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Tromso, Norway at Golden Hour


“The solskuggerfjol (sun shadow board) mentioned in the History of the Faroe Islands, was used for determining latitude. It was a circular wooden board about 250 to 300 millimeters in diameter. In the center was a gnomon, the height of which could be set to the time of the year. To keep it level, the board was placed in a bowl of water. The shadow of the noon sun was observed. A circle on the board gave the line the shadow should reach if the ship was on the desired latitude. If the shadow was beyond the line the ship was north of this latitude; if inside, the ship was south of it.”

Another navigational innovation was the sunstone

Iceland spar, possibly the Icelandic medieval sunstone used to locate the sun in the sky when obstructed from view.”

For navigation we use the stars and the sunFor sky watching there is are many great smart phone applications like Mobile Observatory, which in addition to sunrise and sunset calculate other neat things like twilight and the “golden hour”. The golden hour is the sweet-spot the hour before the sunsets. Photography photograph in this hour to get beautiful results for sunrises and normal photography. Filmmakers shot films at these times to get stunning background for their films.

A science writer made the observation that Earth is our observatory for seeing the stars. It is our very own spaceship. Understanding how the Earth works and how to care for it will give us and future generations of humanity a long future. It is the same care we would apply Titan and Europa two moons of Jupiter that are most likely to have life.

Tromso and the rest of Norway are high enough in the northern latitude to experience the northern lights. These light are the result of solar storms hitting the earth’s magnetic field displaying a beautiful scene like this one from Tromso. The earth’s magnetic field is the protective shielding of spaceship earth.

Image result for northern lights Tromso, Norway
Mobile observatory twilight calculations can show you the best time to view Jupiter and its moons with a telescope and binoculars.
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The app can also tell you when Jupiter is up in our night time skies. At the time of this writing it was June. The bright light in the center is Jupiter and the other dots are four of the five moons of Jupiter. Galileo was the first to notice the moons and irritated the Church and it’s court of law the Inquisition. When you look at Jupiter the moons will be in different positions as the make there way in orbit around Jupiter. Galileo was so excited he tried to get all the Church officials to look through his telescope and see them move. You will probably feel that way too.
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The officials were used to making their own observations and insisted that the bible was clear, everything revolves around earth. Galileo couldn’t shut up about it even making fun of church bureaucrats in the daily newspapers. The church had to put him under house arrest to get him to stop pestering them.
Neil Armstrong and the other Apollo mission astronauts used this sextant to verify their space crafts trajectory to the moon.

Carbon Capture

Space enthusiasts talk about the need to colonize other planets to insure the survival of humanity. They envision reaching to Mars and Titan, the moon of Jupiter. Many technical challenges must be solved to make the solar system livable. The challenges include finding and maintaining clean air, water, and energy.

If we look at our home as spaceship Earth, we can experience the same sense of challenge and hope we do thinking about space travel. I think this view point can combat the dystopian future so many in the west see for humanity. Anthropomorphic climate change or man made climate change is one of the serious challenges to our spaceship.

Even the most die hard skeptics these days are beginning to accept climate change. I believe the resistance and denial of man made change is due to the politics. The question of who is going to pay to fix it, or the application of increasing government regulations.  It is unfortunate that those who oppose government regulation resort to casting science as a debate of theories. In the process they resort to enforced ignorance and unknowingly cripple those who rely on them for information

The folks at have a comprehensive response to the deniers based on the scientific evidence of global warming that is as old as Darwin’s theory of evolution.

The problem is the two degrees Celsius of global warming that is thought to be the tipping point to disastrous consequences to the Earth’s climate. One way to help achieve this goal is to develop technologies to capture carbon from the air and/or the sea. The Swiss, Canadians, and the US Navy are a few among many who are working on commercializing the technologies.

The politicization of science “[the IPCC suggests] the removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere during the second half of this century…. can be achieved using a combination of approaches known as BECCS: bioenergy (which would require 500 million hectares of land — 1.5 times the size of India)4 and carbon capture and storage, an unproven technology.”]

Is science capable of risk assessment? Or is it Malthusian? If it is correct then we are in real trouble and forget about Mars.

You might ask how we can make Mars habitable if we can’t even maintain the habitability of our home planet. 500 million hectares of this machinery below is scary. I’d rather have trees.

We can hope can’t we?

Thar Be Giants Here!

Are there giants?… or evidence that they roamed the Earth in the past? There certainly seems to be evidence at the Giant Causeway in Ireland. Look at the straight edges and hexagon geometry of the stones here. Isn’t this the remains of a bridge to Europe from Ireland? It certainly looks that way and the logic looks good.

What follows is a draft answer that I am working on. Forgive the following increasingly erratic flow of the article. I did try and wrap this up well. Maybe you will comment to help me bring the ideas together more. Every day evidence and our modern intuition could make this a devastating argument. Why should we believe otherwise? It is questions like this that can spark an interest in science. Certainly scientists are inspired by these kind of questions although the evidence often leads them to even more fantastical ideas.

Galileo pondered this question and decided that the limits of gravity prevent the “Honey I shrunk the kids.”  type effects. Gravity affect smallyfing as well as enlarging.

People often grab on to these ideas and wonder if science got it wrong. It is just a theory right? Creationist’s note that the genealogy of the Bible indicates the Earth to be somewhere between 6,000 and 10,000 years old. But it isn’t just the one thing in the observable universe that makes for scientific theories. Science has huge bodies of facts and knowledge built around the theories.

For example it would seem the Causeway is an archeological remnant of the bridge just like Roman and Egyptian archeology sites. We have to unite our facts to others in our investigations.  The 60 million year old dating of the rock formations. Where are the other suggestions for example the campsites for the giants or cave art? Do we have fossil bones?

What about the leviathans in the Bible are they the dinosaurs before the flood?

What about genealogical and astronomical time. The time of the cosmos to populate the periodic table of elements from the fusion processes of suns.

How did the giraffe get it’s neck? We don’t know.

We have to ask ourselves is that enough to over through the body of scientific theory? I’m reminded of trial lawyers and the standard of truth for guilty verdicts. The suspect is innocent until proven guilty. It is about reasonable doubt. journalistically there is the standard of balance and reporting both sides.

So here is the point. Scientists don’t put a lot of effort into the Giant Causeway digging around for more evidence of the giant’s occupation of Ireland. We could make a well reasoned argument that more study is necessary. Maybe the flood covered the evidence as it does today. Perhaps deep sea archeology could reveal the truth of their existence. What are archeologists hiding about giants? Is it a conspiracy?  It seems to me scientists would say is a dead end. The question is solved. No giants.

Isn’t the case of the giants similar to the case of the giraffes? Are scientists hiding something? Shouldn’t they modify evolution based on the giraffe? The answer comes back to the overwhelming body of scientific theory supports evolution and that giraffes are a miniscule hiccup worthy or bypassing for more profitable inquiry.

Does that satisfy you? Does it satisfy scientists? Does it overturn science? What do your think?


Lunar Meteor Showers

Just like the Earth the moon passes through the same debris fields we do. In March 2013 a meteor hit the moon and was bright enough to be seen from Earth. I learned from this video that NASA is studying meteor showers on the Moon so they can advise lunar settlers when to stay indoors.

Just like the Geminids the debris fields from comets and others of unknown origins are predictable. I love that a concept from star gazing applies to the exploration of our solar system!



Newtonian Physics and Going to Europa Virtually.

The STEMonster is impressed and looking forward to integrating space, physics and Europa!!!


Experiment. Create. Explore Space.

KerbalEdu is an official school-ready standalone* remix of the award winning game Kerbal Space Program. The game is available for everyone to purchase and has been enhanced with features that help integrate it into the classroom*. Players assist the lovable-but-hapless Kerbals as they build rockets and carry out orbital missions. Students master real-world physics and engineering skills as their understanding of STEM concepts blast off!

Climate on Europa

Morocco with climate change under water as the shells suggest.  It was high CO2 which meant no snow and oceans 100 meters higher.

North African meet eaters, but no omnivores only meat eaters. What are they eating in no vegetarians. Sea cratures. Saw fish and sword fish compatible iwth the surrounding fossils.  Spinosauros has alligator like snout.


Probablility of our inferences much much more secure.


Europa climate and how it effects the moons development. How it is different then other moons and how the moon got organics from the other moons based on the gravity battle for Io, the moon with volcanos.

Earth’s climate is

what does past climate change tell us about global warming. Bob Carter’s myths

Life on Europa

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DinosaurOcean Swimming DinosaurEuropa Ocean

Video of Mars ocean follows this video. Seems to be a high quality site especially since it shows the published papers of the researchers in the video!

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