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Posts Made By: K. Michael Malolepszy

September 2, 2004 03:36 PM Forum: Religion

Probablty SETI false alarm in the news...

Posted By K. Michael Malolepszy

Having worked at a radiotelescope facilty, from first hand experience I can attest to the number of spurious signals and general havoc played by RFI with these type of systems and recievers....KMM

-------------------

Mysterious signals from 1000 light years away
19:00 01 September 04
Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition

In February 2003, astronomers involved in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) pointed the massive radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, at around 200 sections of the sky.

The same telescope had previously detected unexplained radio signals at least twice from each of these regions, and the astronomers were trying to reconfirm the findings. The team has now finished analysing the data, and all the signals seem to have disappeared. Except one, which has got stronger.

This radio signal, now seen on three separate occasions, is an enigma. It could be generated by a previously unknown astronomical phenomenon. Or it could be something much more mundane, maybe an artefact of the telescope itself.

But it also happens to be the best candidate yet for a contact by intelligent aliens in the nearly six-year history of the SETI@home project, which uses programs running as screensavers on millions of personal computers worldwide to sift through signals picked up by the Arecibo telescope.

http://www.newscientist.com/news/nographic.jsp?id=ns99996341

------

other stories about this at:

Space signals - aliens or hairdryers?

http://www.itv.com/news/index_697270.html

Astronomers deny ET signal report

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3621608.stm

Radio Signal: Hello from Alien Life?

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/afp/20040830/seti.html

SETI has not found ET: official

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/09/02/alien_no_no/

Earth to disappear from alien radar

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/08/10/alien_hunt_wrong_freq/


November 17, 2004 02:21 PM Forum: Telescope Making

Telescope Maker A.L. Woods Dies

Posted By K. Michael Malolepszy

A.L. Woods, a long time St. Louis Astronomical Society member and well known telescope maker, died on Monday, November 15, 2004. A regular at our general membership meetings, at age 94 he was the oldest member of the St. Louis Astronomical Society. Remembered as a generous, kind and warm human, he will be missed. sad

There is a picture of A.L. Woods and Dave Stevick with Al's pioneering 6" f/12 Stevick-Paul telescope at the "Weird Telescopes" page:


http://bhs.broo.k12.wv.us/homepage/alumni/dstevick/stevpaul.htm

http://bhs.broo.k12.wv.us/homepage/alumni/dstevick/weird.htm

Obituary from http://www.stltoday.com/ :

WOODS, ALFRED L.,on Mon., Nov. 15, 2004; beloved husband of the late Clara L. Woods (nee Guentert); dear father of Roselind C. Woods of Havana, FL, Alden L. Woods (Kathy) of Portland, OR, Pamela S. Harris and Kennard B. Woods (Emily) of Roswell, GA; grandfather of Brigit Wampler and Jason Olsen; great-grandfather of Jason, Daniel, Sarah, Samuel, and Joshua; dear brother of Martha Dirks and the late Mordie Woods and Maude Alice French; our dear uncle, great-uncle, cousin and friend.

Mr. Woods was an active member of Kirkwood United Methodist Church, the St. Louis Astronomical Society, a Masonic Lodge in Wichita, KS and a well-known telescope maker. Funeral service to be held on Thur., Nov. 18, 11 a.m. at Kirkwood United Methodist Church, 201 Adams (Kirkwood). Interment Forever Oak Hill Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of one's choice. Visitation Wed., 2-8 p.m. at BOPP Chapel, 10610 Manchester Rd.

(published: 11/17/2004)

November 17, 2004 02:24 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Telescope Maker A.L. Woods Dies

Posted By K. Michael Malolepszy

A.L. Woods, a long time St. Louis Astronomical Society member and well known telescope maker, died on Monday, November 15, 2004. A regular at our general membership meetings, at age 94 he was the oldest member of the St. Louis Astronomical Society. Remembered as a generous, kind and warm human, he will be missed.

There is a picture of A.L. Woods and Dave Stevick with Al's pioneering 6" f/12 Stevick-Paul telescope at the "Weird Telescopes" page:


http://bhs.broo.k12.wv.us/homepage/alumni/dstevick/stevpaul.htm

http://bhs.broo.k12.wv.us/homepage/alumni/dstevick/weird.htm

Obituary from http://www.stltoday.com/ :

WOODS, ALFRED L.,on Mon., Nov. 15, 2004; beloved husband of the late Clara L. Woods (nee Guentert); dear father of Roselind C. Woods of Havana, FL, Alden L. Woods (Kathy) of Portland, OR, Pamela S. Harris and Kennard B. Woods (Emily) of Roswell, GA; grandfather of Brigit Wampler and Jason Olsen; great-grandfather of Jason, Daniel, Sarah, Samuel, and Joshua; dear brother of Martha Dirks and the late Mordie Woods and Maude Alice French; our dear uncle, great-uncle, cousin and friend.

