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Interesting Items...

EEPhil

Number 28
At todays prices that round (with a massive tip) would cost at least double that (and no tip). Who tips the barman anyway?
 

EEPhil

Number 28
Just what we need. An invasion of IFOs. How long before someone claims to be abducted and probed by one of the IFOs?
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Apparently there's planned to be a huge number of these buggers up there (not in a train like that - that's just after launch) visible for two hours after sunset / before sunrise - which can mean all night - disrupting amateur and research astrophotography alike.

Here's what they did to a 25-second exposure imaging a galaxy cluster (source: https://twitter.com/doug_ellison/status/1132443682018226176):

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And they've been noticed by the general public. Here's a query fielded by the Normal Lockyer Observatory personnel in Devon:

Dear NLO team,

I wonder if you could help me please? On Friday night (24th May) at a out 11.30pm 2 of my friends and I watched a very strange phenomenon for a good minute, from a country lane just north of Totnes in Devon. (We were sober.) We were admiring a very starry night sky, when we noticed what looked like a horizontal band of stars moving in unison from west to east across the sky. They didn't fade away but steadily moved, with stars at the 'front' end more closely spaced together than those at the back, which seemed to lag. It was completely silent. There were no flashing or coloured lights to suggest it was a plane. Really odd. It almost looked like a train was gliding along up there , with lights showing from its windows . I'm guessing this was an illusion caused by something, but would be grateful if you can explain as it has mystified us! Many thanks.

101 here: https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/starlink-v0-9.htm

Visibility predictions here (set your own local coordinates): https://www.n2yo.com/passes/?s=74001
 

EEPhil

Number 28
disrupting amateur and research astrophotography alike.
Could also bgr my viewing of some planets (I can never be sure which ones, probably Venus and maybe Mercury) out of my kitchen window at breakfast in the winter. :(. Next year, Venus, Mercury and Spacex 32 [a random choice]. Pity the Spacex junk can't dissappear up Uranus. (Not your a***, I mean the planet).
 

Trev

The Dumb One
Likely to be Venus unless you have a telescope in your kitchen.
Venus is the brightest thing in the sky apart from the sun and moon and the only planet that will cast a shadow on Earth given the right conditions (really dark with no moon)
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
No problem seeing Mercury naked eye... if it's in the right place at the right time. Have done so many times, but you would have to know that's what it is.
 

EEPhil

Number 28
Likely to be Venus unless you have a telescope in your kitchen.
No telescope. Just look up out of a south facing window. This year I managed to spot them when washing up the breakfast pots. A couple of years ago (I think) had to look out of the front window (west facing but performing contortions to look to the south) to catch Venus. Damn things keep changing position in the sky!
 

Trev

The Dumb One
Venus is only visible in the East before dawn (Morning star) or in the West just after sunset (Evening Star) but not on the same night and never in the South. The timings of visibility depend on the relative positions of Venus and Earth in their respective orbits around the Sun, but are several months apart.
If you see a bright star in the south, it is likely to be the star Sirius or the planet Jupiter.
 

EEPhil

Number 28
If you see a bright star in the south, it is likely to be the star Sirius or the planet Jupiter.
It sure as hell wasn't a star. As for which planet, I'm bgrd if I know. I looked it up at the time (February) and was sure, after some research, that I'd identified the planets as described earlier. With my excellent filing system I can't find the saved pages. Any reference to what can be seen now is irrelevant. For reasons best known to noone, I can't get any illustrations of the night sky today to work in any of my browsers, let alone try to find one for February.
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Look what Night Sky shows me:

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(Yes, the big round blob is the Death Star, ready to play space invaders withall those bloody StarLink things - I put in a special request with that Emperor mate of mine.)

However, regarding the disposition of Mercury, Feb 2019: as a morning apparition in Spring, the ecliptic hugs the horizon so any "morning stars" are always low in the sky (as opposed to Autumn when they tend to be higher in the sky, making the awkward Mercury easier to spot). The converse applies to "evening stars".

This is a Sky Orb plot of the inner planets for Feb 18: clearly showing Venus would have been a bright object in the morning sky, with Mercury in the evening sky not yet at maximum elongation. (Orbits are anti-clockwise.)

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OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
A contestant on this week's Brain of Britain introduced himself, describing his occupation as "document engineer". :dunno:
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
If it's what I think it is, we used to call that "technical author". It's an old argument, but how can that be classed as engineering?
 
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