Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year 2018

The Space Alien and the entire staff of the Space Alien Gazette wish Loyal Readers good health and much happiness in 2018!  

The Space Alien will spend January 1, 2018 writing page upon page of New Year's resolutions, and resolves to be a kinder, more thoughtful and more generous Space Alien in the coming year.  
If you are having trouble thinking of good resolutions for 2018, the Space Alien recommends drawing inspiration from back issues of the Space Alien Gazette at www.spacealiengazette.com.

Your Editor wishes Loyal Readers good health and happiness in the coming year, and recommends enjoying the day with friends, family, or just relaxing and reading a good book! -- preferably one that offers new hope for the year ahead!


Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Space Alien Helps Santa

The Space Alien decided to pay a holiday visit to Santa. Traveling at tachyonic velocities exceeding the speed of light, the Space Alien reached the North Pole where Santa greeted the Space Alien warmly.



Santa was reviewing lists of who had been naughty and who had been nice, but clearly the jolly old elf was worried.  


"What's wrong, Santa?" asked he Space Alien kindly.  "Can I help?"


Santa sighed: "It's the Reindeer!  The other night they all flew to Chicago to dance with the Sugarplum Fairy in the Joffrey Ballet production of The Nutcracker at the historic but drafty Auditorium Theatre."



"They danced beautifully and they were the stars of the production, but they wore only their skimpy tutus and they all caught cold!"


The Space Alien peeked into the reindeer's bedroom and sure enough, there they were, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and even Blitzen!  All sick in bed!

"I don't know how we'll manage to bring gifts to all the little boys and girls this year," said Santa sadly. "These reindeer are just too sick to travel!"

The Space Alien thought deeply for a moment, then whipped out an iPhone, dialed several numbers, and had brief, urgent conversations.





In moments, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer stood at the door, with the Little Engine that Could close behind.  

"We got your call and we're here to help!" said Rudolph.  "I can guide your sleigh tonight!" he continued, and then turned to the Little Engine that Could.  "Can you carry all those toys?

"I think I can, I think I can!" chugged the Little Engine that Could. 

"Then let's get going!" they all cried out together!   

The Space Alien made sure the reindeer were all tucked in with warm blankets and plenty of hot lemonade to drink, and then joined Santa, Rudolph and the Little Engine that Could as they loaded all the toys aboard.  

The Little Engine pulled. . 
The Space Alien pushed.
Rudolph lit their way through the night!
And a relieved and happy Santa prepared to jump down millions of chimneys, delivering toys to little girls and boys everywhere!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
P.S. The Space Alien reassures concerned Loyal Readers that the reindeer were soon feeling much better, and there were plenty of gifts for them too! 

P.P.S. For loyal readers wondering about the reindeer dancing en pointe wearing pink tutus, Your Editor would remind you that these reindeer are most likely female.    This is well documented here:  
https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/12/19/people-were-wrong-about-santas-reindeer-nova-scotia-zoologist-says-theyre-actually-all-female.html
Here are some extra goodies for good children of all ages:


Enjoy The Little Engine that Could by Wally Piper.
Find this 1930s classic from many booksellers!
Find a reprint of the original classic at Amazon here.

Listen to a reading on You Tube:

Here's a page-by-page reading of "The Little Engine that Could" complete with illustrations:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdFm7eekQZY

And here's another reading by none other than Captain Kangaroo:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nK6fbnHccOg

Learn about A Visit from St. Nicholas, the classic poem nearly 200 years old, attributed to Clement Clark Moore, that has shaped so much of our popular conception of Santa Claus:   

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Visit_from_St._Nicholas and hear a reading with wonderful pictures at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEkZK9NZGFg
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The entire staff of the Space Alien Gazette wishes you and yours a wonderful holiday season and good health and lots of exciting adventures in 2018!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Space Alien's First Hanukkah

On a chilly winter morning the Space Alien was awakened by a ringing iPhone.
The calendar on the wall clearly showed the year as 165 BCE (Q.V.), but who could be calling?


