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What's it like to lose 200 pounds at home and completely change your life? This most recent post features a Q&A with Shandon Smith. It explores Shandon’s decision to have surgery, her experience, the ways she’s made sustainable changes, and the surprising non-scale-victories she’s experienced.

Working at picking up stray leaves
in the garden space.
I noticed a large branch that was
broken from a Salvia, or "Hot lips"
that was on the ground.
The cause of the break was from the
snow that we had in January.
I cut it from the main trunk,
then cut the branches so I
had a total of 4 branches.
I cut those at an angle and
the branch were green.
I placed the ends into some
Root Hormone powder
and then into pots.
Now I'll see if I have
recaptured my "green
thumb" and if I see new
growth as the weather warms.

Out to dinner last night.
She ordered a Caesar Salad.
When it came, She said,
"What is this?"
Her memory is no longer there.
After we had finished
She said, "Did you know my Mom?
Did you know my Dad?"
I replied, Yes I did and
they were very nice people.
Then she said to me,
"Tell me about your family?"
I told her about what I knew,
Realizing she no longer knows
Who I am.
Her memory loss continues to
to slip away, much to my dismay.

Your avatar

The Changing Surface of Fading Betelgeuse

Posted by Specola • Posted on 02/17/2020 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Besides fading, is Betelgeuse changing its appearance? Yes. The famous red supergiant star in the familiar constellation of Orion is so large that telescopes on Earth can actually resolve its surface -- although just barely. The two featured images taken with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope show how the star's surface appeared during the beginning and end of last year. The earlier image shows Betelgeuse having a much more uniform brightness than the later one, while the lower half of Betelgeuse became significantly dimmer than the top. Now during the first five months of 2019 amateur observations show Betelgeuse actually got slightly brighter, while in the last five months the star dimmed dramatically. Such variability is likely just normal behavior for this famously variable supergiant, but the recent dimming has rekindled discussion on how long it may be before Betelgeuse does go supernova. Since Betelgeuse is about 700 light years away, its eventual supernova -- probably thousands of years in the future -- will likely be an amazing night-sky spectacle, but will not endanger life on Earth.

Our life is a shamble,
at least it is to me,
for we no longer talk freely.
You speak words, yes you do,
but there the same words,
that you say, over and over again.
Every few minutes you will say,
"I liked that place,
what was it called?",
not recalling anything
I'd told you before.
My patience has become strained,
as I repeat my answer again.
I do not say I told you that before.
Reminding myself, it's not
her fault, not in any way,
while I continue to see you,
slowly slipping, slipping away.

Your avatar
Loy • 02/17/2020 at 01:20PM • Like

:(

Your avatar

NGC 2392: Double-Shelled Planetary Nebula

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

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

To some, this huge nebula resembles a person's head surrounded by a parka hood. In 1787, astronomer William Herschel discovered this unusual planetary nebula: NGC 2392. More recently, the Hubble Space Telescope imaged the nebula in visible light, while the nebula was also imaged in X-rays by the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The featured combined visible-X ray image, shows X-rays emitted by central hot gas in pink. The nebula displays gas clouds so complex they are not fully understood. NGC 2392 is a double-shelled planetary nebula, with the more distant gas having composed the outer layers of a Sun-like star only 10,000 years ago. The outer shell contains unusual light-year long orange filaments. The inner filaments visible are being ejected by strong wind of particles from the central star. The NGC 2392 Nebula spans about 1/3 of a light year and lies in our Milky Way Galaxy, about 3,000 light years distant, toward the constellation of the Twins (Gemini).

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Carina Nebula Close Up

Posted by Specola • Posted on 02/15/2020 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

A jewel of the southern sky, the Great Carina Nebula, also known as NGC 3372, spans over 300 light-years, one of our galaxy's largest star forming regions. Like the smaller, more northerly Great Orion Nebula, the Carina Nebula is easily visible to the unaided eye, though at a distance of 7,500 light-years it is some 5 times farther away. This gorgeous telescopic close-up reveals remarkable details of the region's central glowing filaments of interstellar gas and obscuring cosmic dust clouds in a field of view nearly 20 light-years across. The Carina Nebula is home to young, extremely massive stars, including the still enigmatic and violently variable Eta Carinae, a star system with well over 100 times the mass of the Sun. In the processed composite of space and ground-based image data a dusty, two-lobed Homunculus Nebula appears to surround Eta Carinae itself just below and left of center. While Eta Carinae is likely on the verge of a supernova explosion, X-ray images indicate that the Great Carina Nebula has been a veritable supernova factory.

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The Pale Blue Dot

Posted by Specola • Posted on 02/14/2020 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

On Valentine's Day in 1990, cruising four billion miles from the Sun, the Voyager 1 spacecraft looked back one last time to make the first ever Solar System family portrait. The portrait consists of the Sun and six planets in a 60 frame mosaic made from a vantage point 32 degrees above the ecliptic plane. Planet Earth was captured within a single pixel in this single frame. It's the pale blue dot within the sunbeam just right of center in this reprocessed version of the now famous view from Voyager. Astronomer Carl Sagan originated the idea of using Voyager's camera to look back toward home from a distant perspective. Thirty years later, on this Valentine's day, look again at the pale blue dot.

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