Updates From Space

A Spring day….cool temps and sun…..the garden loves it and MoMo is busy……

Yes I know….but I have been fascinated with all things space since my early years…..I watch because few others do……

The new planet hunter scores big……

The signals collected by TESS were followed up by the Planet Finder Spectrograph (PFS) on the Magellan II telescope at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. PFS has the ability to provide astronomers with estimates for the mass of exoplanets. As revealed in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, the sub-Neptune HD 21749b weighs around 23 Earths and has 20 times the volume of our planet.

This warm giant planet orbits its star every 36 days. While this is a small number compared to the planets in the Solar System (Mercury, for example, orbits the Sun in 88 days), HD 21749b’s is the longest orbital period among the planets detected by TESS. Most of the planets found by this mission are expected to have orbital periods of fewer than 10 days, so the analysis of this object was actually more complex than expected.

https://www.iflscience.com/space/nasas-new-planet-hunter-has-found-its-first-earthsized-world/

Star Wars fans have had their dream come true (well maybe a small one)

“Tatooine” found!

The only known multiplanet “Tatooine” system just got even more interesting.

A third world lurks in the two-star Kepler-47 system, and it’s bigger than its two previously discovered siblings, a new study reports.

“We certainly didn’t expect it to be the largest planet in the system,” study co-author William Welsh, an astronomer at San Diego State University (SDSU), said in a statement. “This was almost shocking.”

https://www.space.com/third-alien-planet-in-tatooine-system-kepler-47.html

BTW,,,Tatooine is a place in Tunisia……FYI

Saturn’s moon Titan is a popular place in astronomy…….

It’s been well over a year since NASA’s incredibly trusty Cassini probe performed its final act, plunging into Saturn’s atmosphere where it was obliterated by the intense friction. It was a bittersweet day for the astronomy community, but the wealth of information Cassini gathered during its over 13 years orbiting Saturn is still yielding new discoveries.

\In a new paper published in Nature Astronomy, researchers on the Cassini project reveal that the spacecraft’s bounty of radar data now shows that Saturn’s moon Titan are even more special than scientists already realized. The moon’s lakes, which were observed by Cassini during its final pass in 2017, are far deeper than anyone thought.

https://www.space.com/saturn-moon-titan-phantom-lakes-caves.html

Space is not the final frontier but it is getting a lot more crowded.  I watch because so many do not.

My day is full of yard work and to MoMo’s whims…..have a great Saturday.

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Random Thoughts For A Saturday

I spend a lot of time reading so I come across articles that make me made, or amaze me or those that make me laugh out loud and since I do not have a subject for today I will give some random thoughts…..

Remember the days when you were smoking weed and when it was really exceptional quality you would say…”this is some good shit”!  Sure you do!

That statement may be more literal than you think……

Cannabis resin sold on the streets of Madrid is contaminated with dangerous levels of faecal matter, a study says.

Traces of E.coli bacteria and the Aspergillus fungus were found by analysts who examined 90 samples bought in and around the Spanish capital.

The samples of hashish were wrapped up in plastic “acorns” were the worst offenders, reportedly because of the way they are smuggled into the country.

Some 40% of these also had the aroma of faeces, the study’s lead author said.

Buying, selling and importing cannabis is against the law in Spain, as is using it in public – although it is technically legal to grow it for personal use, provided it is not publicly visible, and to consume it in private.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47811251

We Americans pride ourselves on our successful revolution for independence from England…..we have our “heroes” but we know very little about our revolting days……we know the general George Washington but can you name another?  How about General Pulaski?

Casimir Pulaski, hero of the Revolutionary War and the pride of the Polish-American community, may need a new pronoun — he may have been a she, or even a they.

Researchers who used DNA to identify Pulaski’s bones are convinced the gallant Pole who died fighting for America’s freedom was either a biological woman who lived as a man, or potentially was intersex, meaning a person whose body doesn’t fit the standard definitions of male or female.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/revolutionary-war-hero-casimir-pulaski-might-have-been-woman-or-n991371

The general was a woman……that ought to get the juices flowing from those misogynists on the Right.

Finally….we have heard about “black holes” for decades but we have not been able to find them….all that changed this week…..

