More than 1,400 museums and cultural institutions across the United States will be offering free admission during the eighth annual Museum Day Live! on Saturday September 29, 2012. Sponsored by the Smithsonian magazine, the event invites participation institutions to get on board with the free admission policy of the Smithsonian museums, if only for a day.
Visit the Museum Day…
Good afternoon all,
The annual Perseid meteor shower is going on this weekend. So far based on reports from last night, this year is looking to be a great show.
The meteor shower peaks tonight and tomorrow (8/11 – 8/12), I’m hoping to get the girls outside to see some of it.
There are a number of good resources for this astronomy event, like this one from JPL. The most important thing to remember is just look at the sky, if you focus too much in one part of the sky you will miss it. This is really an eyes only event, using binoculars or a telescope limit your field of view too much greatly decreasing your chances to see any meteors.
Good luck and clear skies.
- Easiest Guide Ever to Watching the Perseid Meteor Shower (universetoday.com)
- Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight: How to Watch (space.com)
Good evening all,
Also yesterday I was thrilled to find that following up on my being added to the winners list for the Illuminating Blogger Award, one of my posts on the Venus transit back in June was selected as the week’s featured post.
It is a sad day for Science Fiction fans and literature buffs alike.
Ray Bradbury, renowned author of many works such as Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles, has left us at the age of 91.
Like many of us, I remember fondly reading his books and enjoying watching the many film and television adaptations of his works. As his grandson is quoted as saying, that is his legacy, his body of works and them memory of them in the hearts and minds of his fans.
Many others have posted on this topic through the day, my friend Jeff Hite had some good things to say. Including an idea I can really get behind.
I suggest in his honor that you might want to try to write something new today.
Related Stories (updated 6/7/12)
This evening we loaded up the girls and my homemade sun viewer, and headed to the park for a picnic and transit viewing. What started out as a nice clear day ended with some fairly solid cloud cover.
Fortunately, just as we finished dinner, there was a good break in the clouds. We got a good several minutes of strong clear sunlight, perfect for focusing carefully through the viewer.
While we are not completely certain, we think that we were able to find the spot that is Venus as it crossed the disk of the Sun!
- Everything you need to know about the Transit of Venus… (transitofvenus.org)
- Astronomy Double Header: Lunar Eclipse and Transit of Venus (laith.wordpress.com)
This afternoon, shortly after work, I ran a quick proof of concept test. It worked fairly well, I think I could see some sunspots.
So here goes, to start with you will need the following.
- some sort of stand (camera tripod here)
- cutting tool
- pen or pencil
From here the steps are really fairly simple:
- Cut a hole in a piece of cardboard to act as a sun screen
- Tape the binoculars to the stand
- Tape the sun screen to the binoculars
- View the Sun!
IMPORTANT! SAFETY TIP!
Do NOT Look Into The Binoculars!!!
Let me know if you build one or are able to see the transit!
Hey all, as I was sitting down to compose my post earlier for the two astronomy events this week, I found out I was nominated for the “Illuminating Blogger Award“ by N E White (tmso) You can see her post over here.
Per the rules of the award I must provide a random fact about myself, and nominate other bloggers who’s writings I have found illuminating. So here it goes…
Random Fact of Interest (or something)
I started college majoring in Biology (Marine Science), but graduated in Computer Science.
Illuminating Bloggers (wow, how to limit this)
- Sheila @ Book Journey (
) a great book blog that has inspired some of my projects
- Travel Between The Pages (
) a wonderful blog full of interesting material. All related to books, just not how you usually think of it.
- Jennifer M Eaton (
) for lots of interesting writers information
- Kathleen Jennings @Errantry (
) for her wonderful art but especially her Daleks series, always fun and a great example that you can find inspiration for something amazing anywhere.
- Impossible Astronaut (
) an amazing collection of great content comes from this blog
- I really could keep this list going; N E White (if a bit obvious), J R Blackwell, my friend Jeff Hite it just goes on… there are just so many great bloggers out there.
So here’s to the winners, and other nominees! Keep up the great work all!
Wow, this is a big week for viewable events in the sky. To lead off there is a partial lunar eclipse in the early hours of the morning (US CST), more info in the video.
However the bigger, and better timed event is the transit of Venus across the face of the sun, the last transit was in 2004 but the next one will not occur until December 2117.
Obviously just as with a solar eclipse you need to take care in observing the event, however you can see it with something as simple as two sheets of paper and a pin. Just take the pin, poke a small hole in one sheet and hold it between the other sheet and the sun. You should have the effect of a pinhole camera and be able to see the dot which is Venus as it passes across the face of the sun. Another design for a pinhole camera can be found here.
Science@NASA ScienceCasts on YouTube has a good video about it also.
UPDATE: I’ve constructed a binocular projection setup to view the transit, photos and instructions here.
At work today I was getting caught up on listening to my rather long list of podcasts. When I got to last week’s NPR Science Friday one of the segments was on The Garbage-Men, a band started by five high school students from Sarasota, Florida.
Their gimmick, and the source of their name, the instruments they play are home-built from recycled trash. Part of their act is to promote recycling, reuse and community service.
Check them out!
Jiroemon is also at this time the 3rd oldest verified person in the world.
So Happy Birthday to him and may coming year go well.