Time for Thorns

An independent view on life.

Posts Tagged ‘astronomy

Pink super-moon awaits…

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April 7th offers you the brightest super-moon of the year.   This link  shows you the size difference between the upcoming perigee (the nearest) and fall’s apogee moon.  This moon hanging low in the sky may appear pinkish,  but the nickname refers to spring flowers,  many of which offer pink blooms,  The names for moons of different months is a civilian habit, not an astronomical one, and quite frankly the super-moon designation is about the same in the view of astrophysicists.   Regardless,  it’s interesting and fun for us,  so why not pay attention?

 

 

 

 

 

Written by timeforthorns

April 4, 2020 at 1:43 pm

Venus and Jupiter tonight…

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it’s  conjunction time,  fellow stargazers!   Tonight, for about an hour and a half after sunset, the two brightest planets will be very close to each other and so bright that even city folks should be able to see them,  despite the light pollution.   You won’t need a telescope to see the planets,   but with one you can pick out jupiter’s four largest moons and perhaps figure out the phase of Venus.  Get a comfy chair,  a blanket and a cup of hot chocolate  and look to the Southwest.

 

 

Written by timeforthorns

November 24, 2019 at 8:13 am

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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