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The Cosmos with IRAS 16399-0937

August 15, 2018
This galaxy has a far more exciting and futuristic classification than most — it is a megamaser. Megamasers are intensely bright, around 100 million times brighter than the masers found in galaxies like the Milky Way. The entire galaxy essentially acts as an astronomical laser that beams out microwave emission rather than visible light (hence the ‘m’ replacing the ‘l’).
This megamaser is named IRAS 16399-0937, and is located over 370 million light-years from Earth. This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image belies the galaxy’s energetic nature, instead painting it as a beautiful and serene cosmic rosebud. The image comprises observations captured across various wavelengths by two of Hubble’s instruments: the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), and the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS).
NICMOS’s superb sensitivity, resolution, and field of view gave astronomers the unique opportunity to observe the structure of IRAS 16399-0937 in detail. They found that IRAS 16399-0937 hosts a double nucleus — the galaxy’s core is thought to be formed of two separate cores in the process of merging. The two components, named IRAS 16399N and IRAS 16399S for the northern and southern parts respectively, sit over 11 000 light-years apart. However, they are both buried deep within the same swirl of cosmic gas and dust and are interacting, giving the galaxy its peculiar structure.
The nuclei are very different. IRAS 16399S appears to be a starburst region, where new stars are forming at an incredible rate. IRAS 16399N, however, is something known as a LINER nucleus (Low Ionization Nuclear Emission Region), which is a region whose emission mostly stems from weakly-ionised or neutral atoms of particular gases. The northern nucleus also hosts a black hole with some 100 million times the mass of the Sun!

Joe Castro Day

August 15, 2018

Joseph Armand “Joe” Castro (August 15, 1927 – December 13, 2009) was an American bebop jazz pianist, based primarily on the West Coast of the United States.

Castro was born in Miami, Arizona on August 15, 1927 to John L. Castro and Lucy Sanchez. Castro went to school in Pittsburg, California in the San Francisco Bay area, north of Oakland, where he began playing professionally at the age of 15. His enrollment at San Jose State University was interrupted twice—first by a stint in the army from 1946 to 1947 and then when he formed his first jazz trio working on both the West Coast and in Hawaii. In 1956 Castro moved to New York City, where his trio successfully appeared in the city’s top jazz clubs—Basin Street, The Embers, The Hickory House and Birdland. He was critically lauded by the likes of Leonard Feather who described his style as “assertively swinging,” and Dave Brubeck, who had known Castro since the early 1950s, as “an extremely talented individual, a fine musician, an excellent pianist and a tasteful performer.” In 1958, he moved to Los Angeles to be associated almost exclusively with Teddy Edwards, Billy Higgins and Leroy Vinnegar. “The group has been very important to me,” Castro says. “I had been working so long with piano trios, I had to learn how to play less and say more. Actually I have more freedom in this group without having to carry the load.” Castro recorded and performed extensively with The Teddy Edwards Quartet while also making two of his own recordings as a leader for Atlantic Records.

Oscar Peterson Day

August 15, 2018

Oscar Emmanuel Peterson, CC, CQ, OOnt (August 15, 1925 – December 23, 2007) was a Canadian jazz pianist and composer. He was called the “Maharaja of the keyboard” by Duke Ellington, but simply “O.P.” by his friends. He released over 200 recordings, won eight Grammy Awards, and received numerous other awards and honours. He is considered one of the greatest jazz pianists, and played thousands of concerts worldwide in a career lasting more than 60 years.

Peterson was born to immigrants from the West Indies; his father worked as a porter for Canadian Pacific RailwayPeterson grew up in the neighborhood of Little Burgundy in Montreal, Quebec.

In 1950 Peterson worked in a duo with double bassist Ray Brown. Two years later they added guitarist Barney Kessel. Then Herb Ellis stepped in after Kessel grew wearing of touring. The trio remained together from 1953 to 1958, often touring with Jazz at the Philharmonic. Peterson also worked in a duo with Sam Jones, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Joe Pass, Irving Ashby, Count Basie, and Herbie Hancock.

World Music with Aljibe

August 15, 2018

The group Aljibe, based in Guadalajara

Daily Roots with Bunny Rugs

August 15, 2018

The Cosmos with M86

August 14, 2018

Is there a bridge of gas connecting these two great galaxies? Quite possibly, but it is hard to be sure. M86 on the upper left is a giant elliptical galaxy near the center of the nearby Virgo Cluster of galaxies. Our Milky Way Galaxy is falling toward the Virgo Cluster, located about 50 million light years away. To the lower right of M86 is unusual spiral galaxy NGC 4438, which, together with angular neighbor NGC 4435, are known as the Eyes Galaxies (also Arp 120). Featured here is one of the deeper images yet taken of the region, indicating that red-glowing gas surrounds M86 and seemingly connects it to NGC 4438. The image spans about the size of the full moon. It is also known, however, that cirrus gas in our own Galaxy is superposed in front of the Virgo cluster, and observations of the low speed of this gas seem more consistent with this Milky Way origin hypothesis. A definitive answer may come from future research, which may also resolve how the extended blue arms of NGC 4435 were created.

David Crosby Day

August 14, 2018

David Van Cortlandt Crosby (born August 14, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. In addition to his solo career, he was a founding member of both the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash.

Crosby joined The Byrds in 1964. The band notably gave Bob Dylan his first number one hit in April 1965 with “Mr. Tambourine Man.” Crosby ultimately appeared on the band’s first five albums, and produced the original lineup’s 1973 reunion album. In 1967 he joined Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield on stage at the Monterey Pop Festival, which contributed to his dismissal from the Byrds. He subsequently formed Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1968 with Stills and Graham Nash of The Hollies. After the release of their debut album CSN won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist of 1969. Neil Young joined the group for live appearances, their second concert being Woodstock, before recording their second album Déjà Vu. Meant to be a group that could collaborate freely, Crosby and Nash recorded 3 gold albums in the 1970s, while the core trio of CSN remained active from 1976 until 2016. CSNY reunions took place in each decade from the 1970s through the 2000s.

Songs Crosby wrote or co-wrote include “Lady Friend,” “Why,” and “Eight Miles High” with the Byrds and “Guinnevere,” “Wooden Ships,” “Shadow Captain,” and “In My Dreams” with Crosby, Stills & Nash. He wrote “Almost Cut My Hair” and the title track “Déjà Vu” for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young‘s 1970 album. He is known for his use of alternate guitar tunings and jazz influences. He has released six solo albums, five of which have charted. Additionally he formed a jazz influenced trio with his son James Raymond in CPR. Crosby’s work with The Byrds and CSN(Y) has sold over 35 million albums.

Son Seals Day

August 14, 2018

Frank “Son” Seals (August 13, 1942 – December 20, 2004) was an American electric blues guitarist and singer.

Seals was born in Osceola, Arkansas, where his father, Jim “Son” Seals, owned a small juke joint. He began performing professionally by the age of 13, first as a drummer with Robert Nighthawk and later as a guitarist. At age 16, he began to play at the T-99, a local upper-echelon club, with his brother-in-law Walter “Little Walter” Jefferson. He played there with prominent blues musicians, including Albert King, Rufus Thomas, Bobby Bland, Junior Parker, and Rosco Gordon. Their varying styles contributed to the development of Seals’s own playing techniques. While playing at the T-99, he was also introduced to countrywestern music by Jimmy Grubbs, who occasionally asked Seals to play the drums or guitar with his group. At the age of 19, Seals formed his own band, Son Seals and the Upsetters, to fill in at the Rebel Club, in Osceola. The band members were Johnny Moore (“Old Man Horse”) on piano; Alvin Goodberry on drums, guitar, bass, or piano; Little Bob Robinson on vocals; and Walter Lee “Skinny Dynamo” Harris on piano. Shortly thereafter, a man from Little Rock, Arkansas, came to find “Little Walter” for a gig at his club, but when Walter turned it down the offer went to Seals.

Stuff Smith Day

August 14, 2018

Hezekiah Leroy Gordon Smith (August 14, 1909 – September 25, 1967), better known as Stuff Smith, was an American jazz violinist. He is well known for the song “If You’re a Viper” (the original title was “You’se a Viper”).

Smith was, along with Stéphane Grappelli, Michel Warlop, Svend Asmussen and Joe Venuti, one of jazz music’s preeminent violinists of the swing era. He was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, in 1909 and studied violin with his father. Smith cited Louis Armstrong as his primary influence and inspiration to play jazz, and like Armstrong, was a vocalist as well as instrumentalist. In the 1920s, he played in Texas as a member of Alphonse Trent‘s band. After moving to New York City he performed regularly with his sextet at the Onyx Club starting in 1935 and also with Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and later, Sun Ra.

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