Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Lynx & Lentils Healthy Eating And Observing Club

Here are two sublime items; one residing forever in your pantry and a bit of a mystery. The other in the sky hidden amongst more notable sky patterns hard to discern.

The Legumes: Lentils are funny. How many bags of these dried protein packed saucers are hanging out in cabinets and pantries unused I wonder and the greater mystery is how to use them. I love them! Simple, unpretentious and not a looked for item for most folks but still there waiting to be discovered. I found a neat recipe where cooked lentils are baked along with onions, peppers, artichokes, garlic, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, black pepper. I served this over angel hair pasta and topped with chopped green olives with a dash of olive oil. Oh my the flavors just exploded in my mouth with sweet, spicy, and earthy begging for attention. Oh the leftovers where totally delightful! Never underestimate the power of this legume to satisfy!

The Constellation: Dim and elusive hence the moniker Lynx. Tracking and slinking its way through the intersection of Cancer, Gemini, Auriga, Leo and Leo Minor and the nose and feet of Ursa Major. Not a mainstream constellation and it takes an effort to discern amongst the gaggle of near by star patterns. But once seen and located it is forever yours to enjoy! During my DeepMap 600 Blitz with Gemini riding high there was the cat purring away at me all most at zenith. I just had to sit down in my lounger and take a break just to enjoy this elusive feline once again. Just tracing out its form ignited my imagination of early astronomers dividing the sky up into sections for easier study and having to make sense of the leftover stars not connected to anything! This cat is a double star hunting ground for seasoned observers and a constellation catch for the cat like night visioned novice. Once you spy it you will know what to do with it; grasp it's tail to capture, explore it and savor its stealthy ways!


Johany said...

I love lentils. I actually had some Progresso Lentil Soup for lunch yesterday. But it is not as yummy as the one that you made! I gotta try that one!!!

I wanted to let you know I had a blast stargazing with both my eyes and my binos last night. My binos aren't the greatest (Vivitar 7x50) that my 7 year old son got for Xmas. But they are better than nothing! :)

I took my son out at 8:30 last night to brush up on the constellations. He already knows where Orion the Hunter is and knows the stars Bellatrix, Rigel and Betelgueuse (he likes that one cause he loves the movie Beetlejuice).

He also learned about Sirius and how it's the brightest star in the night sky. And of course where the Big dipper is, Polaris and Queen Cassiopeia. We love Greek mythology and how some of the constellations have greek stories. He even named one of the winter constellations after his favorite God Zeus!

Weather wasn't that cold so it was perfect.

We saw the Pleades star cluster through the binos and that was a delight!!! They were crisp, bright and clear!

We also tried to focus on M42 the Great Orion Nebula and we saw a very fuzzy thing up there! It was amazing!!! I can just imagine how M42 will look when I get my 10 inch Dob!!! Simply amazing!!!

Sorry if I'm blabbing. I'm just so excited to share this with all of you. After I found the Gemini Twins in the night sky I noticed this bright reddish star near the head of Pollux.

I looked at my Sky and Telescope sky chart (which I love cause it's so simple) and lo and behold: IT WAS MARS!!! AWESOME!!! Of course it didnt' look so spectacular through my binos (for some reason it looked better with my eyes alone) but I found myself counting the days to when I get my scope and how awesome it will look in it!

I had to drag the hubby away from watching American Idol just so he can take a glimpse at Mars!!!

I certainly got the astronomy bug last night. It was well worth it considering that starting tonight and all through Sunday it's going to rain, rain, rain!!!

Time to take out the books!!!

Sidewalk Universe said...

Way to go and blabber all you want too! You are welcome to share your discoveries & excitement here! I love hearing this stuff. You are taking what you have, binos a break in the weather, your enthusiasm and look at the result. You are doing outreach astronomy right in your own home with your family - cool!

Do we have another potential sidewalk astronomer with a infectious love of the sky?

Notice how your binos can pick up star clusters really well - check on your S&T chart for the Beehive cluster(just below Mars in Cancer) and the Hyades(face of Taurus) now in your west. These will fuel your imagination and you will want to bag more.

Did you notice the smallish clusters around the area of M42? Your 7x50's are good enough! Winter skies are a star cluster heaven and you can bag & tag!

If dollars permit why not order from Orion Optics a DeepMap 600 and you can start on your "cluster quest"now? You will be unstoppable in your pursuit!

A 10" Dob - perfect! When you have a chance go through my earlier posting from JUNE - OCT '09 and look from anything with ED in it. He is my neighbor across the street who I helped get started in all this - 10" Dob!

Is that just funny - here I posted Lentils/Lynx and you had it for lunch!

NiteSkyGirl Blog said...

Thanks for the kind words there Ritchie about the grammar. I lost a lot of readers because of it. I've been clobbered the past 2 months, between that and when i mentioned i didn't get any comments on my blog changes, wow ! yikes! They thought i was looking for praise but i realized I worded it wrong. I was asking to know what observing material they wanted.
So people don't comment anymore because if it,
That's alright though, I'm here to enjoy astronomy.
I get a lot of rude emails from it still and am told to stop asking people to share their observations but I'm still trekking :)

not letting the turkeys drag me down lol

NiteSkyGirl Blog said...

