Mk 2

MK2This Hubble image reveals the first moon discovered around the dwarf planet Makemake. The tiny moon is barely visible because it is almost lost in the glare of the brighter dwarf planet. The moon, nicknamed MK 2, is roughly 160 km across and orbits about 21,000 km from Makemake. Makemake is 1,300 times brighter than its moon. It’s also much larger at 1400 km across.

The Makemake system is more than 50 times farther than the Earth is from the Sun on the outskirts of our solar system in the Kuiper Belt.

Image Credits: NASA, ESA, A. Parker and M. Buie (Southwest Research Institute), W. Grundy (Lowell Observatory), and K. Noll (NASA GSFC)


The Twin Jet NebulaMinkowski 2-9, also known as M2-9 or the Butterfly Nebula, is a planetary nebula located about 2,100 light-years away from Earth in the direction of the constellation Ophiuchus. This bipolar nebula has twin lobes of material that emanate from a central star. A double star is at the center of the nebula The primary component of the central binary is the hot core of a star that reached the end of its main-sequence life, ejected most of its outer layers and became a red giant, and is now contracting into a white dwarf.  The second, smaller star of the pair orbits very closely and may have been swallowed by the large star’s expanding stellar atmosphere with the resulting interaction creating the nebula. The gravity of one star may be pulling some of the gas from the surface of the other and sending it into a thin, dense disk that could account for M2-9’s odd appearance.

Image Credit: NASA


MU201607261753ZI’ve already been subjected to a couple of false criminal charges at the hands of Team Kimberlin. If a third false charge is filed, I’ll beat that one too. Therefore, before another malicious charge is filed, the person planning to do so should reflect on how I am now dealing with the first two and make sure that his vision of future is as clear as he thinks.


Given some recent legal LULZ, this seemed like a good episode to recycle—BlogsmokeSOUND: MODEM CONNECTING FADES UP TO FULL MIKE—SINGLE SHOT—RICHOCHET


ANNOUNCER: (VOICE OVER MUSIC) Around Twitter Town and in the territory of the net—there’s just one way to handle the harassers and the stalkers—and that’s with an Internet Sheriff and the smell of “BLOGSMOKE”!


ANNOUNCER: “BLOGSMOKE” starring W. J. J. Hoge. The story of the trolling that moved into the young Internet—and the story of a man who moved against it. (MUSIC: OUT)

JOHN: I’m that man, John Hoge, Internet Sheriff—the first man they look for and the last they want to meet. It’s a chancy job—and it makes a man watchful … and a little lonely.


Legal LULZ Du Jour

MU201607151616ZMU201607151618ZI sincerely doubt that the Cabin Boy™ will ever see Sarah Palmer in Chicago. He has failed to [redacted]. Furthermore, Wisconsin [redacted], whereas Illinois [redacted]. So it’s much more likely that The Dreadful Pro-Se Schmalfeldt should be making reservations for travel to North Carolina. Considering how far the relevant federal courthouse is from a decent airport, he might want to check with Greyhound.


UGC 1382About 250 million light-years away in a neighborhood of our universe that astronomers had considered quiet and unremarkable, scientists have uncovered an enormous, bizarre galaxy possibly formed from the parts of other galaxies. In optical light (left), UGC 1382 appears to be a simple elliptical galaxy, but spiral arms appeared when astronomers incorporated ultraviolet and deep optical data (middle). Combining that with a view of low-density hydrogen gas (shown in green at right), revealeded that UGC 1382 is gigantic.

It turns out that UGC 1382, a galaxy that had originally been thought to be old, small and typical is 10 times bigger than previously thought and, unlike most galaxies, its insides are younger than its outsides, almost as if it had been built using spare parts. It’s a rotating disk of low-density gas where stars don’t form quickly because the gas is so spread out. UGC 1382 is about 718,000 light-years across, more than seven times wider than the Milky Way, making it one of the three largest isolated disk galaxies ever discovered.

Image Credit: NASA / SDSS / NRAO