I picked this up from SpaceWeather while looking at news about your planet’s Sun gobbling up a dying comet.

GREEN-BLOODED BOBBLEHEAD: The 50th Anniversary of Star Trek is now. To celebrate (and to support their crowdfunded research program) the students of Earth to Sky Calculus flew the pointy-eared science officer to the stratosphere on July 24, 2016. Here he is at the apex of the flight, more than 32.2 km (112,200 ft) above Earth’s surface:

You can buy this collector’s item for only $129.95 in the in the Earth to Sky Store.

Proceeds from the sale support space weather research. Bobblehead Spock hitchhiked on a helium balloon payload that carried an array of X-ray/gamma-ray sensors. By launching these sensors 3 or 4 times a month, the students have shown that cosmic rays are intensifying–a trend that affects mountain climbers, air travelers, high-altitude drones, and astronauts on the International Space Station.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Just Too Cool, Look! Up in the sky! and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. ajf1984 says:

    The logical response is, of course, “Fascinating.”

  2. Agree with the ‘Just Too Cool’ tagging.

  3. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    The next logical response is “Brrrr!” There is an increasingly strong theory that more cosmic rays mean more clouds and more clouds mean cooler temperatures on earth. What causes more cosmic rays? Low solar activity, i.e., fewer sunspots, reducing the solar wind, the flow of particles from the sun that help deflect cosmic rays.

    Solar activity has been falling for some years and is expected by some solar scientists to remain very low until about 2050. The last time solar activity remained very low for several decades we had the Maunder Minimum, the coldest part of the Little Ice Age, 1645-1715, when the Thames froze regularly. The so-called climate models incorporate little or nothing of the solar activity/cosmic rays/clouds effects.

    This is the other side of the solar activity coin from the coronal mass ejections that Fr. Z rightly warns about. Instead of a sudden, potentially very damaging event, erupting huge amounts of material toward the earth, this is a slow but inexorable process of greatly reduced particle flow that can have profound effects on climate, agriculture, health, the environment, and the global economy.

    To learn more, Google “Henrik Svensmark,” the Danish physicist who has proposed the theory that cosmic rays promote the nucleation particles that lead to cloud formation. “Just Too Cool” might be all too true.

  4. amsjj1002 says:

    Without Jim, it’s not as much fun.

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