Mankind has now something it has never seen before: an image of “the most mysterious objects in the universe”—the black hole. On Wednesday, six simultaneous press conferences were held around the globe, in Washington, Brussels, Santiago, Shanghai, Taipei, and Tokyo, reports Reuters. There, researchers shared the first result of the Event Horizon Telescope project, which in 2017 swiveled a network of radio telescopes worldwide to focus on the center of the galaxy Messier 87, or M87. “We now have visual evidence for a black hole,” they announced. Per a tweet from the Event Horizon ‘Scope, “The image shows a bright ring formed as light bends in the intense gravity around a black hole that is 6.5 billion times more massive than the Sun.”

  • More numbers: Per a press release, a black hole’s shadow is created by “the gravitational bending and capture of light by the event horizon,” the region around a black hole from which nothing, including light, can escape. “The shadow of a black hole is the closest we can come to an image of the black hole itself, a completely dark object.” In this case, “the black hole’s boundary—the event horizon from which the EHT takes its name—is around 2.5 times smaller than the shadow it casts and measures just under 40 billion km across.”
  • Wild similes: NPR says trying to view it by looking into the night sky from our planet would be like trying to spot a mustard seed in Washington, DC, from Brussels. The AFP likens it to taking a picture of a pebble on the moon from Earth.
  • The observations: The telescope array known as the Event Horizon Telescope saw radio observatories on six mountains across four continents study M87 over a 10-day period in April 2017. The New York Times reports they captured so much data—5,000 trillion bytes, reports CNN—that it couldn’t be sent over the internet and instead had to be transported on disks. Due to weather, the data from Antarctica couldn’t be flown out until December 2017.
  • More on the challenges: The Washington Post reports those hard drives from the South Pole had to be defrosted upon their arrival at MIT. And then there’s this detail: Astronomers “donned oxygen tanks and climbed three-mile-high mountains to escape the interference of Earth’s atmosphere.”
  • About Einstein: A beautiful explainer from the Times: “The image offered a final, ringing affirmation of an idea so disturbing that even Einstein, from whose equations black holes emerged, was loath to accept it. If too much matter is crammed into one place, the cumulative force of gravity becomes overwhelming, and the place becomes an eternal trap, a black hole. Here, according to Einstein’s theory, matter, space, and time come to an end and vanish like a dream.”

That is my round-up for a Saturday…..more to come……have a day……

Space News For A Saturday

A warm day and after a the rain of Friday a fun day in the garden…..as usual I try to find stuff that will entertain as well as educate my readers.  Today it is what is happening with space and NASA and astronomy…..

Some good stuff……Space stuff is cool!

Another craft will enter into interstellar space launched from this tiny blue marble…..

NASA is now two for two in regard to a huge achievement in space. Voyager 2 has become only the second man-made object to enter interstellar space, or the “space between the stars,” as a release from the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory puts it. The first was its sister ship, Voyager 1, which crossed the boundary in 2012. Details and developments:

  • Long mission: Voyager 2 launched in August of 1977 on a mission to study the outer planets in our solar system. (Voyager 1 went up about two weeks later, but on a different trajectory.) In fact, Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to have studied the gas giants Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, reports Space.com. After that part of the mission wrapped up decades ago, NASA steered the craft toward deep space.
  • Still transmitting: One key difference between Voyagers 1 and 2 is that 2 still has a working instrument that is expected to provide “first-of-its-kind observations” from the journey, per JPL. The same instrument (the Plasma Science Experiment) conked out on Voyager 1 long before it crossed the boundary.

Video: NASA scientists explain the mission and the milestone in this video

  • Where it is: Voyager 2 is now about 11 billion miles from Earth, traveling at 34,000mph, reports the BBC. Scientists say it crossed into interstellar space on Nov. 5. It had been detecting particles emitted by the sun, and the data suddenly dropped on that day.
  • Left the solar system? Though some stories say the spacecraft has left the solar system, project scientist Ed Stone avoids the phrase. More specifically, the spacecraft reached the edge of what’s known as the heliosphere, “the bubble of particles and magnetic fields” from our sun, per JPL. It then crossed the boundary known as the “heliopause,” which “is where the tenuous, hot solar wind meets the cold, dense interstellar medium.”
  • Onto the Oort: Here’s how NASA’s JPL addresses the above issue: “While the probes have left the heliosphere, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 have not yet left the solar system, and won’t be leaving anytime soon. The boundary of the solar system is considered to be beyond the outer edge of the Oort Cloud, a collection of small objects that are still under the influence of the sun’s gravity.” It could take Voyager 2 another 300 years to reach the cloud and 30,000 years to go beyond it, reports CBS News.
  • Power supply: Both Voyagers have a plutonium power source, which will eventually be depleted and render the onboard equipment useless. But the spacecraft themselves could last billions of years, says JPL.

Another probe launched from Earth will make history also…..

After a two-year chase, a NASA spacecraft arrived Monday at the ancient asteroid Bennu, its first visitor in billions of years. The robotic explorer Osiris-Rex pulled within 12 miles of the diamond-shaped space rock. It will get even closer in the days ahead and go into orbit around Bennu on Dec. 31, the AP reports. No spacecraft has ever orbited such a small cosmic body. It is the first US attempt to gather asteroid samples for return to Earth, something only Japan has accomplished so far. Flight controllers applauded and exchanged high-fives once confirmation came through that Osiris-Rex made it to Bennu—exactly one week after NASA landed a spacecraft on Mars.

“Relieved, proud, and anxious to start exploring!” tweeted lead scientist Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona. “To Bennu and back!” With Bennu some 76 million miles away, it took seven minutes for word to get from the spacecraft to flight controllers at Lockheed Martin in Littleton, Colo. The spacecraft, which is about the size of an SUV, will shadow the asteroid for a year, before scooping up some gravel for return to Earth in 2023. The spacecraft will use a mechanical arm to momentarily touch down and vacuum up particles. The sample container would break loose and head toward Earth in 2021. The collection—parachuting down to Utah—would represent the biggest cosmic haul since the Apollo astronauts hand-delivered moon rocks to Earth in the late 1960s and early 1970s. (There’s a chance NASA might try to destroy Bennu before 2135.)

Speaking of Asteroids!

According to a report in the Express, citing NASA and ESA sources, a giant 700-foot-wide Asteroid is heading toward Earth. Since it’s located on a risky trajectory, there is a small possibility that it could collide with Earth.

According to the report, the asteroid has the potential of colliding with earth on 62 different impact trajectories, from between 2023 and 2117. Scientists refer to the asteroid as 2018 LF16, observing it for the last time on June 16, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The observations have shown that there are 62 different dates in which the asteroid could collide with Earth, placing it as a potential threat to our planet.

The first potential date of a collision will be on Aug. 8, 2023. There are two other risky trajectories close to the first one occurring on Aug. 3, 2024 and on Aug. 1, 2025. The giant 700-foot-wide asteroid moves through space at a speed of more than 33,844 miles per hour.

NASA’s calculations estimate that there is a one in 30,000,000 chance of the asteroid slamming into Earth, meaning there is a 99,9999967% chance that it’ll miss. That said, the Torino Impact Hazard Scale gives the asteroid a “Zero,” which means that there is almost a nonexistent chance that the asteroid will impact Earth, or nearly as nonexistent as possible.

In closing…..there will be a meteor shower this weekend……

The “best meteor shower of 2018” will be on display overnight, Space.com reports. The Geminid meteor shower will be visible above North America before sunrise Friday, CNN reports, and it will peak at 7:30am EST (find the best viewing time for your location here). Checking out the shower is easy—no special equipment required, Sky & Telescope’s Diana Hannikainen says in a statement. “Go out in the evening, lie back in a reclining lawn chair, and gaze up into the stars,” she says. “This is a good shower for younger observers who may have earlier bedtimes.” Clear, dark skies are the best for viewing, of course. Hannikainen says that under good conditions, you may see the light of a meteor streaking across the sky every minute or two.

I have watched these meteor showers before and the light show is just amazing….give it a try you may like it.

That is my post for this Saturday……go out and have a great day….be well, be safe….chuq

Sunday–25Nov18

Another rainy Sunday……my garden is close to finished…..seeding will begin Monday and then the wait until the harvest…..

