Tuesday, April 27, 2010

On The Edge Of The

Scientific Frontier

The moon from my balcony. 4/25/10

Lost laser reflector found 40 years later, on the moon.

From Space.com;

The French-built laser reflector was sent aboard the unmanned Soviet Luna 17 mission, which landed on the moon on Nov. 17, 1970 and released a robotic rover that roamed the lunar surface and carried the sought after laser reflector.

The Soviet lander and its rover, called Lunokhod 1, were last heard from on Sept. 14, 1971.

A Lunokhod Rover

The Luna 17 Lander

The tracks you see around the lander, are those from the Lunokhod rover that wandered miles off course in 1971. It was assumed lost, or damaged, until this month, when images from the Lunar Orbiter showed a reflection from the lander. Scientists on earth, who had been using other reflectors to bounce their laser beams, pointed at the coordinates for the rediscovered hardware on April 22, and got a strong return.

Scientists say that this reflector, combined with the 2 placed on the moon by the Apollo 11 astronauts, and another Soviet reflector that didn't get lost, will help them pinpoint the exact center of the moon, and the data will help to further the studies of gravity and Einsteinian theory.

Lightning On Saturn
Lightning  Flashing on Saturn
For movie link, click the picture.

To see lightning on Saturn, the Cassini team had to wait until the equinox so that the rings wouldn't be lighting up the night side of the planet.

The Cassini mission continues to demonstrate that there is more to American science and technology than designing stuff to blow up mud huts in the cradle of civilization. Some of us are using our technology to discover the wonders of space, and our solar system.

Graphic preview of Cassini and Enceladus flyby.

On April 27
at 21:09 UTC, Cassini will reach the periapse of Rev130, its closest point to Saturn in the orbit. At periapse, the spacecraft will be 153,900 kilometers (94,690 miles) above Saturn's cloud tops. A few hours after periapse, Cassini will fly by the icy moon Enceladus, passing at an altitude of 99 kilometers (62 miles) on April 28 at 00:10 UTC. This is Cassini's 10th targeted encounter with Enceladus. More at the Cassini site, HERE.

Big Wind Gusts

Wind Gusts from Phil Seymour on Vimeo.

More Wind
I went to John's shop to take some pictures today. When I came in, the radio was on in the background. Like a lot of people, John likes background noise while he is working. Today he had right wing lunatic talk radio on. They have such luminaries as Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity delivering their uncontested opinions with outrage and utter disdain for anyone who would question their veracity. They are the voice of the Republican party, the Tea party, the Birthers, the Enders, and all the other unhappy, "our way is the only way", party's.

Today's topic,
(before I turned off the radio), was the Arizona immigration craziness. I listened for a minute or so, to the nonstop outrage, and I realized that I couldn't tell whether they were arguing for it, or against it. I asked John and he wasn't sure either, so I turned it off and made some video clips and pictures of John's latest project.

'Bench Copy' Stradivari

John fits the heated and bent wood for the sides. 4/27/10

John received
some casts from a 1715 Stradivari violin which he is using to make an exact, as possible, copy, to see and hear how it plays. This will be fun to follow and document with multi media for a followup to the viola iBook for the iPad.

The viola book
is coming along nicely, and I am catching up on the extra features while the viola is seasoning in the sunny, shop window. John says the exposure to the sun's ultra violet radiation, effects the wood in such a way that it bonds better with the varnish.

I have begun tracking down forums of e-book authors, and designers, who are writing for the iPad. I have only found one small group so far, but I am just getting started with reaching out to other people with a similar vision. Step by step.

My Kitchen Calendar
April is about done. 4/27/10

I think I might miss the Argentinian horned frog with a mouth so big, he can eat bugs, birds, fish, and mice. I am not sure what next month will bring, like reality, I don't turn the page until it's time.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

More Than You Know - The Platters

We Are What We Eat

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