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About PakledHostage

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    Capsule Communicator
  1. If the ISS crew is in position to see the umbra then those within the umbra might also be able to see the ISS go by? It will be dark enough to see stars and planets, after all? Maybe it'll be something for eclipse viewers in Wyoming and/or Nebraska to keep an eye out for? Edit: Of course this far out, I imagine that orbital perturbations will still have enough of an effect on the ISS' exact position that day that this speculation may be meaningless...
  2. I saw the same 1999 total eclipse as Green Barron, only from a spot about 200 km further east and I would have to agree with all the hype: Totality is mind blowing. It is almost supernatural. I think you'd have to be a poet to really be able to capture it in words but "supernatural" is the best single word description that I can think of. I have never felt so profoundly insignificant. I was fortunate enough to have clear skies that day even though there were lots of towering cumulus clouds around. Those towering cumulus enhanced the effect of the onrushing umbra because you could see it coming from/receding to dozens of kilometers away. The speed and size of it was humbling. I remember saying afterwards that I understood now why eclipses invoked such fear in ancient peoples. It got dark at mid day, the wind stopped, it got noticably cooler, the birds stopped singing, the street lights came on, the roosters were crowing after totality ended... and at the centre of it all, there was this spectacular corona surrounding a black hole in the sky where the Sun should have been. It was otherworldly.
  3. Oregon. My family and I will be joined by one of my best friends and his family so I am expecting to have a good time... There will be plenty of Corona.
  4. It is all a matter of perspective... I once sailed a sailboat from Maine to Barcelona via the Azores. We were 17 days underway from Maine to Horta and another 14 days from there to Barcelona. I flew home, crossing not just the Atlantic but also the entire North American continent in a little over 20 hours, door to door. Trust me, that flight felt immensely fast.
  5. I saw that same eclipse, but from near Augsburg. That is the only other eclipse that I have seen. What stands out in my memory was how quiet it got during totality. No birds were singing, it was dark, the street lights came on... Then to see the receding umbra passing over the towering cumulus clouds in the distance! Its speed and size was incredible. I remember feeling so profoundly small and I remember saying afterwards that I understood now why eclipses could be so terrifying to ancient people. Everybody, especially space minded people like us here on this forum, should experience at least one in their lifetimes.
  6. I am not sure what to expect when it comes to the eclipse, really? I keep hearing about how everything is booked out and small towns in the eclipse path are worried about being overwhelmed by the expected influx of visitors, but then they can't get 1000 people to volunteer to take pictures? I'm think that I am well enough prepared in the event that there's mayhem, but I also wouldn't be surprised if it turns out to be a non-event.
  7. I remember going to see the original movie in the theaters when I was a boy. The allegorical parallels with nuclear armageddon made it all the more scary for a kid like me who grew up during the cold war. Even so, I'm looking forward to seeing this new series: It took them long enough!
  8. Forgive me but I'm going to bump this thread... They are still looking for more photographers to help out with this citizen science project. You don't need to be an expert photographer or astronomer to participate. You just need to plan on being within the path of totality and to have a DSLR or mirrorless camera, a tripod and at least a 300 mm lens. (ref. They are providing training via online webinars so I expect it will be a great learning opportunity. I am looking forward to my own participation in the project. I have created a script in Eclipse Orchestrator to take the requisite photos at the requisite times so I will be free to enjoy the eclipse while my camera clicks away automatically. Other guys are using Solar Eclipse Maestro and Backyard EOS to automate their photography so there are lots of options for automation. Still others are just going to trigger their camera shutters the old fashioned way.
  9. This video gives a pretty good explanation of how they intend to use the radio telescopes to construct the image.
  10. I agree that a few [change in acceleration with respect to time]s do act selfishly and irresponsibly. I am glad that there are tough new rules in place to give the authorities "teeth" when dealing with those people.
  11. That much is obvious and wasn't my point. Perhaps I should have been more clear, but I was referring to the type of transgression that your typical hobbyist might do with his/her quad rotor: Maybe flying a bit further away or higher than they should while looking at a video downlink, etc, while otherwise staying out of trouble. Flying too close to an airport, having a near miss with an aircraft, crashing in a crowd of people, etc will certainly and quite rightly get you busted.
  12. I did a quick Google search because I was sceptical about the 500 ft value. Aviation regulations tend to be harmonized as much as possible across the developed world by international agreement, and the US and Canada recently reduced the ceiling for operating a drone to 400 feet (120 metres). It turns out that the UK has also followed suit. They also restrict drones to operate below 400 feet, they must remain more than 500 feet away from built up areas and crowds (and may not overfly those areas), and they must remain within unaided visual sight (i.e. no FPV) of the pilot at all times. I think, in general, the authorities will look the other way when it comes to enforcing these kinds of rules, unless you tick off the wrong person that is... And the likelihood of doing that probably increases with the speed/noise of your aircraft.
  13. Because airplanes have stability. Very generally speaking, you trim an airplane in level flight to maintain a given cruising speed by trimming the pitch angle. The interaction of the pitching moments of the wing, fuselage, tail, etc work together to maintain that angle of attack relative to the airflow at that steady state airspeed. Add thrust without touching the trim and the airplane won't speed up but will climb instead. Decrease thrust without touching the trim and it won't slow down but will descend instead. All the while it will maintain the same angle of attack relative to the airflow, and the same indicated airspeed. None of this behavior requires an autopilot; it is just how aircraft are designed to work. Now before someone gets pedantic, there will also be oscillations around the steady state for a range of reasons, but a stable aircraft will behave this way sufficiently well to overcome perturbations and return to the set point. Pitching due rotational inertia as the aircraft flies around the curvature of the earth would only be a very small perturbation, easily overcome by the aircraft's inherent stability.
  14. Thoughts? I liked Steven Colbert's assessment of it:
  15. But we all need to do more than just march... We all need to do our best to educate those around us who may have misconceptions about how science works. People who espouse that "XXX is just a theory!" or that there's a difference between "observational science" and "historical science" need to be set straight. We may not be able to stop the idealogues who perpetuate those ideas for their own dubious reasons, but we may be able to run interference on the people that those idealogues are attempting to con. Ultimately, science is about evidence. Repeatable and independently verifiable evidence. Any rational person should be able to see the beauty in that, given the chance.