Caturday’s Astrophenia | Tonight: Doctor Madblood’s Halloween Scream 2016

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This evening at 10:00 p.m. EDT airs the annual Doctor Madblood’s Halloween Scream at This year’s movie will be the director’s cut of the original Night of the Living Dead.

Zombies! The Shambling Dead! How cool is that??



To me, the skits involving the Madblood gang are the best part, but the movie is okay as well if you like the quintessential film by George Romero! The skits take place at Madblood Manor, the home of retired mad scientist Doctor Maximillian Madblood and his monsters.

Pungo Virginia’s resident vampire, Count Lacudra (Dracula spelled sideways 🙂 ) makes an appearance, as Madblood characters lighten the movie segments with humor.

A certain Ninth Doctor impersonator does not appear in the skits, only during the costume party scenes, which are very brief. There are Daleks though, thankfully not encountered by said Ninth Doctor impersonator, as being exterminated by an angry Dalek with only the Sonic as a defense would have been unpleasant. They were made of wood, and the Sonic doesn’t work on wood!

The other cosplayers, though, were brilliant, funny, and very nice people who made the early evening of September 25 enormously fun and memorable.

Enjoy the movie!

Cylindrical Mountains on Venus

An Atlas V Rocket Launches OSIRIS REx

The Antlia Cluster of Galaxies

M45: The Pleiades Star Cluster

The Tulip in the Swan

Full Moon in Mountain Shadow

Cerro Tololo Trails

Eagle Aurora over Norway

HI4PI: The Hydrogen Sky

Clouds Near Jupiter’s South Pole from Juno

Propellor Shadows on Saturn’s Rings

A Giant Squid in the Flying Bat

Haunting the Cepheus Flare

Moonset at Whitby Abbey

Zoom into The Center of Our Galaxy:

The Astrognuz:

MIT Programs Humanoid Robots to Explore Mars

MRO Sees Impact Site of ESA Mars Lander

New Horizons: Possible Clouds on Pluto, Next Target Reddish

Historical Records May Underestimate Sea Level Rise

Seasonal Change on Titan is Dynamic Business

September 2016 is 12th Month in a Row for Record Breaking Temperatures

Space Station Crew Gets Special Delivery from Virginia

Big Picture Science Radio Show | Moral’s Law

Can We Get Space-Madness?

Three Stars Illuminate NGC 6188

Evidence Mounts for Planet Nine

Colliding Galaxies, Black Holes in X-Rays

xkcd: Rosetta


Caturday’s Astrophenia | Doctors and Dusters: 2016.10.15

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G’day! I had the cosplay session at the studio on the 25th of last month, but I neglected to take pics! Here is one that the parental unit took before filming began (I look old, just short of 900 years, I think!):


But the filming went well, and the episode should air on the 29th of this month, the Saturday before Halloween. I’ll post links to it on social media, including the next Astrophenia for this blog before regular posting ends. Stay cool, or warm, depending on your hemisphere of residence, and as always…

Tf. Tk. Tts.

Aurora Over White Dome Geyser

Explore Rosetta’s Comet

Nest of the Eagle Nebula

A Crumbling Layered Butte on Mars

Trifid, Lagoon, and Mars

The Hydrogen Clouds of M33

Moon, Mercury, and Twilight Radio

Hurricane Ivan from the Space Station

The Winds of Earth

The Cygnus Wall of Star Formation

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

Galaxies from the Altiplano

Herschel’s Orion

Gemini Observatory North

The Astrognuz:

What Was Sputnik I?

Climate Change Denial: Like Saying the Earth is Flat

Big Picture Science Radio Show | Science and the Election

NASA’s Opportunity Rover to Explore Mars Gully

Hurricane Matthew Forces Closure of Cape Kennedy Space Center

Blue Origin Tests Spacecraft Escape System

Methane on Mars: Potential Origin and Seepage

NASA’s Kepler and Comet 67P

JPL Predicts Global Mars Dust Storm

Arctic Sea Ice Second Lowest Extent in 2016

World’s Biggest Radio Ear

Hubble Detects Giant ‘Cannonballs’ Shooting from Star

Can You Buy Land on the Moon?

