Well here we are reporting from our burrows again and some readers have commented about the sneaker optical illusion that was featured in the last post.
Science Nerd and Theatre Impresario, Scott, took it on himself to take the original photo and adjust the color balance in order to see how pertinent the color balance is to causing the optical illusion. I was just thinking about doing something like that myself, but he beat me to it, so I can just relax and have another martini. It turns out that explanations of the illusion say that the original image confused our mental visual systems and the brain had to invent a story to fake us out about what was being seen. With this revised color balance, I can now for the first time see pink in the upper right shot and yellow in the bottom middle shot. Thanks for doing that for us, Scott!
So even if we are stuck in our burrows, it turns out that some of our favorite authors are also doing the same thing. But they are actually getting things done and so Jim Baggott's work, "Quantum Reality" is hot of the press and was automatically downloaded to my Ipad by my friends at Amazon. Darn! I was just thinking that this was the perfect time to continuing studying QFT and now I have another book on top of the stack. That is just what I need; another book on understanding the foundations of quantum mechanics. Thanks a lot for that Dr. Jim!
|Great book to review the meaning of quantum mechanics (Source: Jim Baggott, "Quantum Reality")|
In many previous posts we talked about the relationship between particle size and effectiveness of mask and the importance of Stoke's Law to help determine how long particles will remain suspended in the air. We mentioned in the post of the April 1, 2020, how there is a little bump in the middle of the particle size axis where the filter effectiveness of the N95 mask dropped off. We asked why that happened? Well, now we found a video describing the physics of the N95 mask we explains that issue and how the mask actually filters particles. This slide from that video shows the typical particles and sizes that are covered by the N95 mask It turn out it relies more on electrostatic attraction that just pore size. Pretty neat, so check out the rest of the video if you want!
|The Physics of the N95 Masks (Source: minutephysics, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAdanPfQdCA)|
While we are stuck in our burrows and risk going stir crazy and we wonder what effects it is having on other people. We have ventured out with close friends and neighbors who we know have been as physically isolated as us and are therefore unlikely to be ill themselves. We all feel brighter and more resilient after that but what is everyone else experiencing and how are they adapting (or not)? To that end, we found a great review on YouTube of other health and social drawbacks from being isolated. It turns out that many people are suffering because they can't get in to see their dentist or doctor or get diagnostic tests done at the hospitals. Other people are not reporting in even when suffering serial heart trouble and strokes and kids are not getting vaccinated some cancer patients are not getting their chemotherapy. This interview goes over some of the findings.
|On the other health effects of the lockdown (Scott Atlas, Hoover Institute, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZqGSnVt8c8&feature=youtu.be)|
So, we each have to be vigilant and keep within our risk profiles. On a sad note, one of our Philosophy Meetup members, has just been hospitalized due to COVID-19. This is the first person I now who has contracted the condition. Hoping for the best, Isak!
So with that in mind, and still needing to get out and about, and with some higher infection rates in some areas, Resident Astronomer Peggy and I set off for Taco Tuesday on the patio of a local restaurant now serving sit down service. We say Taco Tueday, but Peggy had a grilled chicken salad and I had salmon with veggies and cauliflower rice. Here we are after moving though the restaurant to the patio.
We got seated on the patio which we thought would be the safest location and we could enjoy the afternoon Taco Tuesday without our masks. All of the wait staff were wearing masks and we hardly recognized anyone because of that. We had a great time and considered the little bit of increase of risk to us to be worth being able to help support one of our favorite places and to be able to get out of the burrow and recharge in the outdoor air.The only issue was trying to pose the camera with time delay shutter and make it back to our table in time.
|Finally seated on the High Park Tap House patio, waiting for our drinks (Source: Palmia Observatory)|
For our final comment about masks, we have received notice from Astronomer Assistants Ruby and Danny, they will be expecting their daily dose of masks. They find they are self cleaning and easily disposable. It seems this plea is spreading worldwide as seen in this Facebook post. Thanks for that, David!
|No objections to wearing a mask form this sector (Source: Facebook post by David N.)|
Ok, so just in case you are feeling overwhelmed and stuck inside your burrow, don't forget to keep your internal environment cleaned up for the next zoom meeting. Again, thanks to David, for letting us in on the secret!
|Cleanup up our burrows for the next zoom meeting (Source: Facebook post by David N.)|
One of our zoom meetings here was the status update meeting on the successful completion of the one year operation of the LightSail 2 Mission operated by the Planetary Society. In this image, you can see some of the solar sail and a view of the Earth below. Congratulations, LightSail 2 Team!
|LightSail 2: Celebrating One Year in Space (Source: https://www.planetary.org/)|
Just in case you have forgotten what the light sailing was all about, check out the conceptual diagram below. Just like the sail on a wind driven boat you can tack into the wind and control your motion by adjusting sail. Here we see how the LightSail satellite is able to change the orientation of the sail with respect to the sun in order to use the solar pressure effectively. Unfortunately the craft change change its orbit sufficiently and it too will slowly fall from its altitude of something like 700 km and will de-orbit within about the next year.
In other space news, we understand that the Falcon 9 launch of Starlink satellites has been postponed again. In the meantime we see that other SpaceX Starship fans are taking to the skies to see what is going on at Boca Chica. No longer content to just peer through the fence, as we ourselves did last March, RGVAerialPhotography provides us with with great aerial view of the site. Thanks for that!
So, here we see on frame from high above the launch site at Boca Chica. The ocean is at the top of the frame just out of view. You can see the old Starhopper demonstration craft, mid-frame next to the road. Then to the right you can see one of the test stands and just passed that to the upper right you can see the crumpled remains of SN7 Starship that ruptured during pressure test. SpaceX has a very progressive test and development schedule and we in the next few days we will probably see SN7 moved out the way for the next version. When we visited the site, way back in March, we had no idea of the additional testing area that shows up on the left hand side because it was hidden from view from the road. Anyway, check out the video for even more impressive views of the launch. Thanks for that video, @RGVaerialphotos!
|Aerial view of the SpaceX launch site at Boca Chica (Source: @RGVarielphotos)|
Finally, as a gesture to any forces that may be in control of getting the virus under control and ending the lockdown in time for us to make it possible for our November cruise to Australia, I picked up a stylish Australian hat as a good luck charm. Come on lucky November!
|Got the hat, now we just need clearance to sail to Australia (Source: Palmia Observatory)|
Until next time, here from our burrow, stay safe, but it's time to recover more of our freedom,
Resident Astronomer George
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