Posts Tagged ‘planet’

Transcript “The Saturn V in perspective”

December 14, 2014

Many thanks to Linda for supplying this transcript!

[0:00] “As You Remember It: The Lift-Off of APOLLO 11”: “T-minus 60 seconds and counting”

[0:02] Thunderf00t: You know, risk comes to us in many forms, and sometimes death doesn’t even bother to wear a mask. And sometimes, if you wanna achieve great things, you’ve just gotta accept that dance with death.

[0:19] This is the mighty Saturn V rocket. It weighed about 3,000 tons—almost all of which was fuel. And that fuel had about the same energy density as high explosives.

[0:32] clip: “20 seconds and counting”

[0:34] Thunderf00t: That is, this beast was a barely controlled, 3,000 ton BOMB. Let me just throw that into perspective for you.

[0:45] This, on the same scale, is the B-17 Flying Fortress. It was the mainstay heavy bomber of the United States in early WWII. And it could carry about three tons of bombs to a distant target. And about a 1,000 of these guys could lay waste to a city. A thousand bombers at say, three tons a piece—that’s 3,000 TONS of explosives. That’s about the same energetic content as the Saturn V rocket.

[1:15] clip: “T-minus 15 seconds. Guidance is internal”

[1:18] Thunderf00t: And man, [dramatic music] as frail as you or I, ascended ALL the way to the top of this rocket, which was essentially a 3,000 ton BOMB

[1:30] clip: “12, 11, 10,”

[1:32] Thunderf00t: -enough energy to lay waste to a city

[1:36] clip: “9, ignition sequence start”

[1:39] Thunderf00t: -and fully aware, at exactly what they were sitting on

[1:43] clip: “6, 5,”

[1:45] Thunderf00t: -they said, ‘Let’s light this candle’

clip: “4, 3, 2, 1, 0. All engine running. Liftoff! We have a liftoff! 32 minutes past the hour, liftoff on Apollo 11 . . . Tower clear! Tower clear!”

[2:03] Thunderf00t: And even with all those insane risks, I would’ve still changed places with them in a heartbeat, for the wonders that they saw.

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A Night looking at Uranus!

August 24, 2011

Uranus is frequently overlooked and for many reasons.  Firstly, lets just say its name hasn’t phonetically aged well.  Secondly it’s small and faint, barely visible to the naked eye, and even the most powerful telescopes show little more than a tiny featureless grey-green disk.

Most powerful telescopes will show the five main moons of Uranus, Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Titania and Oberon.  The innermost of these Miranda, has, if memory serves the highest cliffs in the solar system (due to being previously (presumably) smashed by an impact) and has an orbital period of about 1.5 days.  That means you should be able to easily see its movement over the period of a night.

Now I had tried this previously, and had been surprised that the planets movement was comparable to the movement of its moons, but that night had been scuppered by a flat battery.

Movement of Uranus vs background stars

The stars in the background are fixed. The two picture of Uranus are taken a few hours apart, and while the moons (relatively close to the planet) don't move much, the planet conspicuously moves against the background stars!) (click to enlarge)

So it was that I set out with my scope on the evening of 22nd Aug 2011 to see what could be captured.  I decided to head up to an observatory site that had previously seemed good up near the top of the somewhat active volcano, Lassen Peak.  The site is high, almost 2 miles up, but the seeing was less than perfect (a very constant ~ 5mile an hour wind, which was probably a blessing in that it bought warmer air from somewhere, but was also a curse due to the wind chill- I was surrounded by snow fields!).

Nonetheless, at prime focus of the 11in CPC1100 with ~1000 iso and 4 second exposure on a canon 60D seemed to bring out easily at least 4 of the moons of Uranus.

After that, I just had to maintain the kit for 8 or so hour.  A pain in the ass, as there were several pieces of kit that all need to work or the night would be ‘lost’.  So you basically have to periodically check all the batteries on the various time lapse and tracking kit are working functionally.  The bottom line is you can actually get quite a lot of sleep, but its horribly disjointed. The practical upshot of which was the next day I was wiped out to the point where I had actually planned to head up into Oregon to do something, but for the first time ever on a road trip I did something I’d never countenanced before.  I stayed a night in a motel!!  First time in 5 years!  A motel 6 I should add!  All I wanted was somewhere where I could get a shower, a bed for the night, and damn, just sit back for a moment, put my feet up, and have a glass of wine……ahhhhhh.

I was REALLY happy when I processed this, not really for what I had hoped to achieve, which was to get the motion of the moons, as while it was visible, it wasn’t that great.  But what was great was the motion of the whole Uranus system against the background stars.  I knew this MIGHT be visible, but I really didn’t expect it to looks as cool as it did!  Now it should be said that most of the motion you see here is probably not due to the motion of Uranus, but due to the motion of the Earth.  Nonetheless, its still really cool!

The finished results!

The Solar System in Motion (LIVE) – it’s going to happen

July 25, 2011

For those who didn’t catch it earlier this year, the ‘global planetary timelapse’ project was rejected for youtubes ‘nextup’ program.

However the idea is still a good one, and it’s going to happen!  So behind the scenes I’ve been putting out feelers, and working out how we are going to make this project happen.

As we are unifying several concepts that have never really been put together like this, doubtless there will be a learning curve.  Different guys, with different kit, trying to get a unified data stream.  Hmmm, tricky!

So I’m now heading up to the dark skies round the back of the Sierra Nevada (GREAT SKY FORECAST!)

http://cleardarksky.com/csk/prov/California_map.html?Mn=light%20pollution

to see what I can actually do with the kit I have.  We will then put the project together in stages.  I think our first attempt will be to do a time lapse of the moon from both the mainland US and Hawaii.  We will then try to get people involved in Australia and further around the world (indeed if you are in Australia, or further round the world (so to speak), please contact me @ thunderf00t@hotmail.com, this project Needs You!).  In the first instance it will probably work best with folks who know pretty much what they are doing, but also I would love to put a project like this together with school kids watching the moons of Jupiter, which could be done with almost any telescope that can track.

Anyways Gentlemen, Ladies!  The Mountains and the Dark Skies Await!

TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!