I love it when science fact and science fiction come together and by a strange quirk of fate, they did so in a surreal way just now.
I’ve been meaning to watch the new movie Interstellar for a while now and for some reason, decided tonight was the night. Suddenly, about an hour in to it, the alarm on my phone went off.
Given my shocking memory, I had no idea why I’d set an alarm for 22:55 tonight but thankfully, as well as setting the alarm, I’d also put in the reason for it.
At 23:03 my time, a Falcon 9 rocket was going to launch DSCOVR (Deep Space Climate Observatory) to the L1 orbit, the neutral gravity point between the Earth and sun approximately one million miles from Earth. L1 is a good position from which to monitor the sun, because the constant stream of particles from the sun (the solar wind) reaches L1 about an hour before reaching Earth.
Without wanting to sound like Sheldon (from The Big Bang Theory) from this L1 orbit, DSCOVR will typically be able to provide 15 to 60 minute warning time before the surge of particles and magnetic field associated with a geomagnetic storm reaches Earth. DSCOVR data will also be used to improve predictions of geomagnetic storm impact locations. America’s national security and economic well-being, which depend on advanced technologies, are at risk without these advanced warnings.
Ok so hands up, I admit I’ve just copied most of that from the NASA site but clearly I understood everything already; it’s just that NASA said it better !
As is the way with NASA, the commentator always wants to say something memorable (he thinks) as any space craft lifts off and the launch of DSCOVR was no exception.
He ended the countdown with these emotion laded words…….”Liftoff……and the Falcon takes flight, propelling the Deep Space Climate Observatory on a million mile journey to protect our planet Earth“.
I’m welling up. It was nice of him to expand things by using the word “Earth” when the data will really only be for NOAA, America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration .
But let’s not get picky. I’m sure they’ll share !
Anyway, how spooky that this launch (see photo above) was occurring and those words were being said while I was watching Interstellar ?! I guess you need to know the plot of this movie to understand what I’m rambling about but I don’t want to spoil things for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet.
Trust me, as coincidences go, it’s spooky.
Over and out.