Snowed in 2008

Well it's been almost a week with snow and bone chilling cold temps in the mid to upper teens and twenties here in Western Washington. and now we are gettign ready for another bone chilling night of 18 degrees tomorrow and once again more snow.


well at least for me anyway. :) I love snow.... I don't like to drive in it....just love to play in it.


Welcome home the crew of Endeavour

Sorry I'm abit slow when it comes to news and blogs. *grins* I should have posted this.
First off I want to say "Welcome Home Endeavour!"
Secondly, Thanks for a great mission. I really enjoying watching the EVAs. They were awesome.

NASA's Shuttle Endeavour Glides Home After Successful Mission

EDWARDS, Calif. -- Space shuttle Endeavour and its crew landed at 1:25 p.m. PST Sunday at Edwards Air Force Base in California, completing a 16-day journey of more than 6.6 million miles. The STS-126 mission featured important repair work and prepared the International Space Station to house six crew members on long-duration missions beginning next year. The new station equipment includes a water recovery system, additional sleeping quarters, a second toilet and an exercise device. During four spacewalks, the crew serviced the station's two Solar Alpha Rotary Joints, which allow its solar arrays to track the sun, and installed new hardware that will support future assembly missions. Chris Ferguson commanded the flight and was joined by Pilot Eric Boe and Mission Specialists Donald Pettit, Steve Bowen, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Shane Kimbrough and Sandra Magnus. Magnus remained aboard the station, replacing Expedition 18 Flight Engineer Greg Chamitoff, who returned to Earth on Endeavour after more than five months on the station. Weather concerns prevented the crew from returning to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the primary end-of-mission landing site. In 7-10 days, Endeavour will be transported approximately 2,500 miles from California to Florida on the back of a modified 747 jumbo jet. Once at Kennedy, Endeavour will be separated from the aircraft to begin immediate processing for its next flight, targeted for May 2009. STS-126 was the 124th space shuttle mission, the 22nd flight for Endeavour and the 27th shuttle visit to the station. With Endeavour and its crew safely home, the stage is set for the launch of STS-119, targeted for Feb. 12, 2009. Discovery will deliver the final pair of U.S. solar arrays, which will be installed on the starboard end of the station's truss. The truss serves as the backbone support for external equipment and spare components. Lee Archambault will command the 14-day flight that will include four planned spacewalks. Joining him will be Pilot Tony Antonelli, Mission Specialists John Phillips, Steve Swanson, Joseph Acaba and Richard Arnold, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata. Wakata will replace Magnus on the station as a flight engineer. For more about the STS-126 mission and the upcoming STS-119 mission, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle For more about the International Space Station, visit:


How about those jets?

So, how about those jets?
If you are thinking of airplanes, or the New York Jets football team. Well I think, you will be mistaken. *Grins*
Being a huge NASA fan and space exploration fan, I thought I share something quite interesting from the Cassini-Huygens website. I have following Cassini-Huygen since it's arrival around Saturn and have enjoyed the awesome pictures that Cassini took.

So without further ado, check out the article below:

Enceladus Jets -- Are They Wet or Just Wild?
Nov. 26, 2008

In this artist's concept, the Cassini spacecraft makes a close pass by Saturn's inner moon Enceladus to study plumes from geysers that erupt from giant fissures in the moon's southern polar region. (see picture on the left) Credit: Copyright 2008 Karl Kofoed.

Scientists continue to search for the cause of the geysers on Saturn's moon Enceladus. The geysers are visible as a large plume of water vapor and ice particles escaping the moon. Inside the plume are jets of dust and gas. What causes and controls the jets is a mystery. The Cassini spacecraft continues to collect new data to look for clues.

At the heart of the search is the question of whether the jets originate from an underground source of liquid water. Some theories offer models where the jets could be caused by mechanisms that do not require liquid water. Painstaking detective work by Cassini scientists is testing the possibilities to get closer to an answer.

