The 2.7-meter (107-inch) Harlan J. Smith Telescope on at McDonald Observatory, near Fort Davis, Texas. December 2003.
The dome of this telescope was the first Picture of the Week, but I figured it was time to show the telescope itself.
Fragment of the Nakhla meteorite that fell to Earth in 1911. American Museum of Natural History, August 2006
This meteorite is one of the SNCs, or "snicks", a class of meteorite that has one very interesting thing in common - they are all from Mars. This wasn't the first time I have seen a chunk of Mars, that honor goes to a fragment of ALH84001 in Washington D.C. (which I'll post a photo of eventually), but it is always thrilling to be just a few inches from a piece of another planet.
Space Shuttle Enterprise at National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. September 2006.
One of the coolest parts of visiting the new Air and Space center was a chance to see the Space Shuttle Enterprise. And of course, one of the coolest things about the Enterprise is that its name was changed from Constitution to Enterprise because of a write-in campaign by Star Trek fans. Never underestimate the power of geeks in large numbers!
Section of the K-T boundary. American Museum of Natural History, August 2006
The arrow points to the iridium layer that lies between the Cretaceous (below) and Tertiary (above) layers this cross section. This is, of course, the famous layer that led the Alvarezes to hypothesize that a large extraterrestrial impact occurred at this time and ultimately caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. There is a section of the K-T boundary exposed here in Texas, up east of Waco, but I haven't had a chance to see it - yet!
Happy 80th trip around the sun to James "The Amazing" Randi! I can't remember the first time he came to my attention, but I know the first time I read some of his works on skepticism was in the Pseudoscience and the Paranormal class that I took in college in 1994. I've been a fan ever since.
Spotted via Skepchick
Spotted via Skepchick
Garfield's expression pretty much covers it.
(Although in all fairness, I think some direct sunlight was falling on the sensor, so that bumped it up a little. And the temp was a bit cooler than 81 in the house because the windowsill was also in getting some sun.)