Calculating How Big A Black Hole Can Get

Pluto’s Interacting Surface and Atmosphere

Where are All the Alien Robots?

Rosetta Mission Ends

Zombie Vortices in Star and Planet Formation

NASA-Produced Maps Help Gauge Italy Earthquake Damage


Caturday’s Astrophenia | Fortnight and Half Again Edition: Oct. 2016

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Welp, I’m a week off for this, as life issues and events prevented posting over the weekend, and the diabolical Mister Eccles is not happy with me!  I had a game last Caturday, while this last Sunday, the cosplay event happened. There, I discovered that I’m not camera-shy even with nigh-crippling stage-fright. There’s something about not seeing the audience directly that allays the terror. I had an awesome time, and both the set crew and other cosplayers were “…fantasic, absolutely fantastic…”* Recording lasted only about 90 minutes, and the Ninth Doctor’s duster I wore was just right for the room temperature, adjusted downward to protect the equipment from overheating. The camera crew was stellar, and all on set got exactly the right instructions to minimize the number of retakes. I’ll post links to the show on this blog and other social media when it airs later this month. So now, I’m back to study, and there is much catching up to do. Please have a glorious October. I have something special planned for the 31st of this month, with posts in between, and I’ll see you between now and then.

Tf. Tk. Tts.

*a partial quote from Chris Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor near the end of the 2005 season finale episode, “The Parting of the Ways,” as Nine says his goodbyes to Billie Piper’s character Rose Tyler just before regenerating into Dave Tennant’s Tenth Doctor. Time Lords do that.

All the Water on Planet Earth

Philae Lander Found on Comet 67P

NGC 1672: Barred Spiral Galaxy from Hubble

The North and South of Jupiter

Retrograde Mars and Saturn

Full Moon over Brno

M33: Triangulum Galaxy

Starry Night Scavenger Hunt

50000 Kilometers over the Sun

The Helix Nebula in Infrared

Zooming in on Star Cluster Terzan 5

Sunset at Edmontonhenge

Harvest Moon Eclipse

Heart and Soul and Double Cluster

Saturn from Above

Gaia: Here Comes the Sun

Jupiter’s Europa from Spacecraft Galileo

NGC 3576: The Statue of Liberty Nebula

Five Hundred Meter Aperture Spherical Telescope

Lynds Dark Nebula 1251

Rosetta’s Farewell

The Moving Stars of the Southern Hemisphere

The Astrognuz

Musk Reveals Plans to Colonize Mars

First Photo of the Sun, Taken in 1845

Judy Schmidt Image of Dust Complex Cyg X

No, NASA Didn’t Change Your Astrological Sign

Time Lapse Animation of the Night Sky

Kilauea Volcano: Active and Wonderful

Mount Pinatubo Only Briefly Slows Global Warming, Sea Level Rise

August 2016: The Hottest August on Record

The Largest Galaxy in the Universe

Climate Change: Already Changing Our Weather

Retro Posters for Fighting Infectious Disease

Blue Origin to Test a Capsule Abort System

Like the American Southwest: Sandstone Deposits on Mars

Presidential Candidates Answer Science Questions

Optical Illusion: The Dots Disappear When You Look Away

Evolution: Video Shows Bacteria Developing Drug Resistance

xkcd: Earth Temperature Timeline

Xkcd Takes on Global Warming

Xkcd Takes on Global Warming: Partial View

Caturday’s Astrophenia | Of Doctors, Dusters, & a Week Gone By

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Another week gone by so soon? Meh! From Monday onward, it’s been a productive time, with much getting done. The Ninth Doctor duster has come in, with pics to follow once I assemble all parts of the outfit and draft a family member or friend to take photos. So the jacket and Sonic are here, and what remains to be added are the other components of the Ninth Doctor’s garb. Here’s the jacket at its temporary home on my bedroom door’s coat hanger:


As you can see, it’s a bit less well-worn than Eccleston’s jacket in Doctor Who…but it’s authentic, and real leather. I tried taking selfies with it on using my laptop through the Photo Booth app, but the shirt I wore under it didn’t want to cooperate, and neither did the effects or the lighting conditions.

