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)

Monday, December 30, 2019

Snow in local mountains; Variable Betelgeuse; Moon and Venus Conjunction; Quantum Computing, Decoherence and Entanglement; Sports Bar Redo?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, this is the final post of 2019 and we will finish out with some snow, some Betelgeuse, Venus and Moon conjunction, and some more quantum computing and theory textbooks.  Finally, as we pack our bags for the 235th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Hawaii in January, we had to have a little fun out at our local sports bar!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Video lectures on collider physics; Recommended textbooks on QFT and representations; Rethinking Superdeterminism; Make room for Nietzsche; Insight on Quantum Computing

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, this week has not accomplished any sky observing, but did involve a lot of reading and study of heavy duty physicist wannabe topics.  So be warned and fasten your seat belts!  You all know that as successful as modern physics has been, there are still outstanding areas of physics which are mysterious and a better understanding is called for.  My interest is first of all to understand the currently accepted theories and then lean back and wonder about the foundations of quantum mechanics that might also enable understanding of inflation, dark matter and dark energy.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Finding the planets close together in the night sky; Just past full moon; Mount Laguna Observatory; Astronomer Assistant keeps working while sleeping

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this is a great time for finding most of the planets all arranged pretty close together.  So after trying to look at some of the planets we will delve into OCA featured speaker at Mt. Laguna Observatory used publicly available images to excite student's interest in astronomy and Analemma in particular.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Slept while the Leonids were out, but what are they? X-rays in astronomy and at your dentist, sure, but at Stonehenge too? CRISPR with Jennifer Doudna

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well after getting up early in the morning to catch Mercury, it is time to relax with some reading about the Leonid meteors and some uses of x-rays in archeology and hearing about exiting CRISPR gene editing tools by expert Jennifer Doudna.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Searching for Mercury; How the "lazy astronomer wannabe" does it!; Experienced, clouds, disappointment, but eventually, hooray, success!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week we have been looking for Mercury, mostly through the clouds, but can report how we eventually had some partial success, then some failure, and finally a real successful photo of Mercury.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

A day in the life of an astrophysicist, Dr. Becky; What? -- Maybe no dark energy?; What? -- Maybe the universe is not flat? Too large of Black Hole Binary? Snow on Saddleback

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well we have had cold and cloudy weather here in Orange County, but there is plenty of astronomical news appearing this week, including new indications that the universe is not flat and maybe there is not dark energy.  So, let's begin with "A day in the Life of an Oxford Astrophysicist; Dr. Becky"

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Venus/Jupiter Conjunction; Letting the tripod settle down before opening the shutter; Sadly, Starship blows its top!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well we are in a lull period for visual early morning observing Starlink satellites in Orange County until December 7, when the rotation of the Earth and the satellites orbit make visibility possible, so we can capture the Venus/Jupiter conjunction, clear up some Starlink imaging loose ends and report on planning (or not) a visit to Brownsville, TX, to watch the first liftoff of the SpaceX Starship.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Hooray; Starlink satellites arrived as predicted, but they are no longer a string of pearls!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well here we are on Saturday morning waiting for our next chance to get some more images of the Starlink satellites before they disperse into their assigned positions.  This image from is what I hoped to get again, minus the trees.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Finding out about the NASA mission to visit asteroid Psyche 16; Clouded out and missed out on finding the Starlinks satellites, but another chance tomorrow

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, tomorrow, Thursday morning, we planned to try again to get some images of the Starlinks satellites, while still in the string of pearls configuration.  In the meantime, it is time to check out another lecture in the Distinctive Voices series at the Beckman Center in Irvine.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Clouded out from observing Starlink string of pearls; New early morning times for Starlink; What are satellite TLE's?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, the early Wednesday morning observing session for the Starlink satellites string of pearls was clouded out and rained out.  But we have found some more early morning viewing times hopefully with clearer skies.

