Tag Archives: dwarf planets

Mesmerizing Map Of The ‘Near’ Solar System By Biologist Eleanor Lutz.

by Anura Guruge

Click to access original article in ‘Visual Capitalist’.

I saw this on my Google News feed and had to share it with you.

Brilliant. Mesmerizing. Kudos. Bravo. THANK YOU.

Definite leap forward from the older map provided by NASA.

I do NOT in any way want to be churlish but given my passion for dwarf planets and comets I have to contend that this does NOT go far enough. It stops at the Kuiper Belt. The Solar System goes much, much further.

There is the ‘Scattered Disc’ for the start and the ‘Oort Cloud‘. See diagram below. But, this map is still BRILLIANT. I love it.

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by Anura Guruge

The Sad State Of New Hampshire Education.

by Anura Guruge

Not the end of the world, but it makes you think.

The above graphic tells it all.

My daughter found it hilarious in that she is NO stranger to astronomy — which is why she picked the elective, knowing that she can breeze through.

Yes, being my daughter she is, of course, atypical. Not too many teenagers that can claim that they have a book on Dwarf Planets with their name and eyes on the cover.

I have had ‘this’ discussions with Superintendents and principals before. You do not have to be a subject matter expert to teach a class in New Hampshire. But, when you get to Grade 11 — and stuff like planets and constellations is not that hard.

Funny this. I wrote that “Dwarf Planet” book when Devanee was taught, in 2010, that Pluto was a planet, when it had ceased to be so in 2006.

Never mind. Just makes you think.

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by Anura Guruge

Neptune, Currently Our Furthest Planet, Was Discovered This Day 171-Years Ago; September 23, 1846.

by Anura Guruge

Extracts from my 2011 book
Devanee’s Book of Dwarf Planets“.

Click to ENLARGE and read here.

According to the lunatic fringe we are supposed to be hit by ‘Planet X’ this day — September 23, 2017. Did they realize that it was the anniversary of Neptune, the ‘Planet X‘ of its time, being discovered.

Neptune’s discovery, as I outlined it above, was pretty amazing and a testament to the cleverness of humans. Its existence was determined mathematically! That was 171-years ago. It still has me in awe.

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by Anura Guruge

The Supposed New 9th Planet, The Latest ‘Planet X’, Might Actually Be A ‘Binary Dwarf’.

by Anura Guruge


Check out this 2:10 minute YouTube video by the ‘Science Magazine’ for the QUICKEST & BEST introduction to this supposed 9th planet — the NEW ‘Planet X’.

CoverJPGIn astronomy a ‘binary’ object is an object made up of two objects orbiting around each other. Pluto in reality is a BINARY DWARF; Charon its largest moon in essence a twin rather than a moon per se. So Pluto-Charon is a Double Dwarf.

My feeling is that this new Planet X, if there is one, will also be a Double Dwarf rather than a single planet.

In case YOU are wondering why I might even know anything about this, do NOT forget that I have written a book about “Dwarf Planets” not to mention Comets and Asteroids.

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by Anura Guruge

First Clear Images Of Pluto (& Charon) Ever — Thanks To NASA’s ‘New Horizons’ Space Probe.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
. .
by Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>> Next ‘Blood Red’ on April 4, 2015.
Not looking good for New Hampshire.

>> October 8, 2014 lunar eclipse.

>> Oct. 17 astronomy presentation in Alton.

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Click to ENLARGE and ENJOY here. From NASA. Use link below to access NASA pages.

Click here to access the NASA pages with this and other images.

In 2010 – 2011 when I was writing “Devanee’s Book of Dwarf Planets“, which covers Pluto (now a dwarf) and its largest moon Charon (40% of Pluto’s size) in great detail, I was both frustrated and amazed that ‘we’, i.e., NASA and others, just did NOT have any high quality images of Pluto — let alone Charon. They were TOO SMALL and too far away. The size was the problem. If they were bigger the distance would not have been as much of an issue.


From the book. Click on above book COVER image for more details.

But now thanks to ‘New Horizons‘, which is also talked about quite a bit in that book, we finally have some nice pictures of Pluto and Charon. WOW. We are indeed lucky to live in interesting times.

I Am Done With Popes! The ‘Next Pope’ Was My Gig And We Have The Next Pope. Moving On. Signed Off From Papal Blogs.


