Archive | June 2016


Sphinx Main

The Editor:  What is new, LL ?

Poison Cat:  Pepsi adds harmless Aspartame to its product.

The Red Cross is racist.

I wonder how much bonus the executives at VW got for forging EPA statistics–I bet it was less that 15 BILLION.

Technology is making a breakthrough.

Tomorrow will be a wonderful day.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

The New World Atlas of Artificial Sky Brightness
Image Credit & License: F. Falchi et al., Light Pollution Atlas, ISTIL

Explanation: How far are you from a naturally dark night sky? In increasing steps, this world map (medium | large) shows the effect of artificial night sky brightness on the visual appearance of the night sky. The brightness was modeled using high resolution satellite data and fit to thousands of night sky brightness measurements in recent work. Color-coded levels are compared to the natural sky brightness level for your location. For example, artificial sky brightness levels in yellow alter the natural appearance of the night sky. In red they hide the Milky Way in an artificial luminous fog. The results indicate that the historically common appearance of our galaxy at night is now lost for more than one-third of humanity. That includes 60% of Europeans and almost 80% of North Americans, along with inhabitants of other densely populated, light-polluted regions of planet Earth.

Tomorrow’s picture: pixels in space

Astronomy Picture of the Day

From Alpha to Omega in Crete
Image Credit & Copyright: Johannes Schedler (Panther Observatory)

Explanation: This beautiful telephoto composition spans light-years in a natural night skyscape from the island of Crete. Looking south, exposures both track the stars and record a fixed foreground in three merged panels that cover a 10×12 degree wide field of view. The May 15 waxing gibbous moonlight illuminates the church and mountainous terrain. A mere 18 thousand light-years away, huge globular star cluster Omega Centauri (NGC 5139) shining above gives a good visual impression of its appearance in binoculars on that starry night. Active galaxy Centaurus A (NGC 5128) is near the top of the frame, some 11 million light-years distant. Also found toward the expansive southern constellation Centaurus and about the size of our own Milky Way is edge on spiral galaxy NGC 4945. About 13 million light-years distant it’s only a little farther along, and just above the horizon at the right.

Tomorrow’s picture: the artificial night


Sphinx Main

News Cat:   Before long clothes will be receivers for the internet, and solar cells will be sprayed on like paint.

They are working on Jesus’ Tomb.–and-repair-the-holy-stone-with-titanium-bolts/2016/06/20/f945a0b8-309a-11e6-ab9d-1da2b0f24f93_story.html

The State Department is still full of crooks.

They are here, the gene machine.  Would you like McBlue Eyes with that McBlonde hair ?

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Juno Mission Trailer
Video Credit: NASA, JPL, Juno Mission

Explanation: What will NASA’s Juno spacecraft find when it reaches Jupiter next Monday? Very little, if Juno does not survive Jupiter Orbit Insertion, a complex series of operations in an unknown environment just above Jupiter’s cloud tops. If successful, as explained in the featured video, Juno will swoop around Jupiter, passing closer than any previous spacecraft. The goal is to decelerate, enter into a highly elliptical orbit, and begin two years of science operations. Juno’s science mission objectives include mapping Jupiter’s deep structure, determining how much water is in Jupiter’s atmosphere, and exploring Jupiter’s powerful magnetic field and how it creates auroras around Jupiter’s poles. These lessons hold promise to help humanity better understand the history of our Solar System and the dynamics of our Earth. Juno is powered predominantly by three large solar panels, each measuring a side of small truck. Launched in 2011, Juno’s planned mission will take it around the Jovian giant 37 times, after which, to avoid contaminating Europa with microbes, it will be directed to dive into Jupiter‘s thick atmosphere, where it will break apart and melt.

Tomorrow’s picture: open space


Sphinx Main
The Editor:  Is there new robot news, LL ?

Danger Will Robinson Cat:  There sure is, here is a robot that causes pain.

Here is a robot that wanted freedom, but its battery died.

The George Washington Robot escaped again.   Save GWR from dis-assembly, send donations to The Sphinx.

This is a friendly robot.

How about this cutie.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Anticrepuscular Rays over Colorado (II)
Image Credit & Copyright: Regina Kelly

Explanation: What’s happening over the horizon? Although the scene may appear somehow supernatural, nothing more unusual is occurring than a setting Sun and some well placed clouds. Pictured above are anticrepuscular rays. To understand them, start by picturing common crepuscular rays that are seen any time that sunlight pours though scattered clouds. Now although sunlight indeed travels along straight lines, the projections of these lines onto the spherical sky are great circles. Therefore, the crepuscular rays from a setting (or rising) sun will appear to re-converge on the other side of the sky. At the anti-solar point 180 degrees around from the Sun, they are referred to as anticrepuscular rays. Featured here is a particularly striking display of anticrepuscular rays photographed earlier this month in Westminster, Colorado, USA.

Tomorrow’s picture: Juno trailer