About wjjhoge

An expert on nothing with opinions on everything.

Missing Lithium


The globular star cluster Messier 54Most of the light chemical element lithium now present in the Universe was produced along with hydrogen and helium during the Big Bang but in much smaller quantities. Astronomers have calculated how much lithium they expect to find in the early Universe and from this work out how much they should see in old stars. But the calculations don’t match the observed values. There is about one-third of lithium in stars that we expect to see in our galaxy, The Milky Way.

This new image from the VLT Survey Telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory the globular cluster Messier 54, a star cluster that doesn’t belong to the Milky Way but is part of a small satellite galaxy, the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy. A team of astronomers has used the VLT to measure how much lithium there is in a selection of stars in Messier 54. They find that the levels are close to those in the Milky Way. So, whatever it is that got rid of the lithium seems not to be specific to the Milky Way.

Image Credit: ESO

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


This episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign first ran three years ago today.

* * * * *

Johnny Atsign Logo 2ANNOUNCER: From Westminster, it’s time for—

SOUND: Skype rings once.

JOHNNY: Johnny Atsign.

DIMITRI: (Telephone Filter. Noisy Line. ) Джонні, ваш пакет на своєму шляху.

JOHNNY: Спасибо, Димитрий!

DIMITRI: (Telephone Filter. Noisy Line.) Будь ласка!

JOHNNY: Будьте безпечні і добре.

DIMITRI: (Telephone Filter. Noisy Line.) Ви теж, Джонні.

ANNOUNCER: The Lickspittle Broadcasting System presents W. J. J. Hoge in the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed Twitter account, America’s fabulous free-lance Internet investigator …

JOHNNY: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!

MUSIC: Theme up to music out. Continue reading

Success Is Not An Option


Paul Mirengoff has a post over at PowerLine about why Kamala Harris is dropping in the polls. Among the reasons he suggest is her record as a prosecutor in California.

Her main problems, though, stem from her time as a prosecutor. I think they are symptomatic of problems that Democrats will have running for president if they were actually in charge of something governmental.

There was a time when running something governmental, as opposed to being a legislator, appeared to be an advantage in a presidential run. State Houses were a fertile ground for successful presidential candidates.

But that was before the Democratic Party turned sharply to the left. Now, the things one must do as an elected state official, such as prosecuting criminals, are likely to upset the left.

Congresscritters can promise pie in the sky with ice cream by and by, vote for the Right Causes, never actually deliver (Bernie as a total of three bills passed into law) all that free stuff (Bernie as a total of three bills passed into law)—and still stay in the good graces of the Democrat base.

With Harris stuck at 5 percent, along with Pete Buttigieg who governs a city, the three poll leaders are Senators or former Senators. I don’t count Biden’s vice presidential days as running anything. Nor should Sanders’s time as mayor of Burlington, Vermont 30 years ago count for much. (As for Hillary Clinton, the most recent Democratic nominee, her Senate time caused fewer woes than her time running the State Department).

Read the whole thing.

I believe Mirengoff is correct. We should expect the Democrats to nominate a candidate without a record of successfully making things happen in the Real World but with plenty of politically correct legislative votes.

A Spiral on Edge


From our point of view we see galaxy NGC 3432, directly edge-on. The galaxy’s spiral arms and bright core are mostly hidden, and we instead see the thin strip of its outer stars. The dark bands of cosmic dust, patches of varying brightness and pink regions of star formation help with making out the true shape of NGC 3432—which we can do because we see spiral galaxies at every kind of orientation, and experience allows us to identify spirals on edge.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA