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Everything posted by Chinahand

  1. The Clucas Cleaners’ jingle also still rings somewhere deep in my subconscious.
  2. I always thought KallKwik was a Manx brand growing up listening to their adverts on Manx Radio. Trading on the Manx “K”!
  3. Ars Technica has a good article on the X-15. Accompanying it is this NASA video giving the history of the world's fastest, highest aircraft:
  4. Which is terrible news for the ordinary consumer.
  5. As is probably obvious I gain huge pleasure from heading out with a pair of binoculars or a telescope and looking out at the stars and planets visible in the night sky. Jupiter and Saturn are clear and visible in the early night at the moment and I had the pleasure of seeing Saturn's moon Titan for the first time a few nights ago - it only took half a century plus or minus a bit! My ambition is to get a really good astro-photograph of Saturn hanging delicate in a field of stars ... though that will probably take a couple of years of effort! I'm very very much an amateur astronomer, but the brilliance of the astronomical community is that amateur observations can still matter. Not that long ago an amateur astronomer called Gennady Borisov was taking photographs with a 0.65m telescope out in war torn Crimea and he noticed a tiny spec was moving when he overlaid multiple nightly images. He noted it down as gb00234 and reported its location to the astronomical community, who reacted with interest given the object's unusual position well above the ecliptic - the reasonably flat disc where most planets and asteroids orbit the sun. Soon bigger telescopes were brought to bear, trundling around on their bearings to the correct declination and right ascension reported by Mr Borisov. And these bigger telescopes saw a comet, with a dim tail of gas evaporating off the central nucleus. The comet was named C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) in honour of its discoverer! In the early 1600s, Johannes Kepler was the first person to realise that observations of orbiting bodies fitted to an elliptical curve and to work out how to fit the observations to their one unique conic curve as they travelled under the influence of gravity; and when astronomers did these calculations they got a bit of a shock. Rather than predicting a standard elliptical orbit for a planet, comet or asteroid repeatedly orbiting around the sun, the calculations predicted a hyperbolic trajectory. This object was zooming in from interstellar space, its path scarcely changed by the sun's gravity, before flying off and away back into the interstellar void. It is only the second time in all of history we have knowingly seen such an object. In 2017 the interstellar comet/asteroid Oumuamua zipped through the solar system creating much delight, and queries whether it was an alien space ship - especially when it accelerated away from the solar system! Luckily this time we've caught the object early in its entry of the solar system - Oumamua was only seen when it had already started to leave. However C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) is really screaming through - Oumanua has an eccentricity of 1.2, while Q4 is hyperbolic to an eccentricity of over 3. It is really moving. Predictions have been made that at any one moment at least one interstellar object should be passing through the solar system, but being able to see and observe them is a huge challenge. It was down to the patience of amateurs like Mr Borisov, quietly filling in the observational gaps left by the huge professional telescopes zoomed in to image tiny fields of view. Expect lots of telescope time to be booked to watch Q4's majestic sweep and exit from our tiny stage. Sadly Q4 is unlikely ever to be bright enough for me to see it - my telescope is too small, but over the next few weeks its trajectory will be pinned down with ever greater accuracy and maybe we will be able to back calculate and work out where it came from with some vague accuracy. Just think, billions of years ago some orbital catastrophe jettisoned a comet from its home star system, leaving it travelling the interstellar void. Now after billions up billions of kilometers of travel it is going to grace our solar system for a month or so, before travelling on and on through the galaxy. It is quite a feat to have been able to see and understand just what Q4 is. I hope we learn much more in the next few weeks, all from dots on photographic images, and the spectrum of light reflected back from our sun warming an object which hasn't felt the warmth of a star for many many ions. Just think on that.
  6. You’re on to something there, Stinky. I think renaming Andreas Beverley really works.
  7. Not that surprised that Enoch doesn’t understand pluralisation. Wonder what version of his Magic Book he claims is so amazing. Wonder what the actual text says rather his silly pictures. Wonder if chapter 72 calls the moon Keith.
  8. So the opposition think stopping Brexit is more important than democracy. ... erm. Sums up the cliche of the EU elite rather well that does.
  9. ... and understand that science works because it enables us to predict measurable phenomena. Can you provide a means to predict anything with this bollox, or is it just pretty pictures and silly name?
  10. You could start with Phil Plait's Crash Course Astronomy. For Neptune and Uranus: Comets: Oort Cloud:
  11. He’s being disingenuous when explaining why he’s doing it. That’s a mistake in my view. Brexit is an important factor in why he’s acted and he should be up front and honest about it. So, they’ll try and topple him now he’s closed the door on them legislating against a no deal exit. It’s all they have left. Interesting times.
  12. Are you two really claiming you can’t see the moon from a part of the globe illuminated by the sun and at the same time from a different part of the globe on the night side of the globe? 3D awareness rules ok. Not.
  13. Chinahand


    Enjoyed listening to it on Test Match Special. Something quite unique- though the Aussies must be gutted not to get the LBW decision.
  14. The issue isn’t the riders. It is the see no evil speak no evil hear no evil safety committee which year in year out approves a course with basically a guaranteed death rate and ridiculously low levels of life and accident insurance required to race. The result is a publicly sponsored race which destitutes families if there is a death or maybe worse a multi desabling injury. How someone can sign the race off as properly constituted year in year out amazes me.
  15. Pick me, Miss. Me, Miss. Please, Miss.
  16. Had to do a post lunch drive to a subcontractor and had the Radio on. I enjoy radio plays every now and then and this one is excellent: Drink, jealousies, families, careers and old friends meeting up again ... and the choices we make, don't make, and can't make. Click do.
  17. I’ve just been involved in a big risk exercise at work. Brexit: likelihood VH, Impact L. But society is going to collapse around us as we carry on basically as normal ... or so some say.
  18. What the heck is a .webp file?
  19. I think you should pm this to Manxie straight away. She will be very interested and most impressed by your scholarship.
  20. He’s just repeating himself! Am I understanding he doesn’t accept that the sun is above the horizon for 24 hours North of the arctic circle? That’s a heap load of reality denial. Plus the sun and the moon aren’t the same size in the sky. They are both continually changing in size and one is sometimes bigger and sometimes smaller. Are annular eclipse fake in Enoch land? Nutty.
  21. I’m not getting involved with criticising mods. They volunteer to do an impossible job. More than that I’d like to thank John, Gladys et al for their willingness to do a usually thankless task. If PGW explains what he thinks is causing his thumb to seem to move it would be instructive to his understanding of causation and science. He seems incapable of doing it rather getting involved in pointless squabbles. Ce sera sera.
  22. Why is the first reaction nowadays offence? A perfectly acceptable response, though one without Puritan self-flagellation, would be: ”great pun, glad people enjoyed it. Tourette’s is a complex condition which is often misunderstood, for more info contact ...” why go for offence. The objective should simply be consciousness raising on a complex mental health issue. It was a joke FFS!
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