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Musings about taking a scientific approach to life

What’s Up February 2021

Feb 1, 2021

Winter brings long cold nights that are ideal for sky gazing. Unfortunately, Oregon is prone to clouds and rain during the winter months that frequently prevent sky gazing. So take advantage of every break in the weather to go outside and view the night sky. The focus this month is on the planet Mars, which is the only planet in February that we can easily see in the evening sky (see images below from timeanddate.com). The most exciting aspect about Mars this month is the arrival of three spacecraft at the planet: NASA Perseverance, Emirates Mars Mission, and the China’s Tiawen-1.…

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Elisha Gray’s Telephone, Part 3

Feb 1, 2021

August 1, 2025 I have good news and bad news. The good news: I’ve built Mark I of the Quantunnel (I’ve also settled on a name) and it (almost) works. I still had some bugs to work out, but I have a good feeling about this one. But it wasn’t easy—it was all I did since last entry; it took me a year to design, (long before I bought this journal) and to study for it—well, let’s just say it was a well spent 30 years. But now, it’s more glorious than ever, looking like a telephone booth with a…

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What’s Up January 2021

Jan 25, 2021

The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to explore what astronomical events we can expect in the coming twelve months and this will be the focus of this month’s column. As usual, I will concentrate on events that can be experienced without the need for expensive equipment. Conjunctions One interesting event in December last year was the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on December 21. Normally such an event does not gain much public attention but given the rarity of the event and the fact that it occurred near Christmas, the conjunction gained a lot of attention…

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