Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Non Human Global Warming books Via Drudge

Two New Books Confirm Global Warming is Natural; Not Caused By Human Activity
Tue Jan 30 2007 10:02:32 ET

Two powerful new books say today’s global warming is due not to human activity but primarily to a long, moderate solar-linked cycle. Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years, by physicist Fred Singer and economist Dennis Avery was released just before Christmas. The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change, by Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark and former BBC science writer Nigel Calder (Icon Books), is due out in March.

Singer and Avery note that most of the earth’s recent warming occurred before 1940, and thus before much human-emitted CO2. Moreover, physical evidence shows 600 moderate warmings in the earth’s last million years. The evidence ranges from ancient Nile flood records, Chinese court documents and Roman wine grapes to modern spectral analysis of polar ice cores, deep seabed sediments, and layered cave stalagmites.

Unstoppable Global Warming shows the earth’s temperatures following variations in solar intensity through centuries of sunspot records, and finds cycles of sun-linked isotopes in ice and tree rings. The book cites the work of Svensmark, who says cosmic rays vary the earth’s temperatures by creating more or fewer of the low, wet clouds that cool the earth. It notes that global climate models can’t accurately register cloud effects.

The Chilling Stars relates how Svensmark’s team mimicked the chemistry of earth’s atmosphere, by putting realistic mixtures of atmospheric gases into a large reaction chamber, with ultraviolet light as a stand-in for the sun. When they turned on the UV, microscopic droplets—cloud seeds—started floating through the chamber.

“We were amazed by the speed and efficiency with which the electrons [generated by cosmic rays] do their work of creating the building blocks for the cloud condensation nuclei,” says Svensmark.

The Chilling Stars documents how cosmic rays amplify small changes in the sun’s irradiance fourfold, creating 1-2 degree C cycles in earth’s temperatures: Cosmic rays continually slam into the earth’s atmosphere from outer space, creating ion clusters that become seeds for small droplets of water and sulfuric acid. The droplets then form the low, wet clouds that reflect solar energy back into space. When the sun is more active, it shields the earth from some of the rays, clouds wane, and the planet warms.

Unstoppable Global Warming documents the reality of a moderate, natural, 1500-year climate cycle on the earth. The Chilling Stars explains the why and how.

Monday, January 29, 2007

NASA's Day for Remembrance

The family and I were camping at Death Valley this weekend so I hadn't posted on this big week of space disasters. It is the 40th anniversary of Apollo I fire (January 27, 1967) 21st anniversary of the Challenger accident (January 28, 1986) and on February 1st the 4th anniversary of the Columbia tragedy. Today NASA recalled these tragedies on the Day of Remembrance here.
This Day of Remembrance also reminds us that despite our losses, the American people have never wavered in their support for space exploration. They know that it brings out the best in us, our creativity, our curiosity, our courage in the face of the unknown. Space exploration reminds us of what it is to be a human being, in ways that have been, and will be again, both supremely gratifying and deeply humbling. But through it all, through both failure and success, we continue our work to know, to experience, to understand, to become a spacefaring civilization.

Let us hope we continue the search for unknowns and overlook the risks involved. May these space pioneers rest in peace as they have paved the way to our future.
Capt. Ed has a post on Apollo I here.
Here is the poem "High Flight" from which President Ronald Reagan quoted from in 1986,
High Flight
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
No 412 squadron, RCAF
Killed 11 December 1941

Hubble Camera is down

BALTIMORE, Maryland (AP) -- The main camera on the popular Hubble Space Telescope shut down again over the weekend, the third outage in less than a year, NASA said Monday.

The orbiting observatory entered a protective "safe mode" Saturday morning. An initial investigation determined the backup power supply for the Advanced Camera for Surveys on the 16-year-old telescope had failed.

The ACS, installed in 2002, increased Hubble's vision greatly and has provided the clearest pictures yet of galaxy formation in the very early universe.

The Hubble was recovered from safe mode Sunday morning, and observations are expected to resume this week using the Hubble's other instruments. Engineers are also looking into whether the ACS can be switched back over to the primary power supply for operation in a reduced mode, NASA said in a statement.

