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Meteor shower Nov. 5-12/VOTE!

November 3, 2008

This year the Taurid meteor shower is expected to peak/be most viewable between Nov. 5th and Nov. 12th. This particular annual shower is sometimes referred to as “Halloween fireballs,” but this year the best time to view it will be a few days later. The moon will be waxing (more and more of it will be lit leading up to full moon), therefore the light interference from it will make it more difficult to see them going into mid-November. The Taurids are apparently known for being brighter and slower moving than average because the fragments are slightly larger than most other meteor shower fragments. (Though still much smaller than a pea, usually only the size of a grain of sand.) The Leonids will peak around Nov. 17th as always… though this year’s output is expected to be near the average of about 10-15 meteors per hour, which is pretty low. I may actually attempt to watch for the Taurids this year, as I’ve never actively watched for them before. Link: Space.com

NASA’s Phoenix lander (which landed in Mars’ northern polar region back in May) is starting to shut down its instruments as the Martian winter begins and the days (or sols as they’re called when referring to Mars) get shorter and shorter, resulting in less sunlight to power its heaters and computer. I’m not entirely sure if NASA plans to try to revive Phoenix when the Martian “spring” begins, or if it was even designed to do so, but let’s hope.

In the music world, the Jackson 5 will not be reuniting as Jermaine Jackson said last week. Micheal released a statement on Friday Oct. 31st saying that he was in the studio and would not be joining his brothers for a reunion. I seriously doubt a reunion would work without the support of Michael. Link: Billboard.com

Last but not least, if you do nothing else today, please GO VOTE! (You should have done it already, especially in TN where we don’t have to have a valid excuse to vote early!) Countless good men & women have died protecting our right to do so, and this election is by far the most important in many many decades. When compared to most of the world, we are blessed and lucky to even have the right to vote in the first place. Your voice in deciding who leads this country into the next 4 years is both a privilege and a responsibility. To relenquish that voice is a travesty.

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