 individual images to create this panoramic photo which as the Space.com article […]

Awesome photos from Saturn by Cassini probe

| July 26, 2013

It is difficult not to be in awe by the photos our space probe Cassini has sent back from near our solar systems second largest planet. The first photo shows the distinctive rings of Saturn and the tiny blip that is our planet Earth. The second is enlarged and shows our blue marble being orbited […]

ISS Chris Hadfield’s photo “A New Dawn” last week

| May 17, 2013

Obituary: We lost one of our best in Neil Armstrong

| August 26, 2012

Neil Armstrong  was not only the first astronaut to walk on the moon, but a brilliant science minded and steely-nerved pilot who’s skills were the envy of his peers … as well as this small town Ohio boy. He grew up in Wapakoneta, Ohio, went to Purdue University in Indiana, flew 78 combat missions in the […]

Curiosity begins a high tech survey of Mars

| August 7, 2012

A great touch active graphic was in the online Wall Street Journal today and opened my eyes to the size of the robotic explorer. Thinking about radio controlled “buggies” of the past, I was thinking that Curiosity wasn’t all that much bigger … until I saw the comparison to the Mini Cooper – wow. Flying […]

Curiosity landed on Mars “beaming” back its first photo

| August 6, 2012

Although not the most interesting of photographs this morning, it definitely excited those who are interested in space exploration and the study of Mars. Early this morning, NASA’s billion dollar rover plunged at 13,000 mph through the thin Mars atmosphere and landed inside a giant crater. It “beamed” back this black and white photo confirming […]

The shape of things to come, in aviation anyway

| July 18, 2012

   Do you ever wonder what aircraft of the future will look like? Well according to a CNET post from Edwards Airforce Base and the Dryden Flight Research Center, the X-48 “flying wing” inspired prototype could look something like the next generation aircraft … or are we closing in on spaceplanes? (click images for slightly […]

Links and more links: Do we really need more government?

| July 17, 2012

Said tongue in cheek, just to be clear … Without big government, individuals and their businesses couldn’t build anything, according to President Obama. I suspect if he had his way we’d even have more government funded federal programs and bureaucratic agencies to oversee innovative and productivity. (Wake up America … take a look at how […]

Space Shuttle Discovery takes a final ride to Washington DC

| April 17, 2012

It is still quite remarkable to see NASA haul around a giant space shuttle piggybacked on a modified Boeing747, this time it is Discovery heading to its final Washington DC Smithsonian home. For those of us who grew up with the entire space program it is indeed a sad end to an adventurous and exciting […]

Microsoft Co-Founder to Build Massive Jet for Space Launches

| December 13, 2011

Without NASA, the private sector has a bigger incentive to step up … Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen says he will use his wealth to build the world’s largest airplane as a mobile platform for launching satellites at low cost, which he believes could transform the space industry. Slated to be announced Tuesday, the novel, […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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