Thursday, September 24, 2009
9-23-09 Chasing A Spot And Luna Antares Dance
Our fall weather is fantastic and so are the views. Early on Brett and Thao came by to get their dose lunar light and preceded to navigate the moon's surface with the aid of a atlas using craters Hercules and Atlas as home base. Brett called them the "vampire marks". This was no small feat for him as he is a tall type of person and with the moon dropping in the sky he had to bend down a bit. Thao had no issues with this when it was her turn! Many throughout the evening were asking "just what is that reddish point of light to the Moon's left"? Well that my friends is the red Super Giant Star Antares that is 400 times the size of our Sun and hundreds of light years away! What an opportunity to discuss and model Luna's path across the sky, phases, stars and their great distance from us, and their life cycles!
Later on Cristina and Luis stopped by to take in the evenings views having heard that the Sidewalk Universe Guy makes it a 2-3x weekly ritual at the Marina. Because of the steadying air Jupiter was magnificent and these guys along with others got to see "THE SPOT" along with the shifting moons of Galileo distinction. Luis had questions about the North Star (actually one of several on this outing for some reason) so we preceded to dismantle the urban myths concerning this important celestial skymark and learned how to use to find our way around the sky. I try to give my visitors more than they ask and bargained for.
I haven't heard any complaints yet!