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Total eclipse of the moon

August 28th, 2007

It’s on tonight. After a week of welcome rain (floods where we didn’t need it, much lighter where we did, but that’s the way it goes) skies should be clear here in Queensland.

Also on science, last night’s Bris Science lecture on bees was fascinating. It seems bees use the apparent motion of the ground and nearby objects to perform feats like navigating through tight spots, landing smoothly and estimating distance travelled. This suggests some simple algorithms that can be used, for example, by automated vehicles on land and in the air. The PowerPoint presentation should be up at the BrisScience site soon.

Update I spoke too soon, especially considering my generally poor record with astronomical events. It was cloudy after all, though not so as to prevent a reasonable view of the moon going a copper-red colour as advertised.

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  1. Bill O’Slatter
    August 28th, 2007 at 11:17 | #1

    Algorithms for visual system processing are a done deal as far as I know , clues as to the higher level processing of information would be interesting ( as would its genetics) and especially the bee consciousness and sociality. A bee is not a sole processing unit : its more of a unit in a network of bees. Bee algorithms for economics ?

  2. August 28th, 2007 at 20:27 | #2

    Hmmm, I suspect Bill has missed the point a little. Yes, vision algorithms are incredibly advanced and accurate these days. The Honeybee research has delivered some incredibly simple approaches to obstacle avoidance and navigation that can ultimately be developed to sit on embedded on-board controllers rather than high end PC’s etc. I attended the lecture last night and have a little experience in some ‘heavier’ vision systems from the software end. I found the talk absolutely fascinating and spent half the night running through in my mind how much more efficiently I could have done things…

  3. Jill Rush
    August 28th, 2007 at 21:40 | #3

    A visual spectacular – like a red pearl in the sky.

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