Greetings from Palmia Observatory
Well we saw some Starlink string of pearls this week and planned for the upcoming annular eclipse and worried about atomic sized black holes but enjoyed some LIGO news benefits of the hot weather,
|Predicted path of Starlink Satellites (Source: Heavens Above)
So here we see one of the early morning captured images of the string of pearls. Sadly, but fortunately, the flimsy tripod had some horizonal motion when the shutter was snapped. Otherwise the Starlink trails, due to the 1/2 second exposure, would have been aligned right on top of each other and we would not have been able to identify each satellite separately. Hooray, for flimsy!
|DSLR image, 55mm, 1/2 second exposure, on flimsy tripod (Source: Palmia Observatory)
Now probably everyone is trying to figure out where to travel and if they can still find rooms to stay in for the total solar eclipse in April 2024, but we have a much closer annular eclipse that we can plan for. Check out the path of the annular eclipse of October 14, 2023. That is just 3 months away.
The sun here in Orange County will be about 75% occluded. If you travel to the eclipse center line you will see the sun 98% occluded and be able to see the ring of the sun, still illuminated, but with the center blocked out by the moon. Hmm, yeah maybe need to travel to see this annular eclipse.
|Predicted path of October 14 annular eclipse (Source: www.solarsystem.nasa.gov)
Gravity Guy and Part-time Las Vegan, Ken, alerted us to other movement of the Moon and how it seems to be crashing into Las Vegas on a daily basis. Thanks for the heads up Ken, we might stop by that location if we travel towards Utah for the annular eclipse!
|The recently opened 6400-seat theater in Las Vegas sometimes looks like the Moon (Source: BBC.com)
Hmm, it looks like that we might be able to combine a trip to Boca Chica, TX to see progress at Starbase and move just a short distance to see the annular eclipse also. Or maybe we can head up somewhere like central Utah to see the eclipse and go to Boca Chica another time. Maybe, we can just check in with some of the many volunteer followers of activity there and see what is happening right now.
|Starbase construction site with Rocket Garden (Source; NasaSpaceFlight)
Here is another overhead view of the Starbase construction site provided by RGV Aerial Photography.
|Overhead view of construction at Starbase fabrication area (Source: RGV Aerial Photography)
Of course we also need to check out the activity at the Starbase Launch Site also. Here we see in this overhead view a lot of activity, especially the orange moisture barrier material under the launch pad where hundreds of concrete trucks are installing the protection for the new water deluge flame suppression system. Hmm, maybe this time the Starship booster rocket blast won't dig a deep hole! The 2nd attempted launch of the Supper Heavey Booster and Starship could now just be a couple of months away.
|Overhead view of construction at Starbase launch site (Source: RGV Aerial Photography)
In other news, this question about the effects of an atomic sized black hole, if it were right next to you, caught my attention. Wow, now I didn't check the calculation, but wow, watch out for atomic sized black holes. I guess maybe the good news is that black holes that size supposedly would evaporate very quickly, and we might notice them coming our way. Also if we find ourselves near a black hole, we want it to be a really big one where we might not feel that we have crossed the event horizon!
|Oh-oh, stay away from atomic size black holes! (Source: Boutros Gladius on Quora)
In other more positive and not worrying news, we found some articles on the status of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. The results of the Q3 Observation Run have been released and the start of Q4 Observing Run has been announced.
Look at this collection of mergers that included not only binary black hole systems but neutron star mergers also.
|Observed "graveyard" of merging neutron stars and black holes (Source: LIGO Scientific Collaboration)
The Q4 Observing Run was started back on May 24, 2023, and here is some of the details of this latest ongoing observation run. The detection of merging neutron stars and subsequent observation in optical and other domains is going to be a source of possible new physics.
|LIGO Q4 Observation Run has started (Source: LIGO Scientific Collaboration)
Finally, as summer hot weather is finally making its appearance some to the Palmia Observatory staff have got their summer haircuts. Here we see Astronomer Assistant Ruby in all her finest.
|Astronomer Assistant Ruby shows off her summer haircut (Source: Palmia Observatory)
Ok, ok, just in case you are still worried about the atomic size black holes and the continuing summer heat, here we find some pundit found at least one less thing to worry about.
|One good thing about hot summer weather (Source: Facebook post)
Until next time,