Who could be calling? 
Why, it was the Space Alien's old friend Judah Maccabee!  Judah Maccabee sounded happy but exhausted, speaking excitedly about how he and his brothers had won a battle to return their house of worship and had just finished an enormous cleaning job there, and how, although there was hardly any oil left in the lamps, they had miraculously continued to burn for eight days.

Then Judah Maccabee invited the Space Alien to a party to celebrate Hanukkah, the rededication of this beautiful house of worship, as well as the miracle of the lights that had happened there.  (And you, loyal reader, may learn more about this here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanukkah and here: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-maccabean-revolt/.)

Of course the Space Alien accepted with pleasure!  The Maccabee brothers always gave splendid parties that sometimes went on for days.  But this would be the very first Hanukkah party ever, and a gift was in order.  But what should it be?

The Space Alien knew that the Maccabees had fought a hard fight against those who would keep them from practicing their religion.  Now that their house of worship was restored, a beautiful candle holder would be the perfect gift.

The Space Alien scoured the markets and at last found a beautiful candle holder called a menorah to hold eight candles to be lit each night, with one more added each day for eight days to commemorate the miracle, plus a ninth holder for the candle used to light all the others.
The Space Alien Gives a Menorah to Judah Maccabee
Judah Maccabee welcomed the Space Alien warmly and, as seen in this exclusive photo taken by one of the Maccabee brothers, was thrilled to receive the beautiful menorah.

What a splendid party it was!   The Space Alien joined in all the songs, spun a top called a "dreidl," shared tiny chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil called "Hanukkah gelt" (or Hanukkah coins), and had a wonderful time!


The Space Alien Spins the Dreidl
The Space Alien Shares Hanukkah Gelt
This year Hanukkah begins the evening of Tuesday, December 12 when the first candle is lit.  The eighth candle is lit the evening of December 19.   


If you would like to learn more about Hanukkah songs, click here.
(If you would like to hear these songs, there are many performances of them at https://www.youtube.com  Just enter the name of the song you would like to hear, or just enter "Hanukkah songs" and you will get lots of choices!) 
If you would like to learn to play a game with a little top called a "dreidl,' click here.  
If you would like to learn about Hanukkah "gelt" (or Hanukkah money), click here.

Loyal readers may enjoy another Hanukkah story at:
http://spacealiengazette.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-space-alien-hanukkah-visitor.html

The Space Alien Gazette wishes all loyal readers a joyous and light-filled Hanukkah!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Space Alien's Thanksgiving Feast

The entire staff and special friends of the Space Alien Gazette gathered for a feast a few days before Thanksgiving.

Tom Turkey and a friend, confident that no birds would be served for dinner, brought a beautiful pie!
Tom Turkey and Friend Brought a Pie

"I remember what a good time I had last year," said Tom Turkey.  "I was so happy to find a Thanksgiving table with birds AT and not ON the table!"

To read about this at the Space Alien's 2016 Thanksgiving click here.

Soon the table was groaning under the weight of delicious whole food plant-based dishes prepared under the supervision of the Space Alien Gazette's Executive Chef.  


Many of the recipes served at this holiday feast were created by Carol D'Anca, author of Real Food for Healthy People, and may be found at: https://www.foodnotmeds.com/recipe/


Space Alien Gazette Chef Supervises Thanksgiving Dishes

The Space Alien worked hard to keep the kitchen clean and help wherever needed, but clearly had become a bit over-excited by the events of the day.


        The Space Alien Helps in the Kitchen 
       All in all, it was a wonderful party!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PLEASE ENJOY THIS EXCLUSIVE SPACE ALIEN GAZETTE RECIPE 
FROM OUR FOOD EDITORS  

“IT'S NOT CHOPPED LIVER”  
1/2 cup dried lentils
1/2 cup walnuts coarsely chopped
1 large onion coarsely chopped
1 small clove garlic minced
1-2 fresh jalapeño peppers (optional -- hot!)
2 egg whites, hard boiled, chopped (optional) 
(these are cosmetic, to resemble fat; chop in some tofu at the end or omit)
1 tsp. bullion powder or granules (optional)

Cook lentils in 2 cups of water until soft (about 20 minutes) and drain.
Fry or water-sauté onions, garlic and (if using) jalapeños
Process with cooked lentils and chopped walnuts in food processor to desired consistency
(best to leave it rather grainy to look like chopped liver)
Add sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste   

Make the day before serving.  
When well chilled, press into bowl and turn onto a platter
Surround with crackers.

Or, as in the picture of another vegan pate below, serve with romaine leaves and bread with avocado slices and other garnishes so guests can make their own wraps or with mustard, relish and onion slices for sandwiches.




The Space Alien Gazette wishes you a 
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Space Alien Visits the Oral Surgeon

Your Editor needed to replace a tooth that had gone missing many years ago.  As the Oral Surgeon began working on an implant, the Space Alien whooshed in through an air duct and asked the Oral Surgeon for an examination.

The Oral Surgeon, thrilled to have an opportunity to examine the Space Alien's mouth, immediately told Your Editor to stand aside and turned his full attention to the Space Alien.

"In all my years of practice I've never seen such remarkable dentition," said the Oral Surgeon, gently poking and prodding.  "It's obvious you take very good care of your teeth!"

The Space Alien's Dental Hygiene
 Impresses the Oral Surgeon

"I do my very best," answered the Space Alien modestly, reaching into a worn rucksack to reveal dozens of rolls of dental floss and packs of Stim-U-Dents neatly packed for intergalactic travel.
http://spacealiengazette.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-flossing-wager.html

"Well, it certainly shows," said the Oral Surgeon, "and I'll bet you have regular professional cleanings as well!"


"I certainly do," said the Space Alien, proudly displaying an article prepared exclusively for the Space Alien Gazette depicting the use of an industrial floor scrubber especially adapted for this purpose.
"Your attention to dental hygiene is most commendable," said the Oral Surgeon.  "I only wish we could say as much for Your Editor!"


Your Editor Opens her Mouth
It was clear that the Oral Surgeon, now completely bedazzled by the Space Alien's unique and flawless oral cavity, had momentarily forgotten about Your Editor's presence!



Your Editor, who had become increasingly weary of listening to the Oral Surgeon heaping accolades upon the Space Alien, opened her mouth to remind the Oral Surgeon that she was, after all, the patient this morning!


A Modern Miracle!
The Oral Surgeon, a most kind and caring human being as well as a superbly skilled professional, quickly returned to Your Editor and carefully drilled a deep hole in her jaw into which he installed the precision hardware that would, in time, support a beautiful, functional, pain-free tooth.

This is truly a modern miracle, and one could hardly ask for more!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Space Alien's Hallowe'en Confession

Your Editor found the Space Alien sitting quietly, looking dejected.

"What's wrong?" asked Your Editor.  "It's almost Hallowe'en!  You should be thinking about your costume!"

"I know," said the Space Alien, "but I'm feeling sad and a little conflicted as well."

"Tell me," said Your Editor, drawing up a chair. "Maybe I can help."

The Space Alien handed Your Editor a NASA release describing a recently detected neutron-star collision that occurred millions of light years away, producing gravitational waves now measurable on earth.

And you, Loyal Reader, may about this here:
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-missions-catch-first-light-from-a-gravitational-wave-event

And enjoy this exciting short video animation here:  https://youtu.be/x_Akn8fUBeQ

And read more about this here:
http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/16/world/neutron-star-collision-gravitational-waves-light/index.html

and here:
https://www.quantamagazine.org/neutron-star-collision-shakes-space-time-and-lights-up-the-sky-20171016/

"I've read a little about neutron stars from collapsed supernovas at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutron_star," said your editor,
"but why is this making you so sad?"

