Amazing View

NASA did a Live Stream event today (it might still be going on, not sure) to release the first official images taken by the Webb Telescope.

Spectacular is a massive understatement.

Yeah… color me dazzled. Thanks, Webb!

Chef Lardo

The chicken is in the oven, the veggies are all prepped. I have about 7.5 minutes before I have to start prepping the quinoa, and I typo’d the word “the” twice in the first sentence.

Yup, it’s time for bed.

It’s December 6th today and the weather is weird. It was raining and blah all day, but it was also warm. The temps were in the high 50’s. I actually thought about opening up some windows, and I had my little desktop fan on for a while. How crazy is that?

Today at lunch I read about a mini-galaxy with a black hole at the center that is almost as big as ours. That does not compute, but it is also awesomely cool. There was a lot of online buzz about the two Walking Dead shows from last night. Well… not Fear, that show was atrocious and pretty much everyone agrees. No, the item of interest happened a couple hours after the episode aired when they announced the original lead character, who was supposed to have been killed off three years ago, is coming back. Oh good. I sure the writing they use to pull that off will be stellar. Yes.

Also, lots of buzz about the end of World Beyond. Specifically the post credit scene where we visit another country for the first time, and a tie in to the original show’s season one finale. It’s interesting and all, but it seems odd to give us a cliff hanger at the end of a show that literally no longer exists. I mean, it would have worked better if they told us where we could expect the pay off to come from. As it is we know there’s a road trip spin off from the main show coming, an anthology show which seems like a convenient excuse to bring back dead characters without retconning the way the morons at Fear are about to, and a set of hypothetical, near mythical movies. Safe to assume any payoff would be in the theaters, but who the hell knows. Whatever, the end of World Beyond was pretty satisfying and on the whole the two seasons ended in a way that makes me happy I stuck with it.

Okay. Time to prep the quinoa. Enough of this TV recap bullshit. It’s time for Chef Lard Ass to get-a-cookin’!

The Great Conjunction

We are hoping we’ll be able to see The Great Conjunction tonight. If we do, I won’t have my Nikon with me. It’s in the closet that Santa used to stash the gifts he got for me, so it’s off limits (hehehe). It isn’t going to matter though, I don’t think. The two planets are hanging out in the South Western sky and we have cloud cover in that direction. I went out about half an hour ago to see if there was anything viewable. Even without the clouds, they would have been hidden behind the trees. We’ll try again after work (about half an hour from now) and if need be we might drive to another location. A park or a field or something. Someplace reasonably close that doesn’t have all the trees or the sick light pollution that we have in our neighborhood.

In closing, here is Astronomy Domine by The Pink Floyd. Syd Barrett knew this thing was coming all the way back in 1967…

Lime and limpid green, a second scene
Now fights between the blue you once knew
Floating down, the sound resounds
Around the icy waters underground
Jupiter and Saturn, Oberon, Miranda and Titania
Neptune, Titan, stars can frighten

Venus

A European/Japanese probe, on it’s way to Mercury, took a few quick shots of Venus as it flew by this week. Is there life in those clouds? Maybe. Will this probe give us an answer? Nope. Are the pictures awesome? Very much so.

Life on Venus? Hell Yes!

Is there life on Venus? You wouldn’t think so…

UNTIL NOW!!!

Well… it’s probably not life. I haven’t read the article yet, but I’ve read the author’s tweet storm where he talks it through. It’s probably just something that on Earth is biological, but elsewhere is just some goofy chemistry that we haven’t seen in these parts yet.

Still… even though this isn’t even close to evidence that there is life on another planet, I am going to choose to error on the side of massive overreaction and say, WOOOHOOO! Life on Venus, babie!

We Know What Ceres Looks Like

Finally, we can say that we know what the Dwarf Planet Ceres looks like! No longer are we only able to view blurry images from Hubble. Now we can see a clear enough image to actually make out surface features!

Click on the image to read the article from which I stole the pic (sorry about that). This is cool. The Dawn probe will be orbiting Ceres in March, and doing actual research in April How fricken cool is that!?

Distant Vacation Home?

Did you read this? They found what is probably a rocky planet inside a star’s habitable zone!

What do they know about it? It orbits a red dwarf, so I would guess the year would be much shorter than Earth’s. They know it’s size is comparable to Earth. They don’t know jack else except that it’s something like 500 light years away, so don’t be planning your vacation quite yet. Even the Millennium Falcon would need hundreds of years to get there (as she only makes 0.5 past light speed).

What they do know, is that if the atmosphere (assuming [hoping] there is an atmosphere) and the pressure play nicely water could exist as a liquid on the surface. They’ve found planets in the habitable zone before, but none of them had a size similar to Earth. Some of the others might be rocky, but they were all big enough that there was a good chance they’d be gas.

So what does this mean? Honestly? For your every day life it means squat. For the potential of finding a second planet to live on if we somehow manage to create a propulsion system that wouldn’t require 1000 years of travel? It’s pretty freakin’ huge news.

Now they need to try and figure out what it’s made of, what it has for an atmosphere, and if maybe it might have some water on the surface, and if there might be some algae living in the water.

Science RULES!