Mr. Woods was an active member of Kirkwood United Methodist Church, the St. Louis Astronomical Society, a Masonic Lodge in Wichita, KS and a well-known telescope maker. Funeral service to be held on Thur., Nov. 18, 11 a.m. at Kirkwood United Methodist Church, 201 Adams (Kirkwood). Interment Forever Oak Hill Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of one's choice. Visitation Wed., 2-8 p.m. at BOPP Chapel, 10610 Manchester Rd.

(published: 11/17/2004)


November 19, 2004 11:03 AM Forum: DVDs and Music and Books That You Recommend

Rock and Roll Circus

Posted By K. Michael Malolepszy


Thumbs waay up! Stones had nothing to be ashamed of on this, even with the Who playing/rocking/just about wrecking the stage before the Stones played - among other things - a very good version of "Sympathy for the Devil". Lots of other good stuff, too,like "Bad Mac"(Eric Clapton, Mitch Mitchel, Keith Richards and John Lennon), Taj Mahal, Jethro Tull, Marianne Faithful. Suprisingly good audio and video on this.

December 3, 2004 01:54 PM Forum: After Dark

Comet C/2004 Q2 (Machholz), anyone?

Posted By K. Michael Malolepszy

Has anyone been observing Comet C/2004 Q2 (Machholz) as it passes through Lepus / Eridanus - near Orion? Here in Missouri we've been socked in with cloudy weather and rain for what seems like waaay too long, but this weekend's weather looks promising. Reports are that "This thing is big, big, big.." and extremely easy to find:

http://www.skyhound.com/sh/2004_Q2.gif

At

http://encke.jpl.nasa.gov/RecentObs.html#04Q2

Observers are reporting that it is at least as bright
as m=6.0 to 6.3 while some Arkanas observers report it
at m=5.7. See:

http://www.arksky.org/cgi-bin/cometlog.pl?request=C/2004_Q2_(Machholz)

This comet is predicted to reach mag 4.1 in early
January.

See this web site for charts and orbital diagrams:

http://encke.jpl.nasa.gov/charts.html

http://encke.jpl.nasa.gov/

Recent images at

http://theastronomer.org/comets/2004q2_20041108_candy.jpg

http://theastronomer.org/comets/2004q2_20041117_sostero.jpg

http://theastronomer.org/comets/2004q2_20041121_montanucci.jpg

http://theastronomer.org/comets/2004q2_20041127_sostero.jpg

http://www.arksky.org/asoimg/machNEG.jpg

http://www.arksky.org/asoimg/machholz_1203.jpg

December 3, 2004 01:56 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

Comet C/2004 Q2 (Machholz), anyone?

Posted By K. Michael Malolepszy

Has anyone been observing Comet C/2004 Q2 (Machholz) as it passes through Lepus / Eridanus - near Orion? Here in Missouri we've been socked in with cloudy weather and rain for what seems like waaay too long, but this weekend's weather looks promising. Reports are that "This thing is big, big, big.." and extremely easy to find:

http://www.skyhound.com/sh/2004_Q2.gif

At

http://encke.jpl.nasa.gov/RecentObs.html#04Q2

Observers are reporting that it is at least as bright
as m=6.0 to 6.3 while some Arkanas observers report it
at m=5.7. See:

http://www.arksky.org/cgi-bin/cometlog.pl?request=C/2004_Q2_(Machholz)

This comet is predicted to reach mag 4.1 in early
January.

See this web site for charts and orbital diagrams:

http://encke.jpl.nasa.gov/charts.html

http://encke.jpl.nasa.gov/

Recent images at

http://theastronomer.org/comets/2004q2_20041108_candy.jpg

http://theastronomer.org/comets/2004q2_20041117_sostero.jpg

http://theastronomer.org/comets/2004q2_20041121_montanucci.jpg

http://theastronomer.org/comets/2004q2_20041127_sostero.jpg

http://www.arksky.org/asoimg/machNEG.jpg

http://www.arksky.org/asoimg/machholz_1203.jpg



March 2, 2005 11:29 AM Forum: Religion

GWB's Science Advisor: ID is not science

Posted By K. Michael Malolepszy

http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=9216

Intelligent Denials

Bush's science adviser said one important thing about
politicized science in a recent appearance. But only
one.

By Chris Mooney
Web Exclusive: 02.22.05

When it's your job to serve as the president's
in-house expert on science and technology, being
constantly in the media spotlight isn't necessarily a
mark of distinction. But for President Bush's
stoically inclined science adviser John Marburger,
immense controversy followed his blanket dismissal
last year of allegations (now endorsed by 48 Nobel
laureates) that the administration has systematically
abused science. So it was more than a little
refreshing last Wednesday to hear Marburger take a
strong stance against science politicization and abuse
on one issue where it really matters: evolution.

