BAN #43: Ariel heads south, polychromatic clouds

September 10, 2018 Issue #43

Subscribers saw that SpaceX Dragon capsule video a day before I posted it on the blog, if that sort of thing interests you.

Follow o’ the Letter

Someone you should follow on social media

My pal Ariel Waldman is a busy, busy lady. She is the global director of Science Hack day (which is VERY cool; check it out), she makes great YouTube videos about science and space, she runs, and — get this — she’s going to Antarctica on a science trip.

You can find out more about that austral voyage in the video she made. She’ll be creating videos and sending postcards from Antarctica to people who donate $5 to her Patreon page.

 [Credit: Ariel Waldman]

Right now, she’s in Hawaii on the E/V Nautilus exploring undersea volcanoes as part of the NASA SUBSEA mission! So she gets around and does a huge amount of science outreach.

Oh yeah, she wrote a book called “What’s It Like In Space?” (affiliate link), too, with stories from astronauts about, well… read the title again.

So she’s a lot of fun to follow, so hie thee to her Twitter, Instagram, and her Patreon page to keep up with everything she’s doing. If you can keep up.

Pic o’ the Letter

A cool or lovely or mind-bending astronomical image/video with a short description so you can grok it 

I love clouds. That makes me a nebulaphile, I suppose, and I’m OK with that. I always have been, but moving to Colorado has only amplified it. We get such odd cloud formations here, so keeping an eye out on the sky is generally a good idea.

One of my favorite phenomena are iridescent clouds, where very teeny droplets of water or ice break up light into various colors. You need the light to pass through the cloud, so this usually happens near the edges of clouds where they thin out. It also happens for clouds near the Sun in the sky, so they’re really hard to photograph well.

But then Göran Strand is a really good photographer. Behold!

[Credit: Göran Strand, via (a great site you should bookmark, too)] 

I know, right? So pretty. I’ve posted approximately a zillion of Göran’s photos on the blog in the past, but honestly you should just go to his site and poke around His stuff is jaw-dropping. He has a gallery where he sells prints, too. Mind you, holidays are coming…

I wrote an article explaining iridescence in detail, and I have some fun photos of iridescent clouds, too.

Blog Jam

What I’ve recently written on the blog, ICYMI

Friday, September 7, 2018: A Dragon departs… in 4k

Thursday, September 6, 2018: IC 4870, the mystery galaxy

Wednesday, September 5, 2018: Whistling above a lightning storm

Tuesday, September 4, 2018: No, that’s *NOT* the last photo of Saturn from Cassini (this one went viral)

Monday, September 3, 2018: 2017 YE5: A rare binary asteroid caught on radar

Et alia

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