Bitter Cold Ebook

Bitterly Cold Defense Guide

This eBook guide teaches you how to defend yourself and your family from the incoming cold that has hurt people all over the nation. The Polar Vortex has struck the United States, and it will continue to bring cold and freezing to people all over the nation. You can try to ignore the problem, but that does not make it go away. In fact, not preparing for the cold is what gets a lot of people killed. Last year, at least 21 people died as a result of the cold. You do NOT want to be one of those people! This ebook guide teaches you to defend yourself against the bitter cold and learn to deal with all of the hazards that accompany bitter cold temperatures. Leon Wilde, author and speaker at survival camps, brings you this book to help you survive the bitter winter temperatures. Don't get caught unawares!

Bitterly Cold Defense Guide Summary


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Author: Leon Wilde
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Portable DC Power Supply

Telescopes with drive motors, and CCD cameras and computers require power and lots of it. Telescopes and computers have internal batteries but not with enough amperage to last for a very long time under high electrical loads. As we have just mentioned, a laptop operating under standard batteries will not last much longer than two hours. Your duration will be even less if you are operating in extreme cold.

The Launch Directorate Becomes an Operating Center

Von Braun was correct in assuming that raising LOD to the status of a separate center would meet serious objections from vested interests in NASA. Harry Gorman's arguments from the administrative standpoint were not seconded in the engineering divisions. Eberhard Rees, for one, leaned against separation if it should prove necessary, he preferred the alternate plan, wherein a Launch Operations Center would control administration and management, general technical and scientific fields, and facility planning and construction, with the launching divisions of the various centers still controlling their flight operations and some aspects of checkout and launching. Most of von Braun's staff opposed the separation of the launch team from Huntsville. There was some feeling that they would be working in the factory, while the Debus launch team in Florida would enjoy the action and the spotlight. Heated debates continued through a cold winter.9

Personal considerations

There are a number of little-recognized factors that affect the overall success of an observing session at the telescope, one of which concerns proper dress. This is of particular importance in the cold winter months of the year, when sub-freezing temperatures are often experienced at night. It's impossible to be effective at the eyepiece, or even to simply enjoy the views, when you're half-frozen to death Proper protection of the head, hands and feet are especially important during such times, and several layers of

Circumferential lunar utilities

3 Unmanned (robotic) lunar bases may not need continuous power. They can power down to a limited extent during the lunar night and resume operations during the lunar day, thus obviating the need for large power storage devices. However, they typically require keep alive power to prevent damage to sensitive electronics caused by the extreme cold of the lunar night.

Absorbing the Sunlight

Looking back in the geological record, the Earth's surface has clearly gone through periods of warmer and colder climates. The more extreme cold periods are usually referred to as ice ages (for obvious reasons). The timescale on which major ice ages have occurred actually fits in reasonably well with the timescale for continental drift. The first ice age for which there is good evidence occurred 800-600 million years ago, and was so extensive that it

Cultural Influences On Aerospace Organizations

More recently, investigations into the loss of two orbiters and their crews revealed deficiencies in Agency culture, prompting changes in work policies and the work environment. The first catastrophic event was the Shuttle Challenger which blew up after launch in January 1986, with the loss of seven astronaut lives. The complex investigation by outside experts centered on the primary cause the failure of O-rings that were supposed to seal various parts of the solid rocket booster, but did not because of cold weather and ice conditions at the Kennedy spaceport which contributed to their disintegration. But their comprehensive report also uncovered failures in the management and engineering cultures of both the Agency and its prime contractor, Morton Thiokol. Launch decision-makers failed to receive or heed the warnings of their concerned engineers at lower levels of the organization. NASA's bureaucracy with so many rules and regulations, as well as worker...

The New Laws of Cosmic Order

He had for years attempted to obtain his unpaid salary from the Emperor Ferdinand II, but without result. He even had worked for 2 years as an astrologer to general Wallenstein, a hero of the Thirty Years' War, thus hoping to get his 11,817 guldens. As a last resort, he mounted a horse and rode to Regensburg where the Diet of the Holy Roman Empire was sitting. It was November 1630 and the long ride in cold weather through Germany ruined by the war was too much for the fragile health of 58-year-old Kepler. He arrived in a poor condition and sold his thin horse for 2 guldens, but then a high fever confined him to bed and within a few days he died. Kepler was buried outside the town in a cemetery for Lutherans. His grave was soon destroyed, together with the cemetery, during the long war that followed.

Microfossil and Isotope Evidence for Life

The relatively rapid decrease in global planet temperatures on Mars would have provided potential Martian life with a further environmental variable - that of cold and even freezing temperatures. This is a situation that did not exist on the early Earth. Early life on Mars could have therefore been even more diversified than on early Earth, with the development first of all of mesophilic organisms capable of living in moderate temperatures and, finally, psychrophilic organisms that can live in extremely cold conditions. Potential Martian life, if it survived the heavy bombardment, would have had to be tolerant of very dry, exposed conditions.

Chamber testing the Block II CSM

For 177 hours, the three men sat in the CM performing their duties as they would on a real lunar mission, but keeping the centre couch folded for additional room. The test programme included new launch procedures that avoided the use of pure oxygen, evaluating the new material inside the spacecraft, and rotating the spacecraft to simulate the barbeque mode to evenly distribute temperatures across the surface of the spacecraft (as would happen during the trans-lunar and trans-Earth portions of the Apollo mission to the Moon). The crew communicated with Mission Control via the radio link and were monitored by a TV camera inside the spacecraft. By following the flight plan of a real mission to the Moon, the crew would evaluate the structural integrity of the hull and inner pressure vessel, and verify the heat shield structure under conditions of extreme cold, the performance of the environmental control systems (one of Kerwin's early technical assignments), the radiators' ability to dump...

Progress on the Solar UVPlanetary Wave Mechanism

For instance, Gray et al. (2006) find that the QBO winds in the upper stratosphere are key in modulating the lower stratospheric planetary wave activity and the strength of the winter polar vortex. Statistical analysis of observations, mechanistic modeling, and general circulation modeling all indicate this to be the case. Yet, it is somewhat surprising to see that the upper stratosphere tropical winds seem to be more important than the lower and middle stratospheric winds in modulating stratospheric sudden warmings, with the accompanying large changes in the temperatures at high latitudes and the strength of the winter vortex. Perhaps, this just follows from the fact that the planetary wave Eliassen-Palm vectors are normally directed upwards and equatorward (see Andrews et al., 1987). It is also not clear how solar activity modulates the QBO period although some mechanistic model results by Cordero and Nathan (2005) and Mayr et al. (2006) give this result, albeit for different...

Titan and Other Satellites

Image above Saturn's atmosphere, like Jupiter, is banded - the product of rapid rotation. But the extreme cold means that the clouds form lower down where they are less distinct, and a methane haze dulls the colours and makes the atmosphere less vibrant than Jupiter's. This close-up image, taken by Voyager 1 in 1980, reveals two dark oval storms (right), each about 10 000 kilometres across. Courtesy of NASA JPL Caltech. Image above Saturn's atmosphere, like Jupiter, is banded - the product of rapid rotation. But the extreme cold means that the clouds form lower down where they are less distinct, and a methane haze dulls the colours and makes the atmosphere less vibrant than Jupiter's. This close-up image, taken by Voyager 1 in 1980, reveals two dark oval storms (right), each about 10 000 kilometres across. Courtesy of NASA JPL Caltech.

Uranus World on its Side

Once beyond Saturn, we must again journey nearly twice as far from the Sun to get to the next planet. There, 19 times further out than the Earth, we find Uranus - pale blue-green, remarkably featureless, and bitterly cold. Uranus is a mid-sized giant, roughly half the size of Saturn, a fluid blob of slushy ice with smaller quantities of rock and gas. Strangely, this planet rotates on its side, its spin axis lying almost in the plane in which it orbits. Its large array of satellites and rings, encircling the planet's equator, are thus similarly inclined, their orbits virtually at right angles to the Solar System. It is almost as if a gigantic collision knocked Uranus sideways in a game of interplanetary billiards. Indeed, just such an event is astronomers' favoured explanation for Uranus' weird orientation. And it isn't just Uranus that has suffered. The surfaces of some of its moons paint a similarly brutal history throughout the Uranian system.

