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Out There… and In Here February 4, 2011

Posted by bobv451 in inventions, science, sense of wonder, space.

The thousands of new planets being discovered by the Kepler are fabulous but there is so much more to learn about our own Solar System. It is a shame more isn’t PR’d about it. Such as the Soviet Venera probes to Venus. We still don’t know much about Venus and it is relatively nearby. Spitting distance, as it were. I heartily applaud the Mars probes but there is so much interesting real estate in the locale that it’s kid in a candy shop time for me (if this image isn’t completely outdated. I’ve never been in a candy store like that intended–chocolate shops, sure, but not candy in the sense of stick candy and all the rest–that goes back to olden times.)

The pix from Venus are outlandish and odd
and something worthy of investigating. But if I had to choose a direction to go, it would be toward Titan. Cirrus clouds. But not water. Methane. Ethane. Lots of odd nitrogen compounds but still high ice clouds. Just not water ice.

What’s to be found is likely going to be a matter of quick glimpses rather than serious (Sirius?) Observation. Flying a probe past is one thing, sitting in a tent and watching it first hand is another. I’m waiting for the Pluto probe is more than halfway there and wouldn’t likely have been financed if it hadn’t been launched before Pluto was demoted. (You’re still a planet in my book, Pluto. I refuse to learn a new mnemonic to remember the planets)

I’m glad Mark Kelly decided to go ahead with the shuttle mission. There’s little he can do and this is going to be the last one of the shuttle flights ever, if not the last. His job, he’s trained, he will be among a vanishing breed of Americans, unless he gets a job with Virgin Galactic. What a come down, but space is space. “The Man Who Sold the Moon” and all that.

Yours in looking up.

New Horizons



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