Poetry by the Iguana, and Other Stories

Many people have unexpected gifts, and the Iguana surprised everyone by telling his view of the galaxy in poetry. Everyone but me, that is. I've always known he speaks in lyrics!

Hi! Zantippy Skiphop here! I tell the tales of my adventures in the galaxy with my friends! Iguana likes to stay in his Earth swamp, so his book got written while I was trapped in an extraterrestrial jail. Don't worry, I escaped, so we are all about to tell you lots more stories!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Interview with Meteorite Men in the February issue of Astronomy Wise!

Whoops, late getting this here! In the February issue of Astronomy Wise, David interviews Geoff Notkin and Steve Arnold, from the show, Meteorite Men! Answer a question from the interview to enter to win one of their signed books. There are articles on the night sky, how stars shine, and one on free astronomy and space Android apps, including one that tracks asteroids! Active Astronomy tells you how to make your telescope polar aligned, and I wrote some haikus for Jupiter's moons.

Once you go to the February issue, click on the full screen icon, then click on the book icon and click "index" to pick whichever articles you want to read first. Have fun!

Astronomy Wise February Issue

Friday, February 15, 2013

NASA Livestream of Asteroid Fly-by, and in Other News, a Fireball Flies Over Russia

Asteroid 2012 DA14 will skim by Earth today, and NASA is hosting a livestream/chat! The livestream will start at around the time of closest approach, which will be around 2pm EST in the U.S., and around dawn on the 16th in Australia and New Zealand. You can watch the livestream of the asteroid at this NASA site!

NASA is also having to put out internet fires started by doomsday people who are saying that not only will this asteroid hit us, but that the fireball over Russia was part of it. The fireball may have been a meteor, but it had nothing to do with 2012 DA14.

I'm tired of calling the asteroid 2012 DA14, so I'll call him Harry.

But Harry may hit us next year! Harry's orbit around the Sun takes about the same time as Earth's. All it would take would be a nudge-too-much from Earth's gravity to put Harry in an orbit that will intersect with Earth in 2012. This has a very small chance of happening, though, and in fact, once Harry passes today, his new orbital path can be estimated and we'll know if he'll hit us or not.

Active Astronomy has an excellent article about this, and it not only tells us about Harry and the Russian fireball, but about definite plans NASA has to alter the paths of incoming asteroids in the future. NASA also has tracking of Near-Earth Objects that is improving all the time, so our fate isn't so completely at the whim of close asteroids anymore. The article really explains so much that will help calm people's fears.

From the article:

 At 9:20am on 15th February 2013 - just 10 hours before the pass of the nearest asteroid astronomers have ever knowingly witnessed - a meteor ripped through the skies of Russia creating vast plumes of steam & smoke, lit up the sky, ripped open some buildings and injured some of the inhabitants.

A crater 6 metres wide has also been discovered and the hunt is on for a meteorite to unlock its secrets.

But, with the much larger asteroid, 2012 DA14, coming fast in the [Read more ...]

Monday, February 4, 2013

Fly Through Earth's Orbit

Please watch this video in full screen! It is amazing and in full screen, you just get lost in it. Crews on the International Space Station recorded their view flying over Earth, and then play it with Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.

If a little ad appears at the bottom, just get rid of it right away, it's the only one. Then you can fly through Earth's orbit.

Full screen, people!!! :) :) :)