Monday, January 23, 2017

NASA & the Trump Administration

https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/journey_to_mars.jpg
(Graphic Source: NASA)

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

Unlike several other issues in the U.S. Presidential Election Campaign of last year, not much was discussed regarding Science, and more specifically, NASA and Space Exploration. However, the newly-inaugurated Presidential Administration of Donald J. Trump has made a few moves regarding NASA.

Although President Trump's Inaugural Address was rather short, it did include a few sentences referencing Science and Technology and the exploration of Outer Space:

Finally, we must think big and dream even bigger. In America, we understand that a nation is only living as long as it is striving...
We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the earth from the miseries of disease and to harness the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow.”

Last week, NASA confirmed that NASA Associate Administrator David Lightfoot, the agency's top civil servant, will serve as the NASA Acting Administrator, beginning on January 20, when the Trump Administration officially takes the reigns of government. At that time, the previous NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman officially leave the agency.

NASA Chief Financial Officer David Radzanowski, who earned his Master's Degree in Public Policy and Management at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University, had been asked to stay-on, at least temporarily, by the Trump Administration's transition team, to provide continuity for the agency, until the Trump Administration appoints new NASA leadership. However, at the last minute it seems the Trump transition staff changed their minds. According to his biography on the NASA Internet web site, Mr. Radzanowski resigned from NASA on January 20, the day President Trump was inaugurated.

In an internal NASA memorandum dated January 20, Mr. Lightfoot announced two new NASA staff members, appointed by the Trump Administration. Greg Autry was appointed to be the White House Liaison to NASA, while Erik Noble will be the White House Senior Advisor to NASA.

Mr. Autry, who has a great interest in commercial space activities, is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California. Mr. Noble, who worked as a political data analyst for the Trump Campaign, has a Ph.D. In Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado and worked for seven years on Weather and Climate models for the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies in New York.

It is unknown how long Mr. Lightfoot will serve as NASA Acting Administrator. Thus far, there has been no word on a nominee for the permanent Administrator position, although there is speculation regarding who President Trump may nominate.

Representative Jim Bridenstein (R-OK) is rumored to be President Trump's top choice for the job of NASA Administrator, although no announcement has yet been made regarding this position. Congressman Bridenstein has just started his third term representing Oklahoma in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Congressman Bridenstein favors expanding the responsibilities of the Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST), beyond its current regulation of launch and re-entry of spacecraft. He believes the agency should also regulate in-space activities, including possible future mining of planets and asteroids.

It is speculated that commercial space-related activities will receive primary attention during the Trump Administration. In this, there may not be much difference from President Barack H. Obama's Administration, which oversaw the beginning of commercial space ventures such as SpaceX, Orbital ATK, Cygnus, and Bigelow Aerospace.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz brought up the issue of commercial space, during confirmation hearings for the upcoming Trump Administration Cabinet officers on January 11. He asked U.S. Secretary of Transportation-Designate Elaine Chao, during her Senate hearing, whether she would favor transferring the Office of Commercial Space Transportation from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) back to the Transportation Secretary's office.

In 1983, U.S. President Ronald Reagan used an Executive Order to assign the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) with the responsibility for facilitating and regulating the commercial space launch industry. Congress passed the Commercial Space Launch Act the next year, which placed the Office of Commercial Space Transportation in the Transportation Secretary's office.

The Office of Commercial Space Transportation was transferred to the FAA in November of 1995. Supporters of commercial space argue that the Office would have greater visibility and resources if it returned to the Transportation Secretary's office.

Ms. Chao, who was not prepared for this particular question, stated that she would seek “getting briefed on the current status of the issue.” Senator Cruz, who favors the proposed transfer, said he would work with her on the issue.

Ms. Chao served in various capacities during previous Republican Administrations, including as Labor Secretary during the George W. Bush Administration. During part of the George H.W. Bush Administration, Ms. Chao was Deputy Secretary of Transportation. She is married to Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader (R-KY), who, along with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, introduced her at the hearing.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who sought the Republican Presidential Nomination in 2016, is Chairman of the Senate's Space, Science and Competitiveness Sub-Committee. In the last Congress, he helped pass the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (CSLCA), which proposes the move of the Office of Commercial Space Transportation from the FAA to the DOT.

Senator Cruz was the only Senator to ask any questions regarding Outer Space policy. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) did not ask any space-related questions, although he did mention that he was an author of the 1984 commercial space legislation when he served in the House of Representatives.

Another Space issue that will need attention by the new Administration will be the future of NASA's Earth Science program. Some members of Congress, including Senator Cruz, believe the functions of this program would be better in another agency, such as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the U.S. Department of Commerce. However, NASA officials continue emphasizing that Earth Science is an important part of NASA's mission.

