Total Solar Eclipse Aug 21st, 2017

Megamovie App makes photographing the Total Solar Eclipse a Snap

The Eclipse Megamovie project has released an app that makes it easy for citizen scientists with smart phones to photograph the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse and upload the images to the project team; a collaboration between the Space Sciences Laboratory’s Multiverse education group and Google’s Making & Science initiative to provide a lasting photo archive for scientists studying the sun’s corona.

The Eclipse Megamovie Mobile app, created by Ideum, is available for Android phones through Google Play store and for iPhones through iTunes’ App Store.

UC Berkeley astronomer Alex Filippenko, an admitted eclipse addict, advises on safe viewing and why you shouldn’t miss this rare event, the Great American Eclipse. Video by Roxanne Makasdjian and Stephen McNally.

When downloaded and installed, the app walks users through a simple process to point your smart phone at the sun and automatically starts taking photos. Photos begin 15 seconds before totality and throughout the total eclipse – which will last a maximum of 2 minutes, 40 seconds, depending on where you are – and 15 seconds after the total eclipse has ended to capture what is known as the “diamond ring” effect.

The complete article on photographing the total eclipse using the Megamovie Mobile app is found here.

2017 Novato Space Festival

Mark your calendars for the Annual Novato Space Festival, Sunday August 6th, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Meet legendary Astronauts from the Apollo, Space Shuttle and International Space Station Programs.

EARLY ENTRANCE at 9:30am for families with CHILDREN 12 & UNDER
You’ll get to browse the exhibit area first,
THEN you’ll get to meet Astronaut Jerry Ross and he will read to you from his children’s book!

What will the ICON spacecraft do?

Years of development and testing will come to fruition when the ICON spacecraft launches from Kwajalein Atoll in the South Pacific this summer. The UC Berkeley Space Sciences Lab’s ICON team has made several videos describing the long path towards launch — and the hundreds of people involved in building this unique observatory that will study the boundary between our atmosphere and space. The second video describes what ICON will actually do and study while in orbit around the Earth.

What Will ICON Do?

ICON Payload Integration Time-Lapse

A 15-Week Time-Lapse in 2 Minutes

This time-lapse video shows the integration of instruments into the ICON payload at the Space Dynamics Laboratory in Logan, Utah. The video covers a 15-week period from mid-February, 2016 until the end of May, 2016. Occasional darkness indicates cleanliness inspections using a UV light, and the blue tower that is occasionally visible is the last tracker used for alignment measurements. The video begins with preparation of the Payload Interface Plate (PIP), with purge lines and the MIGHTI fiber optic assembly. The order of instrument integration is as follows: MIGHTI B, MIGHTI A, ICP-Echo, MIGHTI cal lamp, MIGHTI ebox, IVM A, EUV, FUV, IVM B, star tracker and antenna mast simulators, and ICP flight. The video ends with the payload moved from the handling cart to the shipping container base, ready for testing.  Read more about ICON.

NASA’s Deep Space Network, or DSN, “established a lock on the STEREO-B

Credit: NASA

Credit: NASA

NASA re-established contact with a wayward sun-watching science satellite Sunday nearly two years after the spacecraft suddenly dropped off line during a test, the agency said in a statement Monday.

NASA’s Deep Space Network, or DSN, “established a lock on the STEREO-B (spacecraft’s) downlink carrier at 6:27 p.m. EDT,” NASA said in a statement. “The downlink signal was monitored by the Mission Operations team over several hours to characterize the attitude of the spacecraft and then transmitter high voltage was powered down to save battery power.

“The STEREO Missions Operations team plans further recovery processes to assess observatory health, re-establish attitude control and evaluate all subsystems and instruments.”

The complete article courtesy of SpaceFlight Now:

2016 Novato Space Festival


One of the best space memorabilia museums in the Bay Area will have its annual Space Festival on Saturday August 6th, from 10 AM to 4 PM. Come see both US and Russian memorabilia, from tools used in space, to garments worn by astronauts. There is also a Lunar Module and Lunar Rover on display. Five former astronauts will be on hand to give talks and meet and greet.

The best part of the 2016 Space Festival is that the event is free, that’s right no admission. Come join the fun and meet the astronauts who have flown in  space. More information can also be found here: