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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"Goldilocks and the Three Planets" (Repost from January 16, 2009)


(Image: Venus - ESA, Earth - ESA, Mars - ESA © 2007 MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/ RSSD/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA)


Once upon a time there were three planets that lived in the the Orion Arm of the Milky Way galaxy. The first planet was Venus, the second was Earth, and the third was Mars. As these planets moved on with their own orbital variations a Small Solar System Body or comet named Goldilocks broke free, gravitationally, from the Kuiper Belt.

While on her journey through the inner Solar System and before being thrown out into interstellar space, Goldilocks decided to pass by each of these three planets. Upon her visit by Venus she found that it was much too hot there for her nuclei consisting of loose collections of ice, dust and small rocky particles. Venus was much too close to the sun, her water would never be able to flow freely, it would turn into a gaseous state and would just evaporate into the atmosphere. She also found the atmosphere to be too thick and heavy. She would never be able to live on this planet and help support life. It was like a sauna. It was “Too Hot!” She then moved on to pass by Mars, because of her orbit she would have to come back later to visit Earth. While on her pass by Mars she found that it was too cold there. Once again her water would never be able to flow freely. The atmosphere there was too thin, because Mars has no continental drift. This causes all the particles in the atmosphere to become trapped within the surface of Mars. All of her water would remain in a solid or frozen state. She would never be able to help support life there. It was “Too Cold!” Now it was time to visit Earth. Upon her pass by Earth she found that the temperature was just right and her water was able to flow freely in a liquid state. There was also continental drift there on Earth. This allows particles from the atmosphere that become trapped on the ground to be brought back, once again, to the atmosphere through volcanic activity. The Earths medium sized atmosphere was just right. It allows for perfect temperatures and the ability to support life. It was “Just Right!”

As Goldilocks moved on before being thrown out into interstellar space she hoped that by chance that she might pass close enough to massive Jupiter in hopes of being influenced, gravitationally, on her trajectory. She hoped to be nudged just enough to one day return close enough to Earth and to be pulled into its atmosphere and burn up upon entry and release her nuclei and help support live on a planet that is “Just Right.”

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"TWILIGHT"

I posted this in December 2008, but I felt the need to post again! Enjoy!



"Twilight" (1820) by Caspar David Friedrich





I have something I need to get off of my chest. I have always been interested in "Twilight." Please do not let my wife know, she will never let me live this one down. Although, she reads my blog and will most certainly find out, please DO NOT let her know. It could damage the town. Twilight is very interesting to me. It even reaches farther than we know, even into other planets. and galaxies. That is how far reaching "Twilight" is.


There are many versions of "Twilight." My wife has all of these on our bookcase. I see them every day and wonder which version is best. Technically, there is only one truly defined "Twilight", but there are three established and widely accepted subcategories of twilight: civil twilight (brightest), nautical twilight and astronomical twilight (darkest). Civil twilight begins in the morning when the geometric center of the Sun is 6° below the horizon and ends at sunrise. Evening civil twilight begins at sunset and ends when the center of the Sun reaches 6° below the horizon. Nautical twilight is defined as the time beginning when the geometric center of the Sun is exactly 12° below the horizon and ending when the sun's center is exactly 12° below the horizon. Astronomical twilight is defined as the time beginning when the center of the Sun is exactly 18° below the horizon and ending when the sun's center reaches exactly 18° below the horizon. I prefer the version "Civil Twilight in the Morning," but my wife prefers another version of "Twilight."


"Twilight" can have varied durations of time, depending on the latitude of the observer. In the Arctic and Antarctic regions, twilight (if at all) can last for several hours. I know that at my geographic location, "Twilight" can last all night and keep me awake for many, many hours. There is no twilight at the poles within a month on either side of the winter solstice. I am going to enforce this rule at my house, this sounds like a great idea. At the poles, twilight can be as long as two weeks, while at the equator, it can go from day to night in as little as twenty minutes. "Twilight" even reaches the Martians. Twilight on Mars is longer than on Earth, lasting for up to two hours before sunrise or after sunset.




I know that "Twilight" will continue around my house for quite some time, but I guess I should be very grateful that "Twilight" is not continuous. Within the polar circles of Earth, twilight literally lasts for weeks in the polar fall and spring. Poor men. What makes me most grateful is that it could be much, much worse. There is a planet in a distant solar system, the name escapes me, that continually faces its sun. By doing this there is one side that is continually light and the other side is continually dark. Yes! you guessed it. Poor, Poor men, if any there. There is an area on this poor planet, roughly 200 miles wide, from pole to pole, that is in continuous never ending "Twilight." This sounds like a planet that my wife and many of her friends would like to visit, but not me. I will be happy with intermittent "Twilight" here at my geographic location.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Quotes that make you THINK!

I love quotes! Especially ones that make you think! Ones that inspire you to strive to become a better person. Listed below are some of my favorite quotes from some of my favorite thinkers and leaders.

"It was said of old that he who governs himself is greater than he who takes a city."
- Gordon B. Hinckley

"May you live your life as if the maxim of your actions were to become universal law."
- Immanuel Kant

"There are many things that I believe that I shall never say but I shall never say those things I do not believe." - Immanuel Kant


"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." - Galileo Galilei

"Long experience has taught me this about the status of mankind with regard to matters requiring thought: the less people know and understand about them, the more positively they attempt to argue concerning them, while on the other hand to know and understand a multitude of things renders men cautious in passing judgement upon anything new." - Galileo Galilei


"We knew of old that God was so great that he could make all things; but, behold, he is so much greater even than that, that he can make all things make themselves."
- Charles Kingsley

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
- Albert Einstein

"Truth is what stands the test of experience." -Albert Einstein

"If A is success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut." - Albert Einstein

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity." - Albert Einstein

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." - Albert Einstein

"Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love? Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That's relativity." - Albert Einstein

"Any man whose errors take ten years to correct is quite a man." - J. Robert Oppenheimer (speaking of Albert Einstein)

"Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." - J. Robert Oppenheimer (speaking of the atomic bomb)

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
- Aristotle

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." - Plato

"Ignorance, the root and the stem of every evil." - Plato

"I detest that man who hides one thing in the depths of his heart, and speaks for another."
- Homer


"A generation of men is like a generation of leaves; the wind scatters some leaves upon the ground, while others the burgeoning wood brings forth - and the season of spring comes on. So of men one generation springs forth and another ceases." -Homer


"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." - Isaac Newton

"Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful." - Samuel Johnson

"It's not the hours you put in your work that counts, it's the work you put in the hours."
- Sam Ewing

"Men show their characters in nothing more clearly than in what they think laughable."
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Many a man's reputation would not know his character if they met on the street."
- Elbert Hubbard

"This art of resting the mind and the power of dismissing from it all care and worry is probably one of the secrets of energy in our great men." - Captain J. A. Hadfield

"Latter-day Saints...do not deny that an evolutionary process, a reflection of the gospel law of progression, may be one of the methods of the Lord's labor in the universe." - John A. Widtsoe

"Man's best possession is a sympathetic wife." - Euripides

"If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything." - Mark Twain

"If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it." - Herodotus

"If you do not wish to be prone to anger, do not feed the habit; give it nothing which may tend to its increase." - Epictetus

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Is 186,000 Miles Per Second The Speed Limit? (REPOST)


I realize this is a repost, but it is something that I ponder often. I assure you that I have an "ULTRA" post in the works.
Back in September (2008) I posted about the speed of light and how there is nothing faster. Ever since I posted that I have been wondering if that is true. I know, that is really something that most people worry about, but it keeps me busy thinking about. I know scientifically and theoretically that there is nothing faster. That has been proven by the calculations of Albert Einstein with his theory of special relativity. We know that light travels at, roughly, 186,000 miles per second or 299,792,458 meters per second. Since then we have found that the speed of light can be manipulated. Light can slow as it is refracted passing through much denser materials, such as water, glass, and much slower through diamonds. We can also temporarily speed up light. One experiment in 2000 made the group velocity, or speed, of laser beams travel for extremely short distances through caesium or cesium atoms at 300 times the speed of light, WOW! now that is fast.


Now let me let you in on what I have been thinking about. We use many wavelenghts of nonvisible light for communication purposes. Most common is radiowaves and microwaves, no not ovens, but that makes me hungry. There is another form of communication that many use each day. This may get a little deep in thought so bare with me. Prayer! Prayer, what is the mechanism used to transfer our thoughts and words in prayer? Is it some sort of wavelenght of light? Perhaps, but it all depends on how far our prayers need to travel to be heard and then the time it takes for our answers to travel back. We do not know the exact location of our Heavenly Father, but it is probably pretty far. Let's just say we probably know that it is farther than our sun. Our sun is roughly 93 million miles from Earth. Using a wavelenght of light for communication and using the distance of our sun as our prayers destination, that would take our prayer 8.31 minutes to arrive and then an additional 8.31 minutes to return if answered immediately. I know that I have had prayers answered almost instantly. So, probably not a wavelenght of light, since we know that the speed of light is constant, but could caesium surround us while we pray? (I am joking here) That could speed up our prayers, I sure hope not, that could be very dangerous. Caesium is highly reactive and is highly explosive when it comes in contact with water. I don't know about you, but I have often cried while praying, so that could be deadly.


This is what makes me wonder, what is the mechanism used to transfer our thoughts and words in prayer. Whatever this mechanism is, our Heavenly Father has it all worked out and I do believe that it is much faster that the speed of light. It all depends on where are prayers are going and how far that really is. Or could it be that we all live in very close proximity, just in a different dimension perhaps? After all the veil is very thin at times between this world and others, but that is just going WAY TOO into things. That is another thing I think about, but I will just leave it at this point. The point is that I believe that the speed of light is theoretically the fastest, but I also believe that this mechanism that transfers our prayers is much faster that the speed of light, how fast? Who knows, but science can not measure this. THINK ABOUT IT!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Global Warming? AGAIN!


Due to the recent strange weather events across the nation I thought I would re-post something that I wrote a couple of months ago. I feel that many people do not understand the real "Global Warming" issue. It frustrates me when people develop an opinion without researching it first and obtaining the facts first. I hope that by reading this that some will open their minds a little more to the issue and understand it a little better. Read this with an open mind and think about this subject. Do not make this a left vs. right issue.
Why else would the Lord have told us to be stewards over the Earth? This Earth was created for our use and we are to care for it. I ultimately feel that the changing climate here on Earth is part of the plan of the Creation. The Earth will take care of itself and it will be renewed again! The Earth is angry!


ORIGINAL POST: JANUARY 29, 2009
Global Warming? Think for a moment… Is it real????? Hmmmm! Yes! WAIT! Don’t leave! Take a few moments and read this one. It is a little long, but trust me, I have shortened this, REALLY! And this is right up my alley; I studied this extensively in school, so give it a chance!!!! And please do not argue with me with anything that you heard from Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity. I like them both, but they are not scientists, just conservatives like me, but I however understand the Earth System Processes, well more than they do!Temperatures on a global average have been on the rise. (Global surface temperature increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the 100 years ending in 2005) This is a fact! No, I do not like Al Gore. His work is flawed and inconsistent. And he has bad hair. Does this mean that everyone is experiencing a warming? No. Some places are cooling and some are warming. This is an “average” global temperature increase, “average.” And yes, I know some of you are thinking, I am really cold right now. Yes! It is winter. HELLO! Really though, this is what happens when there is a climate shift, weather begins to see extremes. When a climate begins to change, bad things can happen. (I really like this, but then again, I am a natural disaster “FREAK,” as long as nobody gets injured or killed) If you have noticed in the past few years there has been an increase in extreme weather events. I know my friends in Arkansas thinks so. So when it gets colder than usual and you say, Wow! Global Warming huh! You are correct! When it snows in June you say, Wow! Global Warming huh! You are correct again! There are those that may say, well I thought they said back in the 70’s and 80’s that we were going into an ice age? Yes, this is the pattern that the earth should be going into. (This is what is great about science; new discoveries are made, let’s see what we can figure out next!) Does this mean an Earth covered in ice? No! Although, here in Utah this could be very bad, anyone remember the great prehistoric pluvial lake, Lake Bonneville, from the Pleistocene? I don’t, I was not around yet, but our mountains and shorelines remember. Take a look sometime if you are in the area, remarkable!There are cycles that the Earth goes through called Milankovitch cycles, named after a Serbian civil engineer and mathematician, Milutin Milanković, that helped to determine these various orbital variations. These orbital variations are eccentricity, axial tilt, and precession of the Earth's orbit and they are very complicated, so I will not bore you with them. Feel free to read about them if you can’t fall asleep. Talk about "moving!" These cycles show that we should be headed toward what looks like an ice age, but we are not. We are warming! (Sorry Phoenix! It is getting hotter!) This is where the confusion begins.There is a direct correlation with warming to the industrial revolution. Also, there is a direct correlation to the increased amount of CO2 in the atmosphere with the industrial revolution. By the way, the levels of CO2 have been measured from the top of Mount Kīlauea, Hawaii. Far away from any heavily polluted areas. It is very hard to ignore this evidence. So, Yes! global warming is happening. Now this is where the argument about global warming can begin.Since it is a fact that temperatures have been on the rise, now we need to ask why. Is it anthropogenic? (Dang humans!) Perhaps! This is where there is such a debate. This is where I feel the real question should be. Is Global Warming Man Made? I personally believe that we have had some sort of an impact on climate change. To what extent? I am not sure. To actually know how much is very hard to track. Could there be some variable that we do not know? Yes! Could we, as humans, have just set off a tipping point and caused the warming to occur, or a climate shift to occur? Perhaps! There are just too many variables to consider. Whatever has caused this to happen may never be known. On the flip side we have also been helping to cool our planet with the sulfates we have been releasing into the atmosphere. This was discovered through methods called pan evaporation. (Cool Huh!) Pans of water are measured for the amount of evaporation that occurs over time. Evaporation is related to temperature and solar insolation or sunlight. The temperature has been increasing over the past years, but the amount of evaporation has been decreasing. Long story short, this has been because of the amount of sulfates that have been releases into the atmosphere. These sulfates block the amount of solar insolation the Earth receives. Now, could we have actually been slowing the rate of warming, very likely! Can you say, “Global Dimming!” (Very interesting study performed the day after 911 when all the planes were grounded, let me give you a little hint, no vapor trails!)
So, as you can see there are so many factors to consider. Since we do not know how much man has contributed to global warming, it is hard to say what we need to do, or if anything. My problem with these global warming extremists is that they think that we can fix this with no problems. They also paint a very dim picture of our future. It has taken a long time for this problem to happen and it is going to take a very long time to correct the problem. I personally feel, too little too late! I believe we are past the point of no return. The damage has been done. I am not an extremist when it comes to the global warming issue, but if we know we are contributing then it is our responsibility to do what we can to stop polluting our atmosphere. Even though I feel. it is too late, let's be good stewards of our Earth. Ultimately, the Earth will fix itself as it has done many, many times in the past. We will probably not be around to see this, but Earth will take care of this problem. Think About It!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!


I would like to wish my father, Lloyd William Schempp, a Happy Birthday. I truly feel that he is the greatest father that anyone could be blessed to have here upon the face of this Earth. I would like to start with a couple of paragraphs from the autobiography of my father. These two paragraphs should and will shed a little bit of light on my thought process. It should give you an indication of why I think the way I do. GENETICS?


"Lloyd William Schempp was born on 22 March 1940 at Alamosa, Alamosa County, Colorado. I was born at the Alamosa Community Hospital and delivered by our family doctor, Dr. Sidney Anderson. I came into the world at 12:30 a.m. on the morning of Good Friday."


"The 22nd of March is the earliest date upon which Good Friday can fall. Are you ready for this. Easter occurs on the first Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon. The Paschal full moon is the 14th day of a lunar month occurring on or following the next day after March 21. Anyway with Good Friday occurring the Friday before Easter, Good Friday, on a March 22, is a once in a lifetime happening. Between the years 1940 AD and 2041 AD, March 22 occurs on Friday only 15 times and only once does it occur on Good Friday. I won't even get into the equinox for 1940, aren't you glad?" - Lloyd William Schempp


"KARL, I AM YOUR FATHER!" (In a deep breathing voice)


Now, I hope this give you a little indication of why I am the way I am. (For the better, I feel) I am a very lucky person to have such a great man as a father. He is one of the smartest men that I know. I have learned many things from just growing up around him. I have also learned many things from the example that he has set for me. I would have to say that the greatest thing that I have learned for my father is not anything scientific or anything to do with a thought process. The greatest thing that I have learned from my father is how to treat your wife and mother. My father treats my mother with the greatest respect of anyone that I know. My father grew up without his mother. She passed on to the next stage of life on April 21, 1940. I have always wondered if this is why he treats my mother with the greatest respect. By not having a mother, growing up, I feel that he perhaps he has taken the love and respect that he would have shown to his own mother and carried it with him until he was married and expressed this love for mothers and gave my mother, his wife, an extra appreciation of love and respect. This is the greatest example that he has shown for me.


My father has always been there for me through the years and continues to be there for me to this day. I love just being around my father. He is just fun to be around. As I grow older I can see that I am a lot like my father. I can see many things in me that I have either learned or inherited from my father. There is one thing that we do not see eye-to-eye on though! BYU vs. Utah. I can not think of a greater example of a father, than my own father, to follow here upon this Earth.


I usually try to not give the age of any of my family members on their birthdays, but this one was given in the beginning. It was too great to pass up the opportunity in showing how I came to be the way I am. I am looking forward to spending many more equinoxes with my father. If you are wanting to know about the equinox, read my previous post. Don't worry! I did not get into the equinox of 1940 either. But, I will say that it does involve two points of view. Heliocentric or Geocentric! THINK ABOUT IT!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY! I LOVE YOU!


*If you want to read more about my father see http://sonofathinker.blogspot.com/2008/12/quotes-from-my-dad.html

Friday, March 20, 2009

What a Great Day for Equality here on Earth!


True equality only happens twice a year on Earth. People try to equal in many ways. Boys want to be equal to girls and girls want to be equal to boys, but this can never really be achieved. There is only one way that we can achieve true equality here on Earth. And today is one of those lucky days that we have equality. Today at 11:44 UTC the Earth reached an equinoctial point. This happens twice a year. This is a point where the Earth's axis is inclined neither away or toward the sun. The sun's solar isolation is directed directly at the Earth at the equator. (No, the sun is not only shining on the equator!) This happens twice a year at the vernal point (no, not Vernal, Utah) and the autumnal point. The names given to these days are the vernal equinox and the autumnal equinox. The term equinox is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night). This is exactly what occurs. The the night and day are approximately equally long.


Summer is my favorite season, but the first day of spring has to be one of my favorite days. Even though it is not as warm as summer, I like to look at it this way. From this point moving into summer, each day we will be blessed with an increasing duration of sunlight. (unless you are reading this from the southern hemisphere, SORRY!) And if you have not caught on by now, I LOVE THE SUN AND SUNLIGHT! (There are many, many reasons that I love the sunlight that I will not go into now(Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD)) From this point we will be able to enjoy the blooming plants and trees. We will see an increasing activity of life, both in human and animal forms (also an increase of mosquitoes from where I chose to live in close proximity too, thanks Utah Lake) I love the increasing sunlight! There is nothing greater than the light we receive from the sun. We would not be here without it.


Whenever I feel the increasing sunlight it always bring to me a feeling of renewal and life. I am thankful for such a great and marvelous Creation. I often think of this passage of scripture when I feel the warming sun upon my skin.


Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life. JOHN 8:12


So, on the great day of equality on Earth, be thankful for this day, a day of renewal and optimism. THINK ABOUT IT!
As a side note I would also like to add a link to something very interesting thay my mother sent me.
Further reading also at

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHARI!

Shari in Germany


On this day, March 19th, a very special individual was brought into this World. It was a beautiful Tuesday in Mesa, Arizona when Shari Loree was sent from Heaven to start her journey here on Earth. Shari was chosen to be sent to Earth at a specific time. She was chosen to be sent to Earth at this time so magical things could happen in her life. She was chosen to be sent, at the time she was, so she could best influence those around her. As she grew she was able to touch the lives of many as she traveled around the world in her young age. Even at this young age she was able to influence and touch peoples lives for the better. Her outgoing personality, that has been handed down to her own daughter, has always been a great characteristic that has been used for the best. Shari, just like most that have been sent to Earth, has had many trials and struggles in her life. She has faced these challenges in her life and carried on. Many people would have not been able to take on the challenges that she has. But, because of her great strengths and abilities she has always been able to put these trials behind her and learn from them and help others with trials in their life. Shari has blessed the lives of many people in her life, but I personally feel that I am the one that has been most blessed by having met her.

Shortly after meeting her, in the Fall of 1993, I knew I was in love. I knew that she was the one that I wanted to spend eternity with and we were married in February 1995. After we were married I continued to learn more about my wife and saw what a great example she was to those around her. She always makes people around her feel very comfortable. She has always been one that people are attracted to. And for good reason, she is an amazing person. Like many couples, as you continue in your relationship things change as you pass through the different stages of your life. Shari has only done one thing as we have known each other and that is, she continues to progress and become a better person.

Many years after being married we were blessed to have our first child, Cruz. I was able to see many changes in Shari as she became a mother. She was a natural at being a mother. Soon came our second, Kenyon then Mara our third. Within days we will be blessed to have our fourth child, a boy, join us here on Earth. Her children, as well as I are very lucky to have a woman so great as her. Once again, Shari was chosen to be sent at a specific time here in Earth. She was chosen to be sent so she could mold her children's lives for the better. As you look around at the world, it is filled with much good, but also there is a lot of evil around. Shari was chosen to be sent here on Earth at this time in Earths existence to be a guide, a leader, a teacher, and a mother for these special children. She is truly the greatest woman that I know. I am very thankful to have met her and to be married to her for eternity.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHARI!

I LOVE YOU!

Now, It would not complete and it would not be me if I did not add a little bit of thought into the whole thing. How old is she? Well, she is younger than me! Let's do it like this. Let us find her age by counting the successful revolutions around the sun of my second favorite planet in our solar system. It is my second favorite for many reasons. One being a comet magnet! Thanks (PLANET) I love you for this! Well, you guessed it! It is a Jovian planet! It is also the third brightest object in our night sky with an apparent magnitude of -2.3. (Which in just a few nights the Space Shuttle docked with the International Space Station will also have this same apparent magnitude YES! Can't wait!) It is the fifth planet form the sun and the largest of the planets within our solar system. Yes, Pluto! DOH! Pluto is not a planet. Sorry Pluto, but you had this coming. Pretending to be something you are not. COME ON! YES! JUPITER! So, if we were to start counting from the moment she was born, which I actually did on this day, March 19th of a certain year, the planet Jupiter has made roughly 2.95129519697 successful solar passes. I never knew until just this moment why I started counting the orbits Jupiter was making around our sun. So, you can do the math if you want, but, I hope that she is around for a few more passes of this Jovian planet. And Shari, like this planet, you are out of this world!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!


I LOVE YOU!

Monday, March 16, 2009

99942 Apophis!


The coming attraction has arrived! Well, not really! I have been wanting to post information on the asteroid Apophis, but could not condense all the information I wanted to present. (Shari has informed me that I present too much information and too detailed) I am sure that you are happy. ( I am trying to do better, REALLY!) I thought for this post that I would let my favorite astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, present this information to you in his very entertaining way. I feel, somewhat, that I have taken the easy way out on this post and have not given you all the information that I wanted to. But I know that this clip will present the basics of this asteroid. ENJOY!

BE SURE TO MUTE MY PLAYLIST (MUSIC) AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE BEFORE STARTING THE VIDEO.



Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Sandy!

Sandy, top left 1974

On this day many years ago my oldest sister was born not too far from where I currently live. Sandra Lynne Schempp was born in Provo, Utah. She was born on........well, I am not going to give this to you. You are going to have to figure this out if you really want to know. First I want to wish her a Happy Birthday!


I usually make it too easy in giving away the ages of my siblings or parents on their birthdays. I usually indicate how many successful solar passes they have made. WAY TOO EASY! Well, not this time. I will say she was born many years before Neil Alden Armstrong first set foot on the moon. I will also let you know that she was born before the assassination of President John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy! I will make you work for the rest. My sister Sandy has been on the Earth long enough that the fifth largest satellite in our solar system has made 615.018315015 revolutions around her. I will not give you any further information. Well, I will let you know that the satellite that I have referred to is a natural satellite with a mean radius of 1,737.10 km or 1,079.383 898 miles. GOOD LUCK!


Sandy is the oldest of six Schempp children. She is the only one of the Schempp children born in Utah, but now all but one of the Schempp children currently reside in Utah. Sandy was always a quiet person, but she made up for this with her athletic ability. She is a very, very good softball player. I know this personally, YES! PERSONALLY! When I was five years old all of the Schempp kids, minus Kelly, were playing ball out in the backyard of our home in Omaha, Nebraska while our parents were out. (At a church function, if I remember correctly) Well, it was Sandy's turn at bat. Did I mention that Sandy was a very good softball player? And I think I failed to mention that playing softball requires swinging a bat. (SWING BATTER!) Anyway, as Sandy was batting a certain five year old, named Karl, decided to move into close proximity to his sisters batting area. You guessed it! POW! This is why I told you that I knew from personal experience that Sandy was a good softball player and could swing the bat very well. Let's just say she is so good that this required a few stitches on the top of my head to repair. OUCH!


I was still in elementary school when my sister Sandy was married. I don't have as many memories of her as I do some of my other siblings. I can remember her always studying and reading the scriptures in her room. I can remember her always attending church and all of her church activities growing up. This was a great example to all of the younger siblings in our home. I am very grateful to have her as a sister. She is currently studying to be a nurse and I know personally how hard it is to go to school and raise a family at the same time. I know that she will be wonderful nurse and help many people with her skills. I love you very much Sandy and hope that you have a Happy Birthday!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY!


I LOVE YOU!


YOUR MIDDLE LITTLE BROTHER!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

COMING ATTRACTION!


99942 APOPHIS


Friday the 13th!


Impact on Earth?


Impact on the Moon?


Gravitational Keyhole!


450 metres (1,500 ft)!


Coming soon to a Galaxy (or a blog) near you!




Wednesday, February 25, 2009

One of the Greatest Events in History!


Today is the anniversary of one of the greatest events in history. Everyone has an event in history that they feel may qualify as the greatest event in history. Some may say sliced bread, but come on, how great was this? Really? Others might say the lunar landing on July 20, 1969. Pretty good, but still not the greatest. The chlorination of public drinking water is another great event, even though some may feel this is bad. I am sure the individuals involved in the 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak in London would have loved to have had chlorinated water. Still, a very great event, but not the best. One that comes in close, is the discovery of penicillin. This has to be a close second at the time for me. After having a body core temperature over 39.5 degrees Celsius for the past few days. Does not sound too bad does it. Well! Perform this unit conversion and it will tell a different story. [°F] = [°C] × 9 ⁄ 5 + 32 Two days after starting my intake of a form of Penicillin my temperature in now normal again! WHEW! Now I can take care of my wife and kids again!


WHAT IS THE EVENT?


February 25, 1995!


MESA, ARIZONA!


LDS TEMPLE!


On this day, was one of the greatest events in the history of my life. Other days are close, other events may may come close, but the day that I was married for all eternity to my beautiful wife Shari, has to be the best event. I can not even begin to express how much I love her and how important she is to me. She is the greatest person that I could have ever met. She and I enjoy every moment of time together. Some may say they enjoy every second with their spouse, but not me. I will take this to the very extreme to show my love for her. She will understand! BARE WITH ME! This is actually truly heartfelt! (dang keyboard just had some salty discharge, hang on a moment) I have enjoyed every Planck unit of Planck Time! Allow me to explain.


Every Second=one second PLEASE! VERY WEAK!


Millisecond=one thousandth of a second WEAK!


Nanosecond=one billionth of a second LESS WEAK! But still no good!


Yoctosecond=one quadrillionth (in the long scale) or one septillionth (in the short scale) of a second. (which scale you prefer does not matter) Close, but still not good enough for my Shari!


ONLY PLANCK UNITS CAN EXPRESS MY LOVE FOR HER! This is shortest or earliest meaningful interval of time that theoretical physics can describe and consequently the youngest the known universe can be measured. ≈ 5.4×10−44 s.


If I could take each moment of our time together and enjoy every moment with her in slow motion and every frame in the slow motion was a Planck Unit this would show how much I enjoy spending time with her. So, when someone says they enjoy every moment or every second with someone. Think about how much I enjoy spending time with my wife. I enjoy every moment of Planck Unit of Planck Time with her. NOW THIS IS LOVE! REALLY!


Now, this was on the negative orders of magnitude and showed how I enjoyed every small moment of time with her. What about the years to come? 14 years have passed! How can I show how long I will love her and how long I will be with her? We have not even reached into the positive orders of magnitude! WAIT!!!!!!! This one is very, very simple. My love for her in eternal and infinite. I will be with her for all eternity. This is what is great about being married for eternity. Time will go on forever!


I LOVE YOU SHARI! THANKS FOR LETTING ME EXPRESS MY GREAT LOVE FOR YOU IN SUCH A VERY SPECIAL WAY!


I HAVE ALWAYS SAID IT BEFORE, I LOVE YOU, INFINITY!
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Which would you rather be killed by?

Tyrannosaurus rex vs. Tyrannosauripus pillmorei




I would like to thank the ten of you that voted on my poll question. I apologize for my delay in posting the explanation to my poll question. I have been feeling a little bit beneath an atmospheric phenomena . Thank you for voting even if you did no research into the question at all. The question was, "Would rather be killed by Tyrannosaurus rex or Tyrannosauripus pillmorei?" If you were able to do any research you may have put a little more thought into your fictional death. The numbers came out even on this poll. GREAT JOB!



This may have been a little bit of a trick question. This was why I wanted you to try to research it a bit. (Dang Homework!) Your actual decision was on your manner of death rather than what killed you. Because it is hard to be absolutely sure which animal made a particular footprint, track fossils are given slightly different genus names, and completely different species names, from the animal presumed to have left them. So, if you decided that you would rather be killed by Tyrannosaurus rex you decided that you would rather be killed by being eaten alive. If you were the lucky other half, you decided that you would rather be killed by Tyrannosauripus pillmorei (a much cooler name I think) you chose to be stepped on and smashed to death. Either way, it does not sound like too much fun. I believe I would rather be eaten alive. I am sure the power of these massive jaws and the sharpness of these large teeth would support a very sudden and painless death. Being stepped on could leave you in the mud for hours before you finally succumbed to your injuries (BONUS!then your fossil could be named in with the track fossil left behind!). But when all is said and done, you all chose to be fictionally killed by Mr. T. Rex!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Top of the Atmosphere! Satellite!

Click on image if you want a better view!


For those of you that were interested in finding out the location of the satellite in the previous post, well here it is. (Thanks mama for looking!) You needed to click on the image for a larger view to be able to view it. It was right in front of my favorite satellite, the Moon! No, it is not a star, it is a satellite. There are no stars or other planets in front of our Moon that I am aware of.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Top of the Atmosphere!

(image: http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/scripts/sseop/photo.pl?mission=ISS013&roll=E&frame=54329 )


I ran across this picture and just had to post it. It was taken from the International Space Station at an altitude of 181 nautical miles (335 km). (Click on the image for a better view and see if you can spot a satellite) (other than the moon!)


WHAT A VIEW!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTINE!

Christine around 1985




I would like to wish one of my three sisters, Christine or "Chi Chi", a Happy Birthday! I would like to start by addressing her nickname. This is a name that I called her for years and still do, but I am careful where and when I address her by this name. I am not really sure where the name came from. I think it might have come from one of our nieces when they were younger and could not pronounce Christine. Anyway, it was not until we moved to New Mexico and found out that her nickname was also a term used to describe a certain anatomy of a woman. WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT This anatomical feature is located on the anterior end of the transverse plane and on the ventral end of the coronal plane. I will not get anymore graphic than this in describing these anatomical objects. So, you can see why I am careful when and where I address her by this nickname.



Christine and Karl on Summit Peak, Colorado elevation 13,300ft. 1986.


Congratulation Christine on another successful solar pass. I believe that you have now completed 42 of these revolutions around our sun. Remember, I have not told anyone how old you are. I will allow those who want to research your age or even ask you your age to do so.


Those of you that know Christine know that she is a very caring person. She is the most selfless person that I know, well maybe equal to my mother. She will do anything for you at anytime. I know that she has done so many things for me that I would not be able to enumerate them. I am very thankful that I have a sister with these qualities.



Just like many of us, she has had many trials in her life. She has always been able to confront these challenges and put them behind her. She is truly a greater woman for having gone through these challenges in her life. I admire her for her abilities in overcoming trials in life.


Christine and Karl in New Mexico 1992.



I can not end without telling any stories about my sister Christine. She too, like my sister Lisa was a little naive growing up. I can remember while living in New Mexico we were driving to Santa Fe. We had just entered Santa Fe and has just stopped at a red light. I looked over at the driver parallel to us and noticed that he had an alcoholic beverage in an aluminum container (a beer). I told Christine to look over at him. She was outraged! She wanted to call the police and let them know that there was a man drinking while he was driving. Well, welcome to New Mexico. Sorry, but things like this go on all the time. I know this was a little bit of a shock for her, but it was also a little bit of an eye opener as well to the world around us. (I can also drive a pretty mean Mustang GT Turbo through a snowstorm, sliding down the mountain, but she does not remember this!) But I am very thankful that my sisters were more sheltered in their younger years. I am thankful that they did not have to view many of the things that I did. I am a little tougher in that area than they were. It also allowed me to help protect them from some of the dangers out there in the world.


Christine! Christine, like I stated earlier, is the most selfless person that I know. She is also the most giving person tat I know. If you want to be full after a dinner or a family event. Go to Christine's house. If she holds a BBQ and you leave hungry, this is your own fault. I can remember one Thanksgiving at her house and she had enough pies for everyone. I mean, she had enough "PIES" for everyone. I can not remember the exact amount, but I think there were enough pies there for everyone to have at least a pie to themselves if not more.



Chrisine right in the middle 1974.


Christine, I love you! You are a great sister. I am very thankful that I have you as a sister. Thank you for the many years of fun. I hope to enjoy many more solar passes with you. (Even though you have quite a head start!) LOVE YA!




HAPPY BIRTHDAY!








Sunday, February 8, 2009

EARTH!




EARTH! Is there any greater place? At this class at this level, NO! What I mean to say is, at this time in my life and stage in my eternal realm, Earth is the greatest place to be. Earth, Terra, World, Terran, or whatever you want to call it, Earth, this is home to me.




I have studied the Earth for many, many years. I continue to be amazed at the marvelous Creation of Earth. The process of the Creation is still ongoing. Mountains continue to rise toward the Heavens, rivers continue to carve great canyons on their journeys to the seas. New lands are formed as they rise from the depths of the oceans. This great Earth is amazing to me.




As I look back on my studies of the Earth, they began as a young child. I can remember just looking at rocks and collecting rocks. I can remember just loving to be outside. I would walk in the woods viewing the vegetation and wildlife, play around ponds admiring the aquatic life (some very dangerous, cottonmouth or water moccasin), and stare at the stars (even though not part of the Earth, I would have to peer through Earth's atmosphere to view these lights).




My academic studies allowed me to study the Earth in a variety of ways. I have studied Earth's geology. This allowed me to study the Earth up close, touching and handling the Earth. Environmental Studies allowed me to also handle the Earth physically by measuring wells, calculating water flow (hydrology, YIKES! Don't want to be a hydrologist, TOO MUCH MATH!), and taking water samples to test for contamination. As I moved my focus into Geography (Physical Geography), "The Mother of All Sciences" as it is often referred to as, I gained a greater understanding of the Earth System Processes. Geography allowed me to study wildfires and wildfire behavior, natural and technological hazards and disasters (plate tectonics, landslides, volcanoes, hurricanes, etc...), climate changes throughout Earth's History, and study Earth as home to man. Geography also allowed me to use many tools that aid in the understanding of our Earth. Satellite imagery and using different wavelengths of light allow the study of Earth to reach great levels. In a way, as we get further from Earth, the more we can understand Earth. As I studied Earth and always looking down I realized that this was only the beginning in trying to understand our Earth. LOOK UP! Many great mysteries of Earth have been revealed by looking up! This is where I am at in my own personal studies, looking up, now that my formal education is behind me, for the moment! I hope to continue my education, but I want someone else to pay for this!




Looking up is where I have been concentrating my personal studies. I have noticed as I look toward the stars, in study, that I always fall back toward Earth. (Dang Gravity! Hey! Isn't there suppose to be less of a pull toward Earth the further distance you get?) As I study the Universe and the great Creation beyond Earth, I always find something that brings me back to Earth! I really enjoy researching the Universe, but Earth is the best. I really do have a love for this place called Earth.






Ultimately, I am so very grateful for our Heavenly Father and all who created this Earth for us to live for a time. I look at all that I know about Earth and Space and am amazed at what has been created for not only for us, but throughout the Universe. Everything on Earth was made for a specific purpose. Everything that was created and now is in the past was created for a specific purpose. Everything that is yet to be created, will be created for a specific purpose. The same can be said for our amazing Universe, but to a greater extent! This Creation of our infinite Universe is beyond capacity of our minds. As I learn more and more about this Creation, I gain a greater love for our Heavenly Father and the love that he has for us. All that He has created and will create for us shows us how important we are to Him. I am very grateful for all He has done for us.




There is a children's song or Primary song that brings a tear to my eyes every time that I hear it or read it. I can not sing this song to my children, or sing in Church without getting a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat. As I hear the words to this song, I look at the words in great detail and think of the actual Earth Processes that need to occur in order for these things to happen. I look way to in the biology, physics, meteorology, and all around Earth Processes involved. I will leave you with the lyrics to the song below. Try not to shed a tear as you read this and Think About It!




Whenever I hear the song of a bird Or look at the blue, blue sky, Whenever I feel the rain on my face Or the wind as it rushes by, Whenever I touch a velvet rose Or walk by our lilac tree, I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world Heavenly Father created for me. He gave me my eyes that I might see The color of butterfly wings. He gave me my ears that I might hear The magical sound of things. He gave me my life, my mind, my heart: I thank him reverently For all his creations, of which I'm a part. Yes, I know Heavenly Father loves me.












Sunday, February 1, 2009

"Killed by Asteroid" or "Killed in an Airplane Crash"


I would like to thank those (all 7 of you) who voted on my poll question. The question was, "Which do you think is more likely to be engraved on your tombstone?" "Killed by Asteroid" or "Killed in an Airplane Crash." After the voting was complete 14.28571% (to be exact!) of you voted, "Killed by Asteroid." The other 85.71428% voted "Killed in an Airplane Crash."


I know the suspense is "killing" you so I will get to the answer to the question, but before I do, there actually is statistical evidence to back up the answer to the question. So if you happen to have voted for the correct answer, well, congratulations! You were correct!


The chances that your tombstone will have engraved upon it, "Killed by Asteroid" or "Killed in an Airplane Crash" are about the same. Congratulations to all seven of you, you were correct! There have been about 2 dozen people killed by asteroids falling from the sky in the past 400 years, but there have been thousands of people killed in airplane crashes during the relatively brief history of passenger air travel. So how can this comparative statistic be correct and true? No problem! The asteroid impact records show that after the end of 10 million years, when the total of all airplane crashes has killed roughly 1 billion people (assuming a death-by-airplane rate of 100 per year), an asteroid is most likely to have hit the Earth with enough energy to kill 1 billion people. What is interesting about this comparison is that while airplane crashes kill people a few at a time, an asteroid might not kill anyone for millions of years. But, when an asteroid does hit, it will take out hundreds of millions of people instantly and many more hundreds of millions in the wake of global climactic upheaval.


I hope that I have not raised too many fears of an asteroid impact or air travel! The asteroid and comet impact rate has declined dramatically since the early life of our solar system. Whew! Look to the moon and you will see numerous impact craters, look at Earth, not so many visible. But this does indicate that Earth has not been hit in the past. We have been hit many, many times with grave consequences, just ask Tyrannosaurus rex, ooops! He is no longer around. Wonder why? The moon has no atmosphere, plate tectonics, wind, water, or any of these great features that Earth does. This allows the craters on the moon to remain undisturbed. Well, maybe Neil Armstrong stirred up some dust, but hey! Earth, however, has all of these factors that erode the impact sites and craters. Lucky Us! Really! Some of these craters have been recycled within the Earth due to the plate tectonic activity of subduction. You know, "SUBDUCTION LEADS TO OROGENY!" Sorry, but this is a great joke, research it and think about it. After all, there is no preserved oceanic crust older than about 180 million years old. (I know, that was just what you were thinking!)


There are many impact sites that are still visible. There is one in the state of Arizona that I have been to see. It is quite the site to view. (And this is a relatively small impact crater in comparison to the Chicxulub Crater in the Yucat'an Peninsula, that I have not seen!) While viewing the crater left in the ground you can imagine the force of the impact. (Actually, not too big, only about 2.5 megatons of TNT, Chicxulub was about 100 teratons of TNT, yes teratons, just a little bit more!)


Even though there have not been any major impacts to Earth in recent history we need to look to the skies and watch. Well not everyone! There is an asteroid that is coming! Apophis! This will make two very close passes by Earth. Possibly, on the second pass around, make contact with EARTH!


First Pass, April 13, 2029! Friday the 13th!


Second Pass, 2036, IMPACT?????


THINK ABOUT IT!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

GLOBAL WARMING? GLOBAL DIMMING?


Global Warming? Think for a moment… Is it real????? Hmmmm! Yes! WAIT! Don’t leave! Take a few moments and read this one. It is a little long, but trust me, I have shortened this, REALLY! And this is right up my alley; I studied this extensively in school, so give it a chance!!!! And please do not argue with me with anything that you heard from Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity. I like them both, but they are not scientists, just conservatives like me, but I however understand the Earth System Processes, well more than they do!

Temperatures on a global average have been on the rise. (Global surface temperature increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the 100 years ending in 2005) This is a fact! No, I do not like Al Gore. His work is flawed and inconsistent. And he has bad hair. Does this mean that everyone is experiencing a warming? No. Some places are cooling and some are warming. This is an “average” global temperature increase, “average.” And yes, I know some of you are thinking, I am really cold right now. Yes! It is winter. HELLO! Really though, this is what happens when there is a climate shift, weather begins to see extremes. When a climate begins to change, bad things can happen. (I really like this, but then again, I am a natural disaster “FREAK,” as long as nobody gets injured or killed) If you have noticed in the past few years there has been an increase in extreme weather events. I know my friends in Arkansas thinks so. So when it gets colder than usual and you say, Wow! Global Warming huh! You are correct! When it snows in June you say, Wow! Global Warming huh! You are correct again! There are those that may say, well I thought they said back in the 70’s and 80’s that we were going into an ice age? Yes, this is the pattern that the earth should be going into. (This is what is great about science; new discoveries are made, let’s see what we can figure out next!) Does this mean an Earth covered in ice? No! Although, here in Utah this could be very bad, anyone remember the great prehistoric pluvial lake, Lake Bonneville, from the Pleistocene? I don’t, I was not around yet, but our mountains and shorelines remember. Take a look sometime if you are in the area, remarkable!

There are cycles that the Earth goes through called Milankovitch cycles, named after a Serbian civil engineer and mathematician, Milutin Milanković, that helped to determine these various orbital variations. These orbital variations are eccentricity, axial tilt, and precession of the Earth's orbit and they are very complicated, so I will not bore you with them. Feel free to read about them if you can’t fall asleep. Talk about "moving!" These cycles show that we should be headed toward what looks like an ice age, but we are not. We are warming! (Sorry Phoenix! It is getting hotter!) This is where the confusion begins.

There is a direct correlation with warming to the industrial revolution. Also, there is a direct correlation to the increased amount of CO2 in the atmosphere with the industrial revolution. By the way, the levels of CO2 have been measured from the top of Mount Kīlauea, Hawaii. Far away from any heavily polluted areas. It is very hard to ignore this evidence. So, Yes! global warming is happening. Now this is where the argument about global warming can begin.

Since it is a fact that temperatures have been on the rise, now we need to ask why. Is it anthropogenic? (Dang humans!) Perhaps! This is where there is such a debate. This is where I feel the real question should be. Is Global Warming Man Made? I personally believe that we have had some sort of an impact on climate change. To what extent? I am not sure. To actually know how much is very hard to track. Could there be some variable that we do not know? Yes! Could we, as humans, have just set off a tipping point and caused the warming to occur, or a climate shift to occur? Perhaps! There are just too many variables to consider. Whatever has caused this to happen may never be known. On the flip side we have also been helping to cool our planet with the sulfates we have been releasing into the atmosphere. This was discovered through methods called pan evaporation. (Cool Huh!) Pans of water are measured for the amount of evaporation that occurs over time. Evaporation is related to temperature and solar insolation or sunlight. The temperature has been increasing over the past years, but the amount of evaporation has been decreasing. Long story short, this has been because of the amount of sulfates that have been releases into the atmosphere. These sulfates block the amount of solar insolation the Earth receives. Now, could we have actually been slowing the rate of warming, very likely! Can you say, “Global Dimming!” (Very interesting study performed the day after 911 when all the planes were grounded, let me give you a little hint, no vapor trails!)
So, as you can see there are so many factors to consider. Since we do not know how much man has contributed to global warming, it is hard to say what we need to do, or if anything. My problem with these global warming extremists is that they think that we can fix this with no problems. They also paint a very dim picture of our future. It has taken a long time for this problem to happen and it is going to take a very long time to correct the problem. I personally feel, too little too late! I believe we are past the point of no return. The damage has been done. I am not an extremist when it comes to the global warming issue, but if we know we are contributing then it is our responsibility to do what we can to stop polluting our atmosphere. Even though I feel. it is too late, let's be good stewards of our Earth. Ultimately, the Earth will fix itself as it has done many, many times in the past. We will probably not be around to see this, but Earth will take care of this problem. Think About It!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

TAGGED

I have been thinking of many different topics to post. Asteroids! Comets! Jupiter! Global Warming! Global Dimming! Extinction! But, I do not have any of these ready yet. Lucky You! So, since my wife tagged everyone on her blog with these questions, I will participate.






8 TV Shows I enjoy watching:



1. The Universe (The History Chanel)

2. That 70's Show

3. Dr. Who

4. CHiP's

5. Supernova (comedy on PBS, hard to find)

6. Jimmy Neutron

8. Glenn Beck



8 Things that happened yesterday:



1. Did laundry

2. Vacuumed

3. Took the kids to the library

4. Cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner

5. Had a beach party at home with the kids (see http://everythingschempp.blogspot.com/ )

6. Cleaned house

7. Read "T. REX and the CRATER of DOOM"

8. Wrestled with kids



8 Things I am looking forward to:



1. My "DREAM JOB"

2. April 13, 2029, Asteroid, "Apophis" And YES! FRIDAY the 13th!

3. 2036, Asteroid, "Apophis" BACK AGAIN! This is the time to really watch or feel!

4. Betelgeuse, a red super giant, to go "supernova"

5. March 20, 2009 Vernal Equinox (close enough!)

6. April 2009, Koen

7. September 5, 2009 Utah Football!

8. My wife to have Koen and feel much better and get out of the bed. I LOVE YOU SHARI!



8 Things on my wish list:



1. Telescope

2. New laptop

3. New Desktop

4. A masters degree

5. A Ph. D.

6. Greater mathematical abilities

7. Greater Scriptural knowledge

8. Global Warming! It is cold out there!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Goldilocks and the Three Planets

(Image: Venus - ESA, Earth - ESA, Mars - ESA © 2007 MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/ RSSD/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA)



Once upon a time there were three planets that lived in the the Orion Arm of the Milky Way galaxy. The first planet was Venus, the second was Earth, and the third was Mars. As these planets moved on with their own orbital variations a Small Solar System Body or comet named Goldilocks, broke free, gravitationally speaking, from the Kuiper Belt.




While on her journey through the inner Solar System and before being thrown out into interstellar space, Goldilocks decided to pass by each of these three planets. Upon her visit by Venus she found that it was much too hot there for her nuclei consisting of loose collections of ice, dust and small rocky particles. Venus was much too close to the sun, her water would never be able to flow freely, it would turn into a gaseous state and would just evaporate into the atmosphere. She also found the atmosphere to be too thick and heavy. She would never be able to live on this planet and help support life. It was like a sauna. It was “Too Hot!” She then moved on to pass by Mars, because of her orbit she would have to come back later to visit Earth. While on her pass by Mars she found that it was too cold there. Once again her water would never be able to flow freely. The atmosphere there was too thin, because Mars has no continental drift. This causes all the particles in the atmosphere to become trapped within the surface of Mars. All of her water would remain in a solid or frozen state. She would never be able to help support life there. It was “Too Cold!” Now it was time to visit Earth. Upon her pass by Earth she found that the temperature was just right and her water was able to flow freely in a liquid state. There was also continental drift there on Earth. This allows particles from the atmosphere that become trapped on the ground to be brought back, once again, to the atmosphere through volcanic activity. The Earths medium sized atmosphere was just right. It allows for perfect temperatures and the ability to support life. It was “Just Right!”




As Goldilocks moved on before being thrown out into interstellar space she hoped that by chance, orbitally speaking, that she might pass close enough to massive Jupiter in hopes of being influenced, gravitationally speaking, on her trajectory. She hoped to be nudged just enough to one day return close enough to Earth and to be pulled into its atmosphere and burn up upon entry and release her nuclei and help support live on a planet that is “Just Right.”

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Waning gibbous Moon or Neil deGrasse Tyson


Neil deGrasse Tyson is my favorite astrophysicist (because I have so many) will be on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." He will be on Monday, January 19th. I have read many of his books, journal articles, and essays. I have also watched many interviews with him, documentaries, and television shows he has appeared on. He is a very interesting and entertaining man with a great sense of humor. I actually try to emulate his style when I blog. I try to make what most people may find boring a little more entertaining and fun. So, if you have nothing else to do on Monday night, (which you should not, because the full moon is waning and all visible passes of the International Space Station with magnitude -2.3 will already have occurred earlier than evening) watch Jay and his interview with Neil. You will not be disappointed!


Make your decision what you will do, watch a waning gibbous moon or Neil deGrasse Tyson.


WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO DO? REALLY!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Biggest and Brightest!

Did you miss it?



Did you see it?



Do you Care?








Saturday night was the biggest and brightest full moon of the year 2009. You had to be on top of it this year. Just as in December 2008 the moon was very close, relatively, to Earth on Saturday night. It appeared about 14 percent bigger in our sky and 30 percent brighter than some other full moons that will occur during 2009. And just in case you were wondering, Yes! on Saturday night the moon was at perigee, the closest point to us on this orbit. See, you are learning from my blog. Hey! It could win you a game in Jeopardy!



But, just in case you were not able to view this event I captured, the best I could, the bright full moon rising over Mt. Timpanogos in Utah County, Utah. I was a little irritated with some sort of atmospheric phenomenon, visible mass of droplets, or frozen crystals floating in the atmosphere, but I did the best I could. Enjoy! (To see images in better detail, click on the image!)





Friday, January 9, 2009

Don't tell me, "PLEASE!"


In the 1980's I moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico with my family where my father took a job with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). LANL is the birthplace of the atomic bomb. LANL is very secure and secret facility, a government facility run by the University of California. They do a great deal of research that is very secret and for very good reasons, mostly national defense. My father is a very, very smart man. He has a B.S. in mathematics and a M.S. in Nuclear Engineering. Well, my father worked in nuclear power for many years before working at LANL. When he took the job a LANL he received a very intense background check to gain employment. My father worked with nuclear weapons while working for LANL. My father was never able to tell us what he did, just that he worked with nuclear weapons. He often stated, "If I told you what I did, I would have to kill you." This show how important these secrets were and are. My father is now retired from LANL and still keeps his vault closed. I know he will continue to do this because of his integrity. Now that I have rambled I will get to the point of this post.


As many of you may know I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sometimes we are referred to as LDS or Mormon. (Feel free to visit http://www.mormon.org/ or http://www.lds.org/ if you have any questions) Some of you may know that we believe in the Bible and also believe and use other scriptures as a Testament of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Well, the other day while reading in the scriptures, I came across a scripture that has become my new favorite. This passage is when God is speaking to Moses about the creation of the Earth (one of my favorite topics) and many other worlds. This scripture is in the Book of Moses in the "Pearl Of Great Price."


"Wherefore, no man can behold all my works, except he behold all my glory; and no man can behold all my glory, and afterwards remain in the flesh on the earth." (Moses 1:5)


When I read this the first thing I thought of was when my father would joke with me about, if he told me what he did at work, he would have to kill me. Well, I believe this to be a little bit bigger than me and my father. This is the "ultimate" I can't tell you everything I do without having to kill you. Not that either my father or God would have killed either Moses or myself, but it shows you how important things can be on this Earth and throughout the universe. Mostly how important Gods Creations are.


WOW! What a wonderful creation this Earth is and not to mention all the "creations" throughout the universe. I am sure Moses thought the same as I did, "Don't tell me, PLEASE!"

Thursday, January 8, 2009

HAVING A "BAD" DAY?

(Image: Don Davis/NASA)

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing seems to go your way. You just can not seem to get going. I am sure that we all have at one point in our life. Well, I hope I can help. I can assure you that things could be worse. I will have you put yourself in the place of someone else or time for a few moments and perhaps this will help you when you are having a bad day.

Imagine you are some creature (you get to chose what you want to be, Tyrannosaurus Rex is a good choice),

(Artwork by Publiphoto/Photo Researchers, Inc.)


or pre-human living (I will let you chose this for imaginations sake. Pretend you went back in time) on Earth near the end of the Cretaceous period, nearly 65 million years ago. You are going on with your day, hunting for food (prehistoric grocery shopping), sending the offspring off to history class (Jurassic Period 1010), or getting ready for work at the angiosperm nursery or Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta farm (it is your imagination call it what you want). It is a clear warm day (duh! it's the Cretaceous, only about 18 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than current temperatures) and things are going pretty well for you and you family. It is very easy to breath the air that is very rich with oxygen, some 150% more than modern levels, and there is a good global warming on right now (some 6 times pre-industrial levels of carbon dioxide SWEET!), life could not be any better. You are strolling along with you significant other, claw in claw, or hand in hand, depending on your evolutionary progress, along the beach the warm waters near the the swamps of what is modern day eastern Utah.



(Image: Unite States Geological Survey, http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/continents/cretaceous.jpg)


You are gazing across the warm shallow seas(modern day Colorado/Kansas) toward the east in hopes of a magnificent sunrise. Suddenly, to your surprise you see an asteroid around 10 km (6 mi) in diameter heading to Earth (better look fast).

(Image: Joe Tucciarone, http://www.dinosaurfact.net/Cretaceous.php)

Within seconds this impacts Earth near the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico and releases 400 zettajoules of energy, Yes! this is a lot. This is 2 million times more powerful than the most powerful man-made explosive device ever detonated, the Tsar Bomba (dang Soviet Union, you just had to be bigger huh!), this was only, only, 50 megatons (weak! well, not really). Okay, so now what do you do? Run? Perhaps. Cry? Perhaps. Dig a hole? this would be best (lucky subterranial creatures, you moved on). Whatever you do, you are about to have the worst day ever. No matter where you are on Earth, you are in for a very bad day. The impact would have caused some of the largest megatsunamis in the world (sorry Indonesia, you ain't got jack!), reaching over thousands of feet high. A cloud of super-heated dust, ash and steam would have spread from the crater, as the impactor burrowed underground in less than a second. Excavated material along with pieces of the impactor, ejected out of the atmosphere by the blast, would have been heated to incandescence upon re-entry, broiling the Earth's surface and possibly igniting global wildfires; meanwhile, enormous shock waves spawned global earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The emission of dust and particles could have covered the entire surface of the Earth for several years, possibly a decade, creating a harsh environment for living things to survive in. The shock production of carbon dioxide caused by the destruction of carbonate rocks would have led to a dramatic greenhouse effect. Another consequence of the impact is that sunlight would have been blocked from reaching the surface of the earth by the dust particles in the atmosphere, cooling the surface dramatically (BRRRR, and I thought Utah was cold). Photosynthesis by plants would also have been interrupted (no more salads), affecting the entire food chain. As you can see, not a good day.

So, I hope that I have helped anyone that might have been going through a hard day. Think about it! Things could always be worse. Try to look at the brighter side of things, unless the brighter side is an asteroid! Have a Great Day! Things are pretty good on Earth right now.

Oh! And by the way. We could have and event happen similar to this, but not on such a grand scale, happen off the coast of California in the year 2036. Stay tuned! Can you say,
"APOPHIS!"
(Image: Science Photo Library)
Could this be another story? Think About It!






Wednesday, January 7, 2009

ESPN, THANK YOU!



"FIND ME ANYBODY ELSE THAT WENT UNDEFEATED. THIRTEEN-AND-ZERO. BEAT FOUR RANKED TEAMS. WENT TO THE DEEP SOUTH AND SEAL-CLUBBED ALABAMA IN THE SUGAR BOWL."
(Rick Reilly, Writer for ESPN magazine and ESPN.com)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Utah! That's the way we "ROLL"


Congratulations to Utah! My Utes did it! They "Rolled" the Alabama, "Roll Tide." Should they be considered for a number "1" ranking? YES! What else do they have to do. They completed a perfect regular season. They went to a BCS bowl game (Again). They received a great opponent Alabama, who by the way was ranked number 1 for 5 straight weeks. They "Rolled" them 31 to 17, much more that Florida was able to do when they ended Alabama's perfect season. They are 13-0 this season and deserve to be number "1." Although they will probably not give it to them, we know that they deserve to be number "1" after all that they have accomplished.
CONGRATULATIONS COACH WHITTINGHAM AND THE UTAH, UTES!


SUGAR BOWL CHAMPIONS! BCS BUSTERS! PERFECT SEASON! 13-0! GREAT JOB!

Friday, January 2, 2009

GO UTAH!


Let's go Utah. Let's "Roll" the "Rolltide." Good luck today. You are Mountain West Conference Champions 2008. You are the original BCS Busters. This is your second BCS Bowl game. You have a perfect 12-0 season. AGAIN! You have a 10-3 bowl game record, which is the highest percentage in the nation for teams who have been to more than 10 bowls. You have won 26 conference championships. GO UTES! OH! And if you do lose, it won't be to a unranked 7-5 team.