It is reported that the Trump Administration may reinstate the National Space Council, which is an advisory body within the Executive Office, to recommend Space policies to the President. A National Space Council, which would likely be chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, was last in use during the George H.W. Bush Administration from 1988 to 1993.

Some issues a future National Space Council may consider include proposed crewed missions to the Moon, Mars, and to an asteroid. As of now, NASA is committed to maintaining the International Space Station (ISS), at least, through 2024. Although, NASA officials have expressed hope that private industry may play a larger role in maintaining ISS, as well as in other low-Earth orbit activities, in the future.

Another position that has not yet been filled by the incoming Administration is that of head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. More informally known as the White House Science Advisor, this person helps set Science and Technology policy for an Administration, as well as helping to explain complex Science and Technology issues to Presidents, who often come into office with minimal knowledge of such issues. However, it is reported that there are rumors that President Trump may leave this position vacant.

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

Foust, Jeff. "Trump administration assigns first political appointees to NASA."
SpaceNews.com 2017 Jan. 22.
Link >>> http://spacenews.com/trump-administration-assigns-first-political-appointees-to-nasa/

Jeff Foust
"President Trump's Inaugural Address, Annotated." Public Address.
National Public Radio 2017 January 20.
Link >>> http://www.npr.org/2017/01/20/510629447/watch-live-president-trumps-inauguration-ceremony

Cofield, Calla. "6 Things to Know About Trump and NASA."
Space.com 2017 Jan. 20.
Link >>> http://www.space.com/35395-6-things-about-trump-and-nasa.html?utm_source=sp-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20170120-sdc

Foust, Jeff. "NASA's top civil servant will lead the agency temporarily."
SpaceNews.com 2017 Jan. 13.
Link >>> http://spacenews.com/nasas-top-civil-servant-will-lead-the-agency-temporarily/
Jeff Foust

Smith, Marcia S."Chao Punts on Whether Commerical Space Should be Restored to DOT Secretary's Office."
SpacePolicyOnLine.com 2017 Jan. 12.
Link >>> http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/chao-demurs-on-whether-commercial-space-should-be-restored-to-dot-secretarys-office

Related Blog Posts ---

"U.S. Space Program: Views of Presidential Candidates." 2016 Nov. 6.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/11/us-space-program-views-of-presidential.html

 

"White House Science Frontiers Conference & Astronomy Night in Pittsburgh." 2016 Oct. 14.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/10/white-house-science-frontiers.html

 

"U.S. Presidential Candidates Answer Science Questions." 2016 Sept. 18.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/09/us-presidential-candidates-answer.html


Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.
             2017 January 23.

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Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
& SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
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South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin Blog: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, etc.: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Friday, January 13, 2017

Iconic Radio Telescope to be Moth-Balled?

Radio Group members tour the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia
A group of students, with instructor Kent C. Hoffman, from the radio program at Camp
Shaw-Mi-Del-Eca near White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, visit the National Radio
Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank, West Virginia in July of 1974.
(Image Source: The Radio Group)

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

A very large and iconic radio telescope in West Virginia could be shuttered, with the possible loss of National Science Foundation (NSF) funding in the near future. The U.S. Government agency, which funds fundamental research and education in all non-medical fields of science and engineering, wishes to free-up money for newer projects and facilities.

One of the major facilities being considered for defunding is the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia. Several other radio, solar, optical, and near-infrared telescopes in several locations such as Arizona, New Mexico, and Chile, including the huge radio telescope dish in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, are also being considered for divestment by the agency.

On October 19, the National Science Foundation announced that it would consider several alternatives regarding the future of the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, as part of a Federal Environmental Impact Statement process. These alternatives range from continuing NSF funding to possibly moth-balling the telescope, or even possibly deconstructing the telescope. NSF developed the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope and owns the land where it sits. Last year, NSF sought public comment from scientists and the West Virginia community regarding the telescope's future. Thus far, no decision has been made.

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), with its largest facilities located in the small village of Green Bank in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, includes the world's largest fully-steerable radio telescope, the 328-foot / 100-meter Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope. NRAO is also the home to several other radio telescopes, including a 140-foot / 43-meter telescope with an equatorial mount uncommon for most radio telescopes, three 85-foot / 26-meter telescopes forming the Green Bank Interferometer, a 40-foot / 12-meter telescope used for small-scale research by school students and educational organizations, and a fixed radio “horn” built to observe the Cassiopeia A radio source. At Green Bank there also is a reproduction of the original antenna, used by Karl Jansky at Bell Labs, which first detected radio interference that was determined to be radio waves from the early Universe, shortly after the Big Bang.

