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)

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Jim Baggott's Quantum Cookbook; Social Distancing Smart Alecs; Stoke's Law and the Virus; Starship progress; Enjoying the simple sunset!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well here we are still sheltering in place but can offer a review of a fantastic book and do some physical analysis of some of the issues that go into setting social distancing recommendations.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Three minute astrophotography; Online courses for physicist wannabes sheltering at home; More COVID 19 status info; More virology science and evolution of viruses

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well here we are going on our third week of sheltering in place, but it is still possible to go outside and verify that the sky is not falling and the planetary orbits are still orbiting and still find time to study physics and virology online.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Studying Molecular Biology; How does PCR Amplification Work? Virus shedding, transmission, morbidity and R0

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well we looked up at the night sky briefly, just to notice that Venus and a little sliver of the Moon are very close together, but the main activity again this week is sheltering in place, where we looked more into the how the RT-PCR test for viruses works and some infection spread modeling terms.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Excellent free video lecture series on virology while stuck in our burrows; Looking into how viruses use symmetry and potential energy to their advantage;

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well here we are again holed up in our burrow, with only a few trips out to pick up food or occasionally just to look at the sky and see if the clouds have gone away.  It is hard to concentrate on much anything else but learning to adapt to the virus.  So, this post will cover some interesting aspects of viruses, picked up during my homework reading in virology, and how they rely on physics principles of symmetry, free energy and stability.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Out from the bunker to photograph the ISS; What are light echos in astronomy? More Starship progress; Sean Carroll to discuss big ideas in the universe

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week we have been "sheltering in place" and we can offer some comments on some interesting scientific topics and other space news, but first we received a last minute note about the ISS traversing the night sky.

Friday, March 20, 2020

How much carbon per cellphone call? What is Cosmic Explorer; More Starship SN3 news from Boca Chica; Trying to understand the virus?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, here we are in our social isolation bunker mode at the observatory.  The calendar suddenly has lots of open spots, but nowhere to go.  So we can follow up on some current news from the journals and take an amateur's look at the biology and effects of the Coronavirus.  This pandemic can be so disruptive we might separate events on our calendar, from what we used to do, to what we do now, as BCV and ACV (Before/After CoronaVirus)!

Monday, March 16, 2020

Last physics colloquia for a while; Hooray, peered through the fence at SpaceX South Texas Launch Complex; Some spring break partying in South Padre Island

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, at the start of the week we attended what may have been one of the last physics colloquia for us in quite some time now as we transition to social distancing to mitigate COVID 19 pandemic!

Friday, March 13, 2020

Cloudy Weather; COVID19 cancellations; Next Starlink Launch and why they are visible; Please, just Wash your Hands!;

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well here we are on a cloudy day and not much of a chance of nighttime observing and with the cloud of coronavirus or COVID19 hanging all about us.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Starship SN1 moves to launch site; SN1 failure; Electric Vehicles and IEEE Sustech 2020; Terrain Relative Navigation; Gravitational Waves and Geodesics in curved spacetime

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, this week we were happy to see that the Starship, Serial Number 1 (SN1) was transported across the highway to the launch site in Boca Chica, TX.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Detection of photons and single photon interference and wave-particle duality

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week we concentrate on the story about how single photons and single photon interference were detected.

Friday, February 14, 2020

What? How can this be the 400th post on this blog?; Upcoming SpaceX Starlink launch; Nanoscale structure and possibility of thermal diodes; Gentle introductions to gauge theory; Maybe jazz is the connection and answer?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, happy Valentine's Day to all of you star struck wannabes!  In this post we cover the latest news from SpaceX, consider how nanoscale structures lead to the possibility of thermal diodes, delve into the nature of gauge theory and end up with how our night out with jazz might be the secret of understanding physics.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Hooray, blind pointing of camera captured some Starlinks; Upcoming planetary caves conference in San Antonio; Get your dark physics in the paradise of Guadaloupe; Starship launch NET March 16

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well we have had some success in blind pointing the camera at the sky and captured some Starlinks satellites.  We will review some upcoming conferences and finish off with some comments and recommendation for Sean Carroll's "Mysteries of Modern Physics."

Sunday, February 2, 2020

No sunspots this week; More on EHT imaging of M87 black hole shadow; How big would a black hole with Milky Way mass be?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well with no sunspots  this week we had a chance to sit in on another presentation about the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) and the shadow of the black hole in M87, which called for more homework on how radio interferometer arrays work to produce images.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Looking for another constellation of Starlink satellites; Hmm, saw some flashes, took some photos, but no string of pearls

Greetings from Palmia Observatory


Well, SpaceX launched another constellation of Starlink satellites early Wednesday morning, so let's go out on this Saturday evening and see if we can spot any on their predicted pass over Orange County.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Hey, the SoHO app shows some sunspots on our "quiet" sun; Darn clouds! Hooray, finally can see one sunspot; Need more focal length for more detail

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, just by chance this week I scanned the SoHO smart phone app, and it showed a couple of sunspots.  Wow, this was pretty unusual since I had not seen any spots at all for the last several weeks I looked.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Blind pointing attempt to photograph Starlinks; Radio Astronomy and chiral carbon molecules; High School Cubesats to measure pulsar x-rays

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well we are back from our Hawaii adventure at the 235h AAS meeting where I demonstrated that I was still capable of playing hooky from school!  Anyway, now back in OC we attended a couple of lectures one on using cubesats to train students and do science and another on radio astronomy and can comment on them.

Monday, January 13, 2020

More from AAS 235; Stellar Interferometry; Betelgeuse; Fast Radio Bursts; Ancient Polynesian Mariners; Rainbows, Luaus and Fire Dances

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, the 235th AAS meeting in Hawaii is drawing to a close, but we can provide a few summaries of sessions on stellar imaging, using spectroscopy to measure stellar mass inflow and outflow, fast radio bursts, and how ancient Hawaiian navigators discovered the stars after losing sight of the land.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

More AAS 235th meeting; No Dark Energy? TMT Protests; Bright satellites and astronomy; Planetary Science; History of Astronomy; Playing hooky in the Hawaiian sun!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well it is another day in Hawaii at the 235th AAS meeting and the temptation to play hooky is very, very strong.  Not because the meeting is not interesting, but because of the natural beauty of Hawaii.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Sunset and city lights in OC; City lights on arrival in Honolulu; Hey, we might see Alpha Centauri; Black Holes snacking with Dr. Suvi; Sunset with Venus

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, it is finally time to make our way to the 235th American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting in Honolulu.  So after making our way to the meeting we can summarize some of the technical sessions.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Is this a vertical sun dog? Evolution of stars from main sequence; Using large mirrors to mitigate climate change? Flying with vacuum; Missed the beer experiment

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

There are a lot of different topics this weeks but first we need to alert, all of you SpaceX Starlink satellite launch followers, that the next scheduled launch from KSC is now on for Monday, January 6 a 9:19 pm.  So get out and follow the satellites and get some photos of the string of pearls.  You can check in with www.heavens-above.com website for viewing details in your area.