Observing with Street Lights

Observing with Street Lights
Dark sky sites not always necessary to see the Milky Way (This image was taken ouside of a B&B in Julian, CA)

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Another Vandenberg Falcon 9 launch and photos; Summary comments from UCLA Dark Matter 2018 Conference; HIdden Figures in Julain; Say it ain't so, Lawrence Krauss

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, I just got back from the Dark Matter 2018 conference at UCLA and can offer a few comments on that topic.  But first, ever since we flew to Florida to see the launch of the Falcon Heavy, the idea of seeing another launch has been a top priority.  It turns out that a launch was scheduled

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

New calendar of meetings and conferences; Spooky action at a distance; Prof. Craig Roberts explains why the Higgs should RIP; More physics of gas cloud collapse

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

This post introduces a new feature on the blog page and then provides a review of a book and a distinguished physics lecture and concludes with some additional follow up discussion on the constraints on the collapse of molecular clouds into protostars or proto-galaxies.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Falcon 9 Vandenberg launch delayed; Lawrence Krauss at LogicaLA 2018; Kip Thorne at the Skeptics Science Salon; Forming supermassive black holes might need a partner galaxy?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg has been delayed again so we didn't get out for any image collection.  I can't try for the now scheduled launch this Wednesday either because I will be on the dreaded 405 Fwy driving to the Dark Matter conference at UCLA at that time. Maybe you can grab a photo, but if you are not on the signup list to get last minute notices of launch delays, the following screen shot shows what the typical announcement looks like, and you might want to know if it gets delayed again:

Friday, February 16, 2018

Upcoming Falcon 9 launch from Vandenberg now rescheduled for Sunday, February 18, 6:16 am, should be visible in SoCal

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

This post is primarily for all of you Falcon 9 launch fans who reside in southern California and includes the latest launch information for the several times rescheduled flight, now for Sunday, February 18 from Vandenberg Airforce Base.  The exhaust plume is expected to be visible across a big part of SoCal, assuming that the clouds to not get in the way.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Amateur astronomer sees red Tesla Roadster in orbit; Great Falcon Heavy launch video; NASA ephemerides tool; Estimating the altitude of aircraft

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

We are still resting up from our trip to Kennedy Space Center to view the first launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket and our first close up experience of a rocket launch.  The February 8 post presented some images taken during the launch and a guess that it was not likely that an amateur astronomer would be able to see the red Tesla Roadster, which was placed into orbit during that launch.  Well,

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Hooray, we experienced the Falcon Heavy launch at KSC; Keplerian Two Line Elements for Tesla Roadster; Fun in Cocoa Beach, but watch for gators!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, we got our tickets for the "closer viewing site" at the Kennedy Space Center for the launch of the first SpaceX Falcon Heavy.  We were too late to get tickets for the "feel the burn" site or the "closest viewing site", but all eventually went well and we have some photos to share.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Tracking aircraft as practice for photographing Spacex Falcon Heavy launch at KSC; A toast to Superbowl winners, losers, runner ups, ...

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this has been a busy week, most of which I had hoped to do some more spectroscopic analysis of the star images taken last week.  But other things came up.  First was the UCI physics colloquium where Marina Brozovic, Caltech/JPL, spoke on radar imaging of asteroids,  and radar images are displayed, not in terms, of  y vs. x plane locations, but in terms of radar range (distance) vs. Doppler shift.  It's going to take some more time to think through how to make sense of that, but the more important thing right now is preparing and practicing for the trip to KSC to experience the launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy at Kennedy Space Center.