GBT.png
The 328-foot / 100-meter Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, the world's largest fully-steerable radio telescope completed in 2001.
(Image Sources: Wikipedia.org , By Geremia at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Geremia using CommonsHelper., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4207232 )

The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, which was built in 2001, is also one of the newest such telescopes. Its construction was necessitated by the collapse of a 296.7-foot / 90.44-meter radio telescope, built in 1962, on 1988 November 15. Several discoveries have been made by the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, in its short life, including the detection of three new millisecond pulsars in the globular cluster M-62 (2002), discovery of a large coil-shaped magnetic field in the Orion Molecular Cloud of the Orion Constellation (2006), and discovery of a large hydrogen-gas superbubble 23,000 light years away called the Ophiuchus Superbubble (2006). More recently, the telescope has discovered the most massive neutron star to-date and primordial and molecular clouds surrounding several galaxies. The telescope is also being used to scan the “quiet zone” radio spectrum of 1 to 10 GHz as part of the “Breakthrough Listen” project, which may someday detect radio signals from extraterrestrial civilizations.

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is located within the National Radio Quiet Zone, an area where radio transmissions are severely restricted to aid scientific research and military intelligence. This 13,000 square-mile / 34,000 square-kilometer Zone includes a large part of eastern West Virginia, a smaller part of western Virginia, and a tiny part of Maryland. With a population of approximately 179, Green Bank, West Virginia is near the center of the National Radio Quiet Zone and is, by Federal law, a town without cellular telephones, wireless Internet routers, or any other types of radio transmitters.

What became a major controversy began when, in August of 2012, a National Science Foundation Astronomy Portfolio Review Committee chaired by Daniel Eisenstein of Harvard University recommended that the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope be defunded over a five-year period. The U.S. Congress did not choose to defund the NRAO in the Fiscal Year 2014 budget.

So, NSF continued funding the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, but at a lower level. While they funded 95 per-cent of the telescope's $10 million operating cost in 2012, the funding for the Fiscal Year 2017 has been reduced to 66 per-cent.

While the NSF wants to use their very limited resources to fund newer projects and telescopes, astronomers argue that the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope is still a state-of-the-art facility, which has unique capabilities other telescopes cannot match. As the world's largest steerable radio telescope, the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope can cover 80 per-cent of the sky, while other large radio telescopes cannot cover half that amount of sky.

Astronomers also point-out that new research into gravitational waves and pulsars has invalidated the conclusions of the 2012 study. The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope is well-known for pulsar research and can make progress in the research now, without the need to wait for new facilities to come on-line.

The NRAO has started to find academic and private partners to help with the funding of the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope. These include West Virginia University, the North American NanoHertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav), and the Breakthrough Listen project. However, these partners may not be able to fully compensate for a complete loss of NSF funding.

In addition to astronomical research, the NRAO inspires in the general public, particularly students, an interest in Astronomy and Science. More than 2,500 people tour the facility, or participate in mentorship or Summer internship programs, each year. For instance, groups of radio students from a Summer camp near White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, Camp Shaw-Mi-Del-Eca, toured the facility in the 1960s and 1970s. Workshops and research training for West Virginia teachers are also provided.

The NRAO is also a major teaching and research tool of West Virginia University (WVU). Since 2006, WVU has produced 56 academic publications related to the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, with 19 of them published just this-past year!

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

Karen O’Neil
Gardner, Jennifer. "Professor Q&A: Duncan Lorimer, Department of Physics and Astronomy."
Daily Athenaeum, West Virginia University, Morgantown 2017 Jan. 18.
Regarding research using the Green Bank Telescope.
Link >>> http://www.thedaonline.com/arts_and_entertainment/article_5dd1354a-dd40-11e6-8023-93455905fc4c.html

O'Neil, Karen and Michael J. Holstine.
"Letter: Green Bank Observatory thanks West Virginians for support." Letter-to-the-Editor.
Charleston Gazette-Mail 2017 Jan. 17.
Link >>> http://www.wvgazettemail.com/gazette-letters-to-the-editor/20170117/letter-green-bank-observatory-thanks-west-virginians-for-support-gazette

National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Green Bank WV:
Link 1 >>> https://public.nrao.edu/
Link 2 >>> http://www.nrao.edu/
Link 3 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Radio_Astronomy_Observatory#Green_Bank.2C_West_Virginia

Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope:
Link 1 >>> https://public.nrao.edu/telescopes/affiliated/gbt
Link 2 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Bank_Telescope

National Radio Quiet Zone (NRQZ): Link >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com/wlcr.html#nrqz

National Science Foundation:
Link 1 >>> https://www.nsf.gov/
Link 2 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Science_Foundation

Breakthrough Listen Project:
Link 1 >>> https://breakthroughinitiatives.org/Initiative/1
Link 2 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breakthrough_Initiatives#Breakthrough_Listen

Village of Green Bank WV: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Bank%2C_West_Virginia

Student Field Trip to National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Green Bank WV by Campers from Camp Shaw-Mi-Del-Eca, White Sulphur Springs WV:
Link >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com/wlcr.html#greenbank

Radio Astronomy Exhibit at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science:
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/Buhlexhibits.htm#radioastro

Related Blog Posts ---

"World’s Largest Fully Steerable Radio Telescope Risks Shut-Down." 2013 Sept. 5.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/09/worlds-largest-fully-steerable-radio.html

 

"Petition: Save NSF Funding of Green Bank Telescope." 2012 Nov. 20.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/11/petition-save-nsf-funding-of-green-bank.html

 

Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.
             2017 January 13

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gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
& SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Astronomy Links: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#astrolinks >
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SpaceWatchtower Twitter News Feed: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
LibraryWatchtower Blog: < http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com >
South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin Blog: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, etc.: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Monday, January 2, 2017

Astronomical Calendar: 2017 January

Grissom, White, and Chaffee in front of the launch pad containing their AS-204 space vehicle
Fifty years ago this month (on 1967 January 27), NASA astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee were killed in a cabin fire during a launch rehearsal test of their Apollo 1 space capsule. This was the first of three major tragedies which took the lives of NASA astronauts, the other two being the explosion of the Challenger Space Shuttle shortly after launch and the loss of the Columbia Space Shuttle upon Earth atmospheric re-entry. A near-tragedy was averted, during the Apollo 13 mission to the Moon.
(Image Sources: Wikipedia.org , By NASA/photographer unknown - NASA [1] Great Images in NASA Description, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=111185 )

Astronomical Calendar for 2017 January: 
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium4.tripod.com/astrocalendar/2017.html#jan

Source: Friends of the Zeiss.
             2017 January 2.

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Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
& SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Astronomy Links: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#astrolinks >
Science Links: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks >
SpaceWatchtower Twitter News Feed: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
LibraryWatchtower Blog: < http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com >
South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin Blog: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, etc.: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Dec. 31: Added Leap-Second at Very End of Leap-Year

leap second concept  isolated on white background Stock Photo - 40262255
By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

Every four years (usually), the calendar year is longer by 24 hours than the previous three years. However this Leap-Year of 2016 will be even longer, by one second, with the addition of a Leap-Second at the very end of the year as determined by Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

On July 6, the U.S. Naval Observatory in America (after a decision made by the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service) announced that a Leap-Second would be added to the civil time scale on Saturday Evening, 2016 December 31 at 23:59:60 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) / 6:59:60 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). Leap-Seconds are added, occasionally when needed, at either the end of June or the end of December, or both.

As with all Leap-Seconds, the Leap-Second occurs at the end of the day as determined by Coordinated Universal Time. In the case of a December 31 Leap-Second, this means that the Leap-Second will be added at the very end of 2016 in the Western Hemisphere of Earth. In the Eastern Hemisphere, where January 1 will take-effect before 23:59:60 UTC, the Leap-Second will occur during the first day of 2017.

Coordinated Universal Time (sometimes referred to as Greenwich Mean Time or Greenwich Civil Time), an international time scale used by most of the world's scientists, is configured to begin the day at the Prime Meridian at the Royal Greenwich Observatory (commissioned by King Charles II in 1675) in Greenwich, England, five miles southeast of central London. This is the legacy of the time several centuries ago when Great Britain was the world's foremost seafaring power.

Since the first Leap-Second was added in June of 1972, 26 Leap-Seconds have been added over the years. Leap-Seconds added in both June and December of the same year have occurred only once, thus far: in 1972, the year Leap-Seconds commenced. The last Leap-Second was added on 2015 June 30 at 23:59:60 UTC / 7:59:60 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT).

Leap-Seconds have been added, periodically, to respond to the continual slowing of the rotation rate of the Earth, so the world's clocks do not vary significantly from the normal sunrise and sunset times throughout the year. Tidal forces from the Moon (and to a lesser extent, the Sun), in addition to the well-known ocean tides, work to slow the Earth's rotation rate. Geologic conditions that change the distribution of the Earth's mass, such as the movement of the Earth's crust relative to its core, are a contributing factor to slowing of the rotation rate.

In theory, a negative Leap-Second, retracting one second at the end of June or December, is also possible. This would occur if the Earth's rotation rate started accelerating. However, there has never been a need for a negative Leap-Second.

The slowing of the Earth's rotation rate is not consistent, and hence, Leap-Seconds are irregularly spaced and unpredictable. No Leap-Seconds were added between the Leap-Second of 1998 December 31 and the Leap-Second of 2005 December 31, while Leap-Seconds were added each year from 1972 to 1979 (including the two Leap-Seconds in 1972). The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS), based in Frankfurt, Germany, usually decides to install a Leap-Second in the time scale about six months in advance of implementation.

Of course, the Earth's rotation rate does not suddenly slow down by one second, at certain intervals. The Earth's rotation rate has been continually slowing down, and this continues to be monitored by scientists.

Currently, the Earth's rotation rate, measured as UT1 (Universal Time-1 - Mean Solar Time at the Prime Meridian in Greenwich, England), is behind scientists' more consistent UTC [derived from International Atomic Time (TAI), determined by atomic clocks] by four-tenths of a second (clock correction known as DUT1, which is UT1 minus UTC). So, for the civil time scale to stay more consistent with the Earth's rotation rate, a Leap-Second is needed to slow down UTC by one second.

Once the Leap-Second takes effect (at 23:59:60 UTC on Saturday, 2016 December 31), this would make the Earth's rotation rate in advance of UTC by six-tenths of a second. Then, it may take a couple years for the Earth to slow down enough, to the point where UT1 would again be behind UTC and another Leap-Second would be needed. UTC is never allowed to advance more than nine-tenths of a second ahead of UT1, although usually a Leap-Second is added long before that could happen.

Leap-Seconds have proven to be a problem for computers. Hence, in 2005 there was a proposal to eliminate Leap-Seconds, possibly replacing them with Leap-Hours as a way to keep the civil time scale in-sync with the Earth's rotation rate. However, this issue has been quite controversial among scientists and government officials, so the decision to make any change has been delayed.

Precise time signals, which will include the Leap-Second on December 31 as well as the daily DUT correction, are now provided by government agencies via radio, telephone, and the Internet. This includes agencies such as the U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) [originally known as the National Bureau of Standards (NBS)] of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada. Earlier in the 19th century, the Allegheny Observatory in Pittsburgh provided precise time signals to the railroads and some cities via the telegraph.

Radio time signals, with voice announcements each minute, are provided by three short-wave radio stations in North America: WWV in Fort Collins, Colorado and WWVH in Kekaha, Kauai, Hawaii, both operated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and CHU in Ottawa, Ontario, operated by the National Research Council of Canada. Radio-controlled clocks automatically receive the precise time from NIST-operated, long-wave radio station WWVB in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

More on the Leap-Second -
Link 1 >>> http://www.timeanddate.com/time/leapseconds.html
Link 2 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_second
Link 3 >>> http://earthsky.org/human-world/leap-second-june-30-december-31-why-need-controversy

More on Universal Time (including UT1 & UTC):
Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Time

More on Coordinated Universal Time:
Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coordinated_Universal_Time

More on International Atomic Time:
Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Atomic_Time

International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS):
Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Earth_Rotation_and_Reference_Systems_Service

Royal Greenwich Observatory:
Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Observatory%2C_Greenwich

More on precise, international radio time services ---

WWV (SW), Fort Collins, Colorado (Voice announcements of precise time):
Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWV_%28radio_station%29

WWVH (SW), Kekaha, Kauai, Hawaii (Voice announcements of precise time):
Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWVH

CHU (SW), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (Voice announcements of precise time):
Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CHU_%28radio_station%29

WWVB (LW), Fort Collins, Colorado (For Radio-Controlled Clocks only):
Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWVB

More on precise time via telegraph in the 19th century, from Pittsburgh's Allegheny Observatory:
Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/03/some-states-to-abandon-daylight-saving.html

Related Blog Posts ---

"Leap-Year to be Even Longer w/ Added Leap-Second!" 2016 July 11.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/07/leap-year-to-be-even-longer-w-added.html


"'Leap Second' Tue. Evening Due to Slowing Earth Rotation Rate." 2015 June 30.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2015/06/leap-second-tue-evening-due-to-slowing.html


"Slowing Earth Rotation Rate Necessitates June 'Leap Second'." 2015 Jan. 27.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2015/01/slowing-of-rotation-rate-necessitates.html


"End of the "Leap Second"?" 2012 Jan. 17.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/01/end-of-leap-second.html


Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.
             2016 December 27.


