Archive for Nerd Stuff

Countdown to the Great American Solar Eclipse

The countdown has been underway here for almost five years since we first made our reservations at the RV campground near the centerline of the eclipse in Wyoming. Now, however, we’re down to the last few weeks before the big event. The Javascript countdown timer above shows the remaining time to the start of the eclipse (first lunar encroachment) in Arizona Time.

The date of the eclipse is August 21, 2017. The beginning of the eclipse is dependent on the location of the observer, but in our case is 16:22:20 UTC, The seven hour difference has been adjusted in the timer. Totality follows a bit over an hour later. The interactive eclipse map has moved to the NASA Eclipse pages:

https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/interactive_map/index.html

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Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 3D

Comet in 3D

Today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day featured an anaglyph image of Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko taken by the Rosetta comet-probing spacecraft. I was impressed by the stereo image of this object in space in an up-close and personal view of another world.

From APOD:

Get out your red/cyan glasses and gaze across the surface of Churyumov-Gerasimenko, aka Comet 67P. The stereo anaglyph was created by combining two images from the Rosetta spacecraft’s narrow angle OSIRIS camera taken on September 22, 2014. Stark and jagged, the 3D landscape is found along the Seth region of the comet’s double-lobed nucleus. It spans about 985 x 820 meters, pocked by circular ridges, depressions, and flattened areas strewn with boulders and debris. The large steep-walled circular pit in the foreground is 180 meters in diameter. Rosetta’s mission to the comet ended in September 2016 when the spacecraft was commanded to a controlled impact with the comet’s surface.

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Desert Motorhome Camping in 3D

3D Camping

I haven’t done one of these in a while, so here it is: Desert Motorhome Camping in 3D. The Emerald Desert RV Resort doesn’t much look like the typical desert in Southern California due to the lush green grass everywhere. But it certainly does get hot there in the summer and cool, but not cold, in the winter.

I took this image pair last week when we were camped there visiting the grandson. Click on the image to enlarge to full resolution. Of course, if you don’t yet have your free pair of 3D glasses, you can see the 2D version here.

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Royal Order of the Wouff Hong

Royal Order of the Wouff Hong

This is a throwback post about the time that I became a member of a select amateur radio group known as the Royal Order of the Wouff Hong. It’s a long story as to the origination of the Order, but suffice it to say that to become a member, one must gather at midnight with members and witness a rather comical ritual performed on stage and thereafter learn the secret handshake and password.

The midnight ritual occurred for me at the Southwestern Division Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) convention in August of 1987. A friend, Tom and I underwent the mystical event that night. Alcohol may have been a factor.

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Mountain and Crater on Dwarf Planet Ceres in 3D

Ceres in 3D

This image is cropped from a 3D Photo found on Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Get out your red/blue glasses and gaze across Ceres at mysterious mountain Ahuna Mons. Shown in a 3D anaglyph perspective view, the mosaicked image data was captured in December of 2015, taken from the Dawn spacecraft’s low-altitude mapping orbit about 385 kilometers above the surface of the dwarf planet. A remarkable dome-shaped feature on Ceres, with steep, smooth sides Ahuna Mons is about 20 kilometers (12 miles) in diameter at its base, rising on average 4 kilometers to a flattened summit. Similar in size to mountains found on planet Earth, no other Cerean surface feature is so tall and well-defined. It is not known what process shaped the lonely Ahuna Mons, or if the bright material streaking its steepest side is the same material responsible for Ceres’ famous bright spots.

Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, UCLA, MPS/DLR/IDA

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Planet Pluto in 3D

Planet Pluto in 3D

Astronomy Picture of the Day posted a stereo card (like for old-time stereoscopes) of the planet Pluto as seen by the New Horizons mission spacecraft. I took the stereo card image and combined the left and right-eye images into the anaglyph (red-cyan) image above.

This is the original text from APOD:

Explanation: These two detailed, true color images of Pluto were captured during the historic New Horizons flyby last month. With slightly different perspectives on the now recognizeable surface features they are presented in this first high quality stereo pair intended for viewing by denizens of planet Earth. The left hand image (left eye) is a mosaic recorded when the spacecraft was about 450,000 kilometers from Pluto. The right single image was acquired earlier, a last full look before the spacecraft’s closest approach. Despite a difference in resolution, the pair combine for a stunning 3D perception of the distant, underworldly terrain.

You will need your free pair of 3D glasses to view the image (click image to enlarge). If you don’t have a pair, I have posted the original stereo card here.

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Gun-Shaped Cloud Hole

Gun-Shaped Cloud Hole

Verna looked out the front window today and saw this hole in the clouds that appeared to resemble a semi-automatic pistol. I went out front and took this photo of the phenomenon.

Recalling from an article we posted about eighteen months ago:

Pareidolia

Pareidolia (parr-i-DOH-lee-uh) is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant, a form of apophenia. Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon or the Moon rabbit, and hearing hidden messages on records when played in reverse.

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