Meteors, Around the World Solo, 430,000 mph!

Lughnasa                                                                   Monsoon Moon

While the Golden Globe sailors round Africa, (see below), the night sky for the next three nights will give each sailor a spectacular show, the Perseid meteor showers. The moonless sky will be optimal for viewing this annual event.

Meteors in the annual Perseid shower radiate from a point in the constellation Perseus the Hero. Chart via Guy Ottewell.

So grab a lawn chair with a view of the NNE sky, maybe some hot cocoa and watch.

Golden Globe Race. 1968 was the first sailing of this world solo navigation competition. It featured nine competitors, only one of whom finished the punishing task. A Voyage for Madmen by Peter Nichols recounts the race and participants who ranged from a man who decided to learn to sail during the race and a man who’d already logged 20,000 solo miles in a yacht. It was not run again. Until this year, its fiftieth anniversary.

golden globe2

Golden Globe 2018. This Golden Globe has already clocked 41 days, 2 hours and 40 minutes. Of the eighteen entrants, twice the 1968 number, three have already quit. Jean-Luc Van Heede’s pace, he’s the current leader, has an estimated finish date of January 30th, 2019. The sailor in last pace, Abhilash Tomy, will finish on May 29th at his current pace. The lead boats are nearing the horn of Africa.

parker solar probeFriend Bill Schmidt alerted me to the launch of the Parker Solar Probe, scrubbed yesterday, now scheduled for tomorrow. “Parker Solar Probe will swoop to within 4 million miles of the sun’s surface, facing heat and radiation like no spacecraft before it. Launching in 2018, Parker Solar Probe will provide new data on solar activity and make critical contributions to our ability to forecast major space-weather events that impact life on Earth.” At its top speed this probe will reach 430,000 miles per hour!


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