BAN #59: VOTE, Desert Bus for Hope, Aliens (won’t) invade, Lunar flyby

November 5, 2018 Issue #59

Subscribers would never come to Earth to steal our water.

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Politics

As Dave Barry said, “Poli” = many and “tics” = blood-sucking parasites

Seriously, Americans. Vote.

And when you do so, vote blue.


Upcoming Appearances/Shameless Self-Promotion

Where I’ll be doing things you can watch and listen to or read about

Every year, I am honored and proud to participate in Desert Bus for Hope, a wonderful event that raises money for the charity Child’s Play — they use the funds to buy games and game systems for children’s hospitals. The event is a 24-hour video stream of nerds playing the truly evil game Desert Bus… which you just have to read about to believe.

The event has a live auction, and I’ll be participating on Sunday, November 11 from 2:30 to 3:30 Eastern US time. I’m donating a big pile of nerdy stuff to the auction, including SYFY swag, a signed copy of my book Death from the Skies!, and an actual meteorite. So come aboard, stay behind the yellow line, and bid often! This is a great chance to help a lot of kids who deserve our support.


Blast from the Past

A quick link to an old post or article because it’s relevant, or came up in conversation, or just because it deserves a second look.

[Credit: 20th Century Fox]

I don’t know why, but I saw an article I wrote for Blastr (what would later become SYFY Wire) a few years back starting to get some traffic. It’s 6 Reasons Aliens Would Never Invade Earth, and it’s pretty good IIDSSM. As I reread it I thought of ways I’d punch it up and flesh it out a bit were I to rewrite it now… so who knows. Maybe I’ll take a stab at it.


Blog Jam

What I’ve recently written on the blog, ICYMI

Monday Oct. 29, 2018: Good news and bad news: Hubble and Chandra back on duty, Kepler and Dawn may be at the ends of their missions (this one hurts: Since I wrote it a week ago, NASA has announced that both Kepler and Dawn are gone. The article has updates and links about that.)

Tuesday Oct. 30, 2018: FOLLOW-UP: The volume of humanity… if all the space in our atoms is removed

Wednesday Oct. 31, 2018: Nebulaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrr (Happy Halloween!

Thursday Nov. 1, 2018: Hey Bennu, have we met? I never forget an asteroid.

Friday Nov. 2, 2018: A dust storm over… Greenland?


Pic o’ the Letter

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

Göran Strand is an astrophotographer in Östersun, Sweden, and he’s very, very good at it. I’ve featured his work many times on my blog over the years, including aurorae, rainbows, meteors, the Sun, comets, and lots more.

One thing you learn quickly when you observe or take pictures of the sky: Do it often enough and you’re bound to see amazing events due to coincidence of timing. Each might be rare, but if you look up enough the chances get better.

He was in Handöl, Jämtland, Sweden getting photos of the gibbous Moon on October 29 as it moved past a snow-capped mountain, and was the fortunate recipient of a bit of nice timing:

[Credit: Göran Strand]

Wow! I love it when things like this happen. He told me he had just gotten the camera settings adjusted for the Moon when the plane flew by. A few more second and he would have missed it! He used a polarizing filter, which can darken the sky nicely in daytime and bring out the Moon in this phase, and he cleaned the image up a bit too to highlight the Moon through the blowing snow. Gorgeous.

You can see more of his work on his site, on Facebook, on Instagram, and you can follow him on Twitter to find out when he has something new to show you.


Et alia

You can email me at thebadastronomer@gmail.com (though replies can take a while), and all my social media outlets are gathered together at about.me. Also, if you don’t already, please subscribe to this newsletter! And feel free to tell a friend or nine, too. Thanks!