The ACS had been switched over to the backup in June when its main power supply malfunctioned.

In September, the ACS automatically shut down again as operators were switching between two of its three instruments. Investigators believe debris stuck in a switch caused a voltage drop that shut down the instrument.

In October, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin announced the scheduling of a 2008 space shuttle mission to repair and upgrade the telescope.

Without the mission, batteries and stabilizing gyroscopes would run out of power near the end of the decade, bringing to an end the life of the popular space telescope.

The servicing mission is currently scheduled for September 2008, said Preston Burch, associate director and program manager for the Hubble Space Telescope.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.

Monday, January 22, 2007

China's Military Space program

Chinese Foreign Ministry officials have told a visiting US diplomat that the recent test of an anti-satellite weapon should not be regarded by any country as a threat nor does it signal the beginning of a race to militarize space, the State Department said Monday.

Assistant Secretary of Christopher Hill raised the issue with Chinese officials over the weekend in Beijing. China has not made a public announcement of the January 11 test, but officials acknowledged it during their meeting with Hill, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

Hill, who heads the State Department's East Asia bureau, told the Chinese they should be more transparent about their military activities and their defense budget. These issues have been a long-running concern of the United States, and McCormack said the Chinese have taken only "baby steps" thus far toward more openness.

Yeah, right. Those baby steps caused a bunch of space junk to float around the Earth.Update: From Reuters on the Space junk here:
Trash from China's satellite-killing missile test has spread widely in space, creating a debris cloud that could jeopardize spy satellites and commercial imagery satellites in low orbits around Earth, U.S. officials said on Monday.

Even the manned International Space Station is vulnerable to being hit by some of the thousands of pieces of trash created when China slammed a ground-based medium-range ballistic missile into an aging Chinese weather satellite about 537 miles above Earth on January 11, the officials said.

"The test created a lot of debris. It definitely raises the possibility that something is going to be hit, including the space station," Peter Hays, a senior adviser to the Pentagon's National Security Space Office, told Reuters.

From Mars Blog and the silence from the Anti-nuke in space crowd here.
There is a tendency among people in Bruce's camp to see "The Other" as both morally superior and absolved from moral considerations at the same time. Being oppressed and exploited by the greedy, corporatist, racist, militaristic, imperialist U.S. relieves the The Other of any moral responsibility for their actions, leaving them free do as they wish -- to commit violence against whomever they please, for whatever reasons they choos, employing the most morally questionable means at their disposal. Whatever the acts of The Other, they will invariably escape the notice of the utopian pacifists. Yet when the U.S. (or Israel) take any military or intelligence-gathering action, it just as invariably registers in the microscopes of such "peace warriors", signalling them to gather together the peace community for a protest vigil and organic vegan potluck, and triggering yet another round of melodramatic handwringing about the death of democracy under the jackboot heel of corporate fascism and the insatiable war-hunger of the Military-Industrial Complex™.

It's always America's fault. Even, I suppose, the selective outrage and moral blindness of peace-radical moonbats.

I agree with Mars Blog that the Other (Chinese doing what they wish and WE the US is responsible for the Military Build up in Space.) Well this test is a threat even if they destroyed their own satellite. The junk left behind is in jeopardy of destroying and or damaging our space space station. Real great China. Now clean up your mess!

From Strategy page here:
Most of the pieces are tiny, but about 800 are truly dangerous (at least four inches long, wide or in diameter). What China did was, in terms of technology, something the U.S. and Russia had demonstrated over three decades ago. No big deal, unless you actually use it. While China has now demonstrated its ability to destroy satellites (at the cost of a launcher and a maneuverable KillSat), it has also caused a major stink among the dozens of nations that own, or use (usually via leasing arrangements) the several hundred satellites in orbit. That's because this Chinese test increased the amount of dangerous space debris by about eight percent. That's a lot. By common agreement, nations that put up satellites, include the capability for the bird, once it has reached the end of its useful life, will slowly move closer to earth, until it burns up as it enters the thicker atmosphere. This approach leaves no debris, which can collide with other satellites, behind. Even a small piece of satellite debris can, when hitting another satellite at high speed, destroy, or fatally damage, it.

