Friday, December 11, 2015

Michael L.

venus express lombry

This a shot of the Venus Express (VEX) from the European Space Agency which continually orbited that planet, the second from the sun, and monitored its atmosphere between 2006 and 2014.

It was, you should know, Galileo's observations of the phases of Venus in the early part of the seventeenth-century that proved the truthfulness of the heliocrentric model of the solar system or, as they thought at that time, the universe.

As a graduate student I once spent an exceedingly warm summer at the Johnson Space Center, outside of Houston, doing research for NASA's Oral History Project.

Houston, Texas, is not so wonderful in July, but the Johnson Space Center is an amazing place.

I very much wish that Washington, D.C. valued it more.


  1. What a great pic! I wish I knew what that bright spot is to the left of the sun.
    Keep posting the photos. I love this stuff.

    1. Well, you know who is up next!

    2. And I don't know what that bright star is to the left of the sun, either.

      Maybe next time that I go to Chabot I will take that picture and ask one of the astronomers.

    3. I think I can guess what the next photo will be. Everyone make sure to say "cheese."

      Yes, do find out if you can what that bright spot to the left is. Could it be a planet reflecting back or another galaxy many light years away?

  2. Replies
    1. That is, in fact, correct.

      So, I emailed the photo to lead astronomer, Sylvia Muravchik, at Chabot and wrote this:

      "Sylvia, this is (obviously) a photo of Venus in crescent with the sun in the background and some tremendous celestial object just to its left.

      Can you tell me what that tremendous celestial object is?"

      This is her response:

      "Michael, always a pleasure to hear from you.

      Yes, we have been tracking that object for a number of years, now, and what I can tell with certainty is that we have determined it to be President Barack Obama's ego. Some scientists are concerned that it may actually go Supernova in the not too distant future.

      Take care, Sylvia."