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I was at the Pub,
having a brew,
when a movement, I saw
and it was you.
Those beautiful brown eyes
reeled me in and thinking
I might even win
a piece of your affection.
I began, touching your hair,
saying to you, here I am.
You nosed me, with your stubby nose.
It was then I said,
anything goes and then I knew
I loved you so much,
my little Shih Tzu.

South Celestial Rocket Launch

Posted by Specola • Posted on 02/28/2020 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

At sunset on December 6 a Rocket Lab Electron rocket was launched from a rotating planet. With multiple small satellites on board it departed on a mission to low Earth orbit dubbed Running Out of Fingers from Mahia Peninsula on New Zealand's north island. The fiery trace of the Electron's graceful launch arc is toward the south in this southern sea and skyscape. Drifting vapor trails and rocket exhaust plumes catch the sunlight even as the sky grows dark though, the setting Sun still shinning at altitude along the rocket's trajectory. Fixed to a tripod, the camera's perspective nearly aligns the peak of the rocket arc with the South Celestial Pole, but no bright star marks that location in the southern hemisphere's evening sky. Still, it's easy to find at the center of the star trail arcs in the timelapse composite.

Photo by Brendan Gully

A make-ahead Alfredo Sauce! Ready in 10 minutes.  Toss with pasta or serve over vegetables, potatoes, fish, or chicken.Click the image below to read Emma Christensen's recipe at Simply Recipes

Two Hemisphere Night Sky

Posted by Specola • Posted on 02/27/2020 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

The Sun is hidden by a horizon that runs across the middle in this two hemisphere view of Earth's night sky. The digitally stitched mosaics were recorded from corresponding latitudes, one 29 degrees north and one 29 degrees south of the planet's equator. On top is the northern view from the IAC observatory at La Palma taken in February 2020. Below is a well-matched southern scene from the ESO La Silla Observatory recorded in April 2016. In this projection, the Milky Way runs almost vertically above and below the horizon. Its dark clouds and and bright nebulae are prominent near the galactic center in the lower half of the frame. In the upper half, brilliant Venus is immersed in zodiacal light. Sunlight faintly scattered by interplanetary dust, the zodiacal light traces the Solar System's ecliptic plane in a complete circle through the starry sky. Large telescope domes bulge along the inverted horizon from La Silla while at La Palma, multi-mirror Magic telescopes stand above center. Explore this two hemisphere night sky and you can also find the Andromeda Galaxy and the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds.

Photo by Petr Horálek

I want not,
not one little thing,
except to be near you
to feel your warmth
and hear your heart beat.
The slowness of your breath
remembering when I would caress
your lovely shoulders,
lying next to thee.
I miss you my darling,
your lovely smile and glow.
Yearning for days, now gone,
when conversation was a joy.
Not the same on this day.
No! Not anymore.

When leather soled shoes find the rain,
they act like a sponge soaking up water.
The soles become slick as a skate.
If you don't watch your step, you
may have great pain.
Stepping on a painted step, going
downstairs, when my feet slipped
and I unceremoniously fell on my
rear. I was now sitting there with
the packages I was carrying.
I got up. Took another step
and I once again was on my rear.
Didn't hurt much to land on your
rump, at least not mine.
The lesson learned in this life
of mine was to rid my self of
those leather soled shoes,
that showed me how to do
that slippery dance.

NGTS-10b: Discovery of a Doomed Planet

Posted by Specola • Posted on 02/26/2020 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

This hot jupiter is doomed. Hot jupiters are giant planets like Jupiter that orbit much closer to their parent stars than Mercury does to our Sun. But some hot jupiters are more extreme than others. NGTS-10b, illustrated generically, is the closest and fastest-orbiting giant planet yet discovered, circling its home star in only 18 hours. NGTS-10b is a little larger than Jupiter, but it orbits less than two times the diameter of its parent star away from the star’s surface. When a planet orbits this close, it is expected to spiral inward, pulled down by tidal forces to be eventually ripped apart by the star’s gravity. NGTS-10b, discovered by researchers at the University of Warwick, is named after the Next Generation Transit Survey, which detected the imperiled planet when it passed in front of its star, blocking some of the light. Although the violent demise of NGTS-10b will happen eventually, we don't yet know when.

Jupiter's Magnetic Field from Juno

Posted by Specola • Posted on 02/25/2020 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

How similar is Jupiter's magnetic field to Earth's? NASA's robotic Juno spacecraft has found that Jupiter's magnetic field is surprisingly complex, so that the Jovian world does not have single magnetic poles like our Earth. A snapshot of Jupiter's magnetic field at one moment in time, as animated from Juno data, appears in the featured video. Red and blue colors depict cloud-top regions of strong positive (south) and negative (north) magnetic fields, respectively. Surrounding the planet are imagined magnetic field lines. The first sequence of the animated video starts off by showing what appears to be a relatively normal dipole field, but soon a magnetic region now known as the Great Blue Spot rotates into view, which is not directly aligned with Jupiter's rotation poles. Further, in the second sequence, the illustrative animation takes us over one of Jupiter's spin poles where red magnetic hotspots are revealed to be extended and sometimes even annular. A better understanding of Jupiter's magnetic field may give clues toward a better understanding of Earth's enigmatic planetary magnetism.

It was after WWII was over,
when I was quite young.
I remember that my teen
years were in play.

My father worked for Todd's shipyards
on the Duwamish, in West Seattle.
After the war was over, he was laid off
and purchased a bar, The Looking Glass Tavern,
on 45th, West of the Blue Moon.
It was quite the watering hole for the returning
Veterans. Wine and beer could be purchased
but beer was the beverage of choice.
A small place that was close to UW.

On Sunday mornings, after church,
I would go with my father to help clean up.
I can still smell the sourness of spilt beer.
and the stale smell of tobacco.
I wasn't very helpful but my father would
let me sit at the bar. Closed on Sunday due to the
"Blue Laws" in effect in the City.
My father would pour me a Coke and I could have
a pickled Polish Sausage. I remember how that tasted
when washed down with a Coke.
I do remember the good time with my father,
when he owned The Looking Glass Tavern.

At some time that next year my mother decided
she wanted to move back to the Ellensburg area
where many of her sisters were as was her mother
and father. My Grandpa worked for the Kittitas Valley
Reclamation District, East of Ellensburg, but that
is a different story.

Many years later, I was on an adult soccer team
and we were playing at the Soccer pitch by Green Lake.
I told my two friends that were riding with me
about stopping there for nostalgic reasons.
It was no longer The Looking Glass Tavern but had a
different name.
I approached the door and it was exactly like I
remembered, Bar to the left, Booths to the right.
No Coke this time so I ordered a beer and a Pickled
Polish Sausage.
The sausage tasted like it was all grease. One bite
and then I washed it down with beer.
The taste? Yuck. Maybe I needed a Coke.

Moon Corona, Halo, and Arcs over Manitoba

Posted by Specola • Posted on 02/24/2020 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Yes, but could you get to work on time if the Moon looked like this? As the photographer was preparing to drive to work, refraction, reflection, and even diffraction of moonlight from millions of falling ice crystals turned the familiar icon of our Moon into a menagerie of other-worldly halos and arcs. The featured scene was captured with three combined exposures two weeks ago on a cold winter morning in Manitoba, Canada. The colorful rings are a corona caused by quantum diffraction by small drops of water or ice near the direction of the Moon. Outside of that, a 22-degree halo was created by moonlight refracting through six-sided cylindrical ice crystals. To the sides are moon dogs, caused by light refracting through thin, flat, six-sided ice platelets as they flittered toward the ground. Visible at the top and bottom of the 22-degree halo are upper and lower tangent arcs, created by moonlight refracting through nearly horizontal hexagonal ice cylinders. A few minutes later, from a field just off the road to work, the halo and arcs had disappeared, the sky had returned to normal -- with the exception of a single faint moon dog.

Photo by Brent Mckean

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