Sightings of the 'great' conjunction


The first sighting of the Jupiter and Saturn in the night sky from Santa Barbara.

You can watch it live virtually

Skofield Park - Santa Barbara

Over the Christmas Holiday Phuong and I meet my family in Santa Barbara for 4 days. On our second day we took to the hills. With views of the Pacific Ocean we headed up a steep climb in Skofield Park. The steep climb calls for a descent, an undulating path that was 40 feet above a winding creek. A few tricky valleys meant for some scrambling on logs and boulders.  Paragliders soared over our heads taking the windy skies down to the beach miles below. 

NASA Selects Companies to Collect Lunar Resources for Artemis Demonstrations

NASA Selects Companies to Collect Lunar Resources for Artemis Demonstrations: NASA has selected four companies to collect space resources and transfer ownership to the agency: Lunar Outpost of Golden, Colorado; Masten Space Systems of Mojave, California; ispace Europe of Luxembourg; and ispace Japan of Tokyo. Overall, the new NASA contracts with these companies totals $25,001.


Lake Perris

It took me over 14 years to return, but I've finally made it back to the park. Last time I was here the water level was lowered because of a recent earthquake (this was back in 2006). Where I previously hiked is now submerged, I found old snorkel equipment and fishing tackle. We took a leisurely stroll around the reservoir. It was almost 10 miles round trip. We were pleasantly occupied by the wildlife we spotted: pheasant, coyote, and other birds of prey (I think it was a falcon). We were surprised by a mass gathering during the pandemic, it turned out to be a dog show among the picnic sites. The path was paved the entire way, we might return to rollerblade.

Scale of our Solar System and Beyond

 I don't see how my elementary school teachers expected me to be able to visualize this:

Credit: NASA, ESA, and B. Sunnquist and J. Mack (STScI) Acknowledgment: NASA, ESA, and J. Lotz (STScI) and the HFF Team

NASA, ESA, and B. Sunnquist and J. Mack (STScI)
Acknowledgment: NASA, ESA, and J. Lotz (STScI) and the HFF Team

This video is pretty comprehensive:

A day trip at Powder Canyon

We hiked the well traveled trails of Powder Canyon in Rowland Heights, with some coworkers and friends. Social Distancing was observed and we wore masks most of the time. The popularity of the trail was obvious from the crowds, probably because of it's proximity to the urban forest, and it had easy access from several trailheads.


Hiking Box Springs in the Rain: spotting Burros (aka Donkey)

We hiked Box Springs Mountain in Moreno Valley, CA. It was a rainy day with our friend, and some misplaced Burros (from the bygone age of Spanish imperialism). The hills were steep in many spots but the rain eventually laid off and we made it to the top. The trail going down the hill was much steeper, but that meant for a faster descent. A day hiking in the rain is underrated.


October Santa Ana Winds

The wind yesterday was at another level. We're glad our tree was removed this Summer, we found rot at the core, the winds would have blown it over. That isn't rain it's dirt.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Our Trip to Brian Head this year was highlighted by a freezing snow, which greeted us on the Tuesday after checking into the resort. We decided to take a hike, driving to Bryce Canyon we made a 8 mile trip on the Hoodoos. The views were spectacular and we got a work out. The weather held up, climate change pulled a trick on us, and the day was warm despite a bit of wind.

This was the highlight of our week in Utah. The trail wasn't crowded but we did share some pleasant conversation with our fellow hikers. Around every bend another stunning setting. To describe the any view in one word is hard but I can try here:

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