Sunday, December 11, 2011

DEC'11 Lunar Eclipse

What a great way to close out the observational year! I was very fortunate to have excellent viewing conditions and a easy to get to location to see this show - right on my driveway!

I was out the door at 4:15 a.m and I was able to spy the faint penumbrae "gray dusting" with my naked eye - easy with our very dry air conditions! Shades of gray on top of shades of grey.

First contact of the umbra is a highlight for me and right on time it shows itself kissing the lunar western frontier! Could it be because my street name is "Umbria Court" that I love this stuff so much?

As the shadow sojourned across Tom shows up to enjoy the unfolding shadow show. He joined me last year at this time for the previous total lunar eclipse. The cold and hour did not deter him from hanging out with the SUG, having some of his nitro coffee, and listening to my roaming commentary. Tom made good observes watching lunar features brighten and fade as totality came upon us. He really enjoyed the crater Tyco show that you can see in the pics!

AT 104 was the perfect scope for this outing with his sharp optics. The colors were absolutely vivid!

Here are keys to a successful early morning and very cool temperature Lunar Eclipse observe : Hot stick to your ribs SUGO Chicken Paprikash & Pasta the night before and nitro coffee! Bliss!

And of course a ruddy moon with shades of red, orange, brown and rust to color my western morning sky. By a stroke of celestial geometry I was just able to catch the end of totality on my nearby foothill with the binoculars with Luna a mere 5 degrees above the horizon shaded by morning haze in the distance. Not be left out Mrs.SUG joined me right at this minute and caught the still eclipsed moon as it kissed the western horizon. Impressed she was with this sublime view and her spouses fervor and tenacity to view all things cosmic!

Friday, December 2, 2011

End of Nov"11 Astro Stuff

I had my final session with Sierra NV Journey's Teacher's Workshop this Tuesday with our topic being Luna!

These teachers worked hard and put their hearts into everything! Modeling, observations, problem solving & presentation skills were covered. Great group to work with!

Saturday past while doing fall yard work there was a fine Sun Dog display to be enjoyed. Here is the eastern dog with arcs. The western one was hidden. I have been generally clouded out these last weeks. Wednesday eve looked promising till 80mph winds showed up!
And finally this is a book I have been wanting to read. I really like Dava Sobel's writing skills and research - amazing. I cannot recommended this read enough to shed the light of history upon events 400 years ago. Truly Science Faith Love melded together!

The last 10 pages were very moving. What was was played out is seen in the lives of the major players: devotion, heart felt dialogue and passion, nature's revelations, reverence, respect, and time as the great equalizer of everyone/everything.

Truly astronomy touches the human spirit and experience in many ways!