An excellent adaptation of one Ray Bradbury’s stories from “The Martian Chronicles”. The Martians in this story are dead. Their cities are vacant. But ..
“The Moon be Still as Bright” originally aired on “Dimension X” on September 29, 1950.
Some nice footage of a meteor in the southern skies. A few ufologists are clinging to otherworldly explanations of this event. But we’re comfortable with the natural explanation. This time.
Neptune doesn’t get much love. It isn’t the biggest planet. It doesn’t have cool rings. It’s not the smallest. Or the closest. Or the fastest. And H.G. Wells didn’t imagine conquers streaming from it’s surface.
In fact, you ask most people to offer some distinguishing feature about the planet. They can’t. It’s current dubious honor is being the most distant planet now that Pluto has been demoted to a “dwarf planet”. Astronomers may like that. No one else does.
But this week it gets a celebration nonetheless. Because July 12, 2011 marks its first completion of a passage around the sun since it was first discovered in 1846. Yup, it takes 164.79 earth years to go around the sun.
Happy Anniversary, Neptune? What are you going to do to celebrate?
Here SETI founder Frank Drake offers a clear explanation of why SETI has failed. This comes from the BBC documentary “The Search for Life – The Drake Equation” which aired in the UK this week.
Drake explanation offers a path forward. And would provide a good benchmark for fund-raising. It’s surprising that more haven’t used Drake’s argument.
Earth had another in its long line of close calls, according to the Telegraph, when two asteroids narrowly missed hitting the earth this week:
The first asteriod christened 2010 RX30, was about 65 feet (20 metres) in diameter and flew past at a distance of 154,000 miles early at 9:51am on Wednesday.
The second, called 2010 RF12, was roughly two-thirds the size of its big brother and estimated to pass within just 49,088 miles of Earth hours later.
While they were visible to many amateur stargazers, space agency researchers said neither asteroid posed a risk to earth.
Experts, however, said the “double-whammy” served as a reminder of other potentially hazardous objects expected to narrowly miss Earth in coming years.
Why do we find it so disturbing that such a potential catastrophe could happen on a Wednesday? Wednesday just isn’t a day for catastrophes. Monday? Sure. Tuesday? Definitely. Even Thursday has a bit of a doom-halo about it. But Wednesday? No, it just doesn’t seem possible.
This animated gif shows footage of the recent “near-miss” asteroid captured by a team of Italian astronomers. Click on image to see it move.
The asteroid, dubbed 2010 AL30, passed by earth on Wednesday at a distance of one-third that of the distance between the Earth and the Moon. However, it never was on a course to impact with Earth. And, even if it had been, it would have likely burned up in the atmosphere.
Space has a smell. Well, at least that’s what some recent shuttle astronauts say.
In an article from Discovery On, astronaut Gregory Charmitoff says:
I haven’t had a chance to do a spacewalk yet, but when the other guys did and they came back in, there’s this really, really strong metallic smell.
While astronaut Kevin Ford adds:
It’s like something I haven’t ever smelled before, but I’ll never forget it … You know how those things stick with you.
The astronauts have taken to calling it “the smell of space.”
This last week was a busy one at the blog. Full of fun, cool, and informative stories. We’ll take you through that excitement one more time.
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