Wednesday, March 6, 2013


It’s not a near miss, nowhere near our geosynchronous orbit, but it is near enough. Near enough that we would assume that our guardians might have caught it! It is not that there is another asteroid flying towards us in what has already been an eventful year, it’s that it was just caught a few days ago. Still think that these cross the board cuts were a good thing? I try to always stay clear of politics, but this is one glaring error. Truth is somebody should have noticed a 333 foot wide asteroid coming towards us, even if it will miss us by 600,000 miles. It is a huge sky out there, and while we have the technology, we don’t seem to think it is important enough to guarantee the funds. More important to give to the Defense fund…FYI – this IS defense!!!...Okay, I feel a tad better, sorry.

Biological waste becomes Radiation Protection. It is patently true that the best defense to radiation is biological. In Radiation Protection three factors are important; Time, Distance, and Shielding. In space we can’t mitigate the time factor, while distance from the Sun will help, there are other galactic sources so it is something that will always be a concern, and that leaves Shielding. Gamma Radiation is plentiful in space and as such must one of the concerns in a long flight such as Mars. Gamma rays are best shielded from through materials whose atoms are heavy with nuclei and one such material would be Feces. Sounds, well, gross. Now put it in a liquid, say water. Sound familiar? It is similar to NASA’s Water Walls plan. Of course the plan is also to filter clean water from that location of their protection and while perhaps it makes sense from a technical point of view, it may need to be reconsidered to take into account the psychological point of view. This is for people who are traveling on a 501 day mission. The married couple who are to make a flyby of Mars…Let’s see how it progresses, shall we?

And finally; LOOK UP!!! PanSTARRS, the most recent comet to emerge from the Oort cloud is within days of being visible to us in the Northern Hemisphere. So here are some tips – scope out a good place where you can view a good portion of the sky, not just up. If you don’t live away from the city, maybe you need to view it at an observatory, or make a trip of it to “the country’! This comet is viewable by the naked eye, but if you can use binoculars or other assistance, you will get a better view of her tail! BEST NIGHT should be ~March 10th to March 13th. When she appears in the sky she will on each subsequent night be rising higher in the sky. I know this isn’t something everybody will think is cool, but you really should catch either this one of ISON expected October to December of this year as comets within viewing range for the naked eye aren’t that frequent. FYI-ISON is expected to put on quite a show! But a degree this way of that and fizz. PanSTARRS tail could be intense! Why not catch them both?

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