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Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Withnail, Apr 17, 2010.
Interesting conjunction of Venus and the Pleaides Star Cluster (you might know that as the Seven Sisters, the usual test of your eyesight is if you can see the individual stars or a 'smudge' of light.) Sadly the last couple of nights here have been cloudy, it seems to come in as the Sun goes down. I'll link the Spaceweather site again as you can get sky maps.
Comet Atlas has now developed a long tail, and is just below eyesight visible, expected to brighten. You should easily see it with binoculars. Copper green smudge of light.
Can make out the cluster rather than a smudge but not clearly enough to count them.
Tried to see Comet Atlas tonight with binoculars, hurts your neck as it's almost directly overhead. But a very bright Moon and the awkward angle and a bit of sea mist drifting in meant I can't confirm it. Saw some smudges, but couldn't really say it was Atlas. The bloody street lights that now surround me don't help (they weren't there when bought this place.)
They have electricity in Cornwall now?
Where will it all end...
59 years ago today - a National Holiday in my house.
The trip to Manchester, at the invitation of fellow foundry workers, was a test for the diplomats...
Of course, the success of the Soviet space programme was down to many people and whilst Gagarin took the plaudits, behind the scenes was one man who the world would only come to know about later, Sergei Korolev, probably one of the most influential people in humanity's space programme.
I have little doubt, if it hadn't been for his untimely death in 1966, that the Soviets would have beaten the USA to putting a human on the Moon. A Korolev today would have already taken humans to Mars and our first probes to our nearest star (Sun apart) would be well on their way.
I was 10 years old when Sputnik 1 became the first ever off planet orbiter. I distinctly remember my Old Man telling me about it. It's often common to hear these days that Sputnik was just a stunt, it didn't do anything other than send out beeps. (Easily detectable with a good short wave receiver, on 20 and 40 MHz but of course you needed line of sight with the satellite.)
This is unfair, it really was quite sophisticated for its day. Information about the internal conditions of the satellite was encoded into the length of the beeps, and since this was the first time artificially produced radio signals were coming inward it was also used to study the ionosphere. This was after all 1957.
The reaction to it, particularly in the USA, was something else again !!
We're still largely dependent on a Korolev rocket system, essentially little changed from the late 60s.
It is alleged that a train of Starlink satellites may be visible tonight - https://findstarlink.com/#51.9,North,8.47,West;3 - and it's looking quite clear where I am.
They were really bright last night and I am expecting a similar performance tonight (should be just before 10pm).
Went out tonight as they were passing almost directly overhead. It's been clear all day, with wall to wall blue sky, but a thin high mist rolled in and although you could make out Venus, which is very bright, didn't see any sign of satellites.
Spotted 3 satellites, but quite faint.
Very dim tonight after last night's fantastic show; they are a bit hit and miss. Another pass over around 9pm tomorrow.
Two Starlink satellite 'trains' close together tonight. Starlink 6 over around 20:58 (should be close together), followed by Starlink 5 around 21:10 (should be well spaced out).
The first lot will be lower down, but the second lot should be almost overhead, both lots passing roughly west to east.
If you're willing to get up at some unholy hour (about an hour before sunrise) over the next couple of days you might see some spectacular trails from the Aquarid Meteor Shower. This is caused by the Earth passing through the dust trail of Halley's Comet. Looking between East and Southeast you'll also see Mars, Jupiter and Saturn nearby. We're coming up to a Supermoon full moon but it will be in the Western sky at that time of the morning, so not so much of a bother.
This is what to look for, the situation at 0430 tomorrow morning.
You might like to play this music at full volume while you're out in the garden at that hour taking a gander. However, if a meteorite or next door neighbour's rolling pin lands on your head … don't f****** blame me.