Sunday, December 26, 2010

Route 66 Journal - Day 7

7:11 a.m.
I woke up rested and feeling energetic, apparently getting the hang of sleeping outdoors. Although, my restful sleep may have been the result of my closeness to one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, lying only a few hundred yards from my tent. Without a doubt, the Grand Canyon emitted a certain sense of peacefulness that affected everyone around it.

8:28 a.m.
Grand Canyon in the morning
After breaking camp, I went back to the Desert View lookout and watched the rim in the glow of the morning sun. Even though it was my second time looking at the canyon, I felt the same awe and inspiration I experienced when I first laid eyes upon it. I doubt I would ever become bored of the spectacular sight of the Grand Canyon. It is a truly spiritual place.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Total Lunar Eclipse Captured

This is a video of the Total Lunar Eclipse captured with Slooh's Chile telescope on December 21, 2010 from 0:28 a.m. CST to 4:01 a.m. CST. The clip is actually a series of 158 photographs aligned perfectly and then blended together to form a continuous sequence. Prepping the pictures and then making the video took me about 15 hours (it was a lot of work). Hope you all enjoy!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lunar Eclipse Tomorrow

A total lunar eclipse—the first in two years—will make an appearance on the night of Monday, December 20th. For those of you not familiar with the phenomenon, here is a brief explanation from Wikipedia: “A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes behind the earth so that the earth blocks the sun’s rays from striking the moon. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth and Moon are aligned exactly, or very closely so, with the Earth in the middle.”

Unfortunately, due to the early setting of the moon at certain places, not the entire world will have the privilege of observing the lunar eclipse in its entirety. To find out if the event will be available at your geographic location head to SpaceDex. For those interested in the science behind the phenomenon, NASA will also host a live chat with lunar experts from the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center.

Update: Slooh will also host a free live event with host Bob Berman at 1:20 a.m. EST, 6:20 a.m. UTC. If you are at a geographic location from which the eclipse will not or only partially be visible, this is your chance; Slooh's telescopes will provide an excellent opportunity to observe the phenomenon.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Route 66 Journal - Day 6

5:57 a.m.
Welcome to Arizona
It was hard to find rest at the busy welcome center. Well-traveled, even at night, Interstate 40 offered little opportunity to sleep. People were constantly passing by, slamming car doors, and making noise. Even worse, lying on the payload bay of my truck made me feel as if I had put myself on display, quite different from the secluded lot of the small gas station from last night. Even though I knew I had not gotten enough sleep, I could not bear the though of staying any longer. I packed up my stuff and hit the road.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Geminid Meteor Shower Starts Tomorrow

Just a friendly reminder to everyone interested in astronomy: one of the most spectacular celestial events of the year (well, every year really) will return this December! Caused by a passing asteroid called 3200 Phaethon, the Geminid Meteor Shower--or simply Geminids--will produce between 60 to 80 meteors an hour visible to the naked eye at its peak on December 13th and 14th, weather permitting.

To find the best viewing hours based on your geographic location, visit SpaceDex, where you can find timetables, pictures, and much more. NASA will also host events on its website starting 3 p.m. EST on December 13th.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mass Effect 2 and Cloud Computing

Before I would begin, let's clarify what cloud computing is. According to Wikipedia, " computing is [an] Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices on demand..." In Lyman's terms, for gamers at least, this means that they no longer need powerful, and often expensive, devices to run games, only a fast enough Internet connection. Think of it as if your Xbox was in a different country, but you were able to play with it using the Internet.

Such services already exist. A good example would be OnLive, which launched some time ago and enjoys moderate success among gamers.

But now, with a new technology developed by California-based company, Gaikai, games will soon be available with a click of a mouse embedded into our browsers! Though this technology is currently still in beta phase, you now have the chance to try it real time with the Mass Effect 2 demo. All you have to do is click here and hope your Internet access is fast enough to be included!