The Editor: Can you answer some questions from our loyal readers, Lois ?
Dear T-abby: For sure, if they are in English.
PETA: What are the best animals for locating rain storms ?
Jim Jones: Is my Flavor Aid still the worst thing to drink ?
T-abby: For a quick death it ranks pretty high. For a slow wasting away for you and your children, you can’t beat this. Read the labels on all of them. Check the side effects of Aspartame, Splenda, and other artificial sweeteners.
BP President: Is ethanol and octane similar ?
NASCAR Cat: Shucks no, ethanol is the amount of alcohol in the gas, here is the definition of octane.
NYT Editor: Who is funding the head-choppers ?
Gillette Cat: The USA, with arms, money, and aid.
Illegal Immigrant: Are our government benefit cards and ID cards ready ?
Presidential Cat: They are being laminated now.
The Editor: Can you close with something funny, T-a ?
Here are some losers.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Explanation: As you (safely!) watched the progress of yesterday’s partial solar eclipse, you probably also spotted a giant sunspot group. Captured in this sharp telescopic image from October 22nd the complex AR 2192 is beautiful to see, a sprawling solar active region comparable in size to the diameter of Jupiter. Like other smaller sunspot groups, AR 2192 is now crossing the Earth-facing side of the Sun and appears dark in visible light because it is cooler than the surrounding surface. Still, the energy stored in the region’s twisted magnetic fields is enormous and has already generated powerful explosions, including two X-class solar flares this week. Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) associated with the flares have not affected planet Earth, so far. The forecast for further activity from AR 2192 is still significant though, as it swings across the center of the solar disk and Earth-directed CMEs become possible.
Tomorrow’s picture: the day after
Explanation: This wide, sharp telescopic view reveals galaxies scattered beyond the stars and faint dust nebulae of the Milky Way at the northern boundary of the high-flying constellation Pegasus. Prominent at the upper right is NGC 7331. A mere 50 million light-years away, the large spiral is one of the brighter galaxies not included in Charles Messier’s famous 18th century catalog. The disturbed looking group of galaxies at the lower left is well-known as Stephan’s Quintet. About 300 million light-years distant, the quintet dramatically illustrates a multiple galaxy collision, its powerful, ongoing interactions posed for a brief cosmic snapshot. On the sky, the quintet and NGC 7331 are separated by about half a degree.
Today: Partial Solar Eclipse
Tomorrow’s picture: pixels in space