Archive | November 2015


Sphinx Main

Spider Man:   Will there be any women left after the giant spiders kill everyone wearing panties, LL ?

Victoria Secret Cat:   The Cincinnati Ben-Gals cheerleaders.– 379579%2FRK%3D0%2FRS%3DPYht0n.HKGNsvC88tT8JpHKWbKQ

Weather Man:  What does the Royalty of Europe think of climate change, VSC ?

Cool Cat:    I now know why they have lost most of their power.     They are just too inbred–they are genetically stupid.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

In the Center of Spiral Galaxy NGC 3521
Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA and S. Smartt (Queen’s University Belfast); Acknowledgement: Robert Gendler

Explanation: This huge swirling mass of stars, gas, and dust occurs near the center of a nearby spiral galaxy. Gorgeous spiral NGC 3521 is a mere 35 million light-years distant, toward the constellation Leo. Spanning some 50,000 light-years, its central region is shown in this dramatic image, constructed from data from the Hubble Space Telescope. The close-up view highlights this galaxy’s characteristic multiple, patchy, irregular spiral arms laced with dust and clusters of young, blue stars. In contrast, many other spirals exhibit grand, sweeping arms. A relatively bright galaxy in planet Earth’s sky, NGC 3521 is easily visible in small telescopes, but often overlooked by amateur imagers in favor of other Leo spiral galaxies, like M65 and M66.

Tomorrow’s picture: stars without fire

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Dark Sand Cascades on Mars
Image Credit: HiRISE, MRO, LPL (U. Arizona), NASA

Explanation: They might look like trees on Mars, but they’re not. Groups of dark brown streaks have been photographed by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on melting pinkish sand dunes covered with light frost. The above image was taken in 2008 April near the North Pole of Mars. At that time, dark sand on the interior of Martian sand dunes became more and more visible as the spring Sun melted the lighter carbon dioxide ice. When occurring near the top of a dune, dark sand may cascade down the dune leaving dark surface streaks — streaks that might appear at first to be trees standing in front of the lighter regions, but cast no shadows. Objects about 25 centimeters across are resolved on this image spanning about one kilometer. Close ups of some parts of this image show billowing plumes indicating that the sand slides were occurring even while the image was being taken.

Tomorrow’s picture: swirling galaxy

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Rosetta and Comet Outbound
Image Credit & Copyright: Damian Peach/SEN

Explanation: Not a bright comet, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko now sweeps slowly through planet Earth’s predawn skies near the line-up of planets along the ecliptic. Still, this composite of telescopic images follows the comet’s progress as it moves away from the Sun beyond the orbit of Mars, from late September (left) through late November (far right). Its faint but extensive coma and tails are viewed against the colorful background of stars near the eastern edge of the constellation Leo. A year ago, before its perihelion passage, the comet was less active, though. Then the Rosetta mission’s lander Philae made it’s historic landing, touching down on the surface of the comet’s nucleus.

Tomorrow’s picture: not martian trees


Sphinx Main
The Editor:  Do you know about robots, LL ?

Yes,Yes,Yes,Yes Cat:   I do.  In science fiction they have been around for years.  Isaac Asimov   wrote about them a lot.   His robots had three basic rules, so humans couldn’t create something that they couldn’t control and would kill them.   It is like the Federal Government, but with some control over it.

The Editor:   What are the three basic rules, YYYYC ?

Trouble Will Robinson Cat:   Here they are.

The Editor:   That kind of sounds like our Constitution used to function, before I’ll take your money and rights people took over.

Robby The Robot Cat:  That is a good analogy.  Here is what the new-improved ideas are.

I’m sure it will sort itself out.     UH OH, UH OH, UH OH.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Gravity’s Grin
Image Credit: X-ray – NASA / CXC / J. Irwin et al. ; Optical – NASA/STScI

Explanation: Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, published 100 years ago this month, predicted the phenomenon of gravitational lensing. And that’s what gives these distant galaxies such a whimsical appearance, seen through the looking glass of X-ray and optical image data from the Chandra and Hubble space telescopes. Nicknamed the Cheshire Cat galaxy group, the group’s two large elliptical galaxies are suggestively framed by arcs. The arcs are optical images of distant background galaxies lensed by the foreground group’s total distribution of gravitational mass dominated by dark matter. In fact the two large elliptical “eye” galaxies represent the brightest members of their own galaxy groups which are merging. Their relative collisional speed of nearly 1,350 kilometers/second heats gas to millions of degrees producing the X-ray glow shown in purple hues. Curiouser about galaxy group mergers? The Cheshire Cat group grins in the constellation Ursa Major, some 4.6 billion light-years away.

Tomorrow’s picture: light-weekend


Sphinx Main
The Editor:   Do cats celebrate Thanksgiving, LL ?

Pilgrim Cat:   We certainly do.  It is my favorite holiday, stuffed mouse, mole dressing, it is for family, friends, and being thankful.  Here is a Tar Heel who does a good job of being thankful, besides writing about sports.