Glen Reynolds has written about Military use of space here:
The United States is the world's biggest user of satellite services, both civilian and military -- but especially military. This puts us in a unique position. We have the strongest incentive to protect this sort of thing, and to maintain our lead, but we're also the most vulnerable. Space assets serve as an enormously important force multiplier for the U.S. Knock out every satellite in orbit and the United States military will suffer a considerable degradation in effectiveness; the Chinese military, or even the French, will lose much less.

Baa Hoo Weather Channel!

I was off the Internet part of the week due to software problems. I wanted to post about the Weather Channel's Climate person Heidi Cullen threat to TV meteorologists who are certified if they don't tow under the Global Warming mantra.

The Weather Channel’s most prominent climatologist is advocating that broadcast meteorologists be stripped of their scientific certification if they express skepticism about predictions of manmade catastrophic global warming. This latest call to silence skeptics follows a year (2006) in which skeptics were compared to "Holocaust Deniers" and Nuremberg-style war crimes trials were advocated by several climate alarmists.

The Weather Channel’s (TWC) Heidi Cullen, who hosts the weekly global warming program "The Climate Code," is advocating that the American Meteorological Society (AMS) revoke their "Seal of Approval" for any television weatherman who expresses skepticism that human activity is creating a climate catastrophe.

Other Links

From American Thinker (HT Anchoress)
OK. The human-caused global warming hypothesis is completely model-dependent. We can't directly observe cars and cows turning up the earth thermostat. Whatever the human contribution there may be to climate constitutes just a few signals among many hundreds or thousands.
All our models of the earth climate are incomplete. That's why they keep changing, and that's why climate scientists keep finding surprises. As Rummy used to say, there are a ton of "unknown unknowns" out there. The real world is full of x's, y's and z's, far more than we can write little models about. How do you extract the human contribution from a vast number of unknowns?
That's why constant testing is needed, and why it is so frustrating to do frontier science properly.

Blogs for Bush
And then there is the money - very large amounts of money for those who advocate global warming, very little for those who question the concept. If you're someone who wants to eat, which side will you find yourself on?

Update***From the Hill here:
Internet surfers trying to access the Senate’s website on Friday (oh, c’mon, you know you were) might have encountered a bit of a delay. For part of the day, all of the Senate’s Web pages, including senators’ personal pages and committee sites, were down.

The culprits? Two oft-blamed scourges: DrudgeReport.com and global warming. Well, sort of.

Traffic to a blog posted by Republicans on the Environment and Public Works Committee was so heavy Friday, thanks to a link posted on DrudgeReport.com, that the Senate site got bogged down. The blog entry that caused the stir was critical of the Weather Channel’s call for decertification of meteorologists who are skeptical of global warming.

An e-mail sent to Senate offices by the Sergeant at Arms, whose office was scrambling to fix the problem on Friday, read in part, “Drudgereport.com established a link on their web site to a press release on a Senate committee Web site. This link was creating 30-50,000 queries per hour to senate.gov, which in turn was generating a query to the Press Application for each of those hits.”

EPW ranking member Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) started the blog in December.

Hmm, now if only the Senate could generate that kind of readership for such scintillating online features as “The Senate’s First Decade on the Web.”

Monday, January 15, 2007

Comet Downunder

from spaceweather.com

NASA Budget cuts

With the new congress comes new worries about the space program. HT Drudge article in the Houston Chronicle here:
Congress' failure to approve a new annual budget for NASA could force the agency to lay off workers, gut science programs or delay the development of spacecraft to return astronauts to the moon, according to lawmakers and space experts.

The crunch comes because Congress is freezing most 2007 spending at 2006 levels through Sept. 30. NASA's budget will be held at $16.3 billion, more than $520 million short of President Bush's request as part of his vision for exploration of the moon and Mars.

