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Local artist insists stone pillar is 110 per cent his carving, will meet with museum – Times Colonist

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A local artist says he couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw a photo of his rock carving being heralded as an Indigenous artifact by the Royal British Columbia Museum.

“I was totally surprised,” Ray Boudreau said Sunday. “It’s absolutely, 110 per cent my carving. I knew right away it was my carving. I looked at my phone frantically: ‘Oh yeah. There’s those pictures.’ ”

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Boudreau’s photographs, with the date stamp Jan. 23, 2017, bear a strong resemblance to the 100-kilogram stone pillar found on a beach off Dallas Road at low tide last summer.

The museum announced last week the discovery of the stone pillar, and said it was likely used in rituals by the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations.

The provenance of the pillar will be reviewed with the museum, the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations and the carver, said museum spokesman Wesley Mcinnis.

Boudreau knew the stone was unusual. He found it a couple of days after two barges smashed into the shore near Dallas Road and Cook Street in late February 2016. One of the barges was loaded with heavy scrap and construction debris such as concrete and pilings from the Coho ferry terminal construction site.

He started to carve his find.

The rock is not real sandstone but another kind of rock used by First Nations that turns black and shiny when it’s polished, said Boudreau.

“It’s only porous because it’s been battered around by the ocean. It’s a pretty nice rock. The stuff is so like butter. You hardly have to hammer the thing, it carves so clean and so easy. I fell right in love with this thing when I found it.”

When his carving disappeared, he assumed it had been stolen because he had tucked it way up on the shore.

“There’s no way the waves would ever take it away. But I thought ‘Well, nobody really owns a rock.’ ”

The 65-year-old security guard believes people carried it off in a boat, but were forced to dump it.

Boudreau has been carving all his life, making leather saddles and leather book covers which have been sold all over the world. He has 10 rock carvings on the beach below Dallas Road.

At first, after the museum announcement, Boudreau wasn’t sure what to do.

“Do you shut your mouth about it or let it go? The thing took on a life of its own and it would have had a beautiful life if I hadn’t said anything.”

In the end, he decided the museum and the local First Nations should know the truth.

“I didn’t want to live a lie,” he said.

Still, he was also surprised that the carving — more Easter Island than Vancouver Island — was mistaken for a First Nation’s artifact.

“It looks more exotic,” he said. “But what is embarrassing to me is that, if it was beautiful and I’d finished it, people would look at it and say ‘Oh, it’s so awesome.’ But it was so ugly. I only worked on it for 15 hours or so. It wasn’t up to standard. I would have liked better bragging rights.”

Boudreau said he will meet with the museum to set the record straight and see what happens next. He’d like to get the rock back and finish the carving.

“It’s funny how it grew legs. … It took on a whole new life. Maybe there’s something spiritual in that rock that keeps raising its head.”

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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Dusty demise for NASA Mars lander in July; power dwindling – CGTN

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A NASA spacecraft on Mars is headed for a dusty demise. 

The InSight lander is losing power because of all the dust on its solar panels. NASA said Tuesday it will keep using the spacecraft’s seismometer to register marsquakes until the power peters out, likely in July. Then flight controllers will monitor InSight until the end of this year, before calling everything off. 

“There really hasn’t been too much doom and gloom on the team. We’re really still focused on operating the spacecraft,” said Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Bruce Banerdt, the principal scientist. 

Since landing on Mars in 2018, InSight has detected more than 1,300 marsquakes; the biggest one, a magnitude 5, occurred two weeks ago. 

It will be NASA’s second Mars lander lost to dust: A global dust storm took out Opportunity in 2018. In InSight’s case, it’s been a gradual gathering of dust, especially over the past year.

NASA’s two other functioning spacecraft on the Martian surface – rovers Curiosity and Perseverance – are still going strong thanks to nuclear power. The space agency may rethink solar power in the future for Mars, said planetary science director Lori Glaze, or at least experiment with new panel-clearing tech or aim for the less-stormy seasons.

InSight currently is generating one-tenth of the power from the sun that it did upon arrival. Deputy project manager Kathya Zamora Garcia said the lander initially had enough power to run an electric oven for one hour and 40 minutes; now it’s down to 10 minutes max. 

The InSight team had anticipated this much dust buildup, but hoped a gust of wind or dust devil might clean off the solar panels. That has yet to happen, despite several thousand whirlwinds coming close. 

“None of them have quite hit us dead-on yet enough to blow the dust off the panels,” Banerdt told reporters. 

Another science instrument, dubbed the mole, was supposed to burrow 16 feet (5 meters) underground to measure the internal temperature of Mars. But the German digger never got deeper than a couple of feet (a half-meter) because of the unexpected composition of the red dirt, and it finally was declared dead at the beginning of last year.

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Blood moon, big city: Skywatcher captures total lunar eclipse over New York (photos) – Space.com

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The eclipsed moon burns red high above the bright lights of New York City in gorgeous photos captured by amateur astronomer Alexander Krivenyshev.

Krivenyshev, the president of WorldTimeZone.com, snapped images of the total lunar eclipse on Sunday night (May 15) from Guttenberg, New Jersey, which is across the Hudson River from the Big Apple. 

He persevered through cloudy conditions, Krivenyshev told Space.com via email, to get shots of the blood-red moon shining like a beacon in a light-polluted sky.

Related: Amazing photos of the Super Flower Blood Moon of 2022

A closeup of the eclipsed moon on May 15, 2022, as photographed by Alexander Krivenyshev. (Image credit: Alexander Krivenyshev, WorldTimeZone.com)

The eclipse began at 9:32 p.m EDT on Sunday (0132 GMT on May 16) when the moon nosed into the light part of Earth’s shadow, known as the penumbra, and ended five hours later. The total eclipse phase, in which the moon was completely darkened by Earth’s heavier umbral shadow, lasted 85 minutes, the longest of any lunar eclipse in 33 years.

Earth’s nearest neighbor temporarily turns a coppery red during total lunar eclipses. This “blood moon” effect is caused by Earth’s atmosphere, which bends some red light onto the lunar surface while scattering away shorter-wavelength light. (No sunlight is hitting the moon directly at this point, of course; Earth is blocking the sun from the moon’s perspective.)

Another series of shots of the total lunar eclipse over New York City, photographed by Alexander Krivenyshev on May 15, 2022.  (Image credit: Alexander Krivenyshev, WorldTimeZone.com)

Related stories:

Last weekend’s sky show was best observed from the Americas and parts of Western Europe and West Africa. It was the first total lunar eclipse of the year, but it won’t be the last; another one will occur on Nov. 8. The Nov. 8 lunar eclipse will be best observed from Australia, eastern Asia and the western United States. 

If you’re hoping to photograph the moon, or want to prepare for the next total lunar eclipse, check out our best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography. Our guides on how to photograph a lunar eclipse, and how to photograph the moon with a camera, also have some helpful tips to plan out your lunar photo session.

Editor’s Note: If you snap an amazing lunar eclipse photo (or your own eclipse webcast) and would like to share it with Space.com’s readers, send your photo(s), comments, and your name and location to spacephotos@space.com.

Mike Wall is the author of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or on Facebook.  

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NASA's Mars InSight mission coming to an end as dust covers solar panels – CBC News

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A NASA spacecraft on Mars is headed for a dusty demise.

The Insight lander is losing power because of all the dust on its solar panels. NASA said Tuesday it will keep using the spacecraft’s seismometer to register marsquakes until the power peters out, likely in July. Then flight controllers will monitor InSight until the end of this year, before calling everything off.

“There really hasn’t been too much doom and gloom on the team. We’re really still focused on operating the spacecraft,” said Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Bruce Banerdt, the principal scientist.

Since landing on Mars in 2018, InSight has detected more than 1,300 marsquakes; the biggest one, a magnitude 5, occurred two weeks ago.

It will be NASA’s second Mars lander lost to dust: A global dust storm took out Opportunity in 2018. In InSight’s case, it’s been a gradual gathering of dust, especially over the past year.

WATCH | NASA scientists discuss InSight’s goals on Mars: [embedded content]

Rethinking solar power

NASA’s two other functioning spacecraft on the Martian surface — rovers Curiosity and Perseverance — are still going strong thanks to nuclear power.

The space agency may rethink solar power in the future for Mars, said planetary science director Lori Glaze, or at least experiment with new panel-clearing tech or aim for the less-stormy seasons.

InSight currently is generating one-tenth of the power from the sun that it did upon arrival.

Deputy project manager Kathya Zamora Garcia said the lander initially had enough power to run an electric oven for one hour and 40 minutes; now it’s down to 10 minutes max.

The InSight team anticipated this much dust buildup, but hoped a gust of wind or a dust devil might clean off the solar panels. That has yet to happen, despite several thousand whirlwinds coming close.

“None of them have quite hit us dead-on yet enough to blow the dust off the panels,” Banerdt told reporters.

Another science instrument, dubbed the mole, was supposed to burrow five metres underground to measure the internal temperature of Mars. But the German digger never got deeper than a half-metre because of the unexpected composition of the red dirt, and it finally was declared dead at the beginning of last year.

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