All's not as it appears, this tale has many twists -
but if I wasn't here documenting the story
would that mean that the plot did not exist?

— Peter Hammill

Blogs

The $150 Space Camera

MIT Students Beat NASA On Beer-Money Budget

Bespoke is old hat. Off-the-shelf is in. Even Google runs the world’s biggest and scariest server farms on computers home-made from commodity parts. DIY is cheaper and often better, as Justin Lee and Oliver Yeh found out when they decided to send a camera into space.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2009 competition winners

British photographer Martin Pugh has been named the Astronomy Photographer of the Year. Martin’s Horsehead Nebula, which also won the Deep Space category, was taken with a 12.5” diameter Richey-Chrétien telescope and CCD camera mounted in his garden shed in Canberra, Australia. Martin, originally from Dudley in the Midlands, acquired the picture over 14 nights with a total exposure time of 19 hours

Flickr Pix

Anybody here has Flickr account?
I can add a feature to 'blog' from your flickr account any pic you may like to blog about
Post it here FROM flickr with description
Just let me know if anybody interested

Unusual catch

Check out the rare chance movie imaged from Earth of Io casting a shadow on Ganymede at
www.space.com

Arctic Mystery: Identifying the Great Blob of Alaska

A group of hunters aboard a small boat out of the tiny Alaska village of Wainwright were the first to spot what would eventually be called "the blob." It was a dark, floating mass stretching for miles through the Chukchi Sea, a frigid and relatively shallow expanse of Arctic Ocean water between Alaska's northwest coast and the Russian Far East. The goo was fibrous, hairy. When it touched floating ice, it looked almost black.
Read full article here:
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0%2c8599%2c1911517%2c00.html

and some more here
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/ynews_sc826

Astro Dinner

We discussed having a dinner.  It's really important to get together on this now if we are going to make it happen in November as suggested at our last meeting on July 8th by Mary Lou.  We need a head count.  Mark E. was to contact a restaurant or two and Mike W was to send out requests for door prizes.  Now your part is telling us yes or no.  If we can't make November, how about in February like in really old times.  Correct me if I'm wrong about the old time dates.  All I can remember was being snowed out several years.

NASA to Take Photos of Lunar Landing Sites, End Conspiracy Theories

Suck it up, conspiracy theorists, because soon your cuckoo stories about the US simulating the Moon landings will be over forever. NASA has confirmed to Gizmodo that the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will take photos of all the Apollo landing sites ...

Free Spirit

Latest Spirit News - Updates on the efforts to free the Spirit rover.
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/freespirit

Solar Fireworks

4th of July Sunspots

Looks like there's a nice sunspot group on the Sun -- some nice solar fireworks for the 4th of July! Biggest group I've seen in quite sometime. It is right on the meridian.

Astrophotography Contest

Capture the Universe Contest

In celebration of the International Year of Astronomy, DISCOVER and Celestron are hosting an exciting astronomy photo contest. Bad Astronomy blogger Phil Plait will be choosing the top ten photos which will be featured in a special photo gallery for all to see!

Contest ends on June 30, 2009. Prizes include a Celestron Nextstar 8SE.