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.



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


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.


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.




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.



Some comments made on other people's blogs:


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.


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.


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.



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: