Thursday, August 10, 2023

checked out Orion spaceship

Been a little while that I surfed thorought SpaceFlight Now.

Noted, front and centre, an article on Artemis 2 and it lovely spaceship.

What must it feel like to stand in front of machine knowing it will carry you though space and around the Moon. The is “my ship.”

Crawling around inside it.

This is “my ship.”

The Orion moonship. To me, it looks awesome. Our Canadian astronaut, Jeremy Hanson, sounded pretty chuffed. “It’s starting to feel very, very real.”

Nice photos and video.

There were other interesting tidbits at SFN, of course.

Sunday, August 06, 2023

using an equipment list in Stellarium

I considered a little project for the afternoon, so to get a bit more familiar with the feature in Stellarium.

Of course, Stellarium is not my prime.

But what if it was!😲😯🙀?

I was also feeling a bit of Educator Guilt: I better have the first-hand experience for any topic taught.

Fired up the Oculars window (Ctrl o). Added all my active eyepieces, added the baader Zoom, the long-term loaners. Had to look up, scour for, some data, the AFOV values. Add the three telescope OTAs. Ensured the flip settings were correct (as they are wrong from the factory). Corroborated with SkyTools. 

Ignored “sensors” for now. I did not envision any special impact for the imaging crew.

Set my general options per my personal preferences (e.g. scaling).

my eyepiece collection selectable in Stellarium

Tested it and all seemed nominal (Alt o).

Good to practice the associated keyboard shortcuts.

It was interesting to use Venus for testing; a ultra-thin crescent. Threw me for a loop at first...

The other big part of this was retention beyond usual events, i.e. upgrades, transfer to a new computer. That in turn meant that my backup procedures first crafted in the fall of 2022 could be validated. I followed the directives for Windows in my instance. With my power-user mode hat on, renamed the oculars data content, basically a date-time stamp.

Checked the sensibly named backup file "ocular (BACKUP 230806-1701 EDT - Blake's personal).ini" which is easy to do in Windows with plain old Notepad.

Intentional modified the equipment list which forced a new backup to "ocular - Copy  230806-1916 EDT (test after edit).ini" to which an inspection showed the new datum.

But I also want to ensure users on other operating systems had access to useful information. That had been available on the lumpy darkness Stellarium evergreen web pages.


While Mom was here and I explained my objectives, she just shook her head and said, why is it not easy, simple. Why can't the user just click a button and everything's taken care of.

Moon muckin about

While a late-night crew tended to me I noted a half a disc trying to push grey light trough the blind.

I tried to figure out the time. Confused by meds or the analogue layout or what med team wanted of me, wasn’t 100 sure. A straight arrow? That’d be 10 to 4?


And now I fight, post… deferred entry… with the iPad keyboard…

Thursday, August 03, 2023

learned dessert source

I misread the receipt for the lunch served.

Cool! Dessert item from NASA. Very Cool!

How did National Aeronautics and Space Administration know I'm into human spaceflight and explor—

My sister said, "Whoa, whoa, not NASA. It's NSA."

lunch menu slip


No Sugar Added. 

Wednesday, August 02, 2023

a monster from APOD

Didn't notice it at the time but yesterday's Astronomy Photo of the Day (APOD) was pretty spectacular.

A stunning, huge (I assume) prominence at the Sun.

With a very evocative shape.

Compare ot the visualized monster from the classic science-fiction flick Forbidden Planet.

A movie I always thought with a neat ironic aspect as the humans exploration spacecraft sure looks like the stereotypical UFO!

We come in peace...

Tuesday, August 01, 2023

orange Moon! (St Thomas)

Moon's up again.

And, again, amazing dark.


Estimated 20 degrees elevation. Stellarium Mobile Plus better than me: 14°.

A magnified Mars!

Wow, a rather incredible view.

What's causing this fantastic colouring... Is it goop in the south-western sky that Luna has to climb out of? Or in the sunlight disturbed on its way to our satellite?

Forest fires?

I did not alter this photo.

orange disc outside

Motorola e6, flash-suppressed, f/2, 1/15 sec, ISO 2344, 4mm.

changing impact factor

It was with passing interesting I noted headlines regarding the Boeing spacecraft and cost overruns. It was a symbolic number they'd reaching in their project management reporting but I just took that as a FYI.

These things happen. If you know me, you know I have very particular perspectives on the labour side of projects when they encounter slippage. I also appreciate of the challenges presented by new projects deployed for things never done. Planning for something never tried before. Crazy. 

This post might have been the one I first noticed.


A headline today (SpaceFlight Now) had a different spin or perspective...

This could introduce delays that affect... well... many other people.

Delays that would affect NASA astronauts. And other 'nauts. 

Ah. Hold on.

That's a big--or a bigger--deal.

And then I thought: the Moon base? Or outpost.

I'm not sure the full impact but now I will have to dig deeper. Will Boeing's troubles spill over into the The Gateway.

They will. As I noodle on it more, it will.

They are one of the pillars...

We need the truckers. WE need the truck drivers. We need the logistics companies. WE have to haul a lot of stuff across the 400 000 kilometre gap.

Oh my.

the third is done

It is done.


This one, for some reason, took a lot of energy.

But it feels so good, so amazing, to be get past this.

And there's this whole triple connotation, the trifecta. But that goes back a decade. Might not be strictly true today, the software industry is... it changes. 

Anyway, for me, that was part of a vision.

Write a column for each of the three significant software planning tools. And that ball started rolling...

SkyTools, powerful Windows-only planning tool - Apr '15

AstroPlanner, a planning tool that runs on Mac - Oct '16

Oh my Univrse. From this perspective, wow. Over 5 years.

Sorry for the delay...

Deep-Sky Planner: coming soon!

read the Monthly

Had a quick look at the RASC Bulletin.

Pleased to see the efforts of volunteers recogised including Chris B on the Calendar.

There was something satisfying too, in the post for the Treasurer. I don't what it is exactly... Stance, position, openness?  

Note the order for solar glasses. These will be hot commodity (sorry, sorry about that) in the coming months.