I’m currently listening to a series of Great Courses lectures on the history and ideas of Anglo-American conservatism, and finding it quite interesting, though hardly life-changing. Understanding the ‘other side’s’ political ideas of the present through the context of history is illuminating on a number of levels, and a good cure for political polarization, even with much remaining to disagree on however successfully following the arguments involved.

Starting with the Glorious Revolution of the 17th century and leading up to about the year 2001, the course discusses a number of different ideas more or less, often much less, sometimes closely, unified by the objective of maintaining social stability and order, sometimes over personal freedoms or individual justice, but this varies considerably. I’m on the last lecture of the fifth disc out of a set of six, and will probably post a full review on this blog once I work out a suitable draft.

Tf. Tk. Tts.

Abell 370: Galaxy Cluster Gravitational Lens

Young Suns of NGC 7129

Aurora over Icelandic Fault

Annular Solar Eclipse over New Mexico

Light at the End of the Road

Little Planet Astro Camp

Reunion Island Eclipse

Io over Jupiter from Voyager I

Spiral Meteor through the Heart Nebula

The Whirlpool Galaxy and Beyond

Eclipse to Sunset

Mars in the Clouds

The Wide and Deep Lagoon

The Launch of OSIRIS REx

Wide Field 30 Doradus UVIS

Wide Field 30 Doradus UVIS

Wide Field 30 Doradus UVIS

The Astrognuz:

Uranus and Neptune May Keep ‘Hitler’s Acid’ Stable under Massive Pressure

Juno’s First Results from Jupiter Reveal Weirdnesses

Big Picture Science Radio Show | Asteroids!

Mars Rover Views Spectacular Layered Rock Formations

Curiosity Rover’s Proximity to Possible Water Raises Planetary Protection Concerns

Rosetta Comet mission Lander Philae Finally Seen in Images

A SETI Signal?

RapidScat Team Investigating Power System Anomaly

Are We Living in a Simulation?

Urban Legend of a Venus Probe Lost Due To Unit Conversion Error

The World in Our Backyard

Titan’s Dunes and Other Features Emerge in New Images

xkcd: Starshade

The Collect Call of Troythulu: Caturday’s Astrophenia | 2016.08.27

Welcome to the first installment not retroposted from an earlier date of Caturday’s Astrophenia on this blog. Here are links to the site Astronomy Picture of the Day, plus space science news items from a variety of sites, and often something else as well, so click away, enjoy the content of this fortnightly roundup, and thanks much for visiting this blog as I move ever closer to semi-regular posting here in that middle ground between one day and five each week!

Tf. Tk. Tts.

Source: The Collect Call of Troythulu: Caturday’s Astrophenia | 2016.08.27

Caturday’s Astrophenia | 2016.08.13

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This week was the time for the Perseid meteor showers, an event I sadly missed from the profoundly annoying persistence of cloudy night skies, and the resident inebriated from the local pub. But all was not lost: as I type this, I’m involved in a GURPS game with the gang as our characters engage in a bit of literal rocket science, with a super-tech edge. It’s all part of our diabolical plan…Heh, heh, heh!

Beside that, I’ve been importing more video posts over to the new blog venue over the last couple of evenings, and have saved as drafts this site’s pages over there as well. I’ll publish those after editing and updating them for their new home. Have an excellent weekend as Sunday rears its dire head, and as (almost) always…

Tf. Tk. Tts.

A Huge Solar Filament Erupts

Behind Saturn

A Rocket Booster Falls Back to Earth

Behold the Universe

M63: Sunflower Galaxy Wide Field

Apollo 15 Panorama

Los Campanas Moon and Mercury

Io: Moon over Jupiter

Perseid Meteors over Mount Shasta

Mars at Closest Approach 2016

Colliding Galaxies in Stephen’s Quintet

Perseid, Aurora, and Noctilucent Clouds

The Easter Bunny Comes to NGC 4725

Perseid from Torralba del Burgo

Star Cluster in Nebula NGC 3603

The Astrognuz

How Far is the Asteroid Belt from Earth?

VLT Photo of Orion Nebula Unveils a Mystery in How Stars are Born

Sage III to Look Back at Earth’s Atmospheric Sunscreen

Big Picture Science Radio Show | Skeptic Check: After the Hereafter

Kepler Watches Stellar Dancers in the Pleiades Cluster

Why Haven’t We Found any Aliens Yet?