                                                               Historic 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.
        2016: 75th Year of Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium Observatory
     Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/11/75th-anniversary-americas-5th-public.html

                             Like This Post? - Please Share!

            More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
            Link >>> https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower

        Astronomy & Science Links: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks

                Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts in your inbox ?
                Send request to < spacewatchtower@planetarium.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
& SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Astronomy Links: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#astrolinks >
Science Links: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks >
SpaceWatchtower Twitter News Feed: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
LibraryWatchtower Blog: < http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com >
South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin Blog: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, etc.: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Winter Begins Early Wed.; Ursid Meteors Peak Wed. Night

http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/pix/graphics/solsticeimage008.png
This graphic generally shows the location and configuration of the Earth, in relation to the Sun, at
the times of Solstices and Equinoxes during the year.
(Graphic Source: ©1999, Eric G. Canali, former Floor Manager of Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science and Founder of the South Hills Backyard Astronomers amateur astronomy club; permission granted for only non-profit use with credit to author.)

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

The season of Winter, in the Northern Hemisphere of Earth, begins at the moment of the December Solstice tomorrow morning (Wednesday, 2016 December 21) at 5:44 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) / 10:44 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). This moment also marks the astronomical beginning of the Summer season in the Southern Hemisphere.

Tomorrow evening / early Thursday morning will mark the best time to see the annual Ursid Meteor Shower. This meteor shower peaks Thursday, 2016 December 22 at 4:00 a.m. EST / 9:00 UTC.

                                               Winter Solstice 2016

In etymology, the word solstice comes from the Latin terms sol (Sun) and sistere (to stand-still). In ancient times, astronomers / astrologers / priests recognized that one day of the year when the Sun would appear to reach its lowest point in the sky for the entire year. The motion of the Sun's apparent path in the sky (what is known astronomically today as the Sun's declination) would cease on this day, and the Sun would appear to stand-still, before reversing direction.

With our Gregorian Calendar, this usually occurs on, or very close to, December 21. In ancient times, when people used the Julian Calendar, the Winter Solstice was on, or very close to, December 25, what we now know as Christmas Day. Mid-Winter festivals, at the time of the Winter Solstice, were common in ancient times. Instead of competing with these traditions, the early Roman Catholic Church Christianized the Winter festivals by observing the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25 (the actual birth date of Jesus was probably in September).

Today, we know that, while the Sun does have motions, it is actually the motion of the Earth, tilted on its axis 23.44 degrees from the plane of our Solar System while revolving around the Sun, that causes the Earth's seasons. Hence, as the Earth arrives at the point in its orbit around the Sun, where the south polar axis is most directly inclined toward the Sun (thus, the Sun appears at its lowest point for the year in the Northern Hemisphere sky) around December 21, this marks the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere (and the Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere).

Alternately around June 21, the Summer Solstice marks the beginning of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere (and this date also marks the Winter Solstice, which is the beginning of Winter in the Southern Hemisphere) as the Earth reaches the point in its orbit where the north polar axis is most directly inclined toward the Sun.

The day of the December Solstice is the only time of the year when the Sun reaches the point of Local Solar Noon at the South Pole. Conversely, it is also the only time of the year when Local Solar Midnight occurs at the North Pole. And, of course, it is the reverse during the June Solstice: the only time the Sun reaches the point of Local Solar Noon at the North Pole and the only time when Local Solar Midnight occurs at the South Pole.

Although the Winter months in the Northern Hemisphere are known for the year's coldest weather, the Earth is actually at the point in its orbit closest to the Sun (astronomically known as the point of perihelion) on or very near January 2. The Earth is farthest from the Sun, each year shortly after the Northern Hemisphere's Summer Solstice, on or very near July 5 (the point of aphelion).

Solar radiation, and hence heat from the Sun, to warm an Earth hemisphere depends on the length of daylight and the angle of the Sun above the horizon. The tilt of the planet's axis toward the Sun determines the additional and more direct solar radiation received by a planet's northern or southern hemisphere, and hence, the warmer season of the respective hemisphere.

The Earth's perihelion in January and aphelion in July is due to the elliptical nature of the Earth's orbit around the Sun. Perihelion and aphelion would not occur if the Earth's orbit was a true circle.

Since the Earth is closest to the Sun near the beginning of the Northern Hemisphere's Winter Season, the Earth, then, moves faster in its orbit around the Sun than it moves in July, making the Northern Hemisphere's Winter a shorter season than Summer. Winter will last for only 89 days, while this past-Summer lasted nearly 93 days. This is one of the observed consequences of Johannes Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion, which he published at the beginning of the 17th century.

