An Eccentric Anomaly: Astronomy

Ed Davies's Blog


Pages tagged: Astronomy

Things in space and in the sky in general

Transit of Mercury

I ended my previous blog post with “Looks like wind and/or rain (mostly “and”) till Friday now. We'll see.” We saw; it was. Though it dried up as the week went on it was windy until Friday, but things have been a bit better for the last few days - particularly today (Monday) for the transit of Mercury.

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Eclipse

Well that was an epic bit of ill-preparation and marginal weather but I did get to see something and take a few piccies.

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Infrared Myths

I see a lot of confusion about infrared when it comes to interactions with buildings, astronomy and so on. Here's a bit of a brain dump to refer to in such cases which I hope will throw some light, of various wavelengths, on the matter.

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A Rant About Kilograms On Mars

The CACM have published a reasonably interesting article by Gerard J. Holzmann about verification of the software on the Curiosity Rover: Mars Code.

Near the beginning, though, it says:

On Earth, Curiosity weighed 900 kg. It weighs no more than 337.5 kg on Mars because Mars is smaller than Earth.

Nope!

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Aurora

I've just posted this on the Wycombe Astronomical Society forum and thought I might as well put a copy here.

Saw aurora Sunday (February 23rd) and Thursday (27th) nights.

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Elsewhere

Some comments made on other people's blogs:

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Transit of Venus

This morning Venus transited the Sun. From here in Tongue only the last hour and a bit could possibly have been visible starting at sunrise at around 03:20Z (04:20 BST).

Frankly, the chances were fairly slim that the weather would co-operate but, given the excellent skies we had for the 2003 Transit of Mercury and 2004 Transit of Venus it seemed churlish not to at least give it a try.

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Scope Test

It's been over two years now since I last used my telescope. With the transit of Venus coming up on Wednesday morning I thought I'd give it a quick try.

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Failure Is An Option

We're coming up to the end of the last Space Shuttle mission. There's been a lot of agonizing about this being the end of US human spaceflight. Similarly, there's been a lot of wailing about the possible cancellation of the James Webb Space Telescope and the general disarray of NASA's programs over the next few years.

Frankly, I think this is all a bit misguided.

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Mercury

My horizon to the west is too high (about 7°) to see Jupiter today with the Sun far enough down. Still, Mercury was visible from about 19:15Z onwards, first through binoculars then directly, before it "set" behind a fairly stationary decaying cloud street.

With my pocket camera on a tripod I got:

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