Friday, August 28, 2015

August "Super Moon"

Contrasting a full supermoon (full moon at perigee) with a micro-moon (full moon at apogee). Image credit: Stefano Sciarpetti
This NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day (from 2014 Jan. 21) shows
the smallest Full Moon possible superimposed over the largest Full
"Super Moon" possible (Sources: Stefano Sciarpetti, NASA).

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

Saturday afternoon's Full Moon marks the first (of three), so-called Full “Super Moon,” for 2015. Next month's Full “Super Moon” on the evening of September 27-28, in addition to being the annual "Harvest Moon" and the largest “Super Moon” of the year, will mark what some people refer as the fourth and last “Blood Moon” Total Lunar Eclipse.

The August Full Moon occurs Saturday Afternoon, 2015 August 29 at 2:35 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 18:35 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). This Full Moon is referred to as a “Super Moon” because it is close to Lunar Perigee for the month of August

The Moon will be at Perigee, or the closest point to Earth in its orbit around our planet for the month, the next morning. Lunar Perigee occurs on Sunday Morning, 2015 August 30 at 11:00 a.m. EDT / 15:00 UTC, when the Moon will only be 358,290 kilometers from the Earth.

As with all Lunar Perigee Full Moons, or “Super Moons,” larger-than-usual tides are predicted along ocean coastlines. When the Sun, Moon, and Earth are more-or-less in a straight line in Outer Space, which occurs each New Moon and Full Moon, the size difference between ocean high tides and low tides is greatest. These tides are actually called “Spring Tides,” but have nothing to do with the season of Spring. However, when a “Spring Tide” occurs, at the same time as a “Super Moon” (no matter whether this “Super Moon” occurs during Full Moon or New Moon phase), the tides are even greater than normal “Spring Tides.”

Yes, a “Super Moon” can occur during the New Moon phase. In fact, we had three such New Moon “Super Moons” occur earlier this year in January, February, and March. The three Full Moon “Super Moons” this year occur on August 29, September 27-28 (annual “Harvest Moon”), and October 27 (annual “Hunter's Moon,” four days before the final traditional Cross-Quarter Day of the year: Halloween). The “Super Moon” is defined as the point in time when the center of the Moon (Full Moon or New Moon) and the center of the Earth are less than 361,836 kilometers / 224,834 statute miles apart

In North America, the Native Americans called the August Full Moon the Stugeon Moon, Corn Moon (sometimes Green Corn Moon), Grain Moon, or Red Moon. The fishing tribes, particularly near the American Great Lakes, named it the Sturgeon Moon due to the many sturgeon caught in the Great Lakes and other large lakes at this time.

Of course, other tribes named it the Corn Moon or Green Corn Moon, as well as the Grain Moon, due to the havesting of corn and grain that was underway at this time. Other tribes referred to the August Full Moon as the Red Moon, as the Moon more often appeared with a reddish tint, while rising during the hazy and humid days of mid-to-late Summer.

In the Southern Hemisphere, the August Full Moon has been known as the Snow Moon, Storm Moon, Hunger Moon, and Wolf Moon. Of course, this is due to the Winter-type weather prevalent at this time of year hundreds of kilometers south of the Equator.                                                        

More on the Full Moon: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_moon

More on Full Moon names ---
Link 1 >>> http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/full-moon-names
Link 2 >>> http://www.farmersalmanac.com/full-moon-names/
Link 3 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_moon#Full_moon_names

Sun Rise / Set and Moon Rise / Set Times for Cities (U.S. Naval Observatory):
Link >>> http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/RS_OneDