Thursday, August 17, 2006

fire in the sky

a couple of weeks ago in boston, the hippie and i were up late watching stars fall--the perseids were ramping up. the peak for this meteor shower this year was actually last weekend, but you should still be able to see some action in the sky until around the end of next week. lucky for us, we will be at the beach this weekend--this affords some lovely dark sky and should make for good viewing. and since we'll be with ralph and mary--i KNOW we'll be up late enough to see a little bit of fire. (just in case you don't know what the hell i am talking about--the perseids is a meteor shower caused by the earth passing through the dusty remnants left behind by comet swift-tuttle. it's called the perseids because the metors appear to originate from the constellation perseus. meteor showers are best viewed a few hours after midnight.)

in other astronomical news, voyager 1 is apparently still chugging along. i am not sure whether i am more impressed that it's 9.3 billion miles (!!!) away or that something NASA built is still running after 30 years. both facts are simply amazing. this stuff REALLY makes me miss teaching!


Meredith said...

It doesn't surprise me that some old school NASA gear is still runnning. If something they built in the last ten years lasted for more than about 5 years, well, then I'd be really impressed.

Faster, better, cheaper is generally neither faster nor cheaper and is virtually never better.

jackie said...

this is an EXCELLENT point. those guys who used a bunch a slide rules at warp speed actually knew wtf they were doing. sad that the saturn V technology is probably still the best NASA has had to date.