What generates Enceladus' jets is a burning question in planetary science, because if liquid water is involved, Enceladus would be shown to have everything it needs, in theory, to provide a habitable environment.
One recent model offered the possibility that the jets could be violent bursts of volatile ices freshly exposed to space when Saturn's tidal forces would open vents inside the "tiger stripe" region of the moon's south pole.
New Cassini findings reported in the Nov. 27 issue of the journal Nature, however, cast doubt on that hypothesis. When Enceladus is farther away from Saturn, the theory goes, the vents would compress, reducing or shutting off the jets.

"Our observations do not agree with the predicted timing of the faults opening and closing due to tidal tension and compression," said JPL scientist Candice Hansen of Cassini's ultraviolet imaging spectrograph team.

At the same time, Hansen said, the new findings support at least one theory that attributes the jets to a liquid water source inside Enceladus.
Hansen and her team conducted experiments in 2005 and 2007 to observe starlight passing through Enceladus' plume. During this so-called "stellar occultation," the spectrometer measured the water vapor content and density of the jets. The experiment tested the prediction that a greater amount of material would be measured coming from open fissures in 2005, and less material in 2007 when the fissures would be closing.

Instead, reports Hansen, the opposite was found to be true. The observations showed that the plume was almost two times as dense in 2007 as in 2005, contradicting the model that holds tidal squeezing is in control of the plumes. "We don't rule it out entirely because of the different geometries of our two occultation, but we also definitely do not substantiate this hypothesis," said Hansen.

Hansen said the new Cassini observations, however, do support a mathematical model developed in 2007, which treats the vents as nozzles that channel water vapor from a warm, probably liquid source, to the surface at supersonic speeds.
The authors of that model theorize that only high temperatures close to the melting point of water ice could account for the large number of ice particles present in steady state in Enceladus' jets. A liquid water source inside Enceladus, they said, could be similar to Earth's Lake Vostok, beneath Antarctica, where liquid water exists beneath the ice. In Enceladus' case, the ice grains would then condense from the vapor escaping from the water source and stream through cracks in the ice crust to the surface and out into space.
What causes and controls the jets, and whether there is liquid water remain uncertain, but there may be more clues soon, because Enceladus is a prime target for Cassini to study in its extended Equinox Mission. The presence of liquid water inside Enceladus would have major implications for future astrobiological studies on the possibility of life within icy bodies of the outer solar system.

For more information:
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter.


How about that 2nd Spacewalk

I'm currently watching or should say listening to the conversation between two Astronaunts on their 2nd EVA (Extra Vehicular Activities) on another window on my brower from NASA.gov website as I write this blog.

The Astronaunts on their spacewalk are Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper and Shane Kimbrough and they have passed their the five-hour mark of today’s planned 6 1/2-hour spacewalk outside the International Space Station.

They’re continuing work to clean up and lubricate a 10-foot (3-meter) wide gear that turns the space station’s starboard solar arrays.

“You guys are doing super work out there,” their crewmates aboard Endeavour said.



Oh btw, happy 10th Anniversary to International Space Station. :)


My first Blog

This is my first time blogging. I have never done this before....well scratch that... I have done blogging over at panhistoria website for this character of mine called Elvina Herewood.

I normally read other people's blogs. So, what I'm hoping to do is write about my various characters that I write under for the website called Panhistoria.

Panhistoria? what is that you ask? *curious*

Pan Historia means "all history": referring to the idea of the panorama of history from the ancient to the far future, and not excluding all other genres.

Pan Historia is designed to be a community for writers, graphc artists, poets, and researchers - with an emphasis on interactive creative fiction often called role play with an emphasis on role play writing or literary role play. While Pan Historia is a home for role play writers, it's also a home for all sorts of writers with sections for short stories and poetry as well as the the role play groups we call novels - where people can get together to write collaborative fiction. People interested in writing about or discussing history, science, art, current events, etc, can get together in convivial surroundings and join our reference groups called Reference Books.

The community was created after the Publishers were inspired in various other online communities but felt limited. Pan Historia is designed to, hopefully, strip away limits and allow people freedom with their imagination.

Peaked your interest? Then check out the website below. I have you the gist of what Pan is all about.


This is where I spend most of my time writing and talking with friends. :)