New Year’s Fly-by

A little over three years ago, Dale wrote a piece when NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft approached and photographed Pluto. He included several nice photos and gave us an update on the PTA (Pluto Tourism Association) about groups wanted to book some serious vacation time on the planet (or whatever Pluto is categorized as this week).

Today, after 3 years, New Horizons is doing a flyby of 2014 MU69; it will be the most distant object every visited by a spacecraft. Even NASA realizes that 2014MU69 is a terrible name – they have nicknamed the object, an icy Kuiper Belt object, Ultima Thule, which means “distant places beyond the known world”.

Scientists are not sure if Ultima Thule is one object or two objects circling each other and are hoping this flyby, which will happen at a whooping 31,500 mph, will clear up that mystery. After the New Year’s flyby, it will take a full 6 hours for the radio signals to arrive back at earth.

It’s amazing to me that just 117 years after our first machine-powered flight, we will be waiting for signals from a spacecraft that has traveled a billion miles since it passed Pluto three years ago. I wonder if we’ll still be getting signals in three more years when it is a billion miles farther from Earth and if we will be vacationing on 2014 MU69 by that point?

Have you ever had a speeding ticket?

31 thoughts on “New Year’s Fly-by”

  1. thanks vs for the revisiting of dales astrological influences here on the trail.
    our past history is something to enjoy when looking forward on the first steps of the new year
    i have always thought the stars and planets and the great unknown are fasinating and i have always admired the study. the mayans the egyptians the druids all knew the way it lined up with earths yearly rotations and seasonal alignments was a special thing
    the way space travel took us off to dreamland was always something special. it seemed nothing was impossible when considering travel to places light years away
    today drones overhead and driverless cars are question marks that make me wonder about different aspects future consideeations will factor in. my phone informed me today the total screen time last week was an average of 5 hours and 38 minutes per day down 38% from my normal screen time. business slows down on the holidays i guess and i find budiness keeps me in front of my phone/ipad/computer with inquiries and responses and searches that are better enabled with the connection to the internet and all it makes accessible with the click of a google search the inquiry of a siri or
    alexa. the news of alexa listening in on everything we say or do is unnerving. the thoughts about driverless cars is hard to wrap my brain around. going across town without having to white knuckle it is appealing but going to montana sleeping in the back seat while hal drives the family vacation pod is too weird.
    my sister got a speeding ticket in montana on a trip we took out there together when she listened to my proclamation that it’s ok to drive 100 mph in montana. the speed limit had recently been redefined by federal mandates and the montana troopers were more than a little put off by being told what’s ok in their state so they looked the other way at speed in normal circumstances. my sister told the trooper she was surprised to be getting the ticket because i had told her 100 was ok in montana. the trooper shook his head and said your brother was right and he was wrong. 100 is a way of life here and we look the other way but you can’t do it in town. i had driven all the way across north dakota and handed the car off to her in the montana truck stop where we refilled the tank. she went down the entrance ramp to the freeway got it up to 100 and got pulled over 2 minutes into her drive.
    that was s memorable one
    i have had many speeding tickets in my life
    i used to have three on my record at all times. as one would expire i’d get another. i bought a fuzz buster back in the day to be warned before i’d get a ticket and picked up three right away because i thought i was bullet proof. when i was a traveling salesman putting on 50,000 miles a year driving to sales meetings i got caught driving through small back water towns with reduced speeds popping up while i was daydreaming in the midst of another 1000 mile circle.
    i wonder if they’ll let you set up the perimeters of the driverless cars. wouldn’t it be fun if you could set it at 100 and just go read the paper in the passengers seat without being concerned because the auto driver knows how to factor in all the variables and get you from here to chicago in 2 or 3 hours
    happy new year’s baboons
    sorry i missed bens great post yesterday’s
    my life is long range goals . hope i make one of them happen one day soon
    today many of my long range goals have to do with big picture stuff like space travel and driverless cars
    i’ll bet i pick up a few more speeding tickets too

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Somehow I don’t think picking up a few more speeding tickets is a goal of tim’s, but merely an acknowledgement that it’s pretty much inevitable at the speed he’s going. Sorta like those of us who have pretty much resigned ourselves to the fact that losing weight isn’t a realistic goal unless we’re willing to change our ways.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Today it’s not so much that. Drive fast as it is that I’m not paying attention
      One time I’ll see a cop and look down as I automatically pull my foot off the pedal only to discover I was traveling on he low side of low speed wise
      The next time I will be in the fast lane and slowing people down one day and traveling at 70 feeling like I’m going too slow the next,
      I usually deserve a ticket when I get one. Another reason to look forward to driverless uber


        1. Cruise control and seat belts
          are good ideas and I’m never opposed to but they never are automatic for me
          Cruise control
          Is a little like charles Lindberg going over the Atlantic without so he stayed focused. I need involvement or my daydreams steer the ship


  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Happpy New Year to you all!

    I get one occasionally, but not often. The last time I did (three years ago) we had our new Pilot and I was not paying attention to speed because it was so fun to drive. Usually when the officers see me, I remind them of their mothers and I just get a warning. (Yes, one actually SAID that—I used to be forgiven because I was cute, now I am like their mothers.). The officer clocked me at 84 MPH in a 55 MPH zone, but he just warned me. I thought I was going to get the real thing that time.

    It is not that I do not speed, I just am sure to never be the fastest car on the road. On our way to AZ, we saw many State Patrol Officers pulling over cars. Of course those drivers seemed to be determined to go 90 MPH and pass everything on the road no matter what the conditions were. The drivers in the SW are really clueless about the consequences of speed. When it rains they go faster then lament spinning out and complain as if 3 feet of snow fell.

    In AZ they take photos at intersections. Lou got cited twice last winter! I may have gotten one the other day when I proceeded through a yellow light, then it turned red. They notify by mail about three weeks later, so I will know by the end of the month if the camera and auto system got me. 😢 🚘

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Happy New Year kids!

    We barely made it to midnight and were in bed shortly after.

    I’ve had two speeding tickets. A few warnings, but two actual tickets. And I drive fairly aggressively… it’s just luck I haven’t had more.

    Was researching cars recently and read that one seemed to be limited to 118 MPH. But they also say a ‘feature’ is that the speedometer goes to 140. I told Kelly, my goal is to get the car to 119 MPH.
    I remember as a kid, going with my older brother and his friends and getting the car to 110. It was scary and thrilling.
    Lately I think getting to 80 something was scary. Sure is a good thing we get smarter as we get older. Or at least most of us do fewer stupid things as we get older…

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Will repost, as not everyone was here that day:

    I’m posting jokes because I have no real stories – just a warning once in an Iowa speed trap around Mason City.
    First Boyfriend had some great Jonathan Winters albums, and for some reason I remember this bit of one routine:
    Officer (stopping a speeding driver): “OK, buddy, where’s the fire?”
    Driver: “In your eyes, Sir!”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have had a couple of speeding tickets. One was on Thanksgiving Day, driving from Minneapolis to Brainerd. Had just made the turn off of 169 from Mille Lacs to head further west. Was driving a new-to-me car that was a lot quieter than my previous one, so hadn’t developed the sense yet for what the car sounded like at different speeds. Was clocked doing over 70 in a 55 zone. Trooper asked where I needed to get to so quickly – and I explained my aunt’s stuffing and pie…he laughed at that and reduced the ticket a bit from what it could have been.

    Now I have a car that sounds no different really from one speed to the next – no transmission or engine as such to run at different RPMs. With an all-electric car it really just goes, sometimes faster than you think. It took me more than a few weeks to get used to actually looking more at my speedometer to gauge my speed vs. just listening to the car. Old habits die hard I gues…

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Nissan Leaf. I really like it – great handling, does well in winter driving, without relying on a gas engine for heat it’s warm very quickly. Cheaper per mile to charge than gasoline was for my Beetle. About the only downside is the range – summer is okay, but winter can get dicey if I don’t plan well (I get about 50 miles or so on a charge when it drops below 35 or 40F). The 2018s are supposed to have a better range, though still not as good as the Tesla.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I had one about 20 years ago. I speed quite a lot on the interstate but never seem to get caught. There aren’t too many state patrol officers out here.

    Last night was spent at home. No driving for us. We had our Christmas/Thanksgiving feast, then played board games with my best friend from Mpls and daughter and her best friend. Friend and I had champagne, daughter and friend had prosecco, and husband had bourbon.

    Daughter’s former violin teacher posted on Facebook that if you started the 1812 Overture at 11:47 and 55 seconds PM, the first cannon shots happen at Midnight. We tried it, and it worked!

    Liked by 4 people

      1. If you follow the co,posers the piece speed is dictated sometines down to the tempo and beats per minute always with instruction as to the general speed.


        1. I happen to have three different recordings of the 1812 Overture, tim, and each is different in interpretation, including in tempi. Not by a lot, but if you’re aiming for cannons at midnight and you’re off by ten seconds, you’re still off.

          Renee, which recording did you play? I have it with Antal Dorati and the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra. It’s an old recording, but beautifully remastered. I also have it with Sir Georg Solti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which is probably my favorite. I forget who the third recording is by.


        2. It would be possible, or course, to time whatever recording you prefer and come up with a start time. Other music might work well, too. How about A Day In the Life?

          Liked by 1 person

        3. That’s true, Linda. I guess I was just pointing out that the specifics Renee mentioned may not be accurate for every recording of the piece.


  7. I remembered one – I was driving Joel and a friend to something at the high school, and blew right through a stop sign. In my defense, there was some kind of minibus (that I went around) that may have blocked my vision of the stop sign. Anyway, got a ticket, and felt pretty sheepish with the kids in the back…

    Got home from a pot luck in plenty of time to go to bed early last night, but was awake to hear some fireworks go off at midnight.

    Headed out pretty soon to pick up sis flying in from California. If it had been a regular day, I would have included some fun thing in the trip to MSP, but oh well.


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