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)

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Consciousness and Lagrangians; Hypatia and Library of Alexandria; Re-insurance for pandemics and existential risks; More SpaceX news; Sanity at the lake

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, I stared off this week with more wondering and anxiety about our life from our burrows.  How best are we to cope with the pandemic and other existential risks?

Friday, June 26, 2020

Monday, June 22, 2020

Trying to do QFT with another textbook; The noble mask lie! Where are all of the solar system probes? SETI and search for favorite asteroids; More Boca Chica views and SpaceX news; What color do you see?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well I haven't been out for any astronomical observing for this whole week and so can only comment on ongoing physicist wannabe activities and on some of the online meetings and space news.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Beautiful Falcon 9 launch; More Starship news; Online OCA and SAS conferences; Physics and beauty and math and depression; Rise and Wine!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well we were out early this morning (4:06 am) to see if the latest batch of Starlinks was going to be visible, but those darn high, thin clouds got in the way, so we have to wait for another day, but today we can still report on other SpaceX and physics news.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Hey, the sun has some spots now; Why is the universe so smooth? Falcon 9 booster on barge; Ways of making Starlinks darker; Hooray, the sunspot is visible! Fun at the beach, finally!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, the sun has woken up a bit and has a visible sunspot, so when the clouds thin out let's take a look, but while we wait we can report on other astronomy news, until, hooray, the clouds depart!  Here is the screenshot from the iPhone app SoHO showing the now visible sunspot.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Attending the AAS 236th meeting virtually; Docking with the ISS Simulation; Upcoming Starlink launch and what happened with Starship SN4; Areosols and COVID-19 and if the vet were in charge!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well here we are in our burrows trying to attend and learn something from the American Astronomical Society (AAS) 236th annual meeting held virtually in lieu of actual in Madison, WI.  More comments about that next time, but now more comments about Starship SN4, Docking at ISS Simulation and COVID-19 and if the vet were in charge.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Hooray, successful launch and arrival of SpaceX Dragon spacecraft Endeavor at ISS!; SpaceX Starship SN4 explodes but progress continues!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Hooray, after a delay, the Falcon 9 rocket made it into orbit with the Dragon spaceship, with astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, blasted off and arrived at the International Space Station (ISS)!

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Venus Mercury Conjunction; Cancelled Ukraine Cruise; Cancelled conferences, but virtual AAS meeting; Some big bang galaxy formation; Get this mansion observatory?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, the launch of the crewed Dragon spaceship has been scrubbed due to weather, now scheduled for Saturday, May 30 at 12:22 pm on the west coast, but we can report on the Venus-Mercury Conjunction and some cancelled meetings, but the summer AAS meeting is virtual, and end up with some big bang astrophysics and a home observatory for sale.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Remember to watch the Crewed Dragon Demonstration Launch; Night out at Curiosity Peak Observatory; Honoring Memorial Day; Trying to capture comet SWAN C/2020 F8

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well here we are still stuck in our burrows, but there are hints of opening up more and more and maybe sit down openings at restaurants.  In the meantime we have the upcoming Crewed Dragon launch and trying to capture the comet SWAN C/2020 F8 and will offer some comments on Memorial Day.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Getting back into light curves even with a quiet sun; Time to read the stack of journals; The Precipice; Goodbye Tom Lipo; How it all began!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well here we are again in social isolation lockdown, which seems to be easing up some, but we have been mostly reduced to reading journals and not doing much night sky observing, but did sign up for the Vstar course from AAVSO, which hopefully will get me out doing some actual light curve measurements shortly.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Before Time Began; Fresh water and the fate of food; Wilczek on Quanta of the Third Kind; More on corona and a spray that sort of helps!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week has had time to review a book and attend a lecture on food and global warming and the experimental verification of anyon statistics and a few comments on flattening the curve.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Raptor engines in Boca Chica and Elon calls for freedom; Peering through the fence at the beach; Particle tracks in minerals as dark matter and neutrino detectors; Curious about the big bang, just order primordial soup?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory


Well here we are again, stuck in our burrows, but in the meantime while we wait for freedom, we can report on ongoing activity at Boca Chica and an interesting discussion of using small samples of minerals from deep in the Earth as solid state particle detectors for neutrinos and perhaps dark energy.  You might also get a hint or two about how this social isolation is beginning to affect me.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Starship SN4 completes 3 second static burn; Next Starlinks will have sun shade; Looking into equations of General Relativity; HR6819, Nearest Black Hole

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, here we are watching videos and news and meeting on line again.  So, today we get some SpaceX Starship and Starlink news as well as follow up with more equations of general relativity on one page and end with the announcement of the closest black hole to us.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Did you see the Lyrid meteor shower?; SpaceX Starlink Satellite Launch and Starship news; HOLiCOW, what's up with Hubble Constant?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, last night was our chance to get out of our burrows and look for the Lyrid meteor shower.  Hmm, didn't see anything, but can report on SpaceX Starlink launch and HoliCOW, what's up with the Hubble Constant, H0?

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

How does the 5 minute COVID-19 test work?; Hooray, APS April 2020 virtual meeting online; Gaia data releases and how the Milky Way came to be!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, here we are again in our burrow with time to follow up on some COVID-19 rapid testing machine technology and comment on the APS April 2020 meeting that is being conducted as a virtual meeting online.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Ruby meets masked mutt; Starship progress; Daily Equation with Brian Green; More COVID-19 and SARS CoV-2; Beautiful Sunset; Hooray, APS April Meeting in your PJ's!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well here we are again stuck in our bunkers, but the dogs still want to walk and there is plenty of news about space, science and the virus to keep us occupied.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

SpaceX still making progress in Texas; Why Copper? Finding the right oracle for the future while stuck at home; What about the other possible existential risks?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week we can report on some of the ongoing space development progress, probably the only progress in the nation,  and then search for the right oracle to review the other existential risks besides the one that keeps up stuck in our burrows.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

OCA Meeting now virtual; Starship Users Guide; More from EHT; Virus Vaccine Status; Ongoing online courses; Keeping hands off your face!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory,

Well, here we are trying to adapt to our shelter in place guidelines and still continue on our physicist wannabe journey.  Luckily more and more meetings are being rescheduled for online viewing.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Venus and The Pleiades Conjunction; Starship SN3 Explodes during test; Doing online astronomy classes and finding water on Mars; TP and overweight fix!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well still keeping a low profile in our burrow, but have been following the SpaceX news and looking at the conjunction of Venus and the Pleiades and learning about taking the temperature of Mars with Mike Brown.  Also we can report on more Facebook smart alecs and dealing with sheltering in place.

Friday, April 3, 2020

AAS Summer 236th Meeting will be online; Learning about Mars with Mike; Hey, there's a sunspot; Starship fails cryo-test! Luckily, COVID 19 transmission is mostly by droplets!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week we find more and more meetings transitioning to online.  We will comment on some ongoing classes and look at a tiny sunspot and return to our back of the envelope Stoke's Law analysis and how luckily the current COVID-19 is mostly not an airborne virus.

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.