May 252010
Ceres!  We’re going to Ceres!  NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is enroute and should arrive in February 2015.  Considering we’ve known about it for over 2 centuries and it 3 times closer than Saturn and 10 times closer than Neptune and their moons, I’ve always been very surprised to see the fuzzy images we have of it.

I used to Wolfram Alpha to do a comparison (as well as to test WA and it’s interpretive capabilities) and it summarized it quite nicely.

Check the size comparison and the images generated:

Posted via email from Curious Dale

May 232010

I was busy reading an article on Star Stryder about the current economic trends in education. It’s an astronomy blog by Pamela Gay. I got half way through and decided to got to bed and finish it in the morning. When I can back to my trusty 20-foetsak mac mini the next morning it had crash on the page of the article…

I though that was an appropriate time to do so (having only happened maybe 3 times in it’s 6 years of faithful trouble free operation!)
Crashed Mac Mini
Ag Shame!

 Posted by at 12:21 am
Nov 032009

I’ve refined my idea of what I’m trying to achieve with my astronomy posts.

I want to inspire awe, curiosity and child-like wonder!

Today I was reading about neutron stars. Now a neutron star is a dead star, thus it doesn’t have any fuel to burn. It has about the mass of our sun and consists almost completely of neutrons! This means it has roughly the density of an atom nucleus! So a neutron star with the mass of the sun but it’s only the 20km in diameter! whoa!
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Oct 172009

My renewed interest in astronomy a couple of months ago was sparked when I started listening to some introductory lectures available freely online. I then found out about the public lectures given at the South African Astronomical Observatory. These are given to celebrate the International Year of Astronomy which marks 400 years since Galileo look through a telescope at the stars. After attending the lecture, the local amateurs setup their telescopes and let the assembled masses look at some obvious targets ie. Alpha Centauri, The Jewel Box, Jupiter.

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Oct 132009

Since rediscovering astronomy I’ve found some awesome resources for beginners that I have personally listened to and read.  Hope you enjoy!




Sep 012009

For those of you who don’t know who Paul Graham is, here’s a quick primer:

Classic Self-Referentialism

Classic Self-Referentialism

He’s is a coder and he started and sold an Internet Startup company during the .com bubble and sold it for a handsome sum.  He’s now an internet startup guru and the co-founder of Y Combinator , writer(Hackers and Painters), essayist and coder. Quick enough?
I’ve been an avid reader for 15 years now, enjoying mostly fiction (sci-fi, fantasy) and an odd smattering of non-fiction here and there (mainly science and related). To date, I have yet to read a better essay writer than Paul Graham, although I must admit my experience is quite limited.  I haven’t read his book, “Hackers and Painters“, yet, but his essays are really fantastic.

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Aug 312009


I’ve always been interested in how things work and how they’re built which usually resulted in thinking up new ways to build things and the internet has channeled a lot of my creativity the last few years partly because building things online requires less physical recsources.  I’ve recently been toying with the idea to get some funding to help me build an idea or two of mine and I’ve been getting lots of my inspiration from This Week in Startups – TWiST.  It’s been running now for 13 episodes and is the brain child of the ultimate fan of the Entrepeneur – Jason Calacanis the Counder of

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Aug 312009

Astronomy Cast Logo

I’ve recentlty started listening to Astronomy Cast, an amazing podcast about astronomy.  It reminded me that space was my first remembered love!  I was always fascinated with planets, asteroids and stars.   One of my earliest dreams was to be the first person on Mars.  “A facts-based journey through the Cosmos helping you undersstand not only what we know but how we know what we know” is it’s intro and it delivers.  It’s hosted by Fraser Cain from Universe Today and Pamela Gay from Star Styder.

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May 102009

I Love Afrikaans!

I went-a-walking in Table Mountain Reserve a week ago, above the Constantia Valley and came across this gem!

Innocent looking enough until you take a closer look!

Innocent looking enough until you take a closer look!

Classic Afrikaans

Classic Afrikaans

For those who don’t know Afrikaans “Aambeibossie” translates to “haemorrhoid bush” but in the image it gives the English name as “Christmas Berry”!  That’s comedy!

 Posted by at 11:28 am