The Space Alien hesitated a moment, and then blurted out:

"Because that collision was partly my fault and it could hurt a lot of people!"

"Your fault?  How could that be?  It happened millions of years ago!" exclaimed Your Editor.

The Space Alien looked even more unhappy.  "You knew I had a life before we met, didn't you?"

"Yes, you had mentioned that," answered Your Editor, "but you've never told me much about it, and anyway, how does that relate here?"

"Way back in the day I organized teams to play 'Ultimate Supernova.' We tossed nebulas and neutron stars just for fun like you do with your Frisbees!  Here's an old photo of me tossing a bit of a supernova!"


Space Alien Plays Frisbee with a bit of Supernova 

"We laughed when we made the supernovas collapse producing neutron stars that would bump into each other," continued the Space Alien.  "The gravitational waves tickled us, and they made lots of funny noises!"



http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2017/10/16/standard-sirens/

"But that was long ago and far away," said Your Editor.

"True," agreed the Space Alien, "but the results of our youthful indiscretions have reached the earth, producing produce gamma rays that could wipe out everyone here!"

"No!" cried Your Editor!  "Where did you learn that?"

"I read it on Twitter," said the Space Alien, pulling out a Smart Phone.  "Here's a tweet by astrophysicist John Preskill of the California Institute of Technology, who has studied similar phenomena for decades!"  ( QV: http://www.theory.caltech.edu/~preskill/pubs/preskill-1982-catalyzed.pdf).



"It appears that these collisions produce many things," said Your Editor, "including precious metals!  I read about this at:   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/gravitational-waves-neutron-star-collision-ligo/ "

"We still don't know exactly how this will affect us," continued Your Editor, "but we're still here, so why don't you get to work on your Hallowe'en costume!"

"I thought I'd wear this t-shirt!" said the Space Alien.  "I found it online at our store!  Don't you think it's me?"


Space Alien models Space Alien T-Shirt

"That's not really a costume," said Your Editor.  "A costume is about pretending to be someone else."

"Well, last year I played 'Trick or Treat' pretending that I was really you dressed up as me," answered the Space Alien, "and, as I recall, you didn't like that very much!"  (And you, Loyal Reader may read more about this at: http://spacealiengazette.blogspot.com/2016/10/the-space-alien-celebrates-halloween.html)

"I remember that," said Your Editor.   "You created havoc at Hallowe'en parties and told everyone that you were me, Your Editor,  dressed up as you.  And that pumpkin juggling thing you did;  I never heard the end of it!"  

"I was just having fun and the children LOVED it!" said the Space Alien.


The Space Alien Juggles Pumpkins for Hallowe'en

"Well, it made an awful mess," cried Your Editor, "and everyone thought it was me!"

"Humph," snorted the Space Alien.  "I know you are my editor, and I appreciate that, but if you want my opinion you need to lighten up!"

"When I want your opinion I'll ask for it!" muttered Your Editor.

They sat in silence for a moment.

"Hey," said the Space Alien, "why don't we go to the Space Alien Gazette Hallowe'en party dressed as supernovas?  We can do a new dance -- the Colliding Supernova Cha-Cha-Cha!"

"You're on!" said Your Editor. "Let me grab my dancing shoes!"

And you, Loyal Readers, are all invited too!  Be sure to wear a costume!

--------------------------------------
Shortly after this edition went to press a Loyal Reader asked how stars colliding could make gold.   The Space Alien, always eager to respond fully and accurately to reader queries, found this article.
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/16/scientists-discover-neutron-star-collisions-make-gold-other-elements.html

While this article does not explain how this phenomenon occurs, that stars DO collide to make gold is beyond dispute, as is clear from the result of a collision between two well-known stars, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.


Evidence that Collision of Stars
Produces Gold 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Space Alien Explains Economics

Your Editor was going over the Space Alien Gazette financial statements when the Space Alien came whooshing in the door wearing a brand new hat.
The Space Alien Returns from Sweden

"Where have you been," cried Your Editor.  "You've been missing for days, and what is that hat you're wearing?"

