Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Just an FYI that I am moving the blog. I kept running into dead links among older postings. Rather than hunt-and-peck and fix bit by bit, I am in the process of moving to a new blog to make it easier to clean up dead links, edit as needed, delete posts that no longer apply and the like.

So visit me at Bernal Alpha. New posts! Old posts migrating! Special guests! (Well, not sure about that, but maybe!)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


A new installment in NASA's galleries: a superbubble of gas in the Large Magellanic Cloud, imaged with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory.

Courtesy of a link provided by online friend Damien Walter, Jonathan Lethem on the Squandered Promise of Science Fiction. Do those who dabble in the genres of mystery or romance beat their chests as much over this sort of thing?
Graphical View

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is 130 years of temperature data combined in a short video. Smoking!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Combined Image

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a set of images from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-Ray Observatory combined for a fantastic look at this strange nebula.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Yes, It's Our Solar System

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day: Saturn's rings (nearly edge-on), Titan, Enceladus and the smoggy haze of Titan's atmosphere. Amazing sight from Cassini.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Images 04

The fourth installment in a quest to break through the backlog.

Baffin Island from IceBridge.

X-48 test flight.

Galactic dust.

Solar wings.

The Year of the Quiet Sun.


Saturn and Titan from Pioneer 11.

Napo River.

Alaskan mountains from IceBridge.

The city that never sleeps.

Expedition 35 launches.

Solar burps.

Guarding Expedition 35.

Expedition 35 rolls out.

Colorado plateau.

P-38 prepares for IceBridge.

Clouds over the Indian Ocean.

Light echoes from V838 Mon.

Expedition 34 arrives home.

Landforms on Mars.
Images 03

And more! Our third installment...

NASA is thinking about an asteroid capture mission. Hmmm...

Expedition 36 countdown! Expedition 36 launches!

Solar-electric propulsion test.

The Quiet Earth.

Balloon launch.

Tornado from orbit.

Test Rig.


Astro close-up.

Black-hole powered jets smash into a galaxy. Energy crisis? What energy crisis?

Test-bed vehicle on Greenland's ice.

Vapor trails of sounding rockets.

Orion test vehicle.

This ain't no disco.

3D view of "Mount Sharp".

The first battle of the coming technological singularity.

Planetary pulses.

Antares (cargo vehicle) test launch.

Wrapping up the IRIS.
Images 02

And now more from NASA's Image/Large Image archives. I'll probably do 10-15 of these at a go, to try and clear the backlog.

Alaska on a clear day.

Sally Ride.

A view from the Cupola on the ISS.


Moon and Sun.

Throat view.


Night launch from Wallops.

Tornado's path revealed in infrared.

When galaxies collide (happens more than you'd think, given all that empty space!).

Sunrise from space.

Rocket City, USA from space.
Image of the Day

And now an attempt to play "catch-up" with the Image and Large Image of the Day(s) from NASA.

Loading the Orion test bed for parachute tests.

Hubble eyes a spiral.

Invaders of Mars!!!

Gravity waves and sun glint.

Apollo 11 from Mission Control.

Galactic views from Hubble.

Say, "Cheese!"


On the road to Mount Sharp.

Dust plume off of Egypt.

Big Brother.

Remembering Pathfinder.

Apollo 8 Earthrise!

Belly launch.

Texas Night.

Prepping for launch.

Trying Orion on for size.

Super Moon over District of Columbia.

When galaxies collide.

Prepping IRIS.

More to come!
The Space Review

O.K., here's how we play catch-up. There's no way I can do justice to the fine articles posted each week in The Space Review by doing some sort of overwhelming summary, so visit the site and explore! You won't be disappointed!
Almost Two Full Months of APOD

O.K., here we go! Almost two full months of celestial wonders, the beauty of our planet, rocketry and more!

06/10/13: The wonders of the Large Magellanic Clouds in UV light (mouseover).

