Comet Watch: March 2018 – with Special Guest Bob King

March 8th, 2018 by Nick Evetts

Welcome to the March episode of Comet Watch, featuring special guest, Bob King.  Our thanks, as always to co-hosts Mary McIntyre and Neil Norman!

Bob’s  Blog is at

Bob also writes a weekly blog for Sky & Telescope called “Explore the Night.” His Books are “Night Sky with the Naked Eye” and “Wonders of the Night You Must See Before you Die”

Brian Marsden


Read the rest of this entry »

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. No Comments »

PyeongChang 2018 Paralympics: Birth of a Star

March 17th, 2018 by OceanStar

In our first segment, we discussed how the 2018 Olympic opening ceremony highlighted Korea’s ancient star charts and the celestial guardians who were used to track the movements of astronomical phenomenon and how they influenced Korean civilization. Our second segment, “Birth of a Star” also focuses on Pyeongchang, but instead focuses on the Olympics’ sister event, the 2018 Paralympic Games. Just as the Pyeongchang’s Olympics used its opening ceremony to honor Korea’s astronomical past, the 2018 Paralympics used its opening ceremony to pay tribute to Korea’s astronomical present by celebrating the formation of stars within its opening ceremony. To be more specific, the opening ceremony celebrated South Korea’s verification of a well known star formation theory.


In the finale of the Paralympics opening ceremony, we are shown a birds eye view of people forming lines and holding hands then moving chaotically over a swirling cerulean blue energy field. These simple motions are telling the story of a star’s formation. This organized chaos is mimicking the movement of turbulent gases present when a star begins its formation.


As the opening ceremony continues, we see the lines moving towards the center of the rotating field much like cosmic materials being pulled into the center of a developing star. As the lines chaotically encircle the center of the field, an open circular metal frame begins lowering from the ceiling emphasizing the creation of a spherical object. With each line that wraps around the center of the field, the circular frame inches closer to revealing what looks to be the formation of a protostar. Its shape and purpose become more evident when the lines of people have completely encircled the center of the swirling cerulean field and the sphere closes. After the frame closes, it begins to glow a bright golden yellow color, a color known to be associated with stars in the mid-temperature range.


As the sphere closes, the energetic atmosphere silences and another swirling field appears changing the cerulean blue field into a beautiful array of galactic purples, cosmic blues, and stellar white against a starry background. As we continue to watch the field change, the viewers see the colors begin to rotate and pull together until they form a tight circle of brilliant orange, celestial blue, and stellar white beneath the golden metal sphere. This vibrant reproduction is demonstrating how a nebular disk forms to increase the size of a protostar. In order to ensure that the star reaches full development, the nebular disk will continue to draw in materials until it reaches a point where thermonuclear fusion can begin.


Just when the the audience believes the image has finished changing, the circle of colors violently expands outward until only a cosmic blue ring remains. Shortly after this burst begins, all colors dissipate entirely leaving only the newly formed golden sphere which changes to a celestial blue and now hovers above its own small energy field of the same matching color. This too represents part of a star’s formation. In this moment of art reflecting life, the protostar has reached thermonuclear fusion and released a stellar wind stopping any further cosmic materials from being collected. It also represents the new star’s ability to produce energy in order to sustain itself.

Associated Links:

Watch South Korea’s star formation tribute at the Paralympics site!  (Skip to: 1:41:52).

Listen to South Korea’s newest stellar discovery on Arirang TV.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Feel free to comment below or email me at!

“Not only does God play dice, but… he sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen.”-Stephen Hawking

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. No Comments »

The Event^Horizon 2018/03/16…. Now We Are 3 Once More!

March 17th, 2018 by Nick Evetts

 A big welcome to Starstorm as she joins  Myself and Marty on the show full time!​bserving/this-weeks-sky-at-a-glan​ce-march-16-24/​b09th4hf


You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. No Comments »

AFM’s Space Pirate Radio 2018/03/15 3.141 Rates

March 15th, 2018 by Nick Evetts
Farewell to Stephen Hawking, RIP
Now for tonight’s links:
For Steven:​zSgiXGELjbc
Of course, it’s also “pi Day”
Diane says we should stop celebrating pi and start going with tau:​18/3/14/17119388/pi-day-pie-math-​tau-circle-constant-mathematics-c​ircumference-diameter-radius-holi​day-truth
Twistedge added this bit, 18 Ways NASA Uses Pi:​rn/list/oh-the-places-we-go-18-wa​ys-nasa-uses-pi/
From her recent visit to England, Diane visited Greenwich, among other places:​hn_Harrison#The_first_three_marin​e_timekeepers​metallic_strip#/media/File:John_H​arrison_memorial_02.jpg
And now, what’s coming up in the next week:
Thu, Mar 15, 15h Mercury greatest elong. E.(18°)
Sat, Mar 17, 13h NEW MOON
Sun, Mar 18, 01h Mercury 4° N. of Venus
Sun, Mar 18, 18h Mercury 8° N. of Moon
Sun, Mar 18, 19h Venus 4° N. of Moon
Mon, Mar 19, 16h Uranus 5° N. of Moon
Tue, Mar 20, 16h Equinox
Tue, Mar 20, 21h Ceres stationary
Times given in UT. These events, and more can be found at:
Marty found an AAVSO notice:​t-notice-620
Then we catch up with Steve:​dard/2018/nasa-needs-your-help-to​-find-steve-and-heres-how​dard/2018/mystery-of-purple-light​s-in-sky-solved-with-help-from-ci​tizen-scientists
With the equinox approaching, talk turned to the Zodiacal Light and:​bserving/take-the-gegenschein-cha​llenge101420151410/
Twistedge adds these links
Captain Cook Chronometers ( one of my favorite youtube channels )​bnQkKtMVPfg
Tiangong-1 reentry updates The current estimated window is ~29 March to ~9 April; this is highly variable.​ce/2018/01/12/tiangong-1-reentry-​updates/
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. No Comments »

Project Snoopy Update with Nick Howes FRAS

March 14th, 2018 by Nick Evetts

Earlier this week Nick Howes FRAS was on twitter about Project Snoopy, so today I caught up with  Nick to find out  how things are going . Project Snoopy is about the Recovery  of the Apollo 10 Lunar Module Callsign Snoopy , The Apollo 10  Command Module was called Charlie Brown and flown by  Capt. John Young .  While Snoopy was flown by  Cmdr Thomas P. Stafford &  Capt. Eugene Cernan  down to within 50,000 feet of the Lunar surface.

Apollo 10 Mission Report :

Apollo 10 was the fourth manned mission in the  Apollo space program, and the second (after Apollo 8) to orbit the Moon. Launched on May 18, 1969, it was the F mission: a “dress rehearsal” for the first Moon landing, testing all of the components and procedures, just short of actually landing.
Dates: May 18, 1969 – May 26, 1969
Launch date: May 18, 1969
Landing date: May 26, 1969
Operator: NASA
Crew size: 3
Members: Thomas P. Stafford, John Young, Eugene Cernan

Apollo Command Module  & Lunar Module Call Signs

Mission Command Module Lunar Module
Apollo 7 “Apollo 7”. None.
Apollo 8 “Apollo 8”. None.
Apollo 9 “Gumdrop”. Derived from the appearance of the spacecraft when transported on Earth. During shipment, it was wrapped in blue wrappings giving appearance of a wrapped gumdrop. “Spider”, derived from its bug‑like configuration.
Apollo 10 “Charlie Brown”, from a character in comic strip Peanuts© drawn by Charles L. Schulz. As in the comic, the CM “Charlie Brown” would be the guardian of the LM “Snoopy.” “Snoopy,” after the beagle dog character in the same comic strip. The name referred to the fact that the LM would be “snooping” around the lunar surface in low orbit. Also, at the Manned Spacecraft Center, Snoopy was symbol of quality performance. Employees who did outstanding work were awarded a silver Snoopy pin.
Apollo 11 “Columbia”, after “Columbiad”, the canon used to launch Jules Verne’s moonship (commonly thought to be the moonship itself which was referred to only as “the projectile”); also used because of the close relationship of the word to the United States’ origins. “Eagle,” after the eagle selected for the mission insignia.
Apollo 12 “Yankee Clipper”, selected from names submitted by employees of the command module prime contractor. “Intrepid”, selected from names submitted by employees of the lunar module prime contractor.
Apollo 13 “Odyssey,” reminiscent of the long voyage of Odysseus of Greek mythology. “Aquarius,” after the Egyptian god Aquarius, the water carrier. Aquarius brought fertility and therefore life and knowledge to the Nile Valley, as the Apollo 13 crew hoped to bring knowledge from the Moon.
Apollo 14 “Kitty Hawk”, the site of the Wright brothers’ first flight in Kitty Hawk, NC. “Antares”, for the star on which the LM oriented itself for lunar landing.
Apollo 15 “Endeavor,” for the ship which carried Captain James Cook on his 18th-century scientific voyages. “Falcon,” named for the USAF Academy mascot by Apollo 15’s all-Air Force crew.
Apollo 16 “Casper”, named for a cartoon character, “Casper the Friendly Ghost,” because the white Teflon suits worn by the crew looked shapeless on television screens. “Orion,” for a constellation, because the crew would depend on star sightings to navigate in cislunar space.
Apollo 17 “America”, as a tribute and a symbol of thanks to the American people who made the Apollo program possible. “Challenger,” indicative of the challenges of the future, beyond the Apollo program.

Excerpted and edited from Astronaut Mission Patches and Spacecraft Callsigns, by Dick Lattimer, unpublished draft in JSC History Office; Space Patches From Mercury to the Space Shuttle; and various NASA documents.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. No Comments »

It is with great sadness that  we have to announce  that  Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge,  Stephen Hawking CBE has died

March 14th, 2018 by Nick Evetts








It is with great sadness that  we have to announce  that  Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University,  Stephen Hawking CBE has died aged 76.

He died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday, his family said. We at  send our condolences to his family and friends.

Professer Hawkings  once wrote that he had motor neurone disease for practically all his adult life but said that it had not stopped him having an attractive family and being successful in his work.

“It shows,” he said, “that one need not lose hope.”


You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. No Comments »

The Event^ Horizon 2018/03/09

March 10th, 2018 by Nick Evetts

Thank you, Starstorm, for tonight’s links and taking part in the show!​ities/space-weather-enthusiasts​celand/hella/?cam=icela

Read the rest of this entry »

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. No Comments »