Time for Thorns

An independent view on life.

Posts Tagged ‘astronomy

Astronomer or alchemist?

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I expect you’ve heard of the Kepler Space Telescope launched by NASA  in 2009 to discover Earth-size planets orbiting other stars.   It is retired now,  but it was named after astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler,  who was an important figure in the 17th-century scientific revolution.

A chemical  analysis of pages  from Kepler’s manuscript about the moon has found high levels of metals like gold,  silver,  mercury and lead.   He wasn’t known to study alchemy,  but it was still practised in the 16th and 17th centuries,  and a close friend of his did study the ancient  branch of natural philosophy.   Truth be told,  most scientists of the era at least dabbled in that area.

 

 

Written by timeforthorns

June 16, 2019 at 3:26 pm

Noctilucent blue clouds…

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If you live in the northern USA,  over the next few weeks you’ll have an unusual opportunity to witness  electric-blue clouds in the night sky.  You’ll need to look about 1 to 2 hours after sunset or before sunrise.  It’s an odd phenomenon,  but it’s worth your time.   If you miss it,  there should be a decent show of them next summer.

Written by timeforthorns

June 13, 2019 at 2:45 pm

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Full flower blue moon…

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You can see the  flower moon  this evening  —  provided,  of course,  that Mother Nature does not send in a platoon of clouds to obscure the event at your location..   She has done that to me several times in the last year or so,  but I hope your luck is better.

 

 

Written by timeforthorns

May 18, 2019 at 2:09 pm

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Stars or not?

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Living in the country does have its advantages,  such as being able to step outside my back door and see the stars if the weather permits.  The occasional passing vehicle doesn’t contribute much in the  way of  light pollution.  As far as I know,  the star count is a British thing,  although I’ve heard of a few groups in the US which do the same thing as a sort of weekend getaway project.

While I certainly enjoy being able to watch the night sky,  I am made somewhat uncomfortable by things which I can’t identify,  such as a large aircraft with no lights on which made no sound as it flew overhead.   It was either whisper quiet or was flying much higher than my estimation  and was therefore much larger..  It also did not show up on the app on my phone which identifies most commercial planes in the air.   Something to ponder….

 

 

Written by timeforthorns

April 20, 2019 at 3:04 pm

Super Snow Moon…

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Our  second supermoon  of the year will be Tuesday night,  and is so named because there is generally lots of snow around.  If you watched the Super Blood Wolf Moon that took place on January 21,  you will note this one is even larger and brighter,  because it’s closer to Earth.   There will be a third and final supermoon on March 21st, so this is a rare year for  lunar treats.

 

 

Written by timeforthorns

February 18, 2019 at 2:44 pm

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Skywatcher alert!

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For those of you who share my enthusiasm for watching the skies for celestial events, there will be a total lunar eclipse and a supermoon on Sunday night.  Weather permitting in your area,  we might have quite a show,  so check with your local news station  and here  for more information.

 

 

Written by timeforthorns

January 20, 2019 at 3:30 pm

Perseid meteor shower, 2018

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I’m always leary when  someone predicts  the Perseid Meteor Shower will be great and wonderful, because it seldom lives up to the hype.   Apparently the ideal time to watch for the shooting stars  is Sunday  night through early Monday morning.

if the dim moon the USA is scheduled to have doesn’t entice you to get out, even though there is supposed to be  a lot of  action this year,  you can always watch the event unfold online at one of the sites mentioned in the links.

Given the current heat and humidity at my location, watching from the comfort of my own chair without having to deal with any bugs or weather  is becoming ever more appealing…

 

 

https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1000611/Perseid-Meteor-Shower-when-Perseids-2018-August-how-to-see-UK-USA

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6047627/Perseids-meteor-shower-brighter-year.html

Written by timeforthorns

August 11, 2018 at 2:40 pm

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