Phil Plait dumps on Global Warming Deniers

No, we do not have a “record level of arctic sea ice in the modern era”   Phil Plait has the details (and a good video) here:


Appeal successful, post restored

My appeal of a fraudulent removal of a post from Yahoo!Answers Astronomy & Space has been approved, and the post has been restored.  Unfortunately Y!A does not tell me who reported my post as inappropriate.   However, Y!A assures me (with ponderous gravity) that the person who flagged my post has ‘lost influence’.

Yippie skippie. Color me “unimpressed”.

One of the other frequent aswerers there told me that a group of sock-puppets targeted his account one night and reported 6 posts within 45 minutes, causing his account to be disabled.   I’ve now had to restrict access to my Y!A profile so that people can’t simply browse through my answers and flag them.

Once again, the 2012 proponents are showing their true colors.  It’s not ok to disagree with them.  If you do, you will be targeted.

And remember, 2012 is a hoax and “In space,  noone can hear you scheme.

Introducing: The ENC

In honor of the new campaign of censorship attempts by 2012ers on Yahoo!Answers Astronomy & Space,  I’m now forming the ENC, or “Evil NASA Conspiracy”.  This is a blatant rip-off of the “EAC” (We do not exist), but what the heck.

I think our slogan will be “In space, nobody can hear you scheme!”.   Our goals will be simple: the suppression of any evidence of Planet-X/Nibiru.  We should be very successful in this, since the object does not exist.

See?  It’s working already!  I’ll have to work on my funding proposal to NASA.

Observation Log: 20081229 17:30

Oh. My. Lord.

I grabbed my Christmas present from the family, a pair of 8×56 Celestron Skymaster binoculars, and went out specifically to view the conjunction.

Wow.  Just… wow.  I had mostly clear skies, and the seeing wasn’t great due to some high altitude moisture.  Venus had a ring around it, it was so bright, and  I could pick out Jupiter with no problem.  Mercury couldn’t be seen at first except with the binoculars, but after about 20 minutes I could just make it out without them.

With the binocs, even against the skyglow, I could see 2 of the galilean moons.   I could see visible discs on all three planets (well, a half-disk on Venus).

All three of the planets were set against the 5% crescent moon, and the four objects were just beautiful together.  Every time I glanced up, until the moon set over the hills,  the moon and Venus reminded me of a parachute and payload, falling up through the sky.  I think it reminded me of the picture of the Phoenix lander that Phil Plait picked as his top picture of 2008.  That’s the one that the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped with the HIRISE camera while Phoenix was on the way down.

If you missed it tonight, you have two more chances.  On Tuesday December 30, the moon will be slightly larger and higher in the sky, closer to Venus.  On Wednesday December 31, the moon will be just above Venus, and Jupiter and Mercury will be about 1.3 degrees apart.   This Week’s Sky at a Glance has some graphics of what you should be looking for.

UPDATE: Phil Plait also has an entry on his blog about the conjunction.

UPDATE 2: Tavi Greiner has photos here, here and here.