Sunday Night Stars

It’s a quiet Sunday for me even though I have a variety of friends and family out doing the football thing this weekend.  Doctor Daughter and her official now fiance–I’m going to be in for a Bollywood wedding in May so be prepared for a fish out of water story from me–and my sister and her husband went to the Nebraska-Washington football game yesterday,  U Dub brother in law was clearly outnumbered by our Nebraska degree bearing family.  Youngest Daughter was obsessed with LSU on Thursday.  The entire city is celebrating da Saints defeating da Bears. My dad’s just a football fan period and is known to root for skilled coaches and a good game period.  I’m the loner in the family who basically ready books through super bowls and every other game I’ve ever attended. It’s just one big yawn to me.  Wayyyyyy to slow for my tastes and watching people get severe injuries just ain’t my thing at all.

So, I’m going to do this open thread in rememberance of a country that used to be good at science, knowledge and technology before going down the bread and circuses road.

That’s a very old photo on the left that was taken today in 1977.  It’s got a fascinating story.

Here’s what our corner of the universe looks like to any incoming aliens — the Earth and. in the background, its only moon.

It’s a unique photograph because no one has ever been in a position to take it. Actually, it’s an old photograph newly released by NASA.

This photo was snapped by an outbound Voyager I back on Sept. 18, 1977.

NASA scientists ordered the craft to turn around and take it 34 years ago tomorrow, a last look at where the pioneering craft began its literally endless journey to the outer reaches of our solar system, which continues today. Both Voyager 1 and II are still in radio communication with NASA/JPL several times a week.

When today’s pic of the week was taken, Voyager I was 7,250,000 miles from Earth.

Today, it is right around 11,000,000,000 miles from Earth, a distance that’s grown by 1,000 miles while you read this. Track the Voyagers yourself right here.

So, it’s the Emmy awards too and I’m still gazing at that photo and those stars!  It’s an open thread!  Have fun!


7 Comments on “Sunday Night Stars”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Ooops! This time I beat you to the punch. Sorry about that!

    • dakinikat says:

      No problem … if it wasn’t out all over we could stick it as a late night post. I just can’t stand dead air. Glad to read something from you and see your tummy bug has gone away!!!

    • Branjor says:

      Did a buggy bug your tummy? I’m so sorry.
      Glad you’re feeling better.

  2. northwestrain says:

    Seems like the gop candidates (including 0bowma) are anti science.

    Have any major space probes been sent out or planned during the reign of 0bowma?

    I spent a few days in what was strong 0bowma territory — Pt. Townsend and the islands. No 0bowma stickers — anywhere — none! People are disappointed — and the unemployment is quite high.

    The San Juan islands are a great place for watching stars — not so much at the moment — since WA is being WA at the moment (clouds).

    • fiscalliberal says:

      Are the San Juan islands lightly populated which generates less ambient light?

      My favorite time for star gazing was in he winter time in the Adirondack Mountains. Very low ambient light and no humidity in the air. We used to walk over the ice to the middle of the lake to get a panoramic view. I do not remember seeing the northern lights

  3. northwestrain says:

    There was a news item from one of the UK media listed at the right. The headline was about one of the UK parties wanting the decimalization of drugs.

    I’m hoping that one day the US wakes up to the fact the lessons learned about alcohol prohibition also apply to “illegal” drugs. What a tax source the USA is losing — pot etc. could bring in a lot of money. I believe that some oversight of the quality and safeness of drugs — as well as education and treatment would be a good thing. This is the path taken by several European countries.

    We are hearing about too many raids on the wrong houses resulting in the deaths of innocents — sacrifices on the alter of stupidity.

  4. jawbone says:

    …. The Voyagers have enough electrical power and thruster fuel to operate at least until 2020. By that time, Voyager 1 will be 12.4 billion miles (19.9 billion KM) from the Sun and Voyager 2 will be 10.5 billion miles (16.9 billion KM) away. Eventually, the Voyagers will pass other stars. In about 40,000 years, Voyager 1 will drift within 1.6 light years (9.3 trillion miles) of AC+79 3888, a star in the constellation of Camelopardalis. In some 296,000 years, Voyager 2 will pass 4.3 light years (25 trillion miles) from Sirius, the brightest star in the sky . The Voyagers are destined—perhaps eternally—to wander the Milky Way. (My emphasis)

    I got chills reading this.

    Thanks for the link and that great photo.

    I’m suffering space scifi withdrawal. The PIX station in NYC used to have Star Trek; The Next Generation on every weeknight, at 3 AM (Yes, I taped it.) and Stargate: Universe and Atlantis on early Sunday mornings. Now, suddenly, all gone. No warning, no explanation — just no more.

    But this Voyager stuff, with a bit less histrionics, is pretty dramatic in its own right..