"The Childe...More restless than the swallow in the skies..." -Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

Saturday, July 28, 2012

My Jupiter Family Ties

On July 19th I was in a funk of sorts. I believe the technical name for this type of funk is Wednesday. Then I checked my Facebook wall and was greeted to the following message:
"Jupiter-family Comet Christensen makes its closest approach to Earth today, at 1.286 Astronomical Units! :)"
The message was from my awesome space-blogging buddy: Pillownaut. Along with the message was a link to a NASA JPL page called the Small-Body Database Browser. Reader beware: if you do not want to see small bodies, do not look down two more lines.

I scored the above image by playing with the Orbit Viewer applet available on the site. Totally nifty! Plus it took the edge off my funk. And how cool is it that Comet Christensen is in the Jupiter family of comets? This must be what Harry felt like getting into Gryffindor.

...actually, reading a bit further one finds that being in the Jupiter family of comets is more a matter of gravitational odds than prestige. Whatevah! Thanks to Eric Christensen for discovering this comet!

A Childe Bound for NASA!

After not getting selected for a couple of previous NASA events, I have finally scored an invite! I will be attending a Social taking place at NASA Glenn Research Center on August 3rd. This will be a preview of the Mars Science Laboratory landing on August 6th. I and other blogger-types will be treated to a full day of guided tours, a special multi-center broadcast, and visits with NASA personnel. More details to come, tweets during the event, and a blog post or two after the very cool day is over!

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