06/11/13: Star-forming regions of NGC 2582.

06/12/13: The Whole Mercurian Catalog (video)!

06/13/13: Four planets at once.

06/14/13: Sharpless 115 and hot young stars.

06/15/13: Signs of an unknown comet.

06/16/13: Happy birthday to APOD!

06/17/13: Geological signs, sandworms or signs of martian sledding activities (where's Richard C. Hoagland when you need him?)?

06/18/13: Supercell!!!

06/19/13: Milky Way over Crater Lake with Airglow mouseover).

06/20/13: Hamburger Galaxy (NGC 3628), close-up of edge-on view.

06/21/13: Solstice!

06/22/13: Full Moon over Poseidon.

06/23/13: Red Hot Blues on Venus. Any Crazy Oil?

06/24/13: Porpoise Galaxy (NGC 2396/Arp 142).

06/25/13: listen, there's a hell of a universe next door, let's go

06/26/13: Meet the neighbor.

06/27/13: Noctilucent clouds over Moscow.

06/28/13: Super-Moon's super halo!

06/29/13: The anti-tail of Comet PanSTAARS.

06/30/13: Hyperion. Our strange Solar System.

07/01/13: Out of the cradle, endlessly circling (another view tomorrow).

07/02/13: There's a hole in my bucket (a different view from yesterday).

07/03/13: Peaceful stars and electrical arcs.

07/04/13: Starburst Galaxy and Superwind.

07/05/13: Globular Cluster NGC 6752.

07/06/13: Mega-Spiral (NGC 6384).

07/07/13: Still Life with Reflecting Dust.

07/08/13: Nothing new is ever found in the Solar System.

07/09/13: Gamma Cygni (blue supergiant, dusty and nebulous backdrop).

07/10/13: Hot spots.

07/11/13: Bull Dust.

07/12/13: Messier's Eleven (mouseover).

07/13/13: Solar tracks.

07/14/13: Pillars of Creation.

07/15/13: Sombrero (Messier 104).

07/16/13: ZONDS!

07/17/13: A sight to make a boater quiver in fear.

07/18/13: Eye See 342!

07/19/13: Saturn snapshot (reverse angle).

07/20/13: Comet Lemmon in the Deep Sky.

07/21/13: All the Seasons of Saturn.

07/22/13: The Earth-Moon system from Saturn.

07/23/13: Two sides of the coin: The Earth-Moon system from the orbit of Mercury and the orbit of Saturn.

07/24/13: A year in the life.

07/25/13: Trifid (one of my favorite parts of the sky!).

07/26/13: Elephant's Trunk.

07/27/13: Clouds (terrestrial and galactic) over the driest place on Earth.
Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?

Howdy! Long time, no post. Lots of reasons: increased family stuff, much increased work stuff (coupled, oddly, with a decrease in staff...couldn't be a coincidence now, could it?). And, a desire/thought to reboot this blog into a new form (partly to clean up dead links, but also thinking of changes in directions and such).

Well, no time for that reboot. And after getting some plaintive e-mails (!) asking me what was up, I figured I'd get going again, at least until the start of the school year (when some of the family stuff should quiet down) or possibly the end of the calendar year (when I make a final decision on reboot/kill entirely).

Phase I: The Catch-Up! I'll start by posting all the missed APOD's an the like. Which means this will probably be pretty boring and very linky for a bit. But maybe better than radio silence?

Sunday, June 09, 2013


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a short video showing auroral curtains over the skies of Norway.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Life is Strange When You're Flying in Stereo

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day will have you opening dusty drawers and boxes looking for your blue/green and red anaglyphic glasses for a view of Messier and Messier A on our Moon.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Cosmic Flyer

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows NGC 5302, better known (for obvious reasons) as The Butterfly Nebula.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Sidewise in Size

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a short video showing us how big is big. How big are the planets in the Solar System? How big is the Sun vs. other stars?