Clear Skies in Utah, But No Meteors

At least, none that I saw this morning as I walked and jogged near the hotel area. C’est la vie.

After a day of travel that was 4 hours longer than it should’ve been — one flight cancelled, missed the shuttle bus and had to wait for the next one — I arrived here late last night for Dave Wolverton’s writing workshop. Hopefully I got enough sleep that I’ll be able to pay attention. (Wish me luck.)

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P.S. It occurs to me that posting this is something of an OPSEC violation. If I thought anyone cared, I might desist.

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Keep Watching the Skies

This weekend’s meteor shower is supposed to be a good one, with its peak in the early hours of Monday morning. The earth will be passing through one of the denser portions of the trail of debris left along the orbit of Halley’s Comet.

[:rolleyes:] Of course, some of those comet pieces probably have water in them, which will contribute to rising sea levels … I guess we have to take the good with the bad … [cough, cough].

Anyway, hopefully it will be a good show. More details are in this New Scientist story.

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Sputnik Documentary

This TED segment was posted in the last few days (it was originally presented last year), in which documentarian David Hoffman presents clips from his movie Sputnik Mania. His hindsight isn’t quite 20/20, I don’t think — he seems to ascribe nefarious motives only to the U.S. — but some of the historical footage is quite good.

Note the comment on the page, pointing out a technical error in the animation. Mr. Cordes, the commenter, is quite right: the animation shows the satellite traversing from northeast to southwest, but in a prograde orbit its ground trace would traverse either southwest to northeast (ascending) or northwest to southeast (descending).

I wish I could say I’d caught that, but I wasn’t paying close enough attention. Which is why I wouldn’t make a good movie critic.

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Congrats to Vandenberg Launch Team

According to Spaceflight Now, “The inaugural launch of an Atlas 5 rocket from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base occurred as scheduled this morning, thundering skyward at 3:02 a.m. local time (6:02 a.m. EDT) carrying a classified national security satellite.”

That’s good news to wake up to. Congratulations to the launch team and the NRO! Keep up the good work, and thanks for keeping us safe and secure.

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