Exoplanet Moons May Be Visible in 2017

New CO2 Sounder Nearly Ready for Prime Time

Seeking Signs of Life in an Ancient Martian Hot Spring

Cassini Finds Flooded Canyons on Titan

What are Magnetars?

Sen. Ron Johnson Repeats Standard Global Warming Denial Talking Points

NASA Climate Modeling Suggests Venus May Have Been Habitable

Can We Avoid the Same Fate as the Dinosaurs?

Astronomers Catalogue Planets that May Be Earthlike

Tabby’s Star Mystery Continues to Intrigue

Rosetta’s Complex Trajectory Around a Comet

Historical Records Miss a Fifth of Global Warming

Danger, Will Robinson!

What’s Inside Ceres? New Findings from Gravity Data

xkcd: Time Travel Thesis

Caturday’s Astrophenia | Lyapunov’s Children: In Transit

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This fortnight I thought I’d do something a long time in coming, my first piece of Lyapunov’s Children fiction. I think it would be best if I build the setting piece by piece, one story at a time. It’s a far cry from Gods of Terra, with almost none of the Lovecraftian in it, but better for it still.

Tf. Tk. Tts.

Laksima stood at her watch-station on the old vessel, a sublight colony ship sent out from the sacred mother planet thousands of cycles ago. She was not one of the old humans, but those were few and far between now. No, she was something different, something new. The conditions of deep space had altered the genome of the descendants of the original crew, creating another daughter species of now-archaic Homo sapiens.

Humans, that ancient species whose technological developments led to the full flowering of post-human descent, spreading from beyond sacred Earth to the stars.

Laksima was to keep watch at the monitor for any signs of cometary bodies, chunks of rock and dirty ice that could pulverize the rickety, ancient vessel on impact. The ship had just entered the Oort cloud of the target system, tail-first while decelerating since mid-journey.

There was something wrong with the virtual display, icons dancing across her vision as the ship slipped between distant icy fragments this far out from the system’s stellar primary. There was something wrong because ice fragments were not supposed to move this way. There were laws of orbital mechanics they had to obey, and yet they were not.

A quick scan revealed a dense core to one of the bodies, tens of thousands of kilometers out, and closing quickly. Whatever it was, it was not a chunk of comet, nor did it seem to approach at an attack vector, and it was slowing down. Laksima ran through the checklist of options available, chose to scan it for signs of alien tech.

Humanity’s descendants had encountered the remains of alien civilizations before, at least twice, both in ruins, with one of them reduced to savagery and the other mercifully extinct.


The object, whatever it was, was radiating strongly in terahertz frequencies, and in bursts of shortwave radio, an ancient but workable communications medium. It was some kind of artifact, and it was transmitting. Ship’s dedicated computer systems, optimized for linguistic analysis, were engaged. It was ancient, but human in origin. And this was its message:

We were the colonists of New Hibernia. Whoever you are, if you get this, welcome to what was once our home. May you make it a better one than we did, squandering its bounty in our greed and stupidity.

Mercury on the Horizon

The Orion Nebula in Infrared from HAWK I

Color the Universe

Dark Dunes on Mars

Falcon 9: Launch and Landing

Galaxy Cluster Abell S1063 and Beyond

Summer Planets and Milky Way

M2 9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula

Deep Magellanic Clouds Image Indicates Collisions

Puzzling a Sky over Argentina

M13: A Great Globular Cluster of Stars

Herschel’s Eagle Nebula

Blue Danube Analemma

Ripples Through a Dark Sky

Image of the Fortnight

NASA’s Hubble Looks to the Final Frontier

The Astrognuz:

The Constellation Caleum

Video of a Chinese Rocket Re-Entering over Western US

Big Picture Science Radio Show | Musical Universe

Five Years Post-Launch, Juno is at a Turning Point

What is Bohr’s Atomic Model?

Red Dwarf in a Binary Gets Zapped with Companion Star’s Deathray

A New Look for SETI

‘We Conquered Jupiter’ Juno Enters Orbit

Carnival of Space #468-469

Ceres Lacks Really Big Craters, Which is Weird

Are Microscopic Martians Buried Here?

Chorus of Black Holes Sings in X-Rays