Clear Skies And Stormy Weather

FIG. 9.1 The water planet Almost three-quarters of the Earth's surface is covered with water, as seen in this view of the North Pacific Ocean. Earth is the only planet in the Solar System where substantial amounts of water exist in all three possible forms - gas (water vapor), liquid and solid (ice). Here white clouds of water ice swirljust below Alaska the predominantly white ground area, consisting of snow and ice, is the Kamchatka Peninsula of Siberia. Japan appears near the horizon. From this orientation in space, we also see both the day and night sides of our home planet. (Courtesy of NASA.) FIG. 9.1 The water planet Almost three-quarters of the Earth's surface is covered with water, as seen in this view of the North Pacific Ocean. Earth is the only planet in the Solar System where substantial amounts of water exist in all three possible forms - gas (water vapor), liquid and solid (ice). Here white clouds of water ice swirljust below Alaska the predominantly white ground area,...

The God of the Underworld a Triumph of Luck

It turned out the calculations upon which Tombaugh based his search were in error. It just happened to be one of the greatest strokes of coincidence that the little new planet just happened to be lying there right at that moment in time. It also quickly turned out that Tombaugh's new planet was far too tiny to have any impact whatsoever on the motions of Uranus and Neptune and much too far away as well. Because of the extreme cold and relative darkness in which the new planet must have existed, astronomers named the new world Pluto for the ancient Roman god of the underworld. The first two letters are also the initials of Percival Lowell, the astronomer who had spearheaded the search for the ninth planet. Tombaugh was one of his successors working at the observatory that bore Lowell's name.

Possible Transfer Mechanism For The 11year Solar Cycle To The Lower Stratosphere

Observational evidence of the 11-year solar cycle (SC) modulation of stratosphere temperatures and winds from the ERA-40 dataset is reviewed, with emphasis on the Northern winter hemisphere. A frequency modulation of sudden warming events is noted, with warmings occurring earlier in solar minimum periods than in solar maximum periods. The observed interaction between the influence of the SC and the quasi biennial oscillation (QBO) on the frequency of sudden warmings is noted as a possible clue for understanding their mechanism of influence. A possible transfer route for the 11-year solar cycle from the equatorial stratopause region to the lowest part of the stratosphere is proposed, via an influence on sudden warming events and the associated induced meridional circulation. SC and QBO composites of zonal wind anomalies show anomalous wind distributions in the subtropical upper stratosphere in early winter. Mechanistic model experiments are reviewed that demonstrate a...

Asteroids and comets the building blocks of the solar system

We now think that an asteroid impact was at least partly responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs. Some 65 million years ago, a large asteriod hit the Earth and filled the atmosphere with dust. The Sun's life-bringing light was blocked out for months. It became extremely cold and most of the plants died, breaking the food chain and causing the death of, first, the plant-eating dinosaurs and then the meat-eaters who preyed on them.

Venus Star Wars and the Rain and Corn Complex

The rain-maize relationships to Venus are discussed very fully by Ivan Sprajc (1993a, 1993b) in a comprehensive monograph, and John Carlson (1991) has an extended discussion emphasizing the Venus War complex. Sprajc's coverage of the literature is very helpful, and Carlson has uncovered many previously unnoted iconographic relationships. Sprajc shows that many Mesoamerican cultures associated Venus, expecially as evening star, with rain and that the northernmost extreme of Venus, as evening star in the eight-year cycle, always fell between May 1 and May 6. In many parts of Mesoamerica, this is a reasonably good approximation to the beginning of the rainy season. The southern extreme always fell between November 2 and November 7 and coincides well with the beginning of the dry season, often accompanied by cold weather. The extensive parallels that Sprajc cites make the existence of a cult associating Venus with rain, fertility, and corn seem certain. The association of the extreme...

The snowball Earth effect

Hypotheses have been proposed about a ''snowball Earth'' effect, most recently by two Harvard scientists, P. Hoffman and D. Schrag, suggesting that the Earth froze over completely about 600 million years ago (just before the Neoproterozoic era when recognisable animal life appeared), when the Sun was assumed to be 6 fainter than now (Hoffman and Schrag, 2000). There were four similar occasions between 750 and 580 million years ago, according to the Harvard scientists, when the Earth was completely frozen. However, the Earth is believed to have had a more habitable climate both before and after these events. The ''snowball Earth'' hypothesis was motivated by the surprising discoveries of glacial debris near the sea level in the tropics. Other geological clues include rocks with high iron content, which are believed to form only under conditions with little oxygen, and carbon isotopic ratios in the rocks revealing the signature of prolonged periods of low biological activity during...

Observing Project 12B The Toughest Doubles

Eventually the bitter cold and crystal clear skies of winter give way to the progressively more mild nights of spring. Leo is riding high into the east and Virgo is poking above the eastern horizon. In Virgo is the double star Porrima (Gamma Virginis). Porrima is an unusual star name in that it is not Arabic, but rather is Latin and honors the Roman goddess of prophesy. Porrima is a double that is exquisitely difficult to split as it is just now reaching minimum separation at barely one-half arc second. Both stars are nearly identical spectral-type A white stars that burn somewhat hotter than the Sun does. Porrima gives amateur astronomers a rare chance to actually catch a double star in motion. The orbit of the two components of Porrima is extremely eccentric. At maximum separation the two components are 70 AU apart, but at their closest are less than 3 AU apart. The maximum spacing of the two stars is about six arc seconds at the apoastron point of their 168-year orbit. This last...

Sunspots and the weather

For example, in 1991 Danish researchers Eigil Friis-Christensen and Knud Lassen found that the duration of a sunspot cycle seemed related to the temperatures in the northern hemisphere (Sky and Telescope, November 1995, pages 12-13). However, first, the total change in the mean temperature was just less than one degree centigrade, a variation that is not appreciable by ordinary means secondly, the hot or cold weather (for instance during a summer in a given country) has nothing to do with slight changes of the mean temperature in a hemisphere, but it mainly depends on the existence and positions of centers of high pressure on the Earth's surface and thirdly, the effect is not related at all to the phase in the 11-year sunspot cycle but, if real, it is a variation of long period.

Discussion and Conclusions

In the Arctic 2002-2003 winter, where auroral activity was moderate, the usual stratospheric warming in the middle of the winter led to low-to-moderate NOx abundances. This can be considered as typical for an Arctic winter where the presence of stratospheric warming is rather usual. On the other hand, in 2003-2004, two unusual phenomena occurred. First, besides the high auroral activity during this winter, several SPEs occurred which, on one hand, enhanced the NOx production by the direct impact of solar protons on the atmosphere and, on the other, favored the electron fluxes associated to geomagnetic perturbations. In addition, after an usual stratospheric warming, a strong (the record so far measured) polar vortex developed in late winter. Both conditions finally led to very large NOx abundances in the upper stratosphere at the end of the winter.

How may the NAO be affected by solar activity

Ogi et al. (2003) suggested that the spatial structure of the sea level pressure variations in the northern hemisphere was influenced by the level of solar activity. They argued that during solar maximum, the pattern had the more hemispheric character associated with the Arctic Oscillation (AO), but the signal was confined to the Atlantic region during solar minima just like the NAO pattern. They also suggested the wintertime NAO has a significant effect on climate conditions during spring and summer when the solar activity was high, but not during low solar activity. They explained that the mechanism by which this link could exist was through a systematic influence on snow and ice conditions in the Barents Sea region. Although supported by empirical data, their analysis involved short data series, and it remains to be seen whether the purported relationship holds for the future. Dima et al. (2005) applied multivariate techniques (Empirical Orthogonal Function, Principal Oscillation...

Preventable Tragedy

Initial suspicion that its range safety explosive charges had been inadvertantly fired was quickly dismissed when analysis of telemetry data revealed that no such commands were sent to either booster until both were remotely destroyed by the Range Safety Officer at T + 110 seconds. For a number of engineers and managers at Morton Thiokol and within NASA, however, the cause of the disaster had been identified more than a year before Challenger's maiden voyage the primary and secondary O-rings meant to prevent a leakage of hot gases were incapable of properly sealing the gaps between the SRB joints in extremely cold weather. Already, catastrophe had been narrowly averted on one previous cold-weather launch in January 1985 and conditions in the hours leading up to STS-51L's lift-off were colder still. Moreover, an application of zinc chromate putty, intended to act as a 'thermal barrier' and keep the combustion gas path away from the two O-rings, had been shown as early as 1984 to be...

What to Do If Everything Is Not the Way it Ought To Be

If the battery is low, recharge. If on AC power, switch to DC. Small AC power supplies produce poorly filtered DC that can cause computer problems. Check clean hand control RJ style (telephone) connectors. During cold weather (below freezing, especially), battery performance will decrease. Keep the battery warm, at least prior to beginning observing, or operate from an AC power supply. Check replace hand control connecting cable. Perform a reset (factory defaults for Celestron NexStar telescopes) of the hand controller to resolve program firmware problems. If no improvement is noted, try reloading hand control firmware. If the telescope is a Celestron NexStar, try reloading motor control firmware as well. If problems persist, CONTACT MANUFACTURER. due to cold weather. Circuit board problems. Slewing (moving) speed too slow. Altitude-azimuth RA declination locks not firmly engaged. Slew limit filters in the hand control that prevent the telescope from...

Northern And Southern Lights

In Norway or Sweden it was a common belief that the northern lights were reflections from silvery shoals of herring that flashed light against the clouds when swimming close to the water's surface. According to King's Mirror, the Arctic snow and ice absorbed large amounts of light from the long summer midnight Sun and re-radiated it as the northern lights in wintertime. Almost 400 years later, the French philosopher Rene Descartes (1596-1650) attributed the aurora to sunlight scattered from ice particles found high in the atmosphere at cold northern locations. But all these ideas were eventually shown to be wrong.

Ground Ice in the Martian Regolith

The long-term existence of extremely cold climate on Mars has led to strong global freezing through upper layers of the planet's crust that has resulted in formation of the global permafrost shell - cryolithosphere. In accordance with the modern thermal regime of the Martian surface and the reasonable values of the planet's heat flow, the thickness of the cryolithosphere may approach 1-2 km in the equatorial zone and 5-6 km in the polar regions. In the presence of such a huge scale of cryolithosphere, most of the Martian water abundance could be captured primarily within the permafrost shell in the form of ground ice and possibly salt solutions. It is not excluded that some amount of the liquid and solid phases of CO2 (plus clathrate) may also be contained in the cryolithosphere.

The Pleiades rise at sunset

The cluster's appearance in early November reminds those in the southern U.S. of the coming of winter (cold weather has, no doubt, already arrived for those in northern climes). In binoculars, the Pleiades nexus appears like diamond chips on black velvet. The entire group is clumped within an apparent area about one and a half degrees - three times the diameter of the full Moon - so the high magnification and limited field of view of a telescope won't show you the entire setting of this group.

Multiple Stars

Is more a loose aggregation and can be regarded more as a small star cluster than a multiple star as such. It is none the less beautiful for this and seen against the glowing green background of the nebula, on a cold winter's night in a good telescope, it is one of the sky's most spectacular sights.

Mm SLR Camera

When buying a camera for astrophotography, buy as much quality as you can afford. If you buy a good camera, you will only have to do it once. Manual cameras are relatively inexpensive and have the advantage of not needing batteries that can die on you in extreme cold. Electric cameras operate much more smoothly and precisely. The quality of the lens of your camera is important since you will not always use it to image through your telescope. You may wish to mount the camera on top of the telescope piggyback style. This allows a clock-driven telescope to serve as mount for beautiful wide-field panoramic shots. Also consider a camera that offers an array of telephoto lenses. This allows modest magnifications to be used while retaining a wide field view. The only other type of accessory that is an absolute must is a cable release for the shutter. This allows the shutter to be opened without you touching the camera and thus creating vibrations. This can either be a manual type of release...

Paper Spacecraft

Moreover, if the probe would make it all the way to the surface alive, would it then hit a super-cold icy surface as hard as steel, or plunge into a bitterly cold lake of liquid hydrocarbon gas Although Huygens was not specifically intended as a lander, scientific measurements from the surface would provide a valuable bonus to the mission. Huygens, therefore, should not only be able to land on hard, solid ground but should also be able to float, and in both cases be able to gather data.

Thermal Tests

Rookie astronaut Mike Coats, who was sitting in Mission Control monitoring these tests, called the Shuttle's thermal behaviour ''the banana effect'' during orbital flight, the entire vehicle was bending like a banana, as its 'hot side' expanded and its 'cold side' contracted. During a practice opening and closure of the payload bay doors under extremely cold conditions, problems arose after one period in the belly-to-Sun attitude. A 'closed' indication on one of the doors was not achieved, prompting Coats to advise the astronauts to reverse their attitude and warm up Columbia's topside instead of her belly.

Surface Features

Is more like a shallow saucer than a mine-shaft the walls rise to only a modest height above the outer surface, while the floors are depressed. Central mountains or mountain groups are very common, but never attain the height of the outer ramparts. The depths of some craters are given in Table 3.4, but it must be remembered that these are at best no more than approximate. Some craters near the poles are so deep that their floors are always in shadow and therefore remain bitterly cold one of these craters, Newton, has an depth of over 8 km below the crest of the wall.

Thermal Environment

Under these conditions, extremes of both temperature and temperature gradient are common. Thermally isolated portions of an Earth-orbiting spacecraft can experience temperature variations from roughly 200 K during darkness to about 350 K in direct sunlight. One has only to consider such everyday experiences as the difficulty of starting a car in very cold weather, with battery and lubrication problems, or very hot weather (which may cause carburetor vapor lock) to appreciate that most machinery functions best at approximately the same temperatures as do humans.

Xbl 791113250

We now know that it was extremely cold during the period of darkness,2 so it was just as though all the animals had been transported to present day Antarctica. Emiliani, Kraus and Shoemaker3 soon published a paper showing that after an impact in the ocean, the temperature would first go way down but would then increase as a result of the greenhouse effect, and the heating would be a major contributor to the killing mechanism. Perhaps the most important killing mechanism would derive from the shock-heating of the atmosphere, by the expanding fireball. It would give rise to the production of huge amounts of nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere, leading to highly acidic rain, and surface ocean waters with a pH so low as to dissolve the calcium carbonate shells of marine invertebrates. This important contribution came from a group at MIT (Lewis, Watkins, Hartman and Prinn).' I stress it here, because our paleontological colleague, Bill Clemens, recently discovered dinosaur fossils in...

Year Day And Seasons

Second, minute, and hour by about 2.5 percent. Most of us would not notice such a difference in the face of the other adaptational problems inherent in a relocation to the Red Planet, such as the reduced gravitation, the bitterly cold temperatures, the lack of a breathable atmosphere, the lack of protection from solar ultraviolet radiation, and the infrequent but brutal dust storms.


That there is no need for the difference between the hot fire and the cold night is just one instance of the very fundamental issue of asymmetry arising out of symmetry. In the physics of ancient Greeks such as Aristotle, the Earth was at the centre, a very special place. Heavy objects 'by nature' fell to the centre that was their 'natural place'. Over time, we have become more modest with respect to our own position. Neither the Earth, nor the Sun, nor our Galaxy is the centre. There is no centre. There is no cosmic discrimination of this kind all places are equal. At least, equal in principle. In practice, places can be extremely different - from the hot interior of the Sun to the extreme cold of intergalactic space.


