Oldest Planets Found.

Data from the venerable Kepler mission has uncovered the oldest know planets that we have found to date.

Kepler-444 is 11.2 billion years old and has five Earth-sized planets in orbit.

The five planets are a little smaller than Earth.

Additionally, they are way too close to their sun (about 1/10 the distance, or about 9 million miles, of the Earth-Sun orbit).  This makes it unlikely that they could hold life as we know it.  But, we don’t have a very good definition of what life is.

But the star and its planets is fairly amazing due to the age.  Only 117 light years from Earth, Kepler-444 is five times older than our solar system, so it formed very shortly after the big bang.  The age is measured using a technique called asteroseismology, which measures the oscillations of a star caused by sound waves trapped within it.  These sound waves cause small pulses in the star’s brightness, which are analyzed to measure its diameter, mass and age.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +, or by email.

Norman

Asteroid Flyby Yesterday.

Last night, asteroid asteroid 2004 BL86 passed about 750,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) from Earth.

Nothing to worry about however, that distance is about three times farther away than the moon.

Asteroid 2004 BL86 compared to CN Tower and a cruise ship

(Earl Cabuhat/CBC)

It will be the largest asteroid to pass this close to Earth until asteroid 1999 AN10 flies by in 2027. Although, it isn’t really a huge asteroid, it would still cause a lot of damage if it were to hit us.  The asteroid/comet that ended the dinosaurs was about six (6) miles across.

Although, if you are in the L.A. area and have a chance, you can visit Griffith Observatory.  They have an exhibit that allows you to crash a meteor/asteroid/comet into the Earth and change the speed/composition, etc.  It is kind of fun to crash things into the planet.  They might have one or two hundred other things to do, but that is a fun one.

The asteroid orbits the sun every 1.84 years, so it will be by again if you missed it last night.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +, or by email.

Norman

Bad Jupiter Images.

Well, I did manage to get some images of the triple moon transits on Jupiter.  However, the seeing was so unbelievably unsteady that they are all really fuzzy.

I will try to clean them up some more and see if I can draw some more detail out of them.  In the mean time, you can see what it was supposed to look like from the Hubble image above.

I do consider this a successful outing because I am probably the worst planetary imager of all time.  This is actually the first time that I have gotten  images of Jupiter this good.  I experimented the day before with my setup, but found that I couldn’t use the planetary camera I purchased because I couldn’t get Jupiter on the chip.  It’s a size thing.  Being used to large format imaging chips has spoiled me because they are a lot more forgiving.

I have yet to capture the giant red spot, but I should hurry as it is shrinking away at about 580 miles per year.  That means I only have a few decades to get a good image.  Provided that it doesn’t suddenly start growing again.

But with this success, I learned a lot and I am determined to get some good images of as many planets as I can this year.  Just like making it to Carnegie Hall, all it takes is practice.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +, or by email.

Norman

Friday’s Triple Moon Transit Over Jupiter.

If you are in the Riverside area tomorrow night, you have a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a triple moon transit of Jupiter.

The Physics and Astronomy Department at UCR will have a free public telescope observation of a rare event on Friday 23 from 8:30 to 10 PM.

Three moons of Jupiter will cast their shadows onto the gaseous planet and eclipse themselves. This is the last time we will be able to see the phenomenon from Earth until the year 2032.

There will be special telescopes to see the event. Information at the event will be available in English, Spanish and Farsi.
– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +, or by email.

Norman

USPTO Issues Official Warning Regarding Fraudulent Solicitations

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has posted an official warning regarding fraudulent solicitations on its Trademark Home page.  As I have notified you in the past patent and trademark registrants and applicants should be on the lookout for non-USPTO solicitations that resemble official USPTO communications.

The USPTO warning echoes the issues raised previously, noting that private companies not associated with the USPTO are using trademark application and registration information from the USPTO’s databases to mail or e-mail trademark-related solicitations, which may include offers: (1) for legal services; (2) for trademark monitoring services; (3) to record trademarks with U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and (4) to “register” trademarks in the company’s own private registry.

Given the growing incidence of these scams, the USPTO encourages applicants and registrants to read trademark-related communications carefully before making a decision about whether to respond.  In addition, it points out that all official correspondence will be from the “United States Patent and Trademark Office” in Alexandria, VA, and if by e-mail, specifically from the domain “@uspto.gov.”

How Can I Help?

If you, or someone you know, need help with any Intellectual Property issue, from filing a patent, trademark or copyright, or just advice regarding how best to protect your ideas and your brand, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at or call (213) 785-8070 and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

 

A Love(joy) Weekend.

At this weekends Riverside Astronomical Society’s star party, everything was about C/2014 Q2 or more affectionately known as comet Lovejoy (not to be confused with all the OTHER comet Lovejoy’s roaming the solar system).

So I naturally had to take an image or 10.  I must confess..after the first couple of comets, I was pretty much over them.  They all look essentially the same.  A dim greenish incandescent light bulb shooting through the sky.

I was actually looking forward to comet ISON, because I knew it wasn’t going to make it and the destruction would have been magnificent.  However, ISON didn’t play along and blew up in a blind spot where we couldn’t see it’s death.  That would have been fun science at the least.Rosetta was fun while it lasted…and the science was good (and may be great if Philae gets a tan).  But still, pretty boring to the average observer.Sliding Spring wasn’t a great event on Earth, but all the Mars probes had to play ‘Duck and Cover’ to avoid destruction.  A game they will have to play on an annual (Martian) basis.animation

But in the spirit of the weekend I present a gif of my photos.  So, there you have it.  My gratuitous images of a comet.  Happy Monday.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +, or by email.

Norman