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, December 8, 2021

Habitable Mars and Venus timeline; Starlinks streaking! Looking for comet Leonard; Optical illusions and focal length effects at Starbase; What is that (Spin Launch)? Does Ruby exist when...? Ellie in Space

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well it has been several week between posts so it is time to review some recent activity and first up is this slide from the recently completed workshop on Venus habitability.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Hooray, the wait is over and we made it on the Zero-G airplane flight for our own weightlessness experience!

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, the wait is finally over.  What started as a desire to experience the weightlessness of being in outer space or in orbit, as seen on a Josh Gates Tonight episode way back in December 2020, finally happened.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Hunter-Gatherer's Guide to the 21st Century; Life History with circle diagram; Lucy goes into space; Exploring the Trojans at Lagrange L4 and L5; What else might be there?

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well we just got back from our really fun ZERO-G flight and while we wait to get the photos back from that experience, which we will show in the next post, we can comment about an interesting book and the successful launch of the Lucy spacecraft.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Hooray, Captain Kirk goes into space! Get your own zero g experience; Lightning, Cruise to the Amazon passes Guiana Space Center; What's Lightning? Experimenting with a polarizing filter

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well the age of commercial space and commercial space astronauts and tourists is here.  It was really thrilling to see William Shatner, also known as Captain Kirk, now 90 years old, go into space as a guest aboard the Blue Origin Spaceship, NS-18.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Where is Boca Chica Village? First interest in Boca Chica; Indoor ventilation study; What is the BGV Theorem? Tesla autopilot leading to Tesla Bot; Bad moon rising

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well our road trip to Texas and New Mexico is over and after getting back we got to thinking about how we first got involved with a big interest in SpaceX and what was happening in Boca Chica.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Friday, August 6, 2021

Day 2 of trip to South Padre Island and SpaceX Boca Chica Launch Site; Observing from SPI; Roadblock for BN4 rollout; Postscript: Hooray, Starship lifted on top of BN4!

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, here we are with the Day 2 Trip Report for covering our adventure in Boca Chica to check out the latest activity in SpaceX Starship development and check out launch viewing opportunities from South Padre Island.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Day 1 of trip to Brownsville to visit SpaceX Starship site in Boca Chica, TX; Telephoto views of Starship launch site from South Padre Island

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this blog post covers the first day of our exploration trip to Boca Chica to check out all of the SpaceX activity with Starship and Booster, BN4 status and integration at the orbital launch tower.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Commercial tourists venture into space; You too can have a happy thought in zero-g! Let's drive by and hopefully visiting billionaire rocket launch sites

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this past week we watch and enjoyed the two of the billionaire rocketeers blast into space for a short experience of weightlessness.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Venus and Mars almost on top of each other; Quantum Computing Meetup; Hooray, used Qsikit and Python to perform first quantum computing simulation example!

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well we are back from Iceland and slowing getting off cruise ship thinking about how staff members should just jump at our command and bring martinis, etc., so now we need to start looking up at the darker night sky here in in OC and begin our introductory study of quantum computing.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Fun in and around Icelandic fjords and waterfalls; Yeah, Puffins; Bright skies even at 1:00 am; Horizon photo might be Fata Morgana illusion; Volcano still going; Wood carving by Icelandic artisan

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, it seems so short now, but our week long cruise around Iceland has come and gone.  We had a marvelous time and we wondered if we might see the active volcano, Gerlingadalur, but couldn't fit it into our schedule, but the volcanic plume was visible on our bus ride from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Why is Gmail picking on me? Heading to Iceland; Looking at the sun with H-alpha; Primordial magnetism; Boca Chica views; Limited Space with Frank and Ernest; UAP Humor and more?

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well part of our work this week is getting website email alerts set up and transferred to the groups.io site, in lieu of more restrictions by Gmail.  More of and more of observatory email alerts are being prevented from being delivered.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Moon setting and rising on the horizon; Drawworks arrive in Boca Chica; Space Elevator at ISDC 2021; Amateur Spectroscopy tutorial at next AAVSO meeting; Let's go to Antarctica in 2022!

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well ever since being reminded of the moon rising over the lighthouse, as discussed in the June 22 post, we have been looking for similar situations to show the apparent size of the moon and now have had some modest success. Also a part of our email housekeeping chore, you can now sign up for new website posts when they are released at: Palmiaobservatory+subscribe@groups.io

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

View of full moon that is bigger than lighthouse; Can we use tall building, instead of lighthouse, in city views? Finding 14-story telescope pier; Entropy and Complexity vs. time

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week has mostly been happy and involved with more social activities as more and more restaurants and meeting places open up for real in person meetings.  Yeah!  In addition, we have commented about the recent annular solar eclipse and have been looking for some other full moon observing opportunities.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Not going to measure Mercury retrograde motion now; AAS 238th Meeting; Emily Levesque on Betelgeuse, The Last Stargazers and more; What are TZO's?

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week we elected not to travel back to the US east coast in an attempt to see the upcoming June 10 solar annular eclipse.  We also discovered that it was going to be nearly impossible to measure the retrograde motion of Mercury.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Too many clouds block view of Starlinks; Hume and epistemology and how we are able to know anything; Evidence of UFOs? Martin Harwit on potential coming end of astronomical observations?

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well the Heavens-Above prediction for the latest batch of Starlink satellites was for magnitude 2 visibility for May 30, but our old nemesis, the clouds turned the blue skies to black.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Thursday, May 20, 2021

UFOs; Homemade triangular shaped lights in the sky; Bitcoin falls deeply after purchase; More on the saga of transferring Bitcoin to Digital Wallet; Blog commenting for a living: Enjoying outside!

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory,

Well, this week has been busy trying to follow some of the technical presentations of the 52nd meeting of the AAS Division of Dynamical Astronomy (DDA).  We hope to comment about that shortly, but in the meantime we can review the UFO news and review the ups and downs of the Bitcoin universe and the saga of transferring Bitcoin to a digital wallet on your smart phone.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Oh-oh, I finally bought some Bitcoin? Cryptocurrency needs more energy efficient mining; Waiting for Starship orbital flight path around the globe; Can Mars be terraformed now? Going from the Hamiltonian to creation operators in QFT

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory,

Well we are still mostly under cloudy skies and the DDA 52nd meeting is underway, but its been hard o abstract a blog comment from the mostly very technical sessions and it is not clear how to make a cogent summary now, so for now let's comment for now on other events in cryptocurrency, Starship orbital plans, terraforming Mars and end with a little QFT.

Friday, May 14, 2021

What is on the horizon in Iceland? Not Starlinks on this horizon in Israel! Still wanting to get back to busy Boca Chica; Some comments on cryptography, digital currency and hashing; Finding the right keyboard size for your smart watch?

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well the early morning skies have been cloudy and I am reluctant to set an alarm clock anyway in order to measure Mercury's retrograde motion, so let's just scan the internet for science type news.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Hooray, this is the 500th blog post for Palmia Observatory! LISA Canada 2021 Workshop; LISA might see our cosmic dawn when the very first stars formed

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, here we are and I am not quite sure how it happened, but this is the 500th blog post from Palmia Observatory, which started seven years ago.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Hooray, Super Moon comes out of the clouds; Carnegie Observatory on Black Holes and Tidal Disruption Events; Hooray, Starship SN15 completes static fire test!

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well the moon arrives at its closest approach at its elliptical orbit about the Earth and appears about 14% larger during this full moon.  But, we had to wait for the clouds to part to get a clear image.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

How low is the July sun in the night sky in Iceland? What is the Muon g-2 experiment and findings?

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well as we look forward to our upcoming cruise to Iceland, we are glad to find that the people there, with low rate of COVID-19, especially welcome US passengers and don't have many restrictions.  So, now we can return to possible astronomical sightings of the Northern Lights, while there?

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Friday, April 16, 2021

See you at APS April Meeting! How close is the Blue Origin Van Horn, TX launch site to the SpaceX Starship launch site in Boca Chica?; Possible viewing location in South Padre Island;

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well last week we described some of the Blue Origin reusable rocket testing at their launch site near Van Horn, in west Texas and now want to consider visiting there too, but first let's remind everyone of the upcoming APS April Meeting.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Hydrated crust and Missing Martian Water; Iceland a Portal to Mars?; With Blue Origin successful launch, is the New Shepard ahead of the Starship?

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

In astronomy related news this week is this interesting article in Science that identifies what might be a more important explanation for why Mars today is a dry and arid planet.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Hooray, success in capturing the Zodiacal light; Further analysis of all collected images found one in the right direction and long enough exposure to see the light!

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, this time we do have some happy news and can celebrate the photographic capture of the Zodiacal light.  This happy news comes just after our earlier post describing our failure to actually capture the light, but now after reviewing all of the images for our recent road trip trip, we have a successful image!

Monday, April 12, 2021

Unpacking from local road trip and packing for Iceland; Beauty and the Beast; Flaming Surprise; Maybe Zodiacal lights from Kingman; Aliens in Oatman, AZ; Astronomer finds Las Vegas?

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well we just got back and unpacked from our road trip looking for the Zodiacal light and now have to repack for a cruise to Iceland in lieu of the cancelled Ukraine cruise.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Packing our bags for road trip in search of Zodiacal light; Viewing of SpaceX launch site in Boca Chica; Review of viral evolution and example of tracking the spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well here we are packing our bags for our road trip in search of the Zodiacal light in the dark skies around Needles, CA., and at the same time unpack our backs for the September cruise from Romania, in search of vampires, up the Dneiper River, from Odessa, to Kiev, Ukraine, which has been canceled, but in the meantime we can report on observing opportunities in Boca Chica and look into some science of viral mutations and variants of concern.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

The secret trick for last week's mirror symmetry quiz; Dr. Ken gets even and recommends symmetry book; Pretending to look for the supernova in city lights; Aunty Acid and the Lazy Astronomer?

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Ok, so this week we are going to reveal the symmetry trick used in the last blog and then go on to pretend to look for the recently announced supernova and finish up with some great advice from Aunty Acid.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

The sun has a spot today! Atmospheric scattering equation; Doing physics on the transparent blackboard; Resident Astronomer tries transparent blackboard; Applying symmetry transformations to QFT textbook results in quiz/puzzle?

 Greeting from Palmia Observatory

Well this week we look at the sun for any spots and introduce the atmospheric scattering equation and then finish up with some symmetry and mirror image flipping and leave you with a puzzle to solve.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Yep, OCA Dave shows you can photograph the Zodiacal light from Anza; Estimating and comparing sky brightness from Needles, CA

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, here we are evaluating a good site from which to see or at least photograph the Zodiacal light.  Yep, OCA Dave reminds us that it shows up quite often in photographs from Anza observing site.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Still looking for Starlinks; Remembering our search for the northern lights and considering safe return to Fairbanks; Intro to virus variants; Remembering dark matter as better answer with Sean; Epistemology with Schmachtenberger; Virtual March APS Meeting; What is quantum Annealing? Virtual Lunar and Planetary Society Meeting

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week is going to be busy with online virtual conferences sponsored by the American Physical Society (APS), who is conducting their March Meeting which concentrates on condensed matter physics.  Also the Lunar and Planetary Society (LPSC) is holding their online 52nd annual conference meeting.  But, before it all gets started, we have other activities to report on including the attempt to see if the March 16 predicted string of lights from Starlinks satellites would be visible.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Starship SN10 flies, lands and then explodes 10 minutes later; More on finding a Starship observation site in Boca Chica and estimating telephoto lens requirements; Three Entangled Qubits and GHZ entangled state

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well here we are wondering, after having received our second vaccine dose, how this "new normal" will affect our decisions to travel and go out more?  In the meantime we can report on the latest drama from the Starship SN10 test flight and look into possible launch viewing sites in Boca Chica and finish up with some discussion on three qubit quantum entanglement.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Vaccine effectiveness and timeline; Learn about vaccines with Ninja Nerd; Having fun with Python and big numbers of mRNA; Is Tritium or Carbon-14 a Betavoltaics good for energy storage?

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, we didn't get any nighttime observing done this week and we were mostly preoccupied with wondering about the effectiveness of the 2nd COVID-19 vaccine shot.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Hooray, Resident Astronomer gets 2nd vaccine shot; Great video of Perseverance landing on Mars; Some comments on the AAS Habitable Worlds 2021 conference

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Hooray, this week we finally received our 2nd vaccine shot.  Resident Astronomer Peggy will get her 2nd shot next week.  In the meantime, we watched some great video of Perseverance landing on Mars and sat in on the online AAS Habitable Worlds conference and can provide some brief comments.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Monday, February 15, 2021

Starlinks seen, with naked eyeballs, moving across the sky; Upcoming Starklink rocket launches; Perseverence Rover to land on Mars on Feb 18

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, this week's prediction by Heavens-Above, showed good observational opportunity of Starlinks in the OC area from 5:32 to 5:37 am, Feb 14.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Blast from the past with Falcon Heavy! Upcoming possible Starlinks observation; Finally tried Einsteinpy to calculate Christoffel symbols; Offshore Nuclear Power Plants?

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well my social media site reminds me of past events and this time was when we were at Kennedy Space Center for the first launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy with Starman aboard Elon's red Tesla.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Resident Astronomer gets his first jab; Will Lie Group E(8) be the Theory of Everything?; FAA Part 450; Starship SN9 mostly successful, but ends in RUD!

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week we listened to some interesting discussion on on E(8) symmetry and Theories of Everything and Starship SN9 finally makes a test hop, but first this Resident Astronomer got in line for his first COVID-19 vaccine injection.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Weather interlude; More on RNA viruses and variants and genetic sequencing; Nucleoside Nomenclature; What is this common household item?

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well the weather has turned very windy and cloudy and might get in the way of observing the conjunction of Mar/Uranus/Moon on Ja 20, so let's take a break and look at some news in virology.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Mercury low on the horizon and Mars & Uranus high up; Sample Return News; AAS237 Meeting; White Dwarfs and Gravity Waves; AGN; Gravity Energy Storage System; Shaken not Stirred!

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week has had clear nights so we can show some DSLR shots of Mercury and Mars and Uranus, then comment on some space news and some more brief comments on AAS 237.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Orloj - The Prague Astronomical Clock; iPad Astrolabe; Hooray, first day of the online AAS 237th meeting; Pulsar Timing Arrays; Mars-Uranus nearing conjunction

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Earlier in the week we saw some TV show on astronomy and they showed the Orloj Astronomical Clock in Prague. Wo while we wait for the AAS 237th meeting to start, lets detour to that clock.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Get ready for AAS 237; Coming up on the Mars and Uranus Conjunction; How to sequence DNA; Astronomer Assistant Willow

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week has kept busy indoors studying about how DNA genome sequencing works and practicing outdoors trying to photograph Uranus with a DSLR telephoto lens.  But first we should check the calendar for upcoming AAS meetings.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year!; Great conjunction composite photo! My favorite COVID-19 at home self test? Hey, the Sun has some spots; Closing in on the last images and orbital measurement of Saturn's moon Titan

 Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, here we are in a new year and plan and hope for more successful, saner and safe and happy new year! Our end of year activity was busy trying to complete the measurement of Titan's orbit around Saturn and do some physics while sometimes getting sidetracked into armchair virology as we navigate our way through the pandemic.