Sorry for the quiet last week -- time to catch up
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla
06-04-2009 12:42 CDT
Apologies to all of you for the lack of posts here last week -- my doctor has confined me to bed rest (don't worry, there's no problem other than that the baby seems to want to arrive a bit too early) and I didn't find it easy to type from a reclining position. But I've now traded my reclining position for sitting up (for a few hours a day anyway) on the couch, so I can do a little bit of catching up before departing for maternity leave. I'm afraid I can't tell you whether that's going to be days from now or weeks from now -- I wish I knew! Anyway, on to business.
I have a few things to post from last week, so watch for those to appear this morning! Here's a few other random items gleaned from my inbox.
Apparently, solar activity has reached new lows; we're currently at 11 days without a sunspot, and 86% of the days in 2009 have seen a totally spotless Sun. The minimum is so deep that spaceweather.com now has a new home page widget that tracks spotless days, instead of counting the number of spots.
Do you have a new Ph.D. in physics and need a job? There's a postdoctoral position open on the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer team at University College London.
I hadn't seen this before -- the asteroid orbit viewer thingy at JPL's Near Earth Objects website has been configured to show the orbits of the Stardust spacecraft and comet Tempel 1 -- the two will have a close encounter on February 14, 2011.
Calendar note: the next Shuttle mission will be STS-125 to service the Hubble Space Telescope for the last time. Liftoff is currently planned for May 12...
Finally, I just want to point out the fact that the Society is offering a 1-gigabyte USB memory stick to new members if you sign up here. That seems like a pretty good deal to me!
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