"Congress votes on what size space program they want to buy," NASA Administrator Michael Griffin told the agency's workers last week during a question-and-answer session broadcast on NASA TV. " ... And we will remove a half-billion dollars of content to match what they have told us to do.

"We will do what we have to do to get our programs into the budget that we are given," he said.

Griffin stopped short of saying what exactly will be sacrificed, and NASA spokesman David Steitz said the agency is waiting for guidance from lawmakers on 2007 spending and the White House proposal for the 2008 budget.

"It's like planning your family's budget," Steitz said. "Until you have the paycheck in the bank, you can't figure out what bills you're going to pay."

But in an internal NASA memo, posted recently on the independent NASA watchdog Web site nasawatch.com, agency officials warned that the budget freeze could delay development of a manned spacecraft named Orion and its accompanying launch vehicle.

We can't have any delays in exploring the universe. Everyone must write their congressman and Senators to save the space program again. Also, we need to foster young people that space is important, it is the future, and will provide us prosperity for our nation.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Comet McNaught

Comet McNaught

HT From Spaceweather:
Comet McNaught has continued to brighten as it approaches the sun and it is now the brightest comet in 30 years. For observers in the northern Hemisphere, tonight is probably the best time to see it: Go outside this evening and face the sunset. A clear view of the western horizon is essential, because the comet hangs very low. As the twilight fades to black, it should become visible to the naked eye. Observers say it's a fantastic sight through binoculars.

In the days ahead, Comet McNaught will pass the sun and emerge in good position for southern hemisphere viewing later this month. Meanwhile, solar heating will continue to puff up the comet, causing it to brighten even more. It could become one of the brightest comets in centuries, visible even in daylit skies.

Visit Spaceweather for photos and updates.

Monday, January 08, 2007


Plutoed. To pluto, as the ADS press release states, means "to demote or devalue someone or something, as happened to the former planet Pluto when the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union decided Pluto no longer met its definition of a planet."

Ht from Language Log.

The press release at Disneyland when Pluto was demoted here:
BURBANK, CALIF (Thursday, August 24, 2006) – In reaction to news today that Pluto was demoted to the status of “dwarf planet,” the Seven Dwarfs issued their own short statement:

“Although we think it's DOPEY that Pluto has been downgraded to a dwarf planet, which has made some people GRUMPY and others just SLEEPY, we are not BASHFUL in saying we would be HAPPY if Disney's Pluto would join us as an 8th dwarf. We think this is just what the DOC ordered and is nothing to SNEEZE at.”

As Mickey Mouse’s faithful companion, Pluto made his debut in 1930 – the same year that scientists discovered what they believed was a ninth planet.

Said a white-gloved, yellow-shoed source close to Disney’s top dog, “I think the whole thing is goofy. Pluto has never been interested in astronomy before, other than maybe an occasional howl at the moon.”


Two NASA space probes that visited Mars 30 years ago may have stumbled upon alien microbes on the Red Planet and inadvertently killed them, a scientist theorizes in a paper released Sunday.

The problem was the Viking space probes of 1976-77 were looking for the wrong kind of life and didn't recognize it, the researcher said in a paper presented at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle.

This new report, based on a more expansive view of where life can take root, may have NASA looking for a different type of Martian life form when its next Mars spacecraft is launched later this year, one of the space agency's top scientists told The Associated Press.

Last month, scientists excitedly reported that new photographs of Mars showed geologic changes that suggest water occasionally flows there _ the most tantalizing sign that Mars is hospitable to life.

In the '70s, the Viking mission found no signs of life. But it was looking for Earth-like life, in which salt water is the internal liquid of living cells. Given the cold dry conditions of Mars, that life could have evolved on Mars with the key internal fluid consisting of a mix of water and hydrogen peroxide, said Dirk Schulze-Makuch, author of the new research.

That's because a water-hydrogen peroxide mix stays liquid at very low temperatures (-68 degrees Fahrenheit), doesn't destroy cells when it freezes, and can suck scarce water vapor out of the air.

