Friday, April 30, 2004

One out of three Comets seen

There are three comets lurking out there in yonder sky that should be visible with the naked eye this spring. So far I've seen one of them. Clouds and haze are still hiding the other two.

I saw comet Linear just before 5am on Thursday morning. Once I knew where to look, I could see it with my naked eye. I took a picture, that looks awful, but actually shows about how dim the comet actually was. The lumpy circle of stars just above and to the right of center is the "circlet" of the constellation Pisces. There is a pale yellow arrow pointing to the comet. The blurry white stuff at the lower right is ambient light reflecting off of some bushes in our yard. If you want to see this picture bigger (well someone might have nothing better to do,) go here and click on the last thumbnail on the page.

I should have been able to see comet Bradfield at roughly the same time a little to the north east, but the clouds were thick over there. This comet looks really awesome in pictures taken this week and posted on the internet, so I am anxious to see what I can detect with my eyes and with binoculars.

I've also been looking for Comet Neat in the evenings. Since Bonaire is only 12 degrees north latitude, I should be able to see it pretty easily, but again, serious clouds and haze have gotten in the way. grrrrr

I'm especially hoping for clear skies on the morning of June 8, when Venus will be crossing the face of the sun as the sun comes up here on Bonaire. This hasn't happened for over 100 years, so I'll definitely be out to see it, if the weather cooperates.

Happy Coronation Day

Hooray, it is a holiday here on Bonaire. It is also Rincon day and Rincon is bursting at the seams with visitors. It is also someone important to me's Birthday, but I won't mention any names, since this IS the evil Internet after all.

Sandra has designed a TWR Bonaire 40th anniversary Logo and Ivan is going to make a mural out of it. Last night they used an overhead projector to shine it on the wall, so they could rough in the design. Ivan will paint it next week. It went better than I thought it would. That projector was pretty bright, if not perfectly focused.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

New photos posted

I've posted a number of new photos on our Club Photo site over the last week or two. I just haven't remembered to mention it here.

Once you get to the page, you'll need to scroll down to see the
new pix.

For those who would prefer, here are some sample photos. There are variations of some of them on Club Photo at the above link.

One of our house hiding behind some trees in the yard, on Kaya Gobernador Debrot.

One of Udo prepping a flag pole for painting. The poles are now finished.
Some of you may notice the roofless building in the background. That is part of what used to be Hotel Bonaire. The hotel has been vacant for a number of years, has had a mysterious fire, and is in ruins. I'm sure that sooner or later, someone will be able to cut through all the red tape and build something nice on this prime location.

One of Ivan touching up the 800 kHz AM sign on the Studio wall, after spray painting the wall. The walls are now finished and signs for 89.5 FM have been added as well.

One of a Cool Edit 2000 audio editor screen. I see variations on this for umpteen hours a day getting our programs ready for airing.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

How to Keep Internet Explorer from shrinking my pictures

My genius son, Richard, noticed my comment about IE shrinking my full size moon pix and emailed me with the way to make IE display them full size.

You can make it not shrink the pictures in IE by clicking "Tools", "Internet Options", the "Advanced" tab...
then scroll down to the "Multimedia" section, and uncheck "automatic image resizing".
Then IE will show pictures actual size.

Sometimes it is nice to have IE make the pictures fit the screen, but it is also nice to be in charge of whether or not it happens. :)

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Closeup of Crater Clavius

I've been able to identify the locations a couple of the closeup webcam photos of the moon that I made back on Oct. 17 last year.

Here is a photo where I've labeled the bigger craters with their names. Smaller craters are labeled with their diameters, in miles.

Here is a closeup of the crater Clavius. I didn't label Clavius but it is the biggest crater and contains lots of the smaller craters that I did label. I like this picture a lot.

The smaller craters don't have names but have letters. So Clavius A would be a small crater in Clavius and Porter A would be a small Crater in Porter etc. Here are the diameters, in miles, of some of the "lettered" craters.
B 7, c 7, d 16, J 7, n 8, o 2, R 4, t 5, x 4, y 4
This will help you guess at the sizes of the unlabeled craters. There looks to be a bunch of the 2 mile ones there.
I think I'll forget about the letter names next time and just label them with their sizes.

