Archive for ‘Astronomy’

October 16, 2011

Timelapse frame captures falling meteor.

On a recent trip to southern Alberta, I set up my camera to record a timelapse sequence overnight. Unfortunately, cloud cover swept in and my exposure settings resulted in too dark a sequence. However, in one frame, at 2:33 AM on the 23 of September, this image appeared:

"Meteor photographed in Red Rock Coulee, Alberta."

© Adrian Thysse 2011. Click to enlarge...

I happened to be awake at that time, and I did notice an extended flash behind me, but I passed it off as a lightening flash and went back to sleep. I only realized what had happened when I scrolled through the images later that morning.

Photo Facts: RAW capture, ISO 1600, 25 sec. @ about f3.5 /5.6 (manual lens, f stop not recorded). Lightened 2 stops in Lightroom 3.5. Image © Adrian Thysse 2011

August 13, 2010

Looting the Library…

…with their permission of course.

The Edmonton Public Library is having a sale today in Sir Winston Churchill Square. Even with rain in the offing attendance was strong, and I only just manage to reach the teller with my two bags of loot before the line-up started building. My pillage?

Loot of the Day

Total spent? $27.00

Tags: , ,
July 27, 2010

The Bad Astronomer does The Bad Universe

Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy blog will be presenting a new Discovery Channel series called Phil Plait’s Bad Universe. In three parts, Phil Plait will be examining some misconceptions held about astronomy and science.

July 24, 2010

Neil deGrasse Tyson on the Cosmic Perspective

Star Formation

Be humble…

Of all the sciences cultivated by mankind, Astronomy is acknowledged to be, and undoubtedly is, the most sublime, the most interesting, and the most useful. For, by knowledge derived from this science, not only the bulk of the Earth is discovered . . . ; but our very faculties are enlarged with the grandeur of the ideas it conveys, our minds exalted above [their] low contracted prejudices.

James Ferguson, Astronomy Explained Upon Sir Isaac Newton’s Principles, And Made Easy To Those Who Have Not Studied Mathematics (1757)

Long before anyone knew that the universe had a beginning, before we knew that the nearest large galaxy lies two and a half million light-years from Earth, before we knew how stars work or whether atoms exist, James Ferguson’s enthusiastic introduction to his favorite science rang true. Yet his words, apart from their eighteenth-century flourish, could have been written yesterday.

But who gets to think that way? Who gets to celebrate this cosmic view of life? Not the migrant farmworker. Not the sweatshop worker. Certainly not the homeless person rummaging through the trash for food. You need the luxury of time not spent on mere survival. You need to live in a nation whose government values the search to understand humanity’s place in the universe. You need a society in which intellectual pursuit can take you to the frontiers of discovery, and in which news of your discoveries can be routinely disseminated. By those measures, most citizens of industrialized nations do quite well.

Yet the cosmic view comes with a hidden cost. When I travel thousands of miles to spend a few moments in the fast-moving shadow of the Moon during a total solar eclipse, sometimes I lose sight of Earth.

Read the rest of  The Cosmic Perspective by Neil deGrasse Tyson, originally published in Natural History Magazine, April 2007.

(Image: Like a July 4 fireworks display a young, glittering collection of stars looks like an aerial burst. The cluster is surrounded by clouds of interstellar gas and dust – the raw material for new star formation. The nebula, located 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina, contains a central cluster of huge, hot stars, called NGC 3603. NASA, ESA, R. O’Connell (University of Virginia), F. Paresce (National Institute for Astrophysics, Bologna, Italy), E. Young (Universities Space Research Association/Ames Research Center), the WFC3 Science Oversight Committee, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA))

November 9, 2009

Carl Sagan Day

Remembering Carl Sagan, whose birthday is today.

This video, by Melodysheep, has been viewed over a million and a half times –  a fitting tribute to Sagan’s great ability as a popularizer of science and rationality.Visit the Carl Sagan Portal for more information.

March 15, 2009

My Sunday Best – 15 March, 2009

Blog posts that tickled my fancy during the last week:

How to rot down dead bodies: the Tet Zoo body farm

Can Society Make Ethical Decisions Without Science?

Spread the joy of astronomy with a Galileoscope

Flap-necked Chameleon

Adaptation of the Week – the Insect Dorsal Ocelli

Furry Bug

A journey through time

Dalai Lama – Freedom Fighter or just a great Salesman

9.Greg Laden’s Blog

Return Of The Green Pickup
(from his Congo Memoirs)

10.Wanderin’ Weeta (With Waterfowl and Weeds)

Invisible fences

(Stained glass painting by Yuet Chan)  

March 1, 2009

My Sunday Best 1 March, 2009

My choices for the 10 Blog posts that in some way tickled my fancy during the last week:

1. Science Musings Blog

Most excellent creatures all

New Insect Wallpapers

The 10 Greatest Web Videos of Marine Invertebrates

Ant News Roundup 2/24/09
(with cool photo of Cephalotes turtle ants )

Sanctuary for the Betulaceae

6. Catalogue of Organisms
Maison Verreaux – Animal Specimens of All Varieties

The Tragedy of Saartje Baartman

Parasites can change the balance of entire communities


My Favourite PhD Comics


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