Professor Aomawa Shields on Recipe for a Habitable Planet; Getting a bucket of air?; Poor observing conditions for transit of Starlink satellites string of lights

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well again this week we are waiting for the next potential transit of the 60 Starlinks satellites, hopefully still all in a line, to make a transit over Orange County and the weather forecast is looking very poor for that event, so let's review some of the ongoing weather and climate predictions for exoplanets.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Hooray, followup on what the next transit of the Starlink satellite might be and some photographs! More Starlink technical details

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well after our chance encounter with the SpaceX Starlink satellites yesterday, Monday, November 11, as described in the blog post of November 12, we were hooked and wanted to try to find the next visible transit.  This post shows some successful images of the next transit and some other technical details about the future Starlink constellation of satellites.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

What is that long string of lights in the Orange County skies? Hmm, it looks like it was a successful SpaceX launch of 60 Starlinks Satellites!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well after a successful view of the Transit of Mercury, as described in the November 11, 2019 blog post, it seemed like it was just going to be a relaxing walk with Astronomer Assistants Danny and Ruby, but no, the early nighttime view had a strange long string of lights in the Orange County city lights polluted view.  What were they?

Monday, November 11, 2019

Upcoming meetings in Hawaii and New Mexico; Setting up your own remote observatory; At the edge of time with Dan Hooper; Hooray, transit of Mercury, without clouds!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory,

Well, this week we are waiting for the November 11 transit of Mercury but we can report on two upcoming astronomy meetings that might be of interest and also comment of OCA presentation of setting up your own remote observatory and a new easy to read book on cosmology.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

LIGO back online! Mendeleev's 150th and the Elementouch; There was no Big Bang? California Power and "emergency coffee"

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this time of the week we can report on LIGO coming back online, 150th celebration of Mendeleev, relationship between the big bang scenario and inflation and finally review what California used for lighting before candles?

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

UCR Professor John Baez on mysteries of fundamental physics; How does the ANITA baloon experiment detect neutrinos?; UCI Professor Feng on developing FASER on shoestring budget

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week the blog is all about physics so you astronomical observers buckle up and get ready for the ANITA experiment looking for high energy neutrinos and FASER experiment searching for dark matter exiting the proton beam at the LHC.  Our next scheduled observing run is for the Transit of Mercury on November 11, so stay tuned for that and hope for clear skies.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Milky Way and M31 at Nightfall in Borrego Springs; November 11 Transit of Mercury; First try to lightup foreground sculptures with Milky Way in the background; Goodby, friend Kurt!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well no sooner than we returned from the AAVSO meeting and observatory tours in Las Cruces, NM, it was time to drive to Borrego Springs for the annual Nightfall star party.  Nightfall is sponsored by the Riverside Astronomical Society and the event offers short courses and lectures during the daytime and dark skies at night.  Thanks to all the RAS volunteers who helped make it possible!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

AAVSO 108th meeting concluded; Hooray, toured Sunspot and Apache Point Observatories

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well the 108th AAVSO meeting has finished up and today we drive 2 hours from Las Cruces  passed Holloman Air Force Base and Alamogordo and then passed Cloudcroft until we reached the Sunspot and Apache Point Observatories.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Waking up in Las Cruces, New Mexico; Clyde Tombaugh's Stained Glass Window; SM2 and WSMR; Hooray, the Milky Way!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this blog post is from offsite in Las Cruces, New Mexico for 108th AAVSO meeting.  But on this free day before the meeting begins we had a chance to Clyde Tombaugh's Stain Glass Window, tour White Sands Missile Museum and see some great views of the Milky Way.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Flat Earth? Do your first greenhouse warming calculation; Inside Bill's Brain with Terrapower; Vampire protection?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this blog post has me at the airport flying to Las Cruces, NM, for the AAVSO (https://www.aavso.org/) annual meeting and tours of the Apache Point Observatory.  So, no observing to report, but I do hope to get some pictures of the Milky Way in the darker skies in New Mexico.  More about the meeting later, but first let's review some other activities.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Has Gaia Data Resolved the tension in measurements of the Hubble Constant? Can Pluto be seen in city lights viewing?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well here we are in another busy week.  We have upcoming conferences and also a chance to do some astrometry, which is now helping to maybe resolve the tension between two estimates of the Hubble Constant, in our search for finally trying ourselves to (though not yet) get an image of Pluto.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Astronomers' brains wanted: Night of the Living Dead; OC Physicists to search for vampire emanations; Primordial Black Holes, Dark Matter, Neutrinos and other deeply hidden things

