Friday, March 20, 2009

Well, Today's The Day!

Well, today is the last day on the current job and the start of the major packing for the move from the Bay Area and up to beautiful Shasta Lake area of Northern California.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Playing Footsie

As you probably have figured out by the name of this blog as well as my profile picture, I have a parrot. A female Green Wing Macaw to be exact.

I also have two cats Mal and Inarra (yes, I'm a Firefly fan...go figure).


Now Mal and Sunniva (the parrot) have gotten to be best friends. They will chase each other all over the house and play footsie with each other.

Needless to say, life is "interesting" in my house.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bit's O Space and a Dark Dance of Death (With repects to the BA)

Photo Curtasy of the Cassini Imaging Team

Cassini Answers More Questions

Take a look at the photo above. That bright dot in highlighted by the box is a new moon and it answers one of the multitude of questions that the Cassini Space Probe has brought forth. Namely, what is the possible source of Saturn's G Ring?

Saturn's rings were first spotted by Galileo 400 years ago and have since fascinated folks ever since. The rings themselves are named in the order of discovery but not the order that they are extended out from the planet so you have this - D C B A F G E. The G ring is one of the very diffuse rings out at the edge of the ring system and in 2007 a possible source of material was spotted by Cassini. A bright arc of large icy objects was seen but, unlike other rings, there was no shepherd moon associated with the ring. Shepherd moons act as a combination street cleaner/traffic cop for the rings. They clean up and define the rings with their gravity and the gravitational interactions with other Saturnian moons. In this case, the moon Mimas disturbes this little moon's orbit in such a way that it maintains the G ring's bright arc and supplies the rest of the ring with material to renew itself over selveral orbit.

Both Universe Today and The Bad Astronomer have a lot more information.

Twin Black Holes Found Locked In A Stellar Dance.

The BBC is reporting that researches have found very compelling evidence of a binary system of black holes orbiting each other in the same galaxy. Here's the link for all the details regarding the discovery.

A black hole is probably one of the wierdest things in the universe. Supermassive ones appear to be the power source in most, if not all, galaxies. They are created at the end of a massive stars life when the eons long battle between gravity and engergetic expansion finally reaches its end and gravity wins. A star has converted all the matter that can be converted and it's own gravity starts to compress the remaining matter down to a single point. So the star gets smaller but it still has the mass of a star. Since gravity is a product of mass, you have an object that may only be the size of a small city but having the gravitational influence of the original star. Too say wierd things happen at this point is an understatement.

Check out the absolutely fantastic Astronomy Cast for a ton of info on black holes and stellar life cycles. And check out The Bad Astronomer's 10 Things You Don't Know About The Sun!