The day of the Winter Solstice is known as the “shortest day of the year” and the “longest night of the year” as the Sun shines on the Northern Hemisphere for the shortest length of time for the entire year, on this day. For this reason, Homeless Persons' Memorial Day is commemorated on December 21.

Interestingly, the climate of a locale in the Southern Hemisphere is, on average, slightly milder than a location at the same latitude in the Northern Hemisphere, because the Southern Hemisphere has significantly more ocean water and much less land. Water warms-up and cools-down more slowly than does land. The only exception is the Antarctic, which is colder than the Northern Hemisphere's Arctic region, possibly because most of the Arctic region is covered with water (although, often frozen water on the surface, but liquid water beneath the ice) while Antarctica is mostly a land mass.

                                              Ursid Meteor Shower

Almost 24 hours after the Winter Solstice comes the peak of the annual Ursid Meteor Shower, which actually begins on December 17 and usually lasts about a week ending December 24, 25, or 26. The Ursids seem to comprise a narrow stream of debris originating from Comet Tuttle. Hence, it is difficult to see Ursid meteors outside of a 12-hour window before and after the peak, where possibly 12 meteors per-hour could be seen, under ideal conditions.

The Ursid Meteor Shower is so-named because most meteors appear to radiate from a point near the Star Beta Ursae Minoris (apparent meteor shower radiant) in the Constellation Ursa Minor (better known as the asterism the “Little Dipper”), which is the brightest star in the bowl of the Little Dipper. Some people call these meteors “Ursids,” in an attempt to emphasize that their apparent radiant is Ursa Minor, not Ursa Major (the asterism the “Big Dipper”).

However, you should not, necessarily, be looking only at the Little Dipper when looking for meteors in this shower. Meteors can appear in any part of the sky at any time (although a meteor's tail may tend to point back toward the radiant).

Of course meteor showers, like all celestial observations, are weather-permitting. If there are more than a few clouds in the sky, meteors will be much more difficult to find. Clear skies are not always available in the skies of late Autumn and early Winter. And, it is always best to get away from city lights, for the opportunity to see the smaller, dimmer meteors. As always, the best time to view any meteor shower is between local midnight and local dawn, when the Earth is actually rotating into the stream of meteoric debris.

Binoculars and telescopes are not very useful for finding meteors. Meteors streak across the sky in a very short period of time, far too short to aim binoculars or a telescope. So, the best way to view a meteor shower is to lie on a blanket or beach towel on the ground, or use a reclining a chair, outdoors in an area with a good view of the entire sky (with few obstructions such as buildings, trees, or hills), and keep scanning the entire sky.

So, if you go out to see the Ursid Meteor Shower, start looking for meteors around local midnight, or perhaps a little later. Make sure you have a good site where you can see most of the sky, and that sky is relatively clear. Be sure to dress properly for the early morning temperatures, now that we are at the very beginning of Winter.

And, you want to go out ahead of time, before you actually start looking for meteors, to get your eyes accustomed to the dark sky. Dark-adapting your eyes for meteor-watching could take up to a half-hour.

Special Thanks: Eric G. Canali, former Floor Manager of Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science and Founder of the South Hills Backyard Astronomers amateur astronomy club.

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

More on the Winter Solstice:
Link 1 >>> http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/astronomy/WinterSolstice.html
Link 2 >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter

More on a Solstice: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solstice

Popular Winter Planetarium Sky Shows Shown at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science (1939 to 1991), including full scripts of each show:
The Star of Bethlehem >>> http://buhlplanetarium3.tripod.com/skyshow/bethlehem/
The Stars of Winter >>> http://buhlplanetarium3.tripod.com/skyshow/winter/

More on calendars ---
       Gregorian Calendar: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregorian_calendar
       Julian Calendar: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_calendar

More on the Ursid Meteor Shower: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UrsidsA

More on the Homeless Persons' Memorial Day:
Link >>> http://nationalhomeless.org/about-us/projects/memorial-day/

Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.
             2016 December 20.


                                                               Historic 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.
        2016: 75th Year of Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium Observatory
     Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/11/75th-anniversary-americas-5th-public.html

                             Like This Post? - Please Share!