Full size pictures can be found here by clicking on the thumbnails etc.

Moon Craters Identified

I've been curious to identify the various craters on the moon pictures that I have taken, and I'm making some progress.

I was able to download a free photo atlas of the moon that is pretty nice. It is called the "Virtual Moon Atlas" and can be downloaded here. It was originally produced in French, but it is available in a number of languages.

The VMA lets me see what the moon looks like at a specific date and time. This makes it easy to figure out what any given picture is showing, as long as I can remember when I shot it.

Here are a couple of the pictures that I took back in March with the names and sizes of some craters. Picture 1 Picture 2

If you want to see the pictures at a larger scale, you can get them here by clicking on the thumbnails etc. You may have to download the actual full size image and view it offline to see it really big, because I notice that Internet Explorer scales them down quite a bit when it displays them.

This atlas could prove handy, even for someone who doesn't take pictures but merely looks at the moon with the naked eye or with binoculars, and wants to know what they are seeing up there.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Missionary Secret Revealed! (or how I sound so knowledgeable on furlough)

Trans World Radio produces an award winning magazine that I find quite useful, especially when furlough time rolls around and I have to be able to explain to people what TWR is up to all over the world. There is always good stuff to share with our friends and sponsors.

Now you don't have to wait for me to regurgitate this info to you. You can download an online version here. It is a slightly less than one meg pdf file.

The one available online right now is a special 50th anniversary issue. It gives a great condensed overview of what TWR has been up to for 50 years and outlines our ministry goals and plans for the future.
I highly recommend it.

Monday, April 12, 2004

One more Jupiter image

I had another go at one of my Jupiter images from March 28. I blew it up bigger and fiddled with it until I can detect Ganymede's shadow on the left edge as well as just barely see Callisto's shadow on the upper right edge.
The two spots in the middle are from left to right: Io's shadow and Ganymede.

Jupiter's Moons

Easter Monday is a holiday here on Bonaire, so I was able to spend some quality time on the computer processing some images of Jupiter that I took at 4 am. on Sunday, March 28.

Jupiter has four large moons that are easy to spot in a telescope. On the morning of the 28th, three of them were casting shadows on the planets surface at the same time. So if your were a Jupiterian living on Jupiter, you could have seen an eclipse of the sun from three different locations that day.

Jupiter was low in the west by 4 am that morning, so the view in the telescope wasn't that great. Observers further west would have had a better view, and could have seen the event at a more decent hour as well. For example, people in California could see it at midnight. But this was a rare event and I had a good time imaging it.

Here is a montage of images of Jupiter that I took from 3:47 to 4:11 that morning.

The top row of images shows from left to right: Io's shadow, Ganymede, and Callisto's shadow. They are all moving from left to right across the planet disk.

The middle row of images sort of shows what I set out to see: Ganymede's shadow creeping onto the left edge of Jupiter, and then Io's shadow, Ganymede, and Callisto's shadow creeping off the edge of Jupiter on the right side.

The left image in the bottom row shows Ganymede's shadow, Io's shadow, and Io from left to right. Callisto's shadow had definitely vanished off the right side by then.

The right hand image in the bottom row was taken by Gu Yu in West Virginia and clearly shows what you can almost see in my middle row of images. :) The three shadows and Io are labeled on this image.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

AquaSpace boat ride

One day last week, we went for a sail on the AquaSpace trimiran. We had all the usual boat ride fun, with the added attraction that just about the whole center hull of the boat is clear Plexiglas.

Being down in the hull is like being in a submarine with picture windows on both sides! It was fun to look at the fish and sea floor, even when we were just sitting at the dock.

Here is a shot of us on the AquaSpace as seen on one of the Bonaire Webcams cams.

Here is a shot from the boat showing the shore of Bonaire where our old house was located, before TWR sold it and the buyer demolished it and built a big fancy house. The Bonaire Webcams seacams are located on the beach hut that you can see in the lower left of the picture. More on the bonaire webcams, set up by our old neighbors and buddies the Richters, can be found here.