This weekend the internet in my area is a slow mess…..how’s yours?

I have been watching the developments along the formation of the US Space Force( or whatever name they finally decide is proper)…..so because I have been watching this I also feel I need to keep an eye on the findings in space……who knows what our troops may face in the future…..

We may stretch our wings and go to the stars, as they say……

Barnard’s Star, a red dwarf star located in a solar system about six light-years away from Earth, may have some company. Researchers of the “exoplanet-hunting” group Red Dots have detected a planet—some 3.2 times the Earth’s mass and very cold—orbiting the star, Smithsonian reports. Their findings were published in Nature on Wednesday. “We firmly believe the object is there,” says lead researcher Ignasi Ribas. “We always have to remain a bit cautious … but we were sure enough that we were willing to go forward with publication.” The planet, Barnard’s Star b, is the second-closest exoplanet (a planet outside of our solar system) to Earth, per USA Today.

Researchers looked at two decades worth of data from seven different telescopes to pick up the planet, according to Forbes. As for the possibility of life on Bernard’s Star b, the planet is “way too cold” to sustain liquid water, Ribas says, and whether life may be frozen beneath an ocean is just speculation at this point. During the course of their study, Smithsonian notes, researchers found faint evidence of another planet, which would be Barnard’s Star c. Several decades ago, scientists believed that they had detected planets around the star. However, those ended up being the result of an instrument problem. (Last year, scientists found the smallest possible star.)

Just as the earth orbits its star, the Sun……but what if there was no sun to orbit?

Debate has raged in astronomical circles for years as to whether rogue planets could exist. Since they do not have a star to illuminate them, they are extremely difficult to find as they are almost always in the dark. However, a technique called gravitational microlensing allowed researchers to identify rogue planets by seeing when a planet comes between a distant star and the Earth. When this happens, the planet acts like a lens, distorting the light that we can see from that star when it reaches Earth. This indicates that a massive body like a planet is passing in front of the star, and the size of the body can be estimated from the size of the distortion.

https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/rogue-planets-discovered/

If and when we get our new Space Force one of the probable sites for a base is Mars….and we are still learning all we can about the planet…..

Between 3.5 billion and 3.9 billion years ago, when simple life forms were emerging on Earth, a river flowed through a delta system into a lake on Mars, then a warm and wet planet. NASA plans to send a rover there to see if any traces of life remain. The Jezero Crater site has been selected as the destination of the 2020 Mars rover mission, and scientists say that if life ever existed on the red planet, the crater is one of the places likeliest to hold evidence of it. “A delta is extremely good at preserving bio-signatures—any evidence of life that might have existed in the lake water … or possibly things that lived in the headwaters region that were swept in by the river and deposited in the delta,” project scientist Ken Farley tells the BBC.

The crater was chosen after a search that looked at around 60 sites, CNN reports. Farley says researchers have wanted to know more about the site for years, but it was once thought impossible to land a rover in the rugged terrain. “What was once out of reach is now conceivable, thanks to the 2020 engineering team and advances in Mars entry, descent, and landing technologies,” he says. Another rover, meanwhile, is preparing to land on Mars next week, NBC News reports. The InSight lander is due to land on the Monday after Thanksgiving to begin its mission to study the crust, mantle, and core of Mars, but it will have to survive a complicated landing NASA scientists call “seven minutes of terror” first, Forbes reports. (The Curiosity Rover has found the “building blocks of life” on Mars.)

More Mars news……

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/nasa-mars-insight-landing-explained-when-where-space-agency-latest-a8648986.html

Once we get our troops in training will they do what recruits use to do in the “old days” police the area?  The area in this case is the space around the earth…….

As an international relations scholar who studies space law and policy, I have come to realize what most people do not fully appreciate: Dealing with space debris is as much a national security issue as it is a technical one.

Considering the debris circling the Earth as just an obstacle in the path of human missions is naive. As outer space activities are deeply rooted in the geopolitics down on Earth, the hidden challenge posed by the debris is the militarization of space technologies meant to clean it up.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/11/14/why_space_debris_cleanup_is_a_national_security_threat_113954.html

Some things never change for the grunt…whether earth bound or space cadet……matters not.

