New Random Thought Thread


Today’s the day:


I was out again with the telescope last night. I wanted to hit all of the same stuff as last time, but between the shifting of the constellations and intermittent clouds, that wasn’t possible. Everything I found was in Ursa Major (part of which is the Big Dipper), and that was with multiple trips inside to doublecheck my star charts. I found the interacting M81 and M82 spiral galaxies again after a bit of hunting.

After initially looking too far away from where it was at, I found the spiral Whirlpool Galaxy (M51; also NGC 5194) and its interracting irregular galaxy companion NGC 5195. You can’t see the spiral arms in my 8" Newtonian, but the face-on aspect of M51 is apparent, and you can make out NGC5195 right next to it. In a professional observatory photo, you can see the latter kind of “reaching” into one of the former’s spiral arms. In my scope, they appear as brighter-than-usual fuzzy patches.

Also after reconsulting my chart and hunting, I found M94, another face-on spiral galaxy. I wasn’t sure about it at first, because I thought I was seeing a badly-focussed star. But it became quickly apparent that the other stars in the field were in focus (well, as near so is the imperfect optics of my scope allow), and that the fuzziness around the central bright region was a natural part of the object. I also quickly realized why it would appear like that; M94 is known to be a violent galaxy, and its core is much brighter than its more placid intergalactic companions.

It still amazes me that I can look these things up on a chart, point my telescope in the right direction, and actually see them, even though it doesn’t look like a Hubble Space Telescope or Mount Palomar Observatory time-exposure pic.


Oh joy, oh bliss! To the dentist yesterday, and had three teeth pulled! Between them, one other, and my wisdom teeth, I’m starting to run low on molars…


I haven’t had lower molars for many years now. It’s no big deal.


Quite around here lately. Was it something I said?


Well, I’m kind of feeling handicapped when it comes to chewing…


That must have been it.


Yeah, well, he’s only 53!


Five days after the teeth were pulled, I’m noticing a definite ridge of bone that seems to be exposed between where the two upper-left molars were extracted. The nature of the thing is such that it might close over on its own, but I might have to go back and get it fixed.


Can ANYONE explain to me why even Fox News is touting headlines such as “Rental Van mows down and kills 9 in Toronto?” The van did nothing of the sort. The guy DRIVING the van did this! What do you think the left’s response should be? Restrict everyone’s access to rental vans, perhaps?


Just high capacity assault vans, PD


With fully automatic transmissions; or a bump-shift…