"I've been in Sweden," said the Space Alien, "and I had a wonderful time.  The food was great and they put it all out on a table for you to have as much as you want!   They call it 'smorgasbord' and I call it perfect!"  
The Space Alien Enjoys Smorgasbord

"Is that all you did in Sweden?" asked Your Editor.

"Oh no, I met the King.  His name is Carl XIV Gustaf and he very much wanted to give me a Nobel Prize, but could not figure out which category because so many would have been appropriate.  But I got to watch the ceremonies!"


The Space Alien Greets King Carl XIV Gustaf of Sweden

"The Nobel Prize in Economics," continued the Space Alien, "went to Professor Richard Thaler, a Behavioral Economist at the University of Chicago, who explored the interplay between economics and psychology.  It was all very exciting and of course I offered Professor Thaler my warmest congratulations!"

(You, loyal reader, may read more about Richard Thaler's exciting work here:  https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economic-sciences/laureates/2017/press.html,)

"Here's my selfie with Professor Thaler at a big party they gave him when he got back to the University of Chicago.  I was his special invited guest!"

The Space Alien is Professor Thaler's Guest at the 
University of Chicago

"Really!" huffed Your Editor.  "I studied at the University of Chicago with another Nobel Laureate in Economics but I was never invited to a special party!"

"Well, don't grumble about it," said the Space Alien.  "Your I.Q. probably isn't as high as mine but I know you got along as best you could!  I'm sure you were a perfectly adequate student."

This did not sit well with Your Editor, but the Space Alien hardly noticed.

"Let me ask you a question," said the Space Alien.  "If we raised the price of the Space Alien Gazette would our Loyal Readers complain?"  

"Of course they would!" answered Your Editor. "I would too!"

"But what if we charged the same price but printed fewer pages.  Would as many complain?"

"Most likely not; I don't think most of our Loyal Readers would even notice!"

"Is that rational?" asked the Space Alien.

"I guess not," answered Your Editor.

The Space Alien continued:

"What if you paid a lot of money to see a show but the weather was terrible, and there were no refunds on tickets.  Would you manage to get there anyway no matter what?"

"Of course!  I paid for it so I'd want to see it no matter how hard it was to get there!"

"What if you had been given free tickets for the same show?"

"Well, then I might stay home!"  

"Is that rational?" asked the Space Alien.

"I guess not," said Your Editor.

"What if it were raining and the umbrella dealer on the corner raised the price of umbrellas that day."

"That would be so unfair!" cried Your Editor.  "I'd be angry and would never want to buy anything from him again!"

"But what if his price was always a few dollars higher but he had special 'sunny day' sales when it wasn't raining?"

"Oh that would be ok," answered Your Editor.  "I'd welcome a chance to buy a nice umbrella at a discount!"

"Is that rational?" asked the Space Alien.

"I guess not," said Your Editor.  "I see what you mean - we make economic choices based on irrational factors, and maybe that 'rational man' we learned about in our economics classes doesn't even exist!"

"Exactly," said the Space Alien, "and Professor Thaler has studied the effects of psychological factors on economic decisions.  But now I must leave because Professor Thaler is waiting for me to work with him on his next book!"


The Space Alien Consults with Nobelist Richard Thaler
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Space Alien Runs a Marathon

Your Editor walked into the insanely busy editorial office of the Space Alien Gazette and found the Space Alien flipping through a photo album.

"What are you looking at?" she asked.

"These are my photographs from Marathon!" said the Space Alien.

"You got them developed so fast!" cried your editor.   How did you do that?

"These are not from the 2017 Chicago Marathon the other day," said the Space Alien. "They are from the real Marathon, the first one, where in 490 B.C. a soldier named Pheidippides ran about 26 miles from a battlefield near a village called Marathon all the way to Athens to let the Athenians know that the Persians had been defeated there."

"You were there?" asked your editor.


Pheidippides runs from Marathon 
to Athens
"Of course," said the Space Alien.  "Pheidippides was so brave, and in such a hurry to get the news to the worried Athenians.  I told him 'Look, Pheidippides, you need to take a little rest -- it's such a hot day!  Sit in the shade for a bit and have a drink of water.  Here, you can share mine!'  but Pheidippides was in such a hurry and wouldn't stop, and the poor fellow died right after he delivered the news!"

"What a sad story," said your editor.

"Some people don't think this is true," said the Space Alien, "but I'm pretty sure it's not fake news, because I was at Marathon with the Athenians.  Pheidippides was a runner for the Athenians delivering all sorts of messages between Sparta, Athens and other places, as well as Marathon."

And here, loyal reader, is more information about that:  https://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/Legendary-Runner-of-Marathon-Pheidippides

"And you say you were with him when he made that famous run in 490 B.C.?" asked your editor, incredulously.

"Yes," answered the Space Alien.  "But while some of my Marathon photos survived, it was so hot that day that the film melted in my camera when I tried to take a selfie.  So I don't have any pictures of me with Pheidippides.  You'll just have to believe me!"

 As your editor nodded sadly, the Space Alien picked up a battered cell phone.

"Just look!   Here I am competing in the 2017 Chicago Marathon!  Some onlookers took these pictures and kindly shared them with me!"




"Well you aren't exactly running," said your editor, "but how did you do?"

"Oh, I was careful not to travel at my customary tachyonic velocities exceeding the speed of light, or even at the more sluggish supersonic speeds.  I didn't want to scare anyone with the sonic boom or break windows, so it took me as long as ten minutes to finish the course!"

"Well that sounds like a winning time" said your editor.  "Did you get a medal?"

"Not exactly" said the Space Alien.  The judges didn't notice when I crossed the finish line, and somewhere along the way I lost my bib number.   I think it may have been when I stopped to eat."

"You had time to eat?" asked your editor, incredulously.

"Sure!  I had a taco, some pizza, a plate of blintzes, and some pierogi, dolmades, corn bread,  a few samosas, sushi, wonton and even some lovely crepes suzettes!  


So Much Great Food in Chicago!
"There were so many great foods in the neighborhoods along the way," exclaimed the Space Alien, "but I think I may have used my bib number for a napkin."

"I've noticed you often like to eat and run!" said your editor.  "But you still crossed the finish line first!"

"Of course!  Will there be a story about me in the Space Alien Gazette?"

"I'll discuss it with our Sports Editor," said Your Editor, "and we'll see!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Space Alien's Message for the New Year

The Space Alien asked your editor to direct loyal readers to last year's Rosh Hashanah message for the holiday this year.   That post was so thrilling that your editor agreed it deserved another reading.

With this in mind, the Space Alien invites loyal readers to return to last year's column, A New Year for the Space Alien, which you may read at:
http://spacealiengazette.blogspot.com/2016/09/a-new-year-for-space-alien.html.

The Space Alien insists that this column has since been digitally remastered, and whether or not this is actually the case, your editor can attest that there is a bit of new material there!

A message containing this link already went out to our e-mail subscribers, but, as noted, all may view this at:http://spacealiengazette.blogspot.com/2016/09/a-new-year-for-space-alien.html 

(If you would like to be an e-mail subscriber, please let us know in the box at the sidebar)

Loyal readers may be interested to know that this year the Space Alien is spending the ten days between Rosh Hashanah, the "head of the year" (which this year begins at sundown, September 20) and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (which ends at sundown on Saturday, September 30) reflecting upon eternal values, cultivating personal qualities of kindness and helpfulness, and pledging to become a more actively engaged citizen of the universe.

Once again, the Space Alien and all of us here at the Space Alien Gazette wish you and your dear ones a healthy and productive 5778.

Apples and Honey for a
Sweet New Year!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Space Alien Says: Arrivederci Cassini

The Space Alien was sad to read of the impending death of Cassini, the remarkable spacecraft that has faithfully orbited the planet Saturn for the past 13 years.   On Friday, September 15, 2017 this unique project will end with Cassini crashing to its doom on the ringed planet.


To read about it at the NASA website please click here:

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/main/index.html

To read about it at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory please click here:

https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/3119/cassini-spacecraft-makes-its-final-approach-to-saturn/

To read about it on BBC, please click here:

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-41262984

This was of more than academic interest for the Space Alien, who has long been a serious student of our Solar System and has shared an immense store of knowledge, gained on countless interplanetary trips, with our National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Traveling to Saturn at tachyonic velocities exceeding the speed of light, the Space Alien took many excellent photographs of Cassini, and kindly shares two of them here, neatly labeled, so that you, loyal readers, might expand your knowledge of space exploration.







The Space Alien had a particularly deep relationship with this project, having secretly worked with NASA for many years, helping to guide Cassini around Saturn.

Here is one of the Space Alien's exclusive "selfies" taken while gently nudging the sometimes wayward spacecraft into it's proper orbit.  It was difficult and dangerous work, but this did not deter the Space Alien, whose dedication to science has few equals.

The Space Alien Gently Guides Cassini around Saturn

The Space Alien was proud to participate in this vital mission, and while saddened to see Cassini come to an end, appreciates the vast store of knowledge we have gained thereby.  

The entire staff of the Space Alien Gazette is proud of the Space Alien, who took on this important job quietly, with no publicity or fanfare, all in the service of science.

Now, having completed this mission and before returning to work at the Space Alien Gazette, the Space Alien will enjoy a few recreational days hunting for diamonds on Uranus.

http://www.astronomy.com/news/2017/08/researchers-recreate-diamond-rain
https://phys.org/news/2010-01-oceans-liquid-diamond-neptune-uranus.html

---------------------------------
Post Scripts:

A loyal reader sent the Space Alien Gazette this photograph of the Cassini team!
The Space Alien and Cassini Teammates Celebrate their Great Achievement!
This is not the first time the Space Alien visited the moons of Saturn.  An earlier visit took place during the 2016 Olympic Games, when the Space Alien set personal high jump records on Titan, one of Saturn's many moons.  To learn more about this astonishing feat and to see some of the Space Alien's exclusive photos please visit: https://spacealiengazette.blogspot.com/2016/08/how-high.html

Giovanni Domenico Cassini



 The Space Alien met the great 17th Century Italian astronomer, Giovanni Domenico Cassini (after whom the Cassini spacecraft was named), and took this exclusive photo, generously sharing it with  Wikipedia, where you may read more about the life and discoveries of this prolific scientist: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giovanni_Domenico_Cassini








King Louis, XIV


The Space Alien's meeting with Cassini took place in France, where Cassini spent much of his life, and where he was the first to use a method of determining longitude to measure the size of France accurately.  France turned out to be smaller than expected.

This disappointed King Louis, XIV (the Sun King) who wanted to make France great again.





 After Cassini tutored the Space Alien in these advanced survey methods learned in France, the  Space Alien offered to teach them to Thomas Jefferson in connection with the newly established American Public Land Survey System (for which see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Land_Survey_System).

T. Jefferson

Jefferson  politely declined the Space Alien's offer, fearing that that this could make America small again.

The Space Alien disagreed, but did not dwell on the matter.





Special Postscripts -- September 15, 2017

1. September 14, 2017 was the 205th anniversary of Giovanni Domenico Cassini's death (on the English calendar).   The Space Alien observed this appropriately.


2. The Space Alien understands that as more data arrives from the Cassini spacecraft, loyal readers may want to travel to Saturn.  The Space Alien recommends EXTREME CAUTION in this regard.  Chemicals easily tolerated by the Space Alien but highly toxic to human friends abound in this vicinity, so please be content to enjoy the photographs taken by the Space Alien and the many scientists studying these regions.