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Crash Course in Astrophsyics

We're at L minus one here in Cape Canaveral. The launch got delayed one day because of lightening, so instead of going off tonight, it is rescheduled for tomorrow at 6:05 PM EST. The satellite(s) going up have a specific mission. Solar wind wreaks havoc on the earth's magnetic field. The field that faces the sun looks like a ring around the earth. However, as solar wind passes through the field, it causes the field lines to break up. (Picture a comet with a round front and a tail behind it. The round front is what the magnetic field looks like on the side of the earth facing the sun. The tail behind it is what it looks like after the solar wind has done its thing).

However, this magnetic field is resilient. At some point, many miles past the earth, the magnetic field reconnects. Where exactly this reconnection takes place is unknown. So, NASA is sending five satellites up on a Delta 2 rocket to figure out where this happens - and that's the launch I will see tomorrow. Pretty cool.

Now, you ask, how do I know all of this?? Well, today I attended the NASA briefing on it (yes, it's obvious I dressed up and was not hung over).


Anyway, while I was there I got to listen to a lot of smart people talk about a bunch of stuff I don't really understand (kind of reminded me of when I sit in on the Topix engineering meetings):




All in all, a great day. Really learned a lot and can't wait for tomorrow's launch. Thanks Rob!!


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Comments (3)


I think Jake should have gone instead


I am shocked and ashamed. I have known you for over 30 years, and while the opportunities have been many, I have never been more embarassed of you then I am right now. You showed up at NASA looking like you just bailed yourself out of jail following a 3 day bender with Anna Nicole Smith! Perhaps you're the dad.

This wasn't a 9 AM Sociology class at Wittenberg, you putz. This was freaking NASA!! I guess you would have shaved and perhaps tied your shoes if you went to the God damn White House?!?

I suppose we can expect you to wear your Tim Hardaway throwback jersey to the Giants Opening Day this Spring?

I read this morning that industry insiders are calling for an intervention with Britany Spears. Only after we're done with you, you jag off.

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