I forgot to share the amazing site that has been launched recently.

Johany said...

Thanks for letting me know about the Orion Deep sky map 600. I'm checking it out through their website right now!!!

I can't wait to check out the Hyades and the Beehive Cluster like you said! It's very cloudy tonight and going to rain for the next few days.

But in the meanwhile I'll come out with an observing night plan which will include the Beehive and the Hyades.

Fun, fun, fun!

Sidewalk Universe said...

Hey Johany, Here's another one for you and your bino's. Being as you know Cassiopeia nearby to it's west is Perseus. Look for the brightest star - this is Alpha Per(Algenib)and center it in your bino's. Now check out the winding star chains that surround this jewel. This is a stellar association Melotte 111. You will be impressed!

How could I forget this easy to find treasure trove!

NiteSkyGirl Blog said...

I love Melotte 111. You little bugger, you got people started on my ready for launch post. too funny.

Johany said...

Thanks SUG! I will do that as soon as it clears outside! It won't be till Monday night cause it'll be raining all day and night till then.

If you have any other suggestions as to other gems I can find in my binos PLEASE let me know!!!

Sidewalk Universe said...

OK Johany you asked for it you got it. Now that you have mastered Cassiopeia, located Perseus now on to Andromeda. With your S&T MAP locate Gamma And. It will be a noticeable orange star to the eye and really orange in your binos!

Center Gamma and head toward west. You will run into a large dispersed cluster NGC 752. You will know you have it as there is a very pretty orange star out in the suburbs of this stellar sprawl. This cluster resides right between Gamma And & Beta Triangulum. Easy catch with your growing skills!

Back to my househubby chores!

Sidewalk Universe said...

OK Johany you got me going - here is another easy capture, really easy.

Find Polaris - in your binos it should be a pretty yellow color. Now notice the chain of stars which make this famous star look like a diamond on a ring. You have just spied the Polar Engagement Ring!

Oh my here's another one. Find Sirius which you know. Notice its brilliance and now move south and slightly west as you do popping into view will be M41 a wonderful cluster to ponder.

Two more! Center Sirius and move east about one fist width from Sirius. Into your field of view will spill two clusters of stars; one compressed and one loose. M46 & M47. They will fit very nicely in your field of view.

OK I think I'm done! Have fun!

Sidewalk Universe said...

How could I be soooooooooooo forgetful! Here's another easy easy!

Find Cassiopeia and notice it's most northern star in the W-Epsilon. Find Perseus and the tippy top of his head-Eta. Now draw a line between the 2 and survey between these 2 guide stars. You have now landed on NGC 869-884 the famous double cluster.

You will know when you have it!

OK back to work!

Drive-by Astronomy said...

Poor Johany you've be SUGmerized, SUGerated and SUGified! Celestial Photons and healthy SUG-inspired Phood are now your "Ethos" (and maybe some day you can acquire the eyepiece version too).

Johany we don't know with "blabbing" is so keep doing it if thats what youre doing because we must do it all the time. You should however let your husband know you now have another guy in your life that you covertly interact with under the cover of star-filled darkness.

SUG too has encouraged and motivated me with his Astronomy Photon and Phood Passion (aka APPP). Such much so he prompted the Drive-by to shed 14lbs with his healthier dietary choice and more exercise which has unleashed more energy within me to pursue more and astronomy fun. Thanks SUGster.

It's great that you get your son out too Johany. A wonderful way to spend some time together. Way to go! And the 10" will be a great choice and can provide you with a lifetime of awesome stellar views.

NS Girl. I love your blog. Great fun and so the right attitude about having fun posts and fun observing sessions.. The SUGster and I certainly don't waste our time with the literary perfections in our posts and communication banter. We have a blast. Stay as you are. I think I can speak for the SUG, we are a couple "turkeys" (I think our kids think we are at times) but don't let the other turkeys drag you down 8^)

SUG those are some great targets you pose for Johany... poor poor astronophillic Johany! She is most certainly terminal now but we will assist her through this enormously pleasurable period of her life.

Drive-by Astronomy said...

Oh, I must ready the PJ's for fairer weather so I can join the SUG and NSG for some time time astronomy adventures.

Sidewalk Universe said...

APPP - Love it!

Drive-by Astronomy said...

That is.. Night time astronomy adventure and APPP

Drive-by Astronomy said...

Oh cool. I like it! "Bringing the Universe to the streets below"

Johany said...

You SUG and Drive-by are so funny! I crack up with all of your banters at each other (and at me) all the time!

Thanks SUG for the bino delights! I've actually printed what you said so I can plot them on my sky chart for my nightly excursion! When ever this rain ever ends!

Oh, and Drive-by, thanks for posting on my blog and following me. That was very nice of you.

Oh, and as to this remark:

"You should however let your husband know you now have another guy in your life that you covertly interact with under the cover of star-filled darkness."

You just wait till the NEW guy by the name of Dobs comes for Xmas. My hubby will never see me at night again!!!

Sidewalk Universe said...

Hey Drive - by with Johany new passion you and I may need to run to the hills ahead of a concerned hubby!