Historical Videos of Nuclear Tests

The national Nuclear Security Administration's Nevad Site Office has made available a number of historically important videos for nuclear tests from the 1940s through the 1960s.  Apart from our common morbid fascination with things that go boom, you can always think of splicing these in as special effects for your next July 4th videos....

Videos at http://www.nv.doe.gov/library/films/testfilms.aspx.

"Recent" Planetary Collision around nearby Star

Recent, is of course, relative to the timescale involved.  In the case of planetary collisions and their aftermath, that can be a very long time, like, tens of millions of years.  So while very interesting, this isn't a train wreck (or planetary wreck) in progress, but the aftermath of one that is still settling.

Saturn Week

Well, okay, I made that up.  But the first two weeks of October, say Oct 4-17 will be a great time to be up early to view Saturn, Mercury, and Venus as they dance around the early morning sky during the morning twilight.  Saturn will actually be the faintest of the bunch.  On Oct 16, the crescent moon will have joined the fray and there will be a nice visual grouping of the three planets with the moon.

Urban Starfest

This annual event is sponsored by the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York in conjunction with the Urban Park Rangers.  Stargazing in Central Park's Sheep Meadow will be hosted by numerous amateur astronomers (and their telescopes!).  More details are available at the announcement page at the AAANY web site: http://www.aaa.org/index.aspx?LOBID=952

Urban Starfest on Saturday!

If you are New York City, this weekend is the annual Urban Starfest held in Sheep Meadow (Central Park).While those of you from more rural areas may think it something of a joke to have a (mini) star party in the middle of the a major city, you would be surprised at what you can see.  Of course, at this time, the first quarter moon and Jupiter are easily visible in the early evening and those alone are worth the trip out if you (or your children!) have never looked at them through a telescope.  And with some of the scopes, the brighter deep-sky objects will be readily d

astrofoto.org down time

I had a rather long outage due to a botched upgrade from which I am still recovering.  I had planned on upgrading from Fedora 8, to 9, then 10, and finally 11.  You have to upgrade incrementally, but the first step failed part way through after having started installing packages.  An attempt to retry crashed even earlier.  At that point, I decided to try a clean install of Fedora 11 while preserving my data partitions then recover configuration files from backup.  That failed, too.  Sigh. 


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