            More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
            Link >>> https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower

        Astronomy & Science Links: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks

                Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts in your inbox ?
                Send request to < spacewatchtower@planetarium.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
& SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Astronomy Links: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#astrolinks >
Science Links: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks >
SpaceWatchtower Twitter News Feed: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
LibraryWatchtower Blog: < http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com >
South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin Blog: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, etc.: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Book: "Einstein for Anyone: A Quick Read"

Leo with Einstein
















Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh (AAAP) Co-Founder
Leo J. Scanlon (left), who would later become one of the first Buhl
Planetarium lecturers, thanks Albert Einstein (right) for visiting the
AAAP booth at the 1934 convention of the American Association for
the Advancement of Science at Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh.
More Information: Link >>> http://old.3ap.org/features/leo/leoScanlonBio6.shtml
(Sources: AAAP, Scanlon Family Collection; Photo Reproduction: © Copyright David Smith)


By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

Need a last-minute stocking-stuffer for the Science-minded relative or friend?

David R. Topper, Senior Scholar of the History of Science at the University of Winnipeg, has just introduced the second revised edition of his biography of Albert Einstein, titled, Einstein for Anyone: A Quick Read. Dr. Topper has expanded this paperback edition, and he says it is 35 per cent longer than the original book published exactly a year ago (and, he says, this edition is 40 per cent less expensive than the original book! - Internet link to the publisher's web site, regarding the book, at the end of this blog-post).

According to the promotional Internet web page for the book, “Here is the compact story of this famous man, from the smiling contrarian in his grade school picture to the nonconformist adult who refused to groom his hair.”

The book examines the life of Albert Einstein in three general sections. First is his personal life, including his parents, his two wives, and his children. Next, Dr. Topper examines his struggles as a young Jew, including fleeing Nazi Germany for America, and his devotion to social justice. Finally, he is examined as a scientist, including radical ideas that brought forth a new cosmic model of the universe.

Dr. Topper, who recently (2012 June) retired, was Professor of History at the University of Winnipeg from 1970 to 2012. The Pittsburgh native taught courses in the history of both Science and Art.

He was the recipient of two teaching awards: the Robson Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching at the University of Winnipeg (1981), and the National 3M Teaching Fellowship (1987). For the journal Leonardo, he has been International Co-Editor (since 1982) and Honorary Editor (since 2005).

Three other books he has published include:
  1. Quirky Sides of Scientists: True Tales of Ingenuity and Error from Physics and Astronomy (Springer, 2007)
  2. How Einstein Created Relativity from Physics and Astronomy (Springer, 2013)
  3. Idolatry and Infinity: Of Art, Math, and God (Brown Walker, 2014)

David Topper, who grew up in Pittsburgh in the 1940s and 1950s, credits Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science for his interest in Science. He says, "I have very fond memories of the Buhl Planetarium...It stimulated my interest in science and especially astronomy, which has not abated over the years."

Publisher's Internet Web Site - Vernon Press - For the book Einstein for Anyone: A Quick Read:
Link >>> https://vernonpress.com/title?id=228#.WFIrQX21Pdg

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

Regarding David Topper's 2010 Lecture at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, about Albert Einstein's visit to the 1934 convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh:
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/archivenews/releases/einsteinpgh.html

David Topper's Remembrance of Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science:
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium4.tripod.com/friendsofthezeiss/HRCnom/support/BuhlDT.htm

Leo J. Scanlon, inventor of the 1st all-aluminum astronomical observatory dome in 1930:
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/bio/ScanlonL.htm

Related Blog Posts ---

"Advanced Interplanetary Laser Altimeter to Map Surface of Mercury."                  2016 October 7. (The interest in the Planet Mercury, by the University of Bern, is inspired by Albert Einstein, who was appointed as a Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University in 1909.)

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.ch/2016/10/advanced-interplanetary-laser-altimeter.html

 

"Centennial: Einstein's General Theory of Relativity." 2015 Nov. 25.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2015/11/centennial-einsteins-general-theory-of.html

 

"Einstein's Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet." 2013 April 27.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/04/einsteins-gravity-theory-passes.html

 

"Einstein Right Again: Dead Star Warps Light." 2013 April 6.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/04/einstein-right-again-dead-star-warps.html

 

"Pics of Einstein's Brain; Tycho Brahe Not Poisoned." 2012 Nov. 16.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/11/pics-of-einsteins-brain-tycho-brahe-not.html


Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.
             2016 December 15.


                                                               Historic 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.
        2016: 75th Year of Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium Observatory
     Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/11/75th-anniversary-americas-5th-public.html

                             Like This Post? - Please Share!

            More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
            Link >>> https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower

        Astronomy & Science Links: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks

                Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts in your inbox ?
                Send request to < spacewatchtower@planetarium.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
& SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Astronomy Links: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#astrolinks >
Science Links: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks >
SpaceWatchtower Twitter News Feed: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
LibraryWatchtower Blog: < http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com >
South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin Blog: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, etc.: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >