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A little tidbit on ESO's Very Large Telescope: "The light beams are combined in the VLTI using a complex system of mirrors in underground tunnels where the light paths must be kept equal to distances less than 1/1000 mm over a hundred metres. With this kind of precision the VLTI can reconstruct images with an angular resolution of milliarcseconds, equivalent to distinguishing the two headlights of a car at the distance of the Moon." And the facility's attached underground residential quarters were used as a backdrop in Quantum of Solace. =:)

One student in Montana took on the Boob Police. (h/t supergee)

How did I miss this? The Tick's reboot is a Go, courtesy of Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television. And the star, this time around, is Peter Serafinowicz! And, it appears Wreck-It Ralph 2 is also proceeding, pencilled in for March 9th 2018. ^_^

Now this is pretty neat: the Blackbird, a fully reconfigurable car rig that can adjust its size and riding characteristics, which they then use to overlay photorealistic CG texturing. It's much better seen than described. ^_^

Some researchers have apparently established some rather uncomfortably widespread shortcomings in fMRI processing - specifically, three packages commonly used: SPM, FSL, and AFNI.

Here's rather an interesting concept for a star drive: use a black hole. It's well beyond current engineering, but, "In 2009, Alexander Bolonkin and Louis Crane, Shawn Westmoreland offered and published a paper and book investigating the feasibility of this idea. Their conclusion was that it was on the edge of possibility, but that quantum gravity effects that are presently unknown will either make it easier, or make it impossible."

For a long form article on the whole sorry Brexit affair, have a look at lupestripe's EU Referendum Statement. (Regrettably, he's disabled comments on that entry, but I can sympathise)

Elsewhere in politics, The Canary's been taking a look at Portland Communications, one of the parties involved in ginning up the current efforts to displace Corbyn from the Labour leadership.


Still, there remains happiness in the world. ^_^ Here we see two police officers at this year's Pride parade in London: and one has just held up the entire parade to make a proposal. =:D (Actually, another officer also seized the moment. Both said yes =:)

I got to go rabbiteering again on Monday! The lighting wasn't amazing, but there was still enough sun for okay results, and no risk of sudden showers, so I leapt at the opportunity - and my, they were feisty. ^_^ Of the real action, only couple came out semi-acceptably, as they were, in fact, too close for me to fit the action in. ^_^; (I use a 300mm f/4 prime, so the angle of view is what it is, nothing else. The upshot is it's a stop or so brighter than zooms of that price, and very sharp indeed, permitting even quite tight cropping) I still don't think the warren's yet done with the scourge, but only one seemed affected this time, with a peak of twelve or so, similar to a month ago, so hopefully they're stable at this point.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Ah, but then they'd argue whether those telescopes could possibly exist - wouldn't it be much easier just to fake their results? =:) (And literally, it would be - given the extreme location, everything has to be brought in, including 60,000l of water a day)

I had to include that photo, of course.. I get teary just looking at them. ^_^; Ah, who knows? Maybe there's someone out there for a hare like me. (Frustratingly, there was, but it didn't last. We did share some wonderful times, though, and managed to part on civil terms. He holds the award as recipient of the longest email I've ever sent, being a culmination of back and forth writing between us, leading up to our RL meeting a couple months later, at 247K =:)
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Right now the problem is pixel density: the objects on the moon are smaller than 1 pixel, so it's difficult to image. My wife operates a lunar laser ranging experiment where they shoot the laser through the 3.5 meter telescope that she runs, and bounce it off of five retroreflectors on the moon (three left by Apollo astronauts, two mounted on Russian robotic probes). It used to be four: the fifth was a Russian Lunakhod probe that no one knew where it was. They knew where it landed, but they didn't know where it was when the batteries expired.

When the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter started doing hi-res photo mapping of the moon, they were able to see exactly where the lander was, then they spotted the tire tracks where the rover went. Contrary to popular belief, before the batteries died, it doubled-back along its track. Once my wife saw the photos, she was able to start at the lander, then walk the laser along the track and eventually pinged the rover.

Couldn't see the rover, but we could see the tire tracks.
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Even Neil Armstrong's footprints are well-preserved: no wind to disturb the lunar regolith. Unless a meteorite hits the tracks, or one of the objects, they're preserved until people go up there and start mucking about.

I believe the UN has designated the Apollo landing sites as historic sites that are not to be violated, but who knows what'll happen when people start colonizing the moon.
I have a ten minute video that I made on my wife's lunar laser ranging operation and LOTS of photographs of the observatory at my photography web site, waynewestphotography dot com. Ignore the comments on the video of "It's impossible to go to the moon!"
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