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Last week we talked about the search for ghostly particles from nuclear power plants and this week we continue exploring some illusive deeply hidden things.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Hooray, watch Elon go from Brownsville, TX!; Hooray, our eyeballs, but not our cameras saw the JWST!; More great free Coursera

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well we have had some rain and cloudy weather that cancelled this month's OCA star party, but looking up at the sky is what Elon Musk did in his annual review of the Starship and Super Heavy progress.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Distinctive Voices lecture on Human Lunar Exploration; Sunspot cycle and orbital variation effects; ASAS-SN and search for Gravitational Waves from core collapse supernovas

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well I am just getting into the 3rd section of Sean Carroll's "Something Deeply Hidden", where he talks about the emergence of spacetime from quantum entanglement, so we have to pause and let that ferment until next time, but for now let's comment on Lunar Exploration, Solar sunspot and orbital effects, ASASSN surveys and search for gravitational waves from core collapse supernova.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Where in the world are blog readers? Get LIGO data and tutorials; Follow up on using nuclear isomer Hafnium 178 as energy storage component

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

This week our topics are where people who read this blog are located around the world and then a little bit about LIGO and tutorials and data availability so that you can do your own analysis and finally end up with some more comments about using nuclear isomers in energy storage systems.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

MultiWorlds and Conservation of Energy; Minerva - Australis and TESS Followup with high resolution radial velocity measurements; Magnetic protection of astronaughts travelling to Mars?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week again we had no outside astronomical observing, except to see and enjoy the bight full moon on Friday 13th.  Did you get scared?  Ok, ok lets instead review some astronomical spectroscopy details for radial velocity measurements and some other comments.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Upcoming JWST and Apache Point Observatory Tours; Help, I'm falling into the Everettian Many-Worlds of Quantum Mechanics; On using nuclear isomers, like Hafnium 178, for energy storage or bombs?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week we didn't get any astronomical observing done, but can talk about Sean Carroll's exciting newly released book and also explore a little bit about nuclear isomers as an exciting energy storage technology.  But first,

Monday, September 9, 2019

Ruby sees a ghost; Searching for dark skies, mines, glaciers, deer, bristlecones, Area 51, ghost towns, martinis and hams in rural Nevada

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week we packed our bags for a road trip in search of dark skies and the Milky Way.  But just as we were getting ready to go on the road, Astronomer Assistant Ruby discovered a ghost hidden in the road.  Hmm, I hope this is not an omen about our upcoming trip through the Nevada back country!

Friday, August 30, 2019

Angular Momentum and Dark Matter in stars and black holes; Using Python for dark matter satellites or baseballs orbits

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week we return to angular momentum and the interaction of dark matter and even consider throwing a satellite or baseball made out of dark matter and watching how it flies.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Have optical and radio counterparts to first observed merger of a Neutron Star and Black Hole by LIGO (S190814bv) finally been detected?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well ever since the first reported merger of a neutron star and a black hole, LIGO gravitational wave event (S190814bv), was reported on August 14, 2019, we have been waiting for confirmation by all the other observatories that slewed to possible locations of the event.  Well,

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Safe journey to Mars with Mod Ring?; Spin rate of gas giants and angular momentum transfer; Supergravity and physics breakthrough prize; Night out under the stars with Kenny G and Jupiter

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week we can report on a space habitat presentation and review some planet rotation rates and finish with some supergravity and Kenny G and saxophone under the stars.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Planning for dark skies and glacier in Great Basin National Park; Peering into the dark ages with radio arrays; Revisiting "Gravitation" by MTW

