Thursday, June 17, 2010


That new header image is of Ida and Dactyl, an asteroid with its very own tiny moon.  I've always loved the photo.  Reminds me of a parent and child, bonded by gravity, rotating around a common center.  Plus, I didn't know asteroids could have moons. 

A coupla cool comments about the photo in my last post (see below).  Margaret said it looked like a stellar semi-colon.  Laurita said her kid told her it looked like the moon was hanging by a thumbtack.  Nice.  I will never look at the Venus-moon pas de deux quite the same way again.

Woke up at 4 a.m. yesterday to drive out just east of town and look for Comet McNaught.  Didn't find it.  It was oddly enjoyable still; I parked on a country road and cracked open a beer and scanned the sky right around Perseus with binoculars til the beer was gone.  Went home, went back to bed.  I'll look for it next month, after it's passed around the sun and is heading back out to its home in the Oort Cloud.

The Mets have won 6 games straight.  A half a game outta first place.  Of course, this weekend we play the Evil Empire (the Yankees, for you uninitiated), so anything could happen.  We're also going to see a AAA ballgame on Sunday to celebrate Father's Day.  Free gloves to the first 1500 kids!  And we get to have a catch on the field before the game.  Big Fun.  Hot dogs will be involved. 


Gordo said...

Cool, I didn't know asteroids could have a moon, either.

I more or less equate stargazing with fishing: you don't need to be successful to enjoy it.

Go Mets! I love minor-league ball. I wish there were a team closer than Auburn, NY, though.

femminismo said...

Thanks for stopping by. I like the semi-colon sky shot - or the moon hanging by a thumbtack. Lovely quote on places on a map and the true places. I too thought about not watching the movie - thought it might ruin the book (The Lovely Bones) but I guess I can take these things separately now. The cornfield was definitely really, really scary! I hope Colorado's weather is nice. Cheers and ta ta!

Sabra said...

Let's go Yankees, Let's GO!

As for that moon around the asteroid, you know if you look really closely you can see it's just some kid hanging his ass out a car window and hollering "here's a MOON for ya!"

[my word verification is "packsci" -- is that like sci-fi but when beer and hooliganism are involved?]

Clowncar said...

Yeah I know, Gordo. Asteroids with moons! It's less than a mile wide but still. Pretty weird.

Femme, that book was such a delicate balancing act over the horror of losing a child. A miracle she could pull it off, and I was sure the movie couldn't balance as carefully. Someday maybe I'll see it.

Sabra, Sabra, Sabra. Poor, deluded Sabra, rooting for the Yankees. Didja see Avatar? Rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for that giant heartless corporation. Whereas the Mets are obviously the Na'vi.

Shayna Prentice said...

Ida and its "very own tiny moon", Dactyl. (so sweet!) Sorry you didn't find the special Comet ... but it seems the thrill of the adventure with an early morning beer was a blooming good treat just the same. Enjoy your family and the hot dogs and Happy Father's Day!

Land of shimp said...

Happy Father's Day weekend, Clowncar! Perhaps the moon is the offspring of the Asteroid?

"Dad, how big is space? I want to know."

"It's vast son, vast beyond the telling of it."

"But whhhhhyyyyyy?"

And on, and on. Biped or space hunk, the gig remains the same. Maybe the asteroid tells the little moon stories of when it was young, and how it was grateful for everything. How he knew a guy that crashed into a blue and white planet, and took out a bunch of avian/reptilian grumps and BOY WAS HIS DAD MAD!

Clowncar said...

Yeah, Ida and Dactyl are pretty cool, Shayna. As fro father's Day, it was...eventful. See my next post.

Shimp - there actually are "families" of asteroids, and that's the scientific term! Any group of asteroids that came from the same asteroid before it collided with another one are in the same family. And share many characteristics that they inherited from their parent: composition, spin rate, length of revolution. So your image of son and father asteroids is very apropos. I LOVE asteroids.