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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A MAGA-Spouting Moron in Denial...

This MAGA-spouting moron is in absolute denial over the Moron-In-Chief 'governing' America right now.

Took the screenshot above of a Trumptard's Twitter page today. Is this a bot? Or is this an actual person who's either joking or just really gullible and f**kin' stupid to believe that the Dotard could be "very healthy" and "very sane?" The Dunning-Kruger effect at work here, folks...

Despite spending more time golfing than leading America (which may be a good thing), Donald Trump doesn't look like he's in 'good health' here to me...

Monday, January 15, 2018

Rest In Peace, Dolores O’Riordan (1971-2018)...

The Cranberries' lead singer Dolores O'Riordan performs in Berlin on May 2, 2017.
Frank Hoensch / Redferns via Getty Images

Another music icon has sadly left the world. Dolores O'Riordan, the lead singer for The Cranberries, was just 46 when she passed away in London today. My condolences to her loved ones. 1993's "Dreams" and 1994's "Zombie" are two of my favorite songs by her amazing rock band. The music videos for both of them are below...



Sunday, January 14, 2018

Photos of the Day: The Snowy Peak of Mount Baldy...

An image of Mount Baldy that I took with my Nikon D3300 DSLR camera from the city of Industry in California...on January 10, 2018.

Just thought I'd share these pics that I took of Mount Baldy and the surrounding peaks of the San Gabriel Mountains last Wednesday. The 10,064 feet-tall (or 3,068 meters-tall) landform, which also goes by the name Mount San Antonio, was covered in snow following a two-day rainstorm that struck Southern California last Monday and Tuesday. Of course, considering that SoCal's weather fluctuates like crazy and the majority of this snow melted due to the 80-plus degree weather that hit the region over the last two days, this cool winter scenery is now a thing of the past (till the next storm, that is). Oh well. I took these images using my Nikon D3300 DSLR camera. Happy Sunday!

Another image of Mount Baldy that I took with my Nikon D3300 DSLR camera from the city of Industry in California...on January 10, 2018.

An image of the San Gabriel Mountains that I took with my Nikon D3300 DSLR camera from the city of Industry in California...on January 10, 2018.

Another image of the San Gabriel Mountains that I took with my Nikon D3300 DSLR camera from the city of Industry in California...on January 10, 2018.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Kepler Update: Yet Another Solar System Has Been Discovered (By Ordinary Citizens Using Kepler Data)!

An artist's concept of the five confirmed exoplanets in the K2-138 star system.
NASA / JPL - Caltech

Multi-planet System Found Through Crowdsourcing (Press Release - January 11)

A system of at least five exoplanets has been discovered by citizen scientists through a project called Exoplanet Explorers, part of the online platform Zooniverse, using data from NASA's Kepler space telescope. This is the first multi-planet system discovered entirely through crowdsourcing. A study describing the system has been accepted for publication in The Astronomical Journal.

Thousands of citizen scientists got to work on Kepler data in 2017 when Exoplanet Explorers launched. It was featured on a program called Stargazing Live on the Australia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). On the final night of the three-day program, researchers announced the discovery of a four-planet system. Since then, they have named it K2-138 and determined that it has a fifth planet -- and perhaps even a sixth, according to the new paper.

Another batch of 2017 Kepler data was recently uploaded to Exoplanet Explorers for citizen scientists to peer through. Astronomers have not yet searched through most of it for planets.

NASA's Ames Research Center manages the Kepler and K2 missions for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, managed Kepler mission development. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation operates the flight system with support from the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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An infographic comparing the sizes of the five confirmed exoplanets in the K2-138 star system to that of Earth.
NASA / JPL - Caltech

Thursday, January 11, 2018

More Signs of Water on the Surface of the Red Planet...

An image of a scarp containing water ice on the surface of the Red Planet...as seen by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
NASA / JPL - Caltech / UA / USGS

Steep Slopes on Mars Reveal Structure of Buried Ice (Press Release)

Researchers using NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) have found eight sites where thick deposits of ice beneath Mars' surface are exposed in faces of eroding slopes.

These eight scarps, with slopes as steep as 55 degrees, reveal new information about the internal layered structure of previously detected underground ice sheets in Mars' middle latitudes.

The ice was likely deposited as snow long ago. The deposits are exposed in cross section as relatively pure water ice, capped by a layer one to two yards (or meters) thick of ice-cemented rock and dust. They hold clues about Mars' climate history. They also may make frozen water more accessible than previously thought to future robotic or human exploration missions.

Researchers who located and studied the scarp sites with the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on MRO reported the findings today in the journal Science. The sites are in both northern and southern hemispheres of Mars, at latitudes from about 55 to 58 degrees, equivalent on Earth to Scotland or the tip of South America.

"There is shallow ground ice under roughly a third of the Martian surface, which records the recent history of Mars," said the study's lead author, Colin Dundas of the U.S. Geological Survey's Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona. "What we've seen here are cross-sections through the ice that give us a 3-D view with more detail than ever before."

Windows into underground ice

The scarps directly expose bright glimpses into vast underground ice previously detected with spectrometers on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter, with ground-penetrating radar instruments on MRO and on the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter, and with observations of fresh impact craters that uncover subsurface ice. NASA sent the Phoenix lander to Mars in response to the Odyssey findings; in 2008, the Phoenix mission confirmed and analyzed the buried water ice at 68 degrees north latitude, about one-third of the way to the pole from the northernmost of the eight scarp sites.

The discovery reported today gives us surprising windows where we can see right into these thick underground sheets of ice," said Shane Byrne of the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, Tucson, a co-author on today's report. "It's like having one of those ant farms where you can see through the glass on the side to learn about what's usually hidden beneath the ground."

Scientists have not determined how these particular scarps initially form. However, once the buried ice becomes exposed to Mars' atmosphere, a scarp likely grows wider and taller as it "retreats," due to sublimation of the ice directly from solid form into water vapor. At some of them, the exposed deposit of water ice is more than 100 yards, or meter, thick. Examination of some of the scarps with MRO's Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) confirmed that the bright material is frozen water. A check of the surface temperature using Odyssey's Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera helped researchers determine they're not seeing just thin frost covering the ground.

Researchers previously used MRO's Shallow Radar (SHARAD) to map extensive underground water-ice sheets in middle latitudes of Mars and estimate that the top of the ice is less than about 10 yards beneath the ground surface. How much less? The radar method did not have sufficient resolution to say. The new ice-scarp studies confirm indications from fresh-crater and neutron-spectrometer observations that a layer rich in water ice begins within just one or two yards of the surface in some areas.

Astronauts' access to Martian water

The new study not only suggests that underground water ice lies under a thin covering over wide areas, it also identifies eight sites where ice is directly accessible, at latitudes with less hostile conditions than at Mars' polar ice caps. "Astronauts could essentially just go there with a bucket and a shovel and get all the water they need," Byrne said.

The exposed ice has scientific value apart from its potential resource value because it preserves evidence about long-term patterns in Mars' climate. The tilt of Mars' axis of rotation varies much more than Earth's, over rhythms of millions of years. Today the two planets' tilts are about the same. When Mars tilts more, climate conditions may favor buildup of middle-latitude ice. Dundas and co-authors say that banding and color variations apparent in some of the scarps suggest layers "possibly deposited with changes in the proportion of ice and dust under varying climate conditions."

This research benefited from coordinated use of multiple instruments on Mars orbiters, plus the longevities at Mars now exceeding 11 years for MRO and 16 years for Odyssey. Orbital observations will continue, but future missions to the surface could seek additional information.

"If you had a mission at one of these sites, sampling the layers going down the scarp, you could get a detailed climate history of Mars," suggested MRO Deputy Project Scientist Leslie Tamppari of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. "It's part of the whole story of what happens to water on Mars over time: Where does it go? When does ice accumulate? When does it recede?"

The University of Arizona operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colorado. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland, leads MRO's CRISM investigation. The Italian Space Agency provided MRO's SHARAD instrument, Sapienza University of Rome leads SHARAD operations, and the Planetary Science Institute, based in Tucson, Arizona, leads U.S. involvement in SHARAD. Arizona State University, Tempe, leads the Odyssey mission's THEMIS investigation. JPL, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the MRO and Odyssey projects for the NASA Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Lockheed Martin Space, Denver, built both orbiters and supports their operation.

Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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Another image of the scarp containing water ice on the surface of the Red Planet...as seen by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
NASA / JPL - Caltech / UA / USGS

Monday, January 08, 2018

Orange and Insane...

A GARFIELD comic strip from July 25, 2017.

I've been a huge fan of Garfield since I was in grade school 30 years ago. And I've been a huge NON-fan of Donald Trump since he announced his previous bid to become president before the 2012 U.S. election. So I found it amusing that this particular comic strip for the funny fat cat unwittingly poked fun at the orange-tanned Russian puppet as well. I'm pretty sure that this was unintentional on Jim Davis' (the creator of Garfield) part. But for me, I immediately saved this strip to my desktop screen last summer...waiting for the right moment (which there were MANY since the Dotard was sworn in last January) to post it on my Blog. In the wake of Trump's embarrassing "stable genius" rant on Twitter last weekend, I felt that this was obviously the best time to do so.

Orange is the color of insanity—for an overweight and stubborn but very hilarious cartoon feline, and also for an overweight, stubborn, extremely moronic and cartoonish conman posing as an American president in real life. Carry on.

Donald Trump shouldn't have displayed that executive order for people to mock.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Photos of the Day: The Wolf Moon of 2018...

An image of the Supermoon that I took with my Nikon D3300 DSLR camera on January 1, 2018.

Happy New Year, Everyone! I hope your first day of 2018 was a safe and memorable one. Anyways, just thought I'd share these pics that I took of tonight's Supermoon, also known as the Wolf Moon...which is the second Supermoon to take place in less than a month. And guess what? A third Supermoon will occur on January 31st—complete with a total lunar eclipse that will be visible over much of the world (except parts of Africa, South America and western Europe)! I definitely can't wait to get pics of that one...assuming I'll be able to get out of bed early in the morning to go outside and take photos. The total lunar eclipse itself begins at 4:51 AM and ends at 6:07 AM, Pacific Standard Time. Don't know if the Moon will have set below the horizon during that time, but it's all good. I used my Nikon D3300 DSLR camera to capture these images.

So once again, have a safe and prosperous new year, everyone! And Happy Monday.

Another image of the Supermoon that I took with my Nikon D3300 DSLR camera on January 1, 2018.

Another image of the Supermoon that I took with my Nikon D3300 DSLR camera on January 1, 2018.

Another image of the Supermoon that I took with my Nikon D3300 DSLR camera on January 1, 2018.