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week started off with consideration of travelling to the Great Basin National Park (GBNP) to do some dark, really dark, sky observing and have fun in the park too!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Moon misses Jupiter and we miss the Perseids; New observations of supernovas or unnovas; What escapes from the lunar surface at about 4 grams per square cm per billion years?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, some of you are probably waiting to spot the Perseid Meteor showers, but they tend to come to late for me, so I have just been watching the Moon move across the sky as if it might just bump into Jupiter.  But of course it just misses it as shown in this Sky Safari Pro screenshot and then moves further and further away.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Time Travel, UFOs and Closed Timelike Curves, The bar (at the hotel) and the center of the galaxy; Dark stars and supermassive black holes; Looking at Jupiter and moons

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well after attending the 2019 UFO Symposium, as described in last week's blog post, I had to look up some more of the details of closed time like curves (CTC) and time travel.  Now where better to begin that study than at the Hotel Irvine bar, since that was open at the end of the symposium.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

MEPAG: Mars needs civil engineers; Evolution of puppy eyes; Our variable sun; 2019 UFO Symposium and Field Investigations

Greetings from Palmia Observatory,

Well this been another very busy week and I have been worn out by the confluence of conferences and workshops that just happened in the weeks following our trip to Chile for the solar eclipse. After the Ninth International Mars Conference we had the co-located meeting of the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) and the 2019 International UFO Symposium.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Ninth International Mars Conference at Caltech; What have we learned about Mars, Dust and Biosignatures and where is the water?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well just as soon as the Astrobiology for Astronomers Workshop ended, it is now time for the Ninth International Mars Conference held at Caltech.  I'm already exhausted and hoped to spend at least a couple of days on Mars.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Inside a lava tube on Rapa Nui; Double suns? Disequilibria and searches for life: Can't get away from microbiology

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

This week we have some more comment summaries from the Astrobiology for Astronomers Workshop from Caltech and a look inside a lava tube and strange illusion seeming to show multiple suns.  Also it is time to head back to Pasadena for the Ninth International Mars Conference.  See all of you Martians there!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Some more eclipse in Chile comments and photos; Sitting in on the Astrobiology for Astronomers Workshop at Caltech and where's Sheldon; Handling a 4 billion year old rock; Time for a martini and livestreaming!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well we are back from our fantastic visit to Chile and the 2019 total solar eclipse.  This post has a few additional comments on that trip and mainly provide a calendar update for upcoming conferences and some summary comments on the Astrobiology for Astronomers Workshop conducted at Caltech.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Post eclipse adventure on Rapa Nui; Finally captured a photo of SMC and LMC

Greetings from Palmia Observatory,

Well, here we are on our final leg of our Chilean adventure, during which we first saw the 2019 total solar eclipse and the toured the Atacama desert and now on the last portion of the trip,with a short visit on Easter Island (Rapa Nui) and finally some success with imaging the dwarf galaxies, SMC and LMC.

Fuming volcano and Tatio hot springs and geysers in the Atacama; Desert Fox; Valley of the Moon and Salt Flats; Flying to Easter Island

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well our adventure in the Atacama continues.  This time up at up to 14,000 feet elevation at the Tatio geysers and hot springs.  Along the way we see the volcano, Putana, maybe not active, but certainly out gassing.  Not much to report on astronomical events, but exploring the desert was a lot of fun.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Hooray, great viewing of the 2019 eclipse in Chile; Flew to Atacama Desert and shot the Milky Way

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, it’s July 2 and we have arrived at our old mine platform in La Higuera, Chile, to view the 2019 total solar eclipse.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Touring around La Serena; Boat trip to Isla ; Early inspection of eclipse viewing site in La Higuera, Chile

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well we arrived in La Serena and had this second day to take a boat ride to Isla Damas and the National Wildlife Preserve and a chance to look for penguins, otters, sea lions and lots of birds, after which we stopped by our eclipse viewing site in La Higuera.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Leaving Santiago and flying close to the eclipse viewing site near La Serena, Chile

Greetings from Palmia Observatory
Well this is  another travel day as we fly to La Serena, which is close to our eclipse viewing site.
Today we fly from Santiago to La Serena.  On the map below you can see La Serena just north of Santiago.  The map also shows our future flight locations.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Resident Astronomers tour around in Santiago, Chile; Veramonte Winery; Beautiful Valpairiso

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, here we are in day 2 and 3 of our Chilean adventure as we tour parts of the country as we wait for the eclipse on July 2.  We can report on some of our adventures, but first the cloudy sky with barely visible sun in Santiago has us a bit worried.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Anaxagoras and the Moon; How we know the Milky Way is a spiral; Summer Solstice and Clouds; About locat time for sunset & sunrise & wine in Chile

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

We are busy packing our bags for travel to Chile for the  total solar eclipse and will post our progress and hopeful success from there.  For now we can report that clouds prevented us from seeing the sun on the Summer Solstice but will report on some considerations of time and season differences between observing in the northern and southern hemispheres.  Also we share an interesting article on the moon and a video on the Milky Way.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

OCA meeting on exoplanets and NASA exoplanet archive; APOD with Bruce; Strawberry Moon; Meteorology and southern hemisphere; Pisco Sour and other Chilean wine tasting homework

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

First up in this blog posting is the monthly OCA general meeting where this time the presenter, Dr. Robert Zellem, JPL, spoke on finding exoplanets and how amateurs can do "sciencey" type things by observing the latest transit times of selected exoplanets.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Didn't see any Falcon 9 rocket exhaust; Looking at the moon with Nikon P1000; Hartlefest group; Big Bang and Inflation

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, this week we start off with a rocket launch viewing opportunity and a chance to try out the Nikon P1000 superzoom camera on the Moon and Jupiter.  Also we will review some aspects of how the idea of the big bang and inflation are turned into a scientific hypothesis and how predictions made by that hypothesis can then be verified or rejected based on observations.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Upcoming Exoplanet Workshop and International Mars Conference; Moons of Jupiter; More on Hartle's No-Boundary Proposal

Greetings from Palmia Observatory,

Well Hartlfest is over, and we had a cloud free night to observe the moons of Jupiter, but we should first review the calendar of upcoming events and then do some more review of Hartle's No-Boundary Proposal, which has been a very productive exploration of how to explain the big bang without the usual drawbacks of the singularity predicted by general relativity.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

More eclipse preparation; HartleFest; Jim Hartle's 80th birthday celebration at KITP at UCSB: A Physicist without Boundaries

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, there was just time this week to attend the OCA Astroimagers SIG before packing up the bags and driving to Santa Barbara for HartleFest at the Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics (KITP) at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB).

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Curved Space and the Big Crunch; Can straws find their way to the ocean; If Betelgeuse blows, will we burn?: Newport Jazz Festival - Can you woo woo woo?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, here we are again waiting for the clouds to go away and now have to contend with "June Gloom", but we can still review some astrophysics of curved space and supernova explosions and enjoy the jazz festival under cloudy skies.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Joel Primack and Galaxies starting as "pickles"; 1962 discovery of x-ray source; J C Maxwell's faithful friend, Toby; Remembering the total solar eclipse of May 29, 1919

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well the weather is getting a little better for some astronomical observations, but this week we follow up on early galaxy formation as pickles rather than spheroids and then look back into the past discoveries of x-ray objects, look at Maxwell's faithful friend and the 100 year centennial of the measurement of bending of light observed during the total solar eclipse of May 29,  1919.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

SAS Symposium in Ontario; Star Party in Julian; Physics Colloquium on Blazars; Famous southern hemisphere targets visible while waiting for the solar eclipse in Chile

Greetings from Palmia Observatory,

Well the weather and clouds have been great if you are studying meteorology, but for astronomers here in OC, whether day or night, the skies have not been our friends.  So, in the meantime, we can report on some upcoming star parties, symposiums, physics colloquiums, observatories, our upcoming total solar eclipse event in Chile and targets of interest while in the southern hemisphere.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Studying General Relativity with Jim Hartle's textbook; Selecting a camera for the eclipse; Hoping for the sun to poke through; Practicing with the Canon M1000; LOFAR discovers slow pulsar

