Thursday, November 15, 2018

Faint Fuzzy

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows Comet 46P/Wirtanen, a periodic comet now visible (but not to most naked eyes). Keep watching, though, some day we'll have the confluence of a large comet passing close enough to Earth at the right time to put on a good show.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

In Plato's Cave

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day brings us an image of Sh2–155, better known as The Cave Nebula. A combination of sulfur, hydrogen and oxygen bring us the rich colors (as does the fine work of the photographer!) together in a phrase I've noticed several times of late: the Hubble Palette.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Tumbling Dice

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a short video of asteroid 101955 Bennu, a near-Earth (or Earth-crossing) asteroid currently being visited by the OSIRIS-REx vehicle.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Not Blue

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows Messier 8 (or NGC 6523) in the constellation of Sagittarius.

Mount Hadley

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a panoramic shot from Apollo 15: Mount Hadley Delta, the Lunar Roving Vehicle, Astronaut David Scott and the shadow of Astronaut James Irwin. Dream mighty things—let's go back!

Saturday, November 10, 2018


Greg Stafford passed away recently. You can read about some of his accomplishments here and here. For me, I appreciate that he, along with several other very famous game designers, always were happy to take time when I met them at conventions or sent them a piece of (paper) mail. The genuine enthusiasm of people like Greg Stafford were a big reason that I have been a gamer since 1976.

Thank you, Greg. Vale.

Today you may see the hashtag #WeAreAllUs around the various social media platforms. At the request of Greg's family, people are playing games designed by Greg, or, if they don't have one, just playing a game, in his memory.

I'm currently between game campaigns thanks to Real Life (TM) constantly whacking me, but I hope to rectify that. Soon. Hopefully with something that Greg had a hand in.

Ham Interest

Because I am interested in more than just space and astronomy and science fiction and the like, but also finance, the economy, trade, history and so much more...I present...THE HAM BOND!

Dream Mighty Things 05

More Robert McCall artwork, freeflying in Near Earth Orbit and over the Moon.

Dream Mighty Things 04

Picking on a recent theme, here is more Robert McCall artwork, all clustered around a large deep-space vehicle. Above, a visit to an asteroid. Below, the vehicle returns to Earth orbit, slowing down through the process of aerobraking.

Arm in Arm

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day has the Old Moon in the arms of the New Moon, high in the skies of the Very Large Array in New Mexico.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Landing Ellipse

The ESA and Roscosmos have recommended a region of Mars known as Oxia Planum for the upcoming Exomars rover. With a launch planned for 2020, the rover will explore the surface and drill up to two meters into the surface to hunt for clues that life once existed on Mars.

We've gone from a geologically dead planet, to a planet with an active geological past; from a dry planet to a planet with countless traces (to put it mildly) of a very wet past. How long before we can knock off "lifeless" (even if it is "just" traces of previous life)?

Warped Speeds

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a "little planet" composite of star trails near a tower in Hungary. Like crazy, man.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Sky Pattern

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a multiple exposure image (over time) of the pattern that Mars traces across the sky. The Earth moves around the Sun, Mars moves around the Sun, and the interplay causes Mars (or the other planets) to appear to dance back and forth in our sky.

"Mouseover" the image in the link for a constellation guide.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Finally, A Lizard

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows NGC 6188, in the constellation of Ara. The dragons of Ara? No, finally, after horses and a state over the past two days, my assertion that nebula look like lizards is proven true.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

California Dreaming

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows NGC 1499, the California Nebula. It still (to follow up on yesterday's image) looks like a lizard (to me).

Monday, November 5, 2018

A Horse is a Horse

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows IC 4592 in the constellation of Scorpius. Do you see a horse here? (Myself, I think it's more of a lizard...)

Astounding work here!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Dream Mighty Things 03

Robert McCall shows us the first crewed expedition to Mars. Multiple vehicles, a robust rover and more!

Dream Mighty Things 02

Robert McCall's artwork continues to inspire. Here we we see space shuttles docking at a space station and unloading a cargo module.

Dream Mighty Things 01

Astronaut John Young on the Moon during the mission of Apollo 16.

Big Eyes

A look at current and planned large professional ground-based astronomical instruments. Having grown up with the 200-inch Hale Telescope as "state of the art", this boggles my mind.

The Haunting

The first adventure I ran for Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu fantasy/horror roleplaying game was The Haunting. I'm sure this is true for many as either the first run or the first played in, given how long the game has been out there. This art, by Jason Thompson, captures that wonderful first adventure nicely.

Reading in FUNdamental

Old School

As this Egyptian-era D20 shows, gaming will never catch on as a hobby.

Twin Peaks

Not much new. Watching Twin Peaks, the first season, since I got the third season on disc. What's new with you?


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the post-landing scene for the return of 2001's Genesis probe, bringing a sample of our Sun back to our Earth. That first step back from orbit is the hardest.