Monday, April 26, 2010

Happy Belated Birthday, Hubble!

This birthday wish isn't for Edwin Hubble, the astronomer famous for determining that what people then called faint nebulae were really other galaxies like our own Milky Way and the fact that the universe is expanding, but his namesake, the Hubble Space Telescope. Twenty years ago yesterday, on April 24th, 1990, NASA launched Hubble into space. Although there were issues with it as initially launched, thanks to numerous repair and servicing missions over the years it has gone on to truly become our eyes into the depths of the universe. It has been the foundation for a lot of great science as well as inspiration and awe.

Check out celebrations around the web:

NASA Flash Hubble Gallery
NASA Hubble Mission Site
Hubble Site
Amazing Space - Hubble for Students and Teachers

Also, a very cool citizen science site called Galaxy Zoo, where people like you and me get to help astronomers in their research on galaxies, is also celebrating Hubble's birthday.

Friday, April 9, 2010

STS-131 Launch in Person

STS-131 Contrails
Originally uploaded by neatonjr
If you've never seen a shuttle launch in person but have always wanted to, you only have three more chances before the fleet is permanently retired after 30 years of service.

That was the incentive for me to get up at 2am last Monday morning and drive all the way across Florida to see the pre-dawn launch of Discovery in person. We were in New Port Richey visiting our oldest son Josh and his family, so when I heard about the launch I couldn't resist.

I won't bore you with the details of the trip other than to say it was worth everything... the lack of sleep, the hour standing on the edge of a retaining wall waiting, the hours of driving there and back, even the 2 hours in traffic between Titusville and Orlando on the way home. If you have any opportunity to go, I highly recommend it.

Check out my Flickr set for more pictures. You can also see more pictures here and news about the launch here.

Oh, and thanks to Josh for joining me... that was a great birthday present!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Nine Days Left: Help Me Get an iPad for My Birthday

I've seen the light! Just saw a detailed video review of the iPad and would LOVE to have one for my birthday. What an AMAZING piece of technology! And to think, if I get one for my birthday I can blow out candles on a virtual birthday cake, just like on Modern Family! How COOL! I figure if enough of my family and friends pitch in just a few dollars each, I'm all set! Details on how to help down below the video.

Oh, and by the way... you do recall that my birthday is just 9 days after APRIL FOOLS!!!

In reality, I'm quite happy with my Windows 7 media server and laptop, and my Palm Pre phone. And for all you Apple addicts out there (you know who you are), just wait till Palm comes out with an iPad form-factor computer running WebOS!

For more April Fools hilarity, check out the Google home page and their blog. Be sure to check out all the links there, like this one.