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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Space In the News. The Imaginarium

Team 34 B on the way to ISS

Blast off of the TMA-07M Soyuz rocket and spacecraft.

Help is on the way for the three current crew of the International Space Station. This morning at 5:12 am MST, a Russian rocket blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The spacecraft is on a two-day orbit path to intersect and dock with the ISS on Friday. On board are astronauts Chris Hadfield, Tom Marshburn, and cosmonaut Roman Romanenko. When Expedition 35 begins in March 2013. Canadian Chris Hadfield will become the station commander.
Currently, the expedition 34 team on ISS is Commander Kevin Ford, and flight engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin. 

Missed Me! Missed Me!

Asteroid Toutatis radar images.

This last week saw a flurry of asteroid watch action as several rocky bodies passed close to the Earth. Well, relatively speaking.  On December 11, not one but THREE asteroids made scientists take notice.

Zip! There it goes! 2012 XE54 is spotted.

First on the list was 2012 XE54, a small bodied rock about 36 meters in size, passed within the Earth-Moon distance, a little over 60% of the distance. Not Earth-shattering, but big enough to possibly cause a Tunguska-like event if it had hit us. Scary note here: this was a recently-discovered asteroid, which shows you that there are dangerous steroids out there that we DON'T know about yet.
Next up was 2012 XL55, about half the size of XE54, but it wasn't as close... just a mere 4.2 times the distance from Earth to Moon (which itself is 240,000+ miles away). And on it's heels was 2009 BS5, just a little bit smaller, but twice as far away.
Then came the big show on the 12th. Asteroid 4179 Toutatis is an old friend, first discovered in 1934. It has a somewhat erratic orbit that actually crosses the orbit of Mars as well as Earth's, and is influenced by the gravity of Jupiter. It comes closer to earth about every four years. Radar images show it to be like a peanut shell in shape, with two lobes. It's greatest length is about 4.2 kilometers, making rather large actually.  On December 13th, a Chinese space probe made a close pass to Toutatis. You can find all about that encounter here on SpaceRef:
Toutatis came by at about 18 Lunar Distances. It is expected to make a really close pass in 2069!
Space in the News is written by Mark Daymont


The Imaginarium

Charlie Brown actually got his nickel's worth of advice from Lucy's 
Psychiatric Help booth.

Even the best in the world make mistakes.

 An "E" for effort?

 A few creative ways of reminding customers that a tip is always appreciated.

Another creative way of lodging complaints.

Beware of low flying reindeer.

Sign in dentist's office
Creativity: A

Actual Zimbabwe money.
The country is experiencing massive inflation.
This may buy you a loaf of bread.

Great way to lose weight while you read

Imagination: A

A different kind of lamp.

 The Difference between what an adult and child perceives.
The illustration of imagination.

Selling snow balls.
A creative way of begging.
I'll take a dozen please.
Creativity: A

Creativity: A

Don't we all wonder where this door leads.

 Storm troopers taking the high ground

R2D2 sneakers.

A way to capture people's attention

Your guess is as good as mine on this one.

 An actual Hobbit pub in New Zealand
I'd be a regular customer for a nice pub meal of shepard's pie with and Diet Coke
to wash it down.

A tech Merry Christmas!

Creativity: A

A chemistry lab's Christmas Tree

Imagination: A

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