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this was supposed to be a week to get some pictures of the Blue Moon, but the weather was too cloudy, except for one brief solar observation trial, so there was some time to review gravity and general relativity in time for the upcoming Hartle Fest and mention the slowest pulsar yet discovered.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Thesis Defense of Relativistic Deformation of Stars; UCI Physics Colloquium on Net Carbon Zero Energy Systems; Astronomer Assistant Willow and sad Grumpy Cat news

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

In this post we will make some comments on a masters degree thesis defense presentation and a physics colloquium presentation on net zero carbon energy systems while we wait for the storms to move through the southland.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The clouds let the sunspots shine through; Sky_Watcher AZ-GTi mount does have sun tracking mode; Ongoing search for GW Event S190510g optical counterparts

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well it has been quite cloudy this week, but the clouds opened up just enough to try to get some more images of the sun, which now has at least one visible sunspot.  In addition, we continue following the research into the gravitational wave event S190510g, thought to be the merger of two neutron stars.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Clouds open enough to show sun with two sunspots; Is gravitational wave event S190510g a binary neutron star merger or just terrestrial noise?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week the clouds opened up enough that we could see if there are a growing number of sunspots or not, and our short wait for the first "chirp" alert from our Gravitational Wave Event app finally ended with our first series of alerts for LIGO/VIRGO S190510g event.  But first of all, Happy Mothers Day to everyone, especially the mothers, for whom we are always grateful!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Trouble seeing alignment stars; Hey, our quiet sun has a sunspot; Get a spare solar filter before the eclipse; UCI breakfast lecture on GRACE measurements of water and ice; Leonard Susskind on Mindscape

Greetings from Palmia Observatory,

Well, here we are and the weather is supposed to be pretty clear, so let's take advantage of that and head on up to the OCA star party and try out the lightweight Sky-Watcher mount and Coolpix P1000 camera.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Trying to photograph the aurora from a cruise ship at sea; Clouds are the bane of the astronomer and the bar offers only short term consolation

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week we are planning on attending an OCA Astroimaging SIG where the speaker, Dave Kodama, will provide some guidelines for photographing aurora.  Now readers of this blog will know that we have been frustrated in our search for the northern lights many times now.  First we lost out on many nights in Norway and then on our second attempt in Fairbanks, Alaska, frustrated again by many nights of clouds.  So, for us, dealing with the frustration of clouds is the major issue.  You still might want to attend the OCA Astroimagers SIG on Wednesday, May 1!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

UCI Professor Feng and FASER; Random thoughts from the APS April Meeting; Planning for 2019 total eclipse in Chile and southern skies; Labradoodles and Astronomers' beards

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well the clouds and a bit of rain are back with us this week, so no additional observing with the new Sky-Watcher mount, and the weather forecast soured an prospect of our proposed second attempted  search for aurora in Fairbanks, Alaska .  But there was an interesting physics colloquium to report on as well as some random recollections following the APS April meeting in Denver.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Seeing and orbiting a black hole with Schwarzschild; Evaluating Sky-Watcher mount in search for M87

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well we are back in OC after attending the APS April meeting in Denver were we heard many good discussions including the successful imaging of the black hole by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT)  collaboration, as covered in our post of April 14, 15, 16 and 17, and now wanted to review some black hole horizon physics and also try to image M87 ourselves using the new light weight Sky Watcher mount.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

X marks the spot for the April APS Meeting in Denver; Andrea Ghez talks about the latest findings at the galactic center

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well it has come down to my last day at the American Physical Society (APS) April meeting in Denver, Colorado.  I just happened to look up at the cloudy sky and could see right away that there was a sign, sort of an "x" that marked the spot, that I was in the right place.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Gravity Collaboration presents at APS April Meeting in Denver; The Neutrino Sky; Elena Aprile and WIMPS; Silent Sky portreys Henrietta Leavitt

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, here we are at another full day of presentations at the APS April Meeting in Denver, Colorado and first up on our brief review of some of the details is from the GRAVITY Collaboration.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration presentation at April APS Meeting in Denver

