(Bill Gurstelle is guest blogging here on Boing Boing. He is the author of several books including Backyard
Ballistics, and the recently published Absinthe
and Flamethrowers. Twitter: @wmgurst)
UPDATE: This reminds me of the time I checked in a day late for 1 AM flight from LA to Minneapolis. Apparently, this happened last night.
Astronomy enthusiasts in North and South America will stay up light tonight to see the occultation of the bright red star Antares. (Non-astronomers may wonder what this means: the moon will pass in front of the star, so it's an eclipse of a star, more or less.) Antares is a bright red supergiant in the middle of the constellation Scorpio, and home to Fizzbinn. Here's a map of places where the event is visible and the website lists exact times.
Map from Pierpaolo Ricci's website.
I became interested in astronomy when I was eleven years old and read Sir Patrick Moore's book
called The Sky at Night. The Sky at Night was a book that really made a difference to me. It takes a while, but with it, you can become familiar with nearly every bright object in the night sky.
In the first Exploring Your Own Backyard
post, a few commenters thought it was incongruous to use a digital microscope to get closer to nature. My point is to get outside and explore nature firsthand, and if a modern digital device enhances the experience, so much the better.
To this point, I've been experimenting lately with a device called the SkyScout Personal Planetarium
. It's about the size of smallish video recorder. If you point it at any star, planet, major deep sky object, etc, the readout on the side tells you what it is you're looking at. If it's a rather important object, it plays an audio excerpt with additional information. Conversely, you can select the name of a star or other object from a list and arrows on the display will guide you to it.
(Looks rainy tonight in here in Minneapolis - rats.)
Why does The Caterpillar Lab only have 44 subscribers? Caterpillars set to smooth jazz, like these gorgeous stinging rose caterpillars checking each other out, make this New Hampshire nonprofit a hidden gem.
A paper from a group of Kings College London researchers documents an unexpected and welcome side effect from an experimental anti-Alzheimer’s drug called Tideglusib: test subjects experienced a regeneration of dentin, the bony part of teeth that sits between the pulp and the enamel.
YouTuber Proto G shot these cool experiments with plasma vortex force fields. Scientists are looking into large-scale practical applications of the force field generated in this manner:
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