Category: Stargazing

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Great big balls of stars

Globular Clusters are a fascinating objects to view and can be easily seen with binoculars, they are groups of ancient stars huddled together and orbiting the central bulge of our galaxy.

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Preparing for Monday

So you got your binoculars for Christmas, now what? If you live in the Southern Hemisphere then much awaits you. Same in the North, just I didn’t write about it here.

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The Green Flash

Sunsets are awesome and taking the time to appreciate a good sunset seems to evaporate the stresses of the day and transports you to the surreal space between night and day. It’s little wonder that our ancestors described the boundary between night and day in many different ways as they watched the warmth giving sun

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Te Waka O Tamarereti

As the waka entered the sky, Tama Rereti began to scatter the luminescent stones and pebbles in all directions as he went along. The wake of the canoe became the Milky Way and the stones and pebbles became its stars.
This is why we have stars in the sky.

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Anatomy of an Eclipse Trip – POST ECLIPSE

Sunlight lit up the hotel room as Gary pulled back the curtains and exclaimed, “Look at those clouds.” I laughed. Today is the one day where nobody cares about the weather. I wouldn’t mind going through a whole day without watching a weather report.

What’s the world like after a total solar eclipse? Pretty much like it was before. Even just 24 hours later, Michael said that it felt like the Moons encounter with the Sun was a week ago. Ginger got home to California and started to feel an emotional low. “It was so incredible, and now it’s hard to process everything.”

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Anatomy of an Eclipse Trip – ECLIPSE DAY – August 21, 2017

I asked Michael what he thought of his first total solar eclipse experience. I ran a planetarium for 35 years, so he put it in that perspective for me. “It was like a natural laser light show.” he began. “I barely looked through the telescope. You have to immerse yourself in everything around you; the dark sky and the 360° sunset. It made me feel truly small in this vast universe.”

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Anatomy of an Eclipse Trip – DAY EIGHT

They came. They came in cars, and trucks, and jeeps and RV’s, some pulling trailers and some pulling campers. They represented all ages from children to teens to adults to seniors. Across the flat plain they set up cities of nylon and aluminium and wood and plastic. Some contained aligned structures of optical glass to peer into the universe. They all arrived with dreams of seeing the most spectacular sight of nature; a total solar eclipse.

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Anatomy of an Eclipse Trip – DAY SEVEN

Do we go or do we stay? That’s the tune for the day as we reach our weather decision deadline. We had a teleconference with Adam Jones, our Colorado meteorologist. Galveston, Tennessee he says has a 100% chance and western Idaho and eastern Oregon have 95%. His prediction for our site include some high clouds which may or may not block totality. The weather wouldn’t be any different until we get at least 300 miles away. However, the odds are still in our favor, and today he gives us a 75% chance of seeing totality…

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Anatomy of an Eclipse Trip – DAY SIX

Preparations are set in town and at the Park, as both are just waiting for the people to arrive. I imagine the situation is the same all across the eclipse path. People will start to arrive this weekend with the great masses pulling in late Sunday or early Monday for a glimpse of totality. I have friends all along the eclipse path. Oregon, Idaho, western and central Wyoming, and we’re in eastern Wyoming expecting another 26 people (most arriving Sunday). Other friends are setting up sites in western Nebraska, Missouri, Tennessee and South Carolina. I wish them all clear skies, and I’m looking forward to sharing stories and images of their eclipse pilgrimage.

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Anatomy of an Eclipse Trip – DAY FIVE

It is often said that you should just enjoy totality- it’s so short, just soak it in. I agree with that. I also agree with Gary that it’s great to bring back your own souvenir; your own image. And as educators we love those images so we can share it with our students. So my goal is to do both.

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Anatomy of an Eclipse Trip – DAY THREE

Since no one has experienced a total solar eclipse passing through their town, it can be hard for City Council to know what to expect. Guernsey has 5 hotels, 5 restaurants, 2 grocery stores and 2 gas stations for some 30,000 people on eclipse day. So you have two choices you can either be “eclipse friendly” or “eclipse unfriendly”.

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Anatomy of an Eclipse Trip – DAY FOUR

Yesterday afternoon we loaded and secured our gear into Yurt 4 as a tremendous storm approached our position. The picture of the storm would’ve been perfect with a few lightning strikes below, but apparently that wasn’t Mother Nature’s plan even though we heard the roar of thunder echo constantly across the valley. Today when we arrived it was a completely different story. The sky was beautifully clear and as Gary and I set up our telescopes we practiced on the Sun. We’re ready. Is Mother Nature?

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Where are the satellites?

Where are the satellites? We hear a lot about GPS, Hubble, the ISS and a load of other satellites, but not often where they are or much about how they got there, or how they stay there.

Our Very Own Super Massive Black Hole – SMBH

We are understanding a little more about the Super Massive Black Hole at the centre of our galaxy and observations are also revealing that Einstein was right about his theory of general relativity.

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