Ganymede is believed to consist of a metallic core surrounded by rocky material, in turn surrounded by a crust of rock mixed with ice. The moon's density is approximately twice that of water. The surface was seen close up by the Voyager probe, and a number of features were observed, including many craters, evidence that Ganymede has been bombarded by meteorites. The shallow nature of the craters suggests that the surface of Ganymede is largely made of water ice. At the extreme cold temperatures at Jupiter's distance from the Sun, ice behaves something like rock on Earth's surface. However, over time the ice flows and settles so that the mountains and rims of the craters flatten out gradually. Nevertheless, this ice maintains crater imprints for millions of years.


Then there are propellant production facilities, specifically for the extremely cold liquid oxygen and hydrogen cryogenic propellants. These fluids need to be cooled, respectively, to -184 and -251 degrees Celsius (-299 and -420 degrees Fahrenheit) to keep liquid. A little bit is always evaporating, and this boil off' process makes it difficult to transport them. If the travel distance was too long, all the propellant would evaporate before it could be put into the launcher.

Personal Matters

There are a number of other factors that impact the overall success of an observing session at the telescope. One concerns proper dress. This is of particular importance in the cold winter months of the year, when observers often experience subzero temperatures at night. It is impossible to be effective at the eyepiece, or to even just enjoy the views, when you're half frozen to death Proper protection of the head, hands and feet are especially critical during such times, and several layers of clothing are recommended. During the summer months the opposite problem occurs, as observers attempt to stay cool. In addition to very short nights at this time of year, there's the added annoyance of flying insects and optics-fogging humidity and dew (see the discussion on dew caps and heated eyepieces in Chapter 5).

Preparing for launch

Shortly before launch the tanks of the Ariane 5 main stage are filled with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. Because these extremely cold fluids boil off rather quickly and are dangerous to work with, this cannot be done earlier. In the meantime, the launcher subsystems are checked and the computer program with the flight data for the automatic guidance system is loaded into the launcher's computer. The launch teams get ready in the control center and various tracking facilities.


FIG. 9.8 Hole in the sky A satellite map showing an exceptionally low concentration of ozone, called the ozone hole, that forms above the South Pole in the local spring. In October 1990 it had an area larger than the Antarctic continent, shown in outline below the hole. Eventually spring warming breaks up the polar vortex and disperses the ozone-deficient air over the rest of the planet. (Courtesy of NASA.) FIG. 9.8 Hole in the sky A satellite map showing an exceptionally low concentration of ozone, called the ozone hole, that forms above the South Pole in the local spring. In October 1990 it had an area larger than the Antarctic continent, shown in outline below the hole. Eventually spring warming breaks up the polar vortex and disperses the ozone-deficient air over the rest of the planet. (Courtesy of NASA.) Although the CFCs were mainly released by human activities in the Northern Hemisphere, where the world's industries are concentrated, the chemicals were redistributed by global...


A large NO2 increase and O3 depletion was observed by GOMOS in the Northern polar stratosphere after the strong 28 October 2003 SPE. During such an event, NOx is formed in the upper stratosphere mesosphere in the polar cap which coincides approximately to the polar vortex during the winter period. The total ozone column in the polar vortex was decreased by about 2 north of 70 N, about twice model estimations (Jackman etal., 2000). The NO2 perturbation was observable until mid-December when the polar vortex was destroyed by an upper stratospheric warming. The impact of an SPE on the stratosphere is very dependent on the season and on the meteorology of the polar stratosphere. The impact is important if NOx is transported in the polar night downwards into the middle stratosphere where it can stays during several months without being destroyed. A large NO2 increase was also observed in June-July 2003 in the south polar stratosphere with some indications of a simultaneous ozone decrease....


What did we know about Titan before Cassini and Huygens Saturn's largest moon was discovered in 1655 by Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens. At 5,150km in diameter, Titan is larger than the planets Mercury and Pluto, and is the second largest known moon (only Ganymede is larger). Its atmosphere is the second densest of the solid bodies in the solar system (Venus has the densest), and its surface, shrouded by a thick atmosphere, is extremely cold, about 95 K (-178 C). Titan's thick atmosphere is about 95 nitrogen, with a few percent methane. Titan is of special interest to planetary scientists for several reasons, one of which is the many interesting organic compounds created by ultraviolet light from the Sun and energetic electrons from Saturn's radiation belts causing dissociation of nitrogen and methane in the upper atmosphere. The resulting radicals combine to form complex hydrocarbons such as ethane and benzene, ni-triles, and Titan's orange haze, which obscures the surface. When...

Knowledge Motives

Space offers us conditions that are valuable for certain kinds of experimental research. These include extreme cold, high vacuum, immense uncluttered areas, and a degree of remoteness that could insulate humanity from an experiment gone wrong. The biggest drawing card is microgravity (also known as 0-G, or weightlessness), which is useful for research in metallurgy, crystallography, and chemistry, including pharmaceuticals.

The Platonic Solids

Susanna Reuttinger

Kepler sent his first outline of the two main arguments he would include in his book to Maestlin in October 1595. Throughout that cold winter, he filled out that outline with a number of auxiliary arguments. Since the polyhedral hypothesis was founded on the idea that God had rationally structured the universe based on the five regular solids, Kepler turned his attention to seeing what meaning he could discern in the particular arrangement of the solids. In the process, he ended up having a lot more to say about the polyhedral hypothesis than the planet-moving force hypothesis, but he did come up with one additional argument based on the planet-moving force hypothesis that would be extremely influential in his later thinking about planetary theory.

Handheld Binoculars

If you are considering purchasing image stabilized binoculars, you should be aware that the image stabilization mechanism requires battery power, and that the life of batteries, particularly alkaline batteries, is reduced in cold weather. Without power, the binoculars can be used as conventional binoculars (Figure 3.3).

The Big Bang

An analogy for the young, expanding universe is helpful. Suppose we were to heat an oven on a cold winter's night so that its temperature exceeded one hundred degrees. If we were then to place some steam into this oven, it would remain evaporated as long as we kept the heat turned on. Consider what would happen if we then disconnected this oven and took it outside to where the temperature was well below freezing. Clearly, the oven would begin to cool as it lost heat to the surroundings. As the oven temperature dropped, the steam would eventually condense back into water, and, finally, when the temperature had become sufficiently low, the water would freeze into ice.

Full Plate

Deck Flight Rogers Center

Throughout this recess, Boisjoly and fellow engineer Arnie Thompson continued to argue persuasively that it was unsafe to fly outside of their proven field joint temperature range, but the Thiokol senior executives in attendance felt the O-rings should still seat and function properly, despite the cold weather. Arnie actually got up from his position and walked up the table, put a quarter pad down in front of the management folks and tried to sketch out once again what his concern was with the joint, Boisjoly told the Rogers Commission, and when he realised he wasn't getting through, he stopped. I grabbed the photos and tried to make the point that it was my opinion from actual observations that temperature was indeed a discriminator and we

Chasing satellites

Forecasts of cold weather for next morning prompt engineers at SRB maker Morton Thiokol to call a teleconference with NASA managers regarding a possible problem with the O-rings. In the end, Thiokol's own management overrule the engineers and recommend that the launch should proceed.

Deus Ex Machina

Practitioners in the West who combined astrology with their more serious astronomical pursuits. For example, Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), brilliant mathematician and originator of the laws of planetary motion, was convinced of the merits of astrology and devised his own system based upon harmonic theory. Some 800 horoscopes formulated by Kepler are still in existence, and certain lucky predictions for the year 1595 - including foretelling a peasants' revolt, forebodings of incursions by the Ottoman Empire in the east, and predictions of a spell of bitter cold - brought his astrological talents into great renown.

CCD Cameras

With a computerized telescope and a home PC, you could conceivably run your telescope from the comfort of your own home (a very nice option on cold winter nights ), provided you didn't have to go out and actually look through the telescope. However, thanks to the advent of the CCD camera, you can observe the night sky with your telescope and computer without even going outside