Anura Guruge

++++ Do SEARCH on ‘pope’ for my other posts on this topic >>>>
≡≡≡≡ Visit my ‘Popes and Papacy’ blog for my daily updates on all maters popes.

The popes were never going to be my life’s work. Plus, even with all I did on popes over the last 8 years, my legacy, per the indelible trail on the Web, will be ‘SNA‘! That is OK. If not for SNA I could not have done the popes.

So, I have quiesced my two pope blogs with this post.

With luck, I hope to master at least one other field before I die. Right now my sights are on ‘Near Earth Objects‘ (NEOs). There is so much happening out there. Actually I have been working on NEOs for the last 16 months. I have two books, both 90(+)% complete. Very unlike me. I usually finish books. So, I have to finish one of these. Otherwise it would be 16 months of writing, mainly during my 3rd shift, down the drain. IF I manage to get at least one of them out, it will be my second book on astronomy.

Baccus, my type of deity.

My son is very anxious that I write a book on ‘befriending the brain‘. I need to do that. I also need to write a book that has his name on the title. He, rightly, claims that that is his due since Teischan and Devanee both have books with their names in the title. I also better do one of Danielle, my oldest — though, she, all her life, has been the least demanding.

Deanna wants me to write on what I am now thinking as the ‘Bacchus Way Of Life Per Anura‘ — the virtues of a glass or red wine and an orgasm a day. Other than for his looks, I have always, since I was a teenager, identified with Bacchus. There are terms that are used to describe him, which are so me: ‘ritual madness and ecstasy‘ & ‘from the east, as an Asiatic foreigner‘. There is another, that is so me, but I can’t mention it here because Deanna will say it is not appropriate. To be fair, I have been saying that I was going to write this book for over 6 years. So that is on the list.

I really feel that I need to rationalize Buddhism to the world! There are so many misrepresentations. So now that I tackled the popes, Buddhism seems like a logical thing to turn to — especially given that I was once steeped in it, whereas I really have no real background with Catholicism.

So that is the plan. But, it can all change. I no better than to have plans. Most of my plans unravel.

All I know is that as of today, Pope Francis day one, after having done 4 or 5 posts earlier in the day, to keep them honest, I am done with popes — at least for 2013. There is, however, one caveat. If there is another sede vacante in 2013, i.e., the need for a third pope in the year, I am sure to jump in with both feet because I will find it impossible to stay away.

Two Buddha statues from Ceylon/Sri Lanka.

Mariner 2: 50 Years Since First Encounter With Another Planet, Venus, On December 14, 1962.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.


..by Anura Guruge

My Book On ‘Dwarf Planets’.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I was writing about ‘Mariner 2‘ in what hopefully and with luck might be my next book; my 12th (not counting those that I have co-authored or edited). Given that this book is meant to be the first book I have written specifically as an eBook (i.e., Kindle, iPad, Google etc.), I am not that concerned about copyright because I fully appreciate that eBook content is readily ‘shareable‘ — which is why I have refrained from making all my books eBooks.

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In December 14, 1962, the 447 lbs U.S. ‘Mariner 2’, became the first successful interplanetary space probe when it passed, as planned, within 21,648 miles of Venus following an incident-prone 108-day voyage from Earth. It had a pyramidal structure, consisting of a solid base topped off by a skeletal mast that culminated in a cylindrical housing. Much of probe’s seven scientific instruments were contained within the mast structure; the total weight permitted for these instruments capped at 40 lbs. The base 41” across was hexagonal in shape, and was made up of six magnesium compartments. It had a total height of 12’. For comparison, Dawn, when launched, was six times heavier and its base over one-and-a-half times longer.

The six compartments in the base housed: a small rocket engine for course-correction, the required propellant, a bottle of nitrogen gas for altitude adjustments, most of the electronics, all of the communications equipment, a 1000 Watt-hour sealed silver-zinc battery and a battery charger. The only radio transmitter on-board had a 3 Watt transmission power, this being comparable to that of a contemporary car phone and about one-third that of a modern cell phone. Three huge steerable antennas, one in California, the other in Australia and the third in South Africa, had to be used to capture the weak radio signal from the probe, the geographic separation of the three compensating for Earth’s unceasing rotation around its axis. One of the key objectives of the mission was to explore the limits of long-range, extraterrestrial communications, particularly as it related to spacecraft command and control.

There were two solar cell wings, one 6’ x 2.5’ the other a foot shorter; a large directional dish antenna was mounted off the bottom of the base unit, a cylindrical omnidirectional antenna sat at the top of the mast while two smaller antennas for command and control were embedded into the solar panels. When deployed the two solar panel wings had a total span of 16.5’. The solar panels were extended within 45 minutes of launch. With the solar panels deployed Dawn has a wingspan of 64.75’.

The seven scientific instruments borne aloft by ‘Mariner 2’ consisted of: two radiometers (one microwave and the other infrared) for measuring Venusian atmospheric and terrestrial radiation [in particular temperature]; a fluxgate magnetometer to monitor and measure magnetic fields; an a Geiger counter equipped ionization chamber to determine high-energy cosmic radiation; a particle detector [i.e., a modified Geiger counter] to establish the presence of lower-energy radiation particularly the x-ray and ultraviolet range; a cosmic dust detector and a solar plasma spectrometer to study the solar wind. No cameras were included since Venus was known to be shrouded by a dense, amorphous cloud blanket.

‘Mariner 2’ was launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, on Florida’s eastern seaboard, around 2 a.m. local time, on August 27, 1962. It was launched atop a two-stage ‘Atlas-Agena’ rocket, the first-stage ‘Atlas’ part derived from the United States’ first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system, the ‘SM-65 Atlas’; the first of which was produced in 1959. The Atlas burn lasted just five minutes, the first-stage then separating from the Agena-Mariner section. Two burns of the upper-stage ‘RM-81 Agena’ followed, prior to its separation. Earth orbit escape resulted 26 minutes and 3 seconds after liftoff.

On July 22, 1962, NASA launched ‘Mariner 1’, a twin of ‘Mariner 2’, its first foray into robotic interplanetary probes. Within five minutes of launch, due to erroneous guidance, the ‘Atlas-Agena’ launch vehicle had veered off-course and had to be destroyed. Thirty-four days later, the Soviets launched ‘Venera 2 MV-1 No.1’ [‘Sputnik 19’] with the intent of it becoming the first man made object to land on another planet.

Mariner 2 never let those on Earth forget that most of its technology was still in the experimental stage and that it was boldly blazing into truly uncharted territory. Its journey, as was to be expected, was not without incident. In those early days launch accuracy was still a bit iffy, mandating a need for midcourse corrections. Thus, a week after launch a midcourse correction maneuver sequence was initiated using the onboard rocket engine and gas jets. Eleven days into the flight, ‘Mariner 2’ unexpectedly switched off its navigational gyroscopes and lost orientation [i.e., ‘attitude’] control. Mariner 2, however, managed to automatically recover from this glitch. Three weeks later there was a similar loss of orientation, again Mariner being able to quickly recover from it without any intervention from home. Just over a month later, the output from the smaller solar panel abruptly dropped.

On December 14, 1962, Mariner reached its expected target distance from Venus. The goal had always been to flyby rather than getting too close and running the risk if getting yanked in by Venus’ gravitational field. During the flyby Mariner’s radiometers, magnetometer and Geiger counters made repeated scans, back-and-forth, across both the dark and light sides of the planet – the radiometer readings for surface temperature involving three separate scans over a thirty-five minute period. The results indicated that the Venusian surface was extremely hot, its thick carbon dioxide heavy atmosphere causing rampant greenhouse effect heating.

The last radio transmission from Mariner 2 was received on Earth on January 3, 1963, twenty days post the Venus flyby. This groundbreaking mission to that point had lasted 129 days. It is thought that Mariner 2 entered heliocentric orbit soon after that and has remained so since.

Explosion On Jupiter Last Night.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

by Anura Guruge

Click to read about it … at ‘Astronomy Now.

I got an e-mail alert this morning, so I thought I will share the news with you because this is probably not something most of you follow, or possibly even care about.

It was most likely a small asteroid hitting the Jovian ‘surface’ (which is mainly gaseous). Happens quite often given that Jupiter, due to its enormous mass, attracts objects passing by at quite a distance. But for it to be seen from Earth it has to been quite big and spectacular. If we had an equivalent asteroid impact on Earth (less likely because Earth’s gravitational pull is nowhere close to that of Jupiter) we would definitely know about it (and I am understating that).

Having messed about with Dwarf Planets I now dabble in asteroids in my spare time (usually during my 3rd shift, 10:45 pm to 12:30 am, which seems appropriate).