Notes, 5 Aug. 2015

Ron, left, and Steve, right, show four of the different types of electrical wire that Capstone is threading through studs, joists and rafters. Yellow to power the microwave and oven, black to power the induction cooktop, and two different yellow wires -- "two pair" and heavier gauge "three pair."
Ron, left, and Steve, right, show four of the different types of electrical wire that Capstone is threading through studs, joists and rafters. Orange to power the microwave and oven, black to power the induction cooktop, and two different yellow wires — “two pair” and heavier gauge “three pair.”

Electrical. The electrical walk continues, locating switches and outlets in the house. It’s day 3 of the electrical rough-in. Steve from Capstone Electric, Ron from Ranserve, and Steven focused today on the family room, kitchen, pantry, office, mudroom, garage, exterior lights.

Steven has homework — a run to Ikea over the weekend to purchase samples of the LED puck lights that will be used in display niches in the entry hall, and linear LED light strips with motion sensors that will be used inside closets. Steve the electrician needs one of each to figure out how to wire them up properly — “because no LED light fixture is wired the same as another.”

Almost two hours. With 10 minutes left over for Steven and Ron to talk about the flooring and building of stairs. Ron thinks he has it figured out. More detail to come.

Plumbing. Albert and the team from Custom Plumbing continue to install red, white and blue PEX tubing for water lines, while also pressure testing the gas lines.

Painter. Ron has the painters working in the house for the first time, caulking all the holes and sealing open joints in the exterior framing and siding, preparing the house for expanding foam insulation that would escape through any punctures in what will become a “sealed envelope.”

Habitat donations. Steven contacted Habitat at Ron’s request to ask for a fourth pickup — we have more stuff pulled out of the house for Habitat to recycle.

Draw 2. Larry at South Star reports the wire transfer payment by the Leons to Ranserve executed today. Kathleen at Ranserve is cheering.

 

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A new moon

It’s proving to be one helluva year for space exploration.

NASA image

A NASA camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite captured a unique view of the moon as it moved in front of the sunlit side of Earth last month. The series of test images shows the fully illuminated “dark side” of the moon that is never visible from Earth.

The images were captured by NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), a four megapixel CCD camera and telescope on the DSCOVR satellite orbiting 1 million miles from Earth. From its position between the sun and Earth, DSCOVR conducts its primary mission of real-time solar wind monitoring for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

EPIC maintains a constant view of the fully illuminated Earth as it rotates, providing scientific observations of ozone, vegetation, cloud height and aerosols in the atmosphere. Once EPIC begins regular observations next month, the camera will provide a series of Earth images allowing study of daily variations over the entire globe. About twice a year the camera will capture the moon and Earth together as the orbit of DSCOVR crosses the orbital plane of the moon.

These images were taken between 3:50 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. EDT on July 16, showing the moon moving over the Pacific Ocean near North America. The North Pole is in the upper left corner of the image, reflecting the orbital tilt of Earth from the vantage point of the spacecraft.

The far side of the moon was not seen until 1959 when the Soviet Luna 3 spacecraft returned the first images. Since then, several NASA missions have imaged the lunar far side in great detail. The same side of the moon always faces an earthbound observer because the moon is tidally locked to Earth. That means its orbital period is the same as its rotation around its axis.


 

My grandfathers were born before the Wright Brothers traveled to Kitty Hawk. In July, New Horizons showed us Pluto. “What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty! in form, in moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?”

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