Another Exciting Homepage!

(Well, not really, but I had to do SOMETHING to get you to look)

About me...

My name is Dave Johnson, welcome to my homepage. I'm 47 years old,with an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Data Processing, and have been working with computers since 1983.

Along with being a computer professional, I have interests in Science, Astronomy in particular (including NASA activities), and to a lesser-utilized extent, shortwave radio and weather phenomenon. Below, I've included some links that I hope you will find useful, along these subjects.

See where Lightning has struck between the last 30 minutes and 2 hours, in the U.S.

Solar/Space Environment Conditions

Solar X-rays:

Geomagnetic Field:
From n3kl.org

Personal work, notes, etc.

My scientific observations/contributions/publications to date:



May 10, 1994 Annular Solar Eclipse

1 Paragraph published in ASTRONOMY Magazine, September 1994 Issue

February 1997, Comet Hale-Bopp Observations

Published Online at http://encke.jpl.nasa.gov/RecentObs.html (no longer available)

December 2000, Partial Solar Eclipse

Photographs Published Online at http://spaceweather.com/eclipses/images/25dec00/johnson1_big.jpg

September 10, 2001 Comet C/2001 R5 (SOHO) Discovery

Published both online and on hardcopy, in IAU (International Astronomical Union) Circular 7718 at http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iauc/07700/07718.html#Item2 as well as on the discovery site at http://ares.nrl.navy.mil/sungrazer/comets_found.old/comets_2001/comets200109_arch.html

Venus Transit, June 8, 2004:

Mercury Transit, November 8, 2006:

Every century or so, the planet Venus crosses the face of the sun as seen from Earth. It did so most recently on June 8, 2004, and was viewed from all over the world. Here are my pictures of the event, which I was only able to view the last half-hour of it or so. http://science.nasa.gov/spaceweather/venustransit/08jun04b/Johnson1.jpg

Mercury does the same, and most recently did so on Nov. 8th, 2006. This was observed as well. Picture here

November 7, 2004 BRIGHT Aurora:

The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, occur when charged particles from the Sun interact with the Earth's magnetic field and are channeled into the Atmosphere, causing it to glow. Being fairly rare from my location near Chicago, I was able to view and photograph this event on November 7th when a large flare caused the Aurora that was visible all the way to Texas. Aurora Pictures

August 23, 2007 - Movie Actor! (Ok, well a background actor, at least)

On August 23rd, 2007, I was a background actor in "The Dark Knight". My experience for this day is Here.

Fermilab     In 1983, I attended a 10 weekend course in High Energy Physics at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, in Batavia Illinois. This was one of the highlights of my life, actually being able to interact with scientists and seeing the detector facility and accelerator tunnels. Please visit this wonderful place!
(Try an Interactive Particle Adventure at the Particle Data Group web site)

Eclipse Photos     I recovered some that I took on May 10th 1994, of the Annular Solar Eclipse, which was partial from Chicago. Please check them out. My observations of the eclipse, taken from the Adler Planetarium, were printed in the September 1994 issue of ASTRONOMY magazine.

Also, I viewed and photographed the recent Christmas Eclipse of 2000, which you can find as well at the bottom of the Eclipse Page

Pictures of the May 15, 2003 Total Lunar Eclipse

My Comet Observations.     The great Comet Hyakutake came into the evening sky during March 1996. The comet made it's closest approach to Earth on March 25th, and is now gone. It wasn't as spectacular on it's outbound journey as it was inbound, after passing the Sun, so now it's just a pleasant memory.
I made my first observation of the comet on Mar. 16 at 3:20 AM CST [9:20 UTC], and last observation on Mar. 27th. The link has some notes and sketches on my observations.

Comet Hale-Bopp    Another great comet, Comet Hale-Bopp made it's closest approach to our part of the solar system in March and April of 1997, and now won't be back for at least another 2400 years. We got our best view of the comet then (I travelled to Nebraska with some friends to view and photograph the comet).
On Feb. 13, 1997, I made my first observation of Comet Hale-Bopp. That and subsequent observations have been added to my Comet page.

New! Comet 17P/Holmes outburst observation!

SOHO Comet #350 discovery:

I've discovered a sun-grazing comet on Sept. 10, 2001, which was officially confirmed on Sept. 13, 2001. It was a small, faint comet with a small tail, and I discovered it by examining images downloaded from the SOHO spacecraft, which keeps a constant surveillance on the Sun. International Astronomical Union Circular (IAUC) #7718 has been issued, and an MPEC (Minor Planet Electronic Circular, issued by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory on behalf of the International Astronomical Union) was issued designating the comet I discovered as C/2001 R5 (SOHO). You can find more information about this project at the Sungrazer website. Here's part of the image that contains the comet. It's from Sept. 10th, 2001, at 15:18 UTC.

Take a Spaceflight Course    I'm about as close to a Certified Rocket Scientist as a layperson could get...I took a Basics of Space Flight Training Module that JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) produced. You can take it yourself, over the web, or via a downloaded PDF file.

Occasionally, NASA and other space agencies allow you to send your name on their missions to various solar system bodies and locations. To date, I've signed up for the following missions:

Cassini.    My name is now included on a CD-ROM disk that has been launched aboard the Cassini Spacecraft that is orbiting Saturn.


Image of DVD Disk sent on Cassini, containing 616,400 signatures.

Image Courtesy of NASA.

About 1,000,000 names (including mine) are also on microchips on the Stardust Comet material return mission. More info can be obtained at the Stardust link.

I'm also currently participating as a movie reviewer in the Stardust At Home search program, looking for interstellar dust particles captured by the spacecraft.

Mars Exploration Rover mission - the highly successful mission that is still in progress.

Japan's MUSES-C Asteroid landing and sample return mission.

Deep Impact - This mission successfully slammed a projectile into Comet Temple-1.

New Horizons - Mission to Pluto - 430,000 names were collected. The spacecraft launched in Jan. 2006.

Phoenix Mission to Mars' Arctic region - The spacecraft and signatures are now on the surface of Mars' Polar region.

NEW!!! NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter - Sign up is until June 27, 2008.

March 26, 2003 Park Forest Meteor - I witnessed the fall of this spectacular meteorite. See the account Here.

SciAstro Homepage    You can find myself and other amateur astronomers on the IRC chat channel, #sciastro, which is on the Starlink network. You may find more information about the channel and it's users at this site. This was spawned from the Usenet newsgroup sci.astro.amateur

    I'm currently involved in 4 Distributed Computing projects, SETI@Home, ClimatePrediction, a Pulsar Search and LHC, using Berkeley's engine. Find out more about it here.

Astronomy & Space Related Links

Clear Sky Clock - see if the Chicago skies will be clear for observing:     

Look Here to check out the prediction for YOUR skies.

Skywatcher's Diary    See what's happening in the Sky Tonight.

Sky and Telescope's Comet Page.    Perhaps there are more good comets in the Sky? Find out here.

Liftoff Academy    You can go to NASA's Liftoff Academy, read their material, and take a quiz that will produce a personalized certificate for you if you answer the questions correctly (it's a bit dated now, but still fun nonetheless).

Jet Propulsion Laboratory    Read and learn about the various Solar System Spacecraft and their missions. Lots of information and pictures!

Space Shuttle    Get the lastest information about the Space Shuttle, whether it's on the ground or in orbit.

Take a look at Mike Boschat's extensive Astronomy page.

And, have a look at Roy Clarke's web page from the U.K.

Here, you'll find Sebastian Hoenig's SOHO-related webpage


My Photo page    I've started getting into photography. Here, you can view some of my photos.

Listen to Radio stations from all over the world:

Paranormal Library     Relay your personal paranormal experiences through this site.

Read the latest World and US News.

Visit the online Internet 1996 World Exposition (or the Low Bandwidth version for slow connections or text browsers.) This looks interesting!

Create your own online web Newspaper.

Neat Net Tricks tip of the Week!


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Last Update: June 1, 2013

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