Oumuamua

Saturday and a rare below 32 morning in the Deep South…..

Heard recently there has been an unusual event in space…..and I have been waiting for those Ancient Alien people to offer their take on it……the event was a space object known as “Oumuamua”…..

In a preprint paper published November 1 on arXiv, Harvard Institute for Theory and Computation researchers Shmuel Bialy, Ph.D., and Professor Abraham Loeb, Ph.D., give an explanation for ‘Oumuamua’s recent uptick in speed, which scientists had previously pointed out could not be due to gravity alone. But it’s what the tacked onto the end that has made worldwide news.

In their paper, Bialy and Loeb describe the possibility of solar radiation pressure — the idea that photons from the sun might have pushed ‘Oumuamua along — but sneak in a far more creative idea at the end: “Alternatively, a more exotic scenario is that ‘Oumuamua may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization.” These are all just hypotheses, of course, and Bialy and Loeb admit that the only way the origin and mechanical properties of ‘Oumuamua and other objects like it can be “deciphered” is to search for other objects like it in the future to find support.

https://www.inverse.com/article/50644-oumuamua-speed-increase-aliens-no-but-maybe

One of the theories being floated is that it is a giant solar sail……

The first known interstellar object to travel through our solar system could be a gigantic alien solar sail sent to look for signs of life, according to a new study.

The mysterious asteroid Oumuamua has been analysed by astronomers from the Harvard Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics (CfA) after it was found to be unexpectedly speeding up.

NASA​ said earlier this year observations from their Hubble Space Telescope confirmed the object had an “unexpected boost in speed and shift in trajectory as it passes through the inner solar system”.

Scientists have now concluded that the asteroid “might be a lightsail of artificial origin” using solar radiation to propel itself forward.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/mystery-interstellar-asteroid-oumuamua-could-be-gigantic-alien-solar-sail-sent-to-look-for-signs-of-a3979891.html

I am sure that an upcoming episode will be forthcoming on the new season of Ancient Aliens…..and we shall indeed hear just what this phenom is really about……

SIDE NOTE:

It’s time again for the Leonids, the meteor shower repeated annually in mid-November. It comes as Earth passes through a trail of debris left by the comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 33 years. Earth will pass through the thickest part of debris at 7pm EST Saturday, but the best time for viewing begins around 2am local time Sunday, after the waxing gibbous moon has set, per Space.com.

NASA, noting viewers should allow up to 30 minutes for their eyes to adjust to the darkness, predicts an average of 15 meteors per hour will be visible and appear to come from the constellation Leo—hence the shower’s name. However, “it is actually better to view the Leonids away from the radiant,” NASA says, per NPR. “They will appear longer and more spectacular from this perspective.”

Set the alarm and wake the kids up….the ‘shower’ is amazing to witness.

Space….The Good News And The Bad

Hope your Sunday is as relaxing as mine…..

We have a Space Force on the drawing boards as another military branch….first Obama and now Trump are considering the possibility……so we need to keep an eye on what is happening with our space programs……

First the Good News…….the Parker Solar Probe…..

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is now closer to the sun than any spacecraft has ever gotten. Parker on Monday surpassed the record of 26.6 million miles set by Helios 2 back in 1976, the AP reports—and it will keep getting closer to the sun until it flies through the corona, or outer atmosphere, for the first time next week, passing within 15 million miles of the solar surface. Parker will make 24 close approaches to the sun over the next seven years, ultimately coming within just 3.8 million miles. “We’ve now come closer to our star than any other spacecraft in history,” Andy Driesman, the project manager for the probe, said in a statement, per Gizmodo. “It’s a proud moment for the team.”

Motherboard notes that the probe is protected by a Thermal Protection System (TPS) heat shield, which has been tested to endure temps up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also designed to keep the probe’s instruments safe from radiation and to help the probe make an easier transition when it heads back to the relative chilliness of deep space. Launched in August, Parker was on track to set another record late Monday night, about to surpass Helios 2’s speed record of 153,454 miles per hour, relative to the sun. (Is your name flying close to the sun with Parker?)

And now the bad…..the Kepler Telescope has given scientist so much to think about has possibly died…..

NASA’s elite planet-hunting spacecraft has been declared dead, just a few months shy of its 10th anniversary. Officials announced the Kepler Space Telescope’s demise Tuesday, the AP reports. Already well past its expected lifetime, the 9 1/2-year-old Kepler had been running low on fuel for months. Its ability to point at distant stars and identify possible alien worlds worsened dramatically at the beginning of October, but flight controllers still managed to retrieve its latest observations. The telescope has now gone silent, its fuel tank empty. Kepler discovered 2,681 planets outside our solar system and even more potential candidates. It showed us rocky worlds the size of Earth that, like Earth, might harbor life. It also unveiled incredible super Earths: planets bigger than Earth but smaller than Neptune.

Kepler opened the gate for mankind’s exploration of the cosmos,” said retired NASA scientist William Borucki, who led the original Kepler science team. Adds NASA’s astrophysics director Paul Hertz, “It has revolutionized our understanding of our place in the cosmos. Now we know because of the Kepler Space Telescope and its science mission that planets are more common than stars in our galaxy.” Kepler focused on stars thousands of light-years away; a successor to Kepler launched in April, NASA’s Tess spacecraft, has its sights on stars closer to home and has already identified some possible planets. Now 94 million miles from Earth, Kepler should remain in a safe, stable orbit around the sun. Flight controllers will disable the spacecraft’s transmitters, before bidding a final “good night.”

It had a magnificent run……just look at the site for more info….

The centuries-old quest for other worlds like our Earth has been rejuvenated by the intense excitement and popular interest surrounding the discovery of hundreds of planets orbiting other stars. There is now clear evidence for substantial numbers of three types of exoplanets; gas giants, hot-super-Earths in short period orbits, and ice giants. The challenge now is to find terrestrial planets (i.e., those one half to twice the size of the Earth), especially those in the habitable zone of their stars where liquid water might exist on the surface of the planet.

The Kepler Mission is specifically designed to survey our region of the Milky Way galaxy to discover hundreds of Earth-size and smaller planets in or near the habitable zone and determine the fraction of the hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy that might have such planets.

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/overview/index.html

Sundays are for relaxation….try it you will like it…..chuq

It’s A Factory!

Continuing along the lines started with the first post….astronomy…..this science seems to adding to our knowledge of the universe daily…..the possibilities that some of the worlds circling distant stars are inhabited…..and then there is the search for dark matter, dark energy and those elusive black holes.

The science knows it is there just that we have not been able to find them….that may have changed…..

The center of our galaxy is teeming with black holes, sort of like a Times Square for strange super-gravity objects, astronomers have discovered. For decades, scientists theorized that circling in the center of galaxies, including ours, were lots of stellar black holes, collapsed giant stars where the gravity is so strong even light doesn’t get out. But they hadn’t seen evidence of them in the Milky Way core until now, the AP reports. Astronomers poring over old x-ray observations have found signs of a dozen black holes in the inner circle of the Milky Way. And since most black holes can’t even be spotted that way, they calculate that there are likely thousands of them there. They estimate it could be about 10,000, maybe more, according to a study in the journal Nature .

“There’s lots of action going on there,” says study lead author Chuck Hailey, a Columbia University astrophysicist. “The galactic center is a strange place. That’s why people like to study it.” The stellar black holes are in addition to—and essentially circling—the already known supermassive black hole, called Sagittarius A, that’s parked at the center of the Milky Way. There are good reasons the Milky Way’s black holes tend to be in the center of the galaxy, Hailey says. First, their mass tends to pull them to the center. But mostly the center of the galaxy is the perfect “hot house” for black hole formation, with lots of dust and gas. Hailey says it is “sort of like a little farm where you have all the right conditions to produce and hold on to a large number of black holes.” (Another galaxy mysteriously seems to have no dark matter.)

I find all this just fascinating……any thing you guys would like to add?

Us Coast residents are watching that small hurricane headed for the Gulf…..we are always watching these storms……I will not be caught with my pants down…..not by any storm.

I shall take my leave…..do whatever it is the better half has planned….I will be back to form tomorrow…..be well, be safe……chuq