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

One of the most popular sessions today was the imaging of the M87 black hole recent announcement by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

First sessions of April APS Meeting; Amory Lovins; AstroKatie; Cosmic Ray Elemental Abundances; Katherine Freese, Cosmic Cocktail and Dark Stars

Greetings from Palmia Observatory,

I'm here at Denver for the start of the April Meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) and the theme of the meeting is "Quarks to Cosmos" and can offer this brief summary of events.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

How Northern Lights might make sounds; Plasmons, Batteries, Computer Memory and Temperature with STEM; Has the EHT photographed a Black Hole?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well here we are packing our bags for the upcoming April APS meeting in Denver but we can report on some of the events of this week and check the incoming mail, which hopefully will have the first photograph of a black hole.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Upcomig APS and Mars Conferences; The Far Side of the Moon; CHIME and Fast Radio Bursts; Eurkeka moment and the Multii-Worlds Interpretation; Quintessence

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well we are still trying to recover from the cold/flu acquired during our late nights in Fairbanks, so though the nights have been somewhat clear of clouds, this week has been full of quiet rest and sometimes paging through the stacks of newly arrived science journals.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Last attempt to see the northern lights before flight from Fairbanks; OC Super Moon peeks through clouds; The Sun has a Spot! Where will you watch the 2020 total solar eclipse?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, as readers of the March 18 will recall, the weather forecast for our final day in Fairbanks, Alaska, showed some mostly cloudy skies from 1:00 AM to about 7:00 AM, and this would be the last chance we would have to see any northern lights.  So just before going to the airport, we

Monday, March 18, 2019

Final days in Fairbanks; Trans Alaska Pipeline; Dogs and Dog sled races and ride; Ice Sculptures, Museums and Martinis

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well we are coming down to our final days in Fairbanks and the search for the northern lights is just that, more searching, with little success due to the clouds.  But we have had a lot of fun seeing

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Going north to Fairbanks, Alaska; Aurora forecast looks good; Martinis look good; Darn Clouds; Physics with your cat!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well it is finally time to fly up north to Alaska and continue searching for the northern lights.  From OC to Seattle the snow covered mountain ranges provided a beautiful view from the airplane window.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Emergent Multiverse; Get your Lagrangians down pat; Keeping up with daylight saving time; Jocelyn Bell Burnell on Discovery of Pulsars

Greetings from Palmia Observatory,

Well we are busy packing our bags for our upcoming Alaska adventure, but we have some further comments on a foundation of quantum physics book and a neat article on white dwarf cooking and crystallization and on the 2019 UCI Reines Lecture.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Apollo 11 Documentary; Some comments from the Philosophy of Dark Energy Workshop; Chameleon and Fifth Forces? Cloudy forecast for our search for northern lights in Fairbanks Alaska

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well we are starting to pack our bags for our journey to search for the northern lights in Fairbanks, Alaska, but the weather forecast is looking a bit troublesome.  But in the meantime, we can make a documentary movie recommendation and make some comments from our attendance at the Philosophy of Dark Energy Workshop.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Philosophy of Dark Energy; Going to Fairbanks, cloudy or not; Making measuremens of The Epoch of Reionization; Breakfast with Differential Geometry, Singularities, Soap Bubbles and Black Holes

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week we attended two interesting lectures, which sparked some more investigative work, but before getting into that we should check the calendar for upcoming events.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Snowman in Norway and frost in Orange County; Books on Northern Lights and Gamma Ray Bursts; Measuring the neutron star radius with NICER

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well we are back in Orange County and find that the cold weather, minus the snow has arrived here too and been here too.  So we will have some final comments about the cruise searching for the northern lights and then, because it is so cold outside, just report on some of the latest books and journal articles.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Some Viking Sky passengers (not us) saw the northern lights; Coursera offers "The Changing Arctic"; South Pole has lights too!; Submarine in Bergen; Enjoying the sights and sounds on the Viking Sky