The Viking experiments of the '70s wouldn't have noticed alien hydrogen peroxide-based life and, in fact, would have killed it by drowning and overheating the microbes, said Schulze-Makuch, a geology professor at Washington State University.

O Well. What would Sagan think?

HT from Space.com

Hawkings in space

Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking says he wants to undertake a zero-gravity flight aboard an airplane this year as a precursor to a journey into space, a newspaper reported Monday.

“This year I'm planning a zero-gravity flight and to go into space in 2009,'' he was quoted as saying in The Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Hawking, 65, has said he hopes to travel on British businessman Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic service, which is scheduled to launch in 2009. The service will charge space tourists about US$200,000 (about 100,000 pounds; euro155,000) for a two-hour suborbital trip some 87 miles (140 kilometers) above the Earth.

Branson was keen to help the scientist realize his dream of space flight, Virgin Galactic spokesman Stephen Attenborough said Monday.

HT From Space.com

Friday, January 05, 2007

Denver UFO? Video of meteor shower (?) over Denver Colorado

UFO? Naw, just a spent booster!

Spent Booster from Heaven

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AP) -- A spent Russian booster rocket re-entered the atmosphere Thursday over Colorado and Wyoming, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing flaming objects in the sky at the time the rocket was re-entering, NORAD spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Sean Kelly said.

"It was pretty spectacular," said Riverton Police Capt. Mark Stone, who said he saw the burning object while he was retrieving his newspaper. "My first concern is that we had some sort of aircraft that was coming down. It was definitely leaving a burning debris trail behind it."

Stone said he could tell it was fairly large object, but it was too high to make out exactly what it was.

Kelly said the agency was unable to confirm a report that a piece of the rocket may have hit the ground near Riverton, Wyo., at about 6 a.m. MST.

No damage was reported, and any debris that may have hit the ground was not believed to be hazardous, NORAD said.

NORAD identified the rocket as an SL-4 that had been used to launch a French space telescope in December, and Kelly said U.S. spacewatchers knew the rocket was coming down.

"Objects falling from space are almost an everyday occurrence," Kelly said.

Note last post on falling rocks from Heaven.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Rocks rain down from Heaven

"It's not all that uncommon to have rocks rain down from heaven," said Pryor, who had not seen the object that struck the Monmouth County home. "These are usually rocky or a mixture of rock and metal."

Pryor said laboratory tests would have to be conducted to determine if the object was a meteorite.

Police received a call Wednesday morning that the metal object had punched a hole in the roof of the single-family, two-story home, damaged tiles on a bathroom floor, and then bounced, sticking into a wall.

The object was heavier than a usual metal object of its size, said Brightman, who added that no radioactivity was detected.

HT Drudge

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

The running joke is "Aren't you too short for a Storm Trooper?"

HT from Instapundit a list of space books here.

The top science stories of 2006 here from Florida Today here.

Cassini sends a year to end greeting here.
The movie in quicktime is here.
Saturn's moon Hyperion appears to tumble toward Cassini in this movie that shows variations in color across the moon's surface.

The movie was created from 14 frames and represents about 12 hours as the spacecraft encountered Hyperion in early 2006. Most of the observable motion is due to the spacecraft's trajectory during the flyby.

The dark areas in the bottoms of craters are seen on all parts of Hyperion.

Year three for Mars Rovers here.

Flame Trench Mars Rover Aniversary link here.

Pluto was demoted this summer, here.
"Pluto is not a planet," Brown said. "There are finally, officially, eight planets in the solar system."

The vote involved just 424 astronomers who remained for the last day of a meeting of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in Prague.

"I'm embarassed for astornomy," said Alan Stern, leader of NASA's New Horizon's mission to Pluto and a scientist at the Southwest Research Institute. "Less than 5 percent of the world's astronomers voted."

"This definition stinks, for technical reasons," Stern told SPACE.com. He expects the astronomy community to overturn the decision. Other astronomers criticized the definition as ambiguous.

The New Horzion mission to the Dwarf planet here.