northanger (northanger) wrote,

astro 220

writing it out, throwing it against the wall, actually helps. you get it out of your head.

writing about that 220 star made me feel lots better. began to think of it like a teenager hanging around my hearth creating all kinds of havoc. thought of it eating popcorn actually. and i kid you not: on tuesday someone left some popped kernels at my front door. there was more when i got back. had to pick them up & throw them away. rotfl.

i did go through's archives from 01-December-2002 to 01-March-2003 to get a list of astronomical events. two biggest involved Comet Kudo-Fujikawa (called the Christmas Comet) discovered 13-December-2002 passing 0.86 AU near Earth on 20-February-2003 & Comet NEAT discovered 06-November-2002 closest approach 0.1 AU from the Sun (Mercury is 0.4 AU from the Sun) on 18-February-2003. additionally, space shuttle Columbia's mission ran from 16-January-2003 to 01-February-2003.

i was aware of each of these events as they occurred—so all of this, including the situation in Iraq, built up like a rolling snowball the closer i got to 20-February-2003. hopefully, i'll post a few more things as they occur to me & collect these posts together into a larger post.

on 16-January-2003, space shuttle Columbia (STS-107) left Earth at 9:39AM CST for a 16-day mission dedicated to scientific research (one of the experiements was SOLCON, measuring the variable brightness of the Sun). space shuttle Columbia was slated to end its mission on the morning of 01-February-2003 passing north of San Francisco at 05:53 PST & landing in Florida 24 minutes later. however, Columbia disintegrated over Texas during reentry into the Earth's atmosphere & all seven members of the crew (Rick D. Husband, William C. McCool, Michael P. Anderson, Ilan Ramon, Kalpana Chawla, David M. Brown & Laurel Clark) were killed 15 days, 22 hours and 20 minutes into the mission.

Columbia is a name used in the English language for many things and places. The name is derived from that of Christopher Columbus ... The name "Columbia" is/was a poetic name for the United States of America, which largely fell out of use in the early 20th century. This was the origin of the name District of Columbia. Columbia was also a female personification of the USA, similar to the male Uncle Sam and the British female Britannia, often seen in political cartoons through the early 20th century and still used by Columbia Pictures. {wikipedia}

more reports

SPACESHIP OVERHEAD: The 16-day flight of space shuttle Columbia (STS-107) is slated to end on February 1st. Sky watchers in central California, Nevada and southern Utah will have a splendid view of Columbia's re-entry just before daybreak on Saturday. If you live in that part of the world, be alert from 5:45 a.m. until 6:00 a.m. PST. Columbia will pass, e.g., north of San Francisco at 05:53 PST and south of Lake Tahoe soon after that. Glowing like an artificial meteor, Columbia could be visible for several hundred miles on either side of its ground track--but only from places (like California) where it is still dark when the shuttle passes overhead.

HOT COMET: Comet C/2002 X5 (Kudo-Fujikawa) is plunging toward the Sun. On Jan. 29th, it will be 0.19 AU from our star--even closer than Mercury! Intense sunlight will hide the encounter from sky watchers, but not from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), which is able to block the Sun's glare using onboard coronagraphs. C/2002 X5 entered SOHO's field of view on Jan. 25th and will remain visible until the end of the month.

COMET RECAP: It was lovely. Comet NEAT swung by the Sun this week even closer to our star than the planet Mercury. A coronagraph onboard the orbiting Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) recorded the lovely encounter. The SOHO movie, which spans 4 days, highlights the comet's bright billowing tail and its apparent intersection with a solar coronal mass ejection.

TADPOLES IN SPACE? Near the end of the day on Feb. 20th, a tadpole-shaped cloud appeared in SOHO coronagraph images of the Sun. Was it a weird coronal mass ejection? An errant piece of Comet NEAT? SOHO Deputy Project Scientist Paal Brekke reveals the answer below. "It is probably debris from the SOHO spacecraft itself," explains Brekke. "We have seen these things in several hundred images. It happens occasionally when bits of insulating material flake off the solar-facing surface of the vehicle. The strange shape could be explained by debris falling into the telescope. At the beginning of the 20-second exposure it is in front of the telescope and almost in focus (lower right). Then it falls towards the mirror and grows to a total blur."

links: Hot Shots from SOHO | Space Shuttle Columbia | Science that can't be done on Earth | STS-107 Shuttle Mission Patch | HSF - STS-107 | Space Shuttle Overview: Columbia (OV-102) | Space Shuttle Columbia disaster | The Columbia Accident Investigation Board Report | Space Shuttle Columbia & Her Crew

Tags: columbia, comet, nasa, rickhusband, spaceweather, sts-107, tadpole

  • grading the morgan

    • • • • • • Grading the Morgan Morgan Dollars (1878-1921) Political pressure, not public demand, brought the Morgan dollar into…

  • a resolute imagination

    • • • • • • • • • • • PDF Life seems to lack rhyme or reason or even a shadow of order unless we approach it with the key of converses.…

  • My tweets

    Fri, 06:24: shit

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened