Category Archives: Uncategorized

ISS Tool Bag

Hi all-
As we all know on of the ISS astronauts lost a tool bag during a space walk earlier this month. There are now 10 day predictions on when you can see it on Heavens-above .com

Here are the current predictions:

ISS tool bag – Visible Passes

Search period start:     00:00 Saturday, 29 November, 2008
Search period end:     00:00 Tuesday, 9 December, 2008
Local time zone:     Central Standard Time (UTC – 6:00)
Orbit:     348 x 353 km, 51.6° (Epoch Nov 26)

Date Mag    Starts         Max. altitude    Ends         Alt.    Az.      Time          Alt.    Az. 
6 Dec    7.1    17:44:37    10    NNW   17:46:38    23     NNE    17:46:38    23      NNE
7 Dec    5.9    18:09:23    10    NW     18:11:56     66    WNW    18:11:56    66     WNW
8 Dec    6.8    16:59:37    10    NNW   17:02:07    25     NE        17:04:36    10     E
8 Dec    8.5    18:35:09    10    W        18:37:13    18     SW        18:37:43    17     SW

So, in theory, we should be able to see the ISS tool bag(faintly) from Oak Mountain this coming weekend!
Any one up to a challenge?

Hubble Christmas Cards

The Hubble folks developed what I consider some good looking Christmas cards for printing, either on your home computer or via a print shop.  The templates are free.  I use blank perforated cards purchased at Staples that come with envelopes.  Check ’em out:

10 things Ancient Pirates and Modern Amateur Astonomers (AAs) have in common.

  1. Pirates and AAs are both associated with telescopes and eyepatches.

  2. Pirates used the stars and charts to navigate the dangers of the open seas.

    AAs use the stars and charts to navigate the dangers of a mundane existance.

  3. Pirates dressed funny, had a unique vocabulary, and odd customs.

    Been to a star party lately?

  4. Wherever pirates roamed they struck fear into the hearts of everyone they encountered.

    OK, other than scaring an occasional game warden, deputy, or deer who happens to wander up on a bunch of folks having a great time freezing their telrads off in the dark, we’re not exactly feared.

  5. Each group has a unique code of conduct associated with it. The pirates lived by such tenets as: take no prisoners, show no quarter, stab them in the back if the opportunity permits.

    AAs have: “hey, you’re in my spot”, no white lights, and “woe to the person who accidentally taps their brakes while warming up in the car.”

  6. Each has a unique diet: Pirates had salted pork, hard tack, fish, and rum.

    AAs have Vienna Sausages, crackers, sardines, and chewy coffee.

  7. Pirates pillaged, robbed, and burned down entire coastal towns just for the fun of it.

    Have you read some of those equipment reviews and Astronomy blogs lately?

  8. Pirates scoured the oceans looking for booty to be snatched up for the taking.

    AAs have Astromart.

  9. Pirates amassed huge caches of treasure and buried them at secret locations.

    AAs have the same thing but its found in their basements, garages, and, in some cases, their living rooms.

  10. Pirates banded together in like-minded groups, called crews, that were led by a blood thirsty and particularly ill-tempered individual, called a captain, who would order them about.

    AAs call them club presidents.

Let us know if you come up with others!


Who says that we aren’t getting hit by things from sapce every day?

A brilliant green fireball startled onlookers across western Canada on Nov. 20th (5:30 pm MST) when it split the evening sky and fragmented during a series of thunderous explosions. “The sky was lit up almost like daytime for 3 or 4 seconds,” reports Gordon Blomgren of Alberta. Murray McDonnell of northwestern Saskatchewan says “my wife and I saw a brilliant flash of blue white light, like lightning. About one minute later a long rumbling sound shook the house.”

Andy Bartlett video-recorded the event from a 10th-floor apartment in Edmonton, Alberta: View The SASKATCHEWAN FIREBALL

The Pirate Blog Rules

Okay-  Here are the rules. … such as they are…

  • TRY to keep it clean
  • Don’t advertise- we don’t want to buy ‘enhancement pills’ or diet pills (even though some might need them!)
  • If you are selling your own personal scope stuff that cool. We will NOT be responiable for any ads placed here.
  • Have FUN!