Here is a shot of some scuba divers down on a reef and some of the coral formations that we saw.

We sailed along the coast of Bonaire as far as oilslick leap and then headed out to Klein Bonaire for a snorkel. We then motored straignt in to Bonaire and back along the coast to the dock downtown. We went right by the old Bonaire Pastor's house and the old guest house.

More pictures from our AquaSpace adventure, including shots of my mom and dad and aunt and uncle, can be found if you go to our Club Photo page, and scroll down to the bottom.

For more on the AquaSpace sailboat and the types of outing available, check out their website. You can click on the various photos on their site, even the ones that are moving.


While my parents were here, we went on the bumpy dirt road around Bopec and out to Playa Frans. It was clear and not that windy, so we saw Curacao pretty easily and there were lots of "nose gnats" as one MK calls them.

We also saw flamingos in Goto Lake and Salina Frans. We stopped at Nukove to check it out. There was some damage resulting from the backwards waves of Lenny in 1998, but it looks like there is still a lot of coral to see out there.

Here is a picture of the world's smallest beach, located at Nukove.

Here is a picture showing the coral rubble piled up in what used to be a snorkeling area.

Here is another shot of the beach taken from an area that used to be under water.

Here is a friendly Trupial that looked at his reflection in both side view mirrors of our pickup.

Thumbnails and larger versions of these pictures can be found on my club photo page here.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

End of Cruise Ship Season

The last scheduled cruise ship of the season is visiting Bonaire today. It's a big one with around 1500 passengers.

To commemorate this "changing of the seasons" here on Bonaire, I thought I'd let you see what we see as we drive/ride along the road on the way to work at TWR during Cruise Ship Season.

Can you find the "brainless quadruped" (that's what the drivers license manual calls 'em) in the picture?

If you want to see this picture in a bigger format with more detail, you can click on the thumbnail at the bottom of the page here, and then click on the larger image, to see an extra large image.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Expedition to Spelonk

We piled into the trusty pickup truck and headed out to Lagoen, and then North to Spelonk. The dirt roads were bumpy and dusty. We had to stop and clear the back and side windows at one point because the dust had made them completely opaque. The roads are also wider then they used to be because lots of trucks are hauling rocks and sand from the area these days. I wouldn't want to cycle out there except on Sundays and holidays, because of the truck traffic.

We got to the Spelonk caves and found that the parking area had been cleared somewhat recently, making it easier to spot from the "main road." It also seemed to let a little more breeze into the area, which was nice.

These caves are very user friendly, because one can just walk in the large opening and wander among the forests of stalactites and stalagmites. You just have to watch your step in the semi darkness and watch your head because of the stuff hanging down from the ceiling.

I've posted a bunch of pictures of the caves on my club photo site. Using a flash in the caves is discouraged, because it might disturb the bats, so I brought along a tripod and made time exposures.

We also went to the Spelonk light house. I included one picture looking south from on top of the light house. I have other pictures of the Spelonk light house from another trip there a couple years ago.

As usual, you can click on the thumbnails to see bigger versions of the pictures, and click on the bigger pictures to see even bigger versions.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Moon Shots - the Astronomy type

My parents and aunt and uncle have been here visiting us for almost a week now. We've had great times exploring Bonaire, drinking home made root beer, making puzzles, and hanging out. They are also enjoying to see how yucky the weather is back home, while they are basking in the Caribbean sunshine.

I went out at 3 am on Sunday morning to see the shadows of three of the moons of Jupiter cross the planet's face. I may or may not have seen all three, but did see two of them for sure.

Sunday night we went out and observed the five planets that are visible in the evenings these days. We also looked at Saturn, Jupiter, and the moon in the telescope.

Here is a picture of the moon from Sunday night showing an interesting trench-like feature that looks to have been scooped out with a giant garden trowel.

Here is a picture of the other side of the moon showing lots of craters. The moon was pretty much right at its first quarter phase that night.

Here is a link to some other pictures of the moon from last year.