Speaking at the annual conference of the National
Association of Science Writers, Marburger fielded an
audience question about "Intelligent Design" (ID), the
latest supposedly scientific alternative to Charles
Darwin's theory of descent with modification. The
White House's chief scientist stated point blank,
"Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory." And
that's not all -- as if to ram the point home,
Marburger soon continued, "I don't regard Intelligent
Design as a scientific topic."

Marburger's words mark a departure for this
administration. While campaigning for the presidency
in 1999, then-Governor Bush stroked his religiously
conservative followers by defending the teaching of
creationism alongside evolution and stating, "I
believe children ought to be exposed to different
theories about how the world started." And in response
to a question from Science magazine during the 2004
race, Bush's campaign ducked the ID issue by stating,
"The federal government has no control over local
curricula, and it is not the federal government's role
to tell states and local boards of education what they
should teach in the classroom."

In comparison with these statements, Marburger minced
no words about the scientific status of ID. In fact,
GOP Intelligent Design boosters like Senator Rick
Santorum of Pennsylvania (where a court case over ID
is now pending) may be extremely miffed by Marburger's
stance.

Alas, Marburger's forthrightness about ID wasn't
matched by his discussion (or lack thereof) of charges
that the Bush administration has systematically abused
and distorted scientific information.

At the National Association of Science Writers
session, Marburger shared the stage with
Representative Henry Waxman, a Democrat who has
relentlessly pursued and publicized allegations that
the administration has interfered with the process by
which scientific advice makes its way to
policy-makers. Speaking prior to Marburger, Waxman
slammed the Bush administration for abuses ranging
from the stacking of scientific advisory panels to
monkeying with research on mercury pollution. The
congressman also charged that Marburger's previously
published rebuttal to charges of science abuse --
delivered in response to a statement and report on the
subject last year by the Union of Concerned Scientists
(UCS) -- amounted to "asserted denials with little
supporting evidence."

When Marburger took the stage he ignored Waxman's
stark criticisms entirely, as if they somehow didn't
merit addressing. Instead, the president's science
adviser delivered a delightful speech about "four
challenges" for science journalism. The disconnect was
stunning, and generally continued throughout the
question and answer session, during which Marburger
dodged Waxman repeatedly.

In truth, Marburger's elusiveness may reflect
considerable wisdom. Considering that new tales of
Bush administration science abuse seem to pop up
regularly, this probably isn't a debate he can win.

Just last week, in fact, some of the most stunning
evidence yet emerged concerning the Bush
administration's treatment of science and government
scientists, courtesy of the UCS and the Public
Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). At
the center of the controversy was the Fish and
Wildlife Service (FWS), a branch of the Interior
Department charged with enforcement of the Endangered
Species Act.

Determining how and whether to protect species
necessarily depends on using scientific analyses to
find out if they're in peril and what's causing the
problem. And as now seems clear, the Bush FWS has
repeatedly sought to doctor the data in order to
prevent tougher endangered-species protections that
rankle various industry constituencies -- development,
ranching, mining, logging, and so on.

The UCS and PEER sent surveys about science
politicization to more than a thousand FWS scientists,
and received some 400 back. Almost half of the
respondents reported that they had been "directed, for
non-scientific reasons, to refrain from making
[findings] that are protective of species." One out of
five added that they had been "directed to
inappropriately exclude or alter technical information
from a USFWS scientific document." Half said they were
aware of cases in which "commercial interests have
inappropriately induced the reversal or withdrawal of
scientific conclusions or decisions through political
intervention." And so on.

This is damning stuff, and reflects a clear sense
among many government scientists that politics has
corrupted the science-based
endangered-species-protection process. Granted, it's
possible that every single one of these Fish and
Wildlife Service survey respondents has an ax to
grind. But it isn't very likely.

Marburger wasn't asked about these survey results last
week. But given his consistency in defending the White
House in the past, one suspects he would echo
arguments already offered by the Interior Department
-- the agencies weren't acting inappropriately, it's
OK for superiors to review the scientific conclusions
of scientists working under them, this happens all the
time, etc. Yawn.

Thank goodness that on evolution, at least, Marburger
strays from the pack.

Chris Mooney is a Prospect senior correspondent whose
TAP Online column appears each week. His book on the
politicization of science will be published later this
year by Basic Books. His daily blog and other writings
can be found at www.chriscmooney.com.

March 29, 2005 12:26 PM Forum: Refractors

The Biggest of Them All...

Posted By K. Michael Malolepszy

Our club just did a visit to Yerkes and got a special tour of the observatory, complete with observing session through the 41 inch reflector (not the 40 inch refractor). Do it while you can - the future of this historic astronomical facility is somewhat in doubt. Our guide and telescope operator were *great* and it is well worth the time and expense.

K. Michael Malolepszy
St. Louis Astronomical Society

May 23, 2005 08:01 AM Forum: Solar System Observing

BBC Solar System show

Posted By K. Michael Malolepszy

Anyone catch this BBC production 'Space Odyssey:
Voyage To The Planets" that aired last week? It was
pretty good, probably the most realistic looking
depiction of future spaceflight I've seen in a long
time, showing a nucleur powered flight through the
solar system. I looked at the companion book at
Border's and apparently BBC did some filming at Star
City in Russia - you can seen their centrifuge in
being used in some of the sequences - and it looks like they might have used some Russian parabolic flights to film some zero-G sequences, too, as was done in "Apollo 13".

It had some pretty impressive stuff - a depiction of a
human landing on Hellishly Hot Venus with the kind of
suit that looks like the hard-shell deep sea "suits"
that are used in extreme deep diving / high pressure
depths, and an EVA among the rings of Saturn.

-------

From the BBC site:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2004/10_october/13/space_sets.shtml

To ensure that the look of the series felt
contemporary and convincing, the series producers
turned to the companies that had helped to create some
of the most authentic and spectacular space movies of
our time.

Wonderworks - the Los Angeles master space set-builder
behind Apollo 13, From The Earth To The Moon, Space
Cowboys, The Core and The Day After Tomorrow - built
and supplied most of the sets for this series.

A modified space shuttle cockpit fitted with a
slightly more futuristic 'glass cockpit' formed the
Pegasus command centre, and Wonderworks' unique
International Space Station set used in The Day After
Tomorrow was adapted for the mothership's lab areas.

The sets were shipped across the world and
reconstructed at two studios to the west of London.

Some parts were then taken to Russia and rebuilt
onboard a cosmonaut training cargo plane to fly real
weightless aerobatics.

The Hollywood costume house, Global Effects, who
supplied space suits to Apollo 13, Deep Impact,
Armageddon, Contact and the TV series Earth To The
Moon, designed and built the Venus and Io suits used
in this series.

The company also modified their space shuttle EVA
(spacewalk) suits from Space Cowboys for the actors'
Mars, Pluto and comet scenes.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2004/10_october/13/space_further.shtml

The ultimate journey of human exploration comes to BBC
ONE this November

May 23, 2005 08:06 AM Forum: DVDs and Music and Books That You Recommend

BBC Solar System show

Posted By K. Michael Malolepszy

Anyone catch this BBC production 'Space Odyssey:
Voyage To The Planets" that aired last week? It was
pretty good, probably the most realistic looking
depiction of future spaceflight I've seen in a long
time, showing a nucleur powered flight through the
solar system. I looked at the companion book at
Border's and apparently BBC did some filming at Star
City in Russia - you can seen their centrifuge in
being used in some of the sequences - and it looks like they might have used some Russian parabolic flights to film some zero-G sequences, too, as was done in "Apollo 13".

It had some pretty impressive stuff - a depiction of a
human landing on Hellishly Hot Venus with the kind of
suit that looks like the hard-shell deep sea "suits"
that are used in extreme deep diving / high pressure
depths, a landing on Io and an EVA among the rings of Saturn. Pretty cool effects in all...

I taped it, but it's something I'll probably buy on DvD.

-------

From the BBC site:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2004/10_october/13/space_sets.shtml

To ensure that the look of the series felt
contemporary and convincing, the series producers
turned to the companies that had helped to create some
of the most authentic and spectacular space movies of
our time.

Wonderworks - the Los Angeles master space set-builder
behind Apollo 13, From The Earth To The Moon, Space
Cowboys, The Core and The Day After Tomorrow - built
and supplied most of the sets for this series.

A modified space shuttle cockpit fitted with a
slightly more futuristic 'glass cockpit' formed the
Pegasus command centre, and Wonderworks' unique
International Space Station set used in The Day After
Tomorrow was adapted for the mothership's lab areas.

The sets were shipped across the world and
reconstructed at two studios to the west of London.

Some parts were then taken to Russia and rebuilt
onboard a cosmonaut training cargo plane to fly real
weightless aerobatics.

The Hollywood costume house, Global Effects, who
supplied space suits to Apollo 13, Deep Impact,
Armageddon, Contact and the TV series Earth To The
Moon, designed and built the Venus and Io suits used
in this series.

The company also modified their space shuttle EVA
(spacewalk) suits from Space Cowboys for the actors'
Mars, Pluto and comet scenes.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2004/10_october/13/space_further.shtml

The ultimate journey of human exploration comes to BBC
ONE this November