Greetings from Palmia Observatory,

Well our search for the northern lights along the coast of Norway has come to an end and while we were disappointed about not seeing the lights, some lucky fellow passengers did see the lights!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Nightscape photography with clouds in Borrego Springs; Going south to Bergen; Two Photon Absorption; Is that a submarine?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well our search for the northern lights continues southward along the Norwegian coast and the clouds have not been our friends.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Clouded out at our best available remote dark sky site near Alta; Viking Sky moves to its next port, Narvik; Visit with the Sami shaman

Greeting from Palmia Observatory

So, we are here in Alta and we  faced with bad weather conditions for nighttime observing and the experts select the best available site at Suolovopmi Fjellstue, which is at higher elevation and might escape some of the bad weather.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Arriving at our cruise’s most northerly point in Alta, Norway; Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel; Mostly clear weather forecast, now will the northern lights show up?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, we finished up our visit to Tromsø and it was time to pack up and head just a little bit further north to Alta.  Here you see our bus pulling up to the ship as we get ready to leave.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Having fun in Tromsø, Norway; Hooray, we saw our first stars (barely), but no lights; Next day forecast for more clouds and snow

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, we are in Tromsø, waiting for the nighttime so we can continue on our search for the northern lights, but first we have to wait for the sun to go down, which gives us time to explore and enjoy the Norwegian countryside.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Hooray, crossed the Arctic Circle; Saw, the moon through the clouds in Bodo, but no lights yet; Is Dark Energy increasing?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory,

Well it has started to snow and our cruise ship is approaching the Arctic Circle.  Our next port of call is at Bodo, Norway, which is  above the Arctic Circle.  But check out these two images of snow on the stairs, going up to the “sun” deck and the snow around the observing telescope.  This is the first time we have been on a cruise where it snowed on us.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Off the coast of Norway, searching for the northern lights; Scenic beauty, but cloudy forecast; Biding time till we cross the Arctic Circle

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well , here we are off the coast of Norway, searching for the northern lights.  The skies are cloudy, but it’s fun being at sea.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Never to be seen stars; Angular momentum and selection rules; Bell entanglement test with quasars; Using lasers to shrink accelerators; Is quantum mechanics real?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well we had hoped to get in some dark sky observing this week, but the stormy weather put an end to that, but we have some review comments on three physics lectures that we attended.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

The full moon and C5 spotting scope on tripod; Polar Vortex, notwithstanding, and the search for northern lights and shrinking Arctic Circle; Excellent Dark Matter/Energy Video

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well the super moon and lunar eclipse have come and gone, but let's break out the old C5 spotting scope and see if we can get a little more resolution than possible with the 300mm DSLR telephoto.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

More details about observations made with SDSS plate #2727; Looking into astrophysics of eclipses; The blood moon of January 20 and cloudy skies

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well last week I did a show and tell of my very own SDSS Plate #2727 at the monthly OCA Astrophysics SIG and wanted to report back about some of the details of observations made using that plate.  The history of my acquisition of this plate is covered in the January 16, 2019 blog post.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

New books on Gravitational Lensing and Supernova Explosions; At 233rd AAS meeting J Silk and Alex Szalay talk about the future of cosmology and archived survey data

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well in the last post we had some discussion of gravitational lensing and supernova explosions so before going into some new presentations made at the 233rd AAS meeting, we offer some good reference texts and comments.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Weather in Seattle; More from 233rd AAS Meeting; Why X-rays; Chandra X-ray observatory celebrates 20 years of successful operation

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, here we are with another day done at the 233rd AAS meeting in Seattle.  There were a lot of good sessions today and several great plenary presentations.  I'm going to pick on one of the plenary sessions today dealing with X-ray astronomy.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

233rd AAS Meeting in Seattle; Wind Direction on rotating Earth; Naming of Oumuaamua and comparison with New Horizon's MU69; Black Hole formation rate; Obscured galaxy spectral measurement; Time out for a martini

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week we are in Seattle for the 233rd American Astronomical Society (AAS) Meeting.  It is about 10 degrees colder than southern California and it has a light rain periodically.  Luckily, it is just a 2 minute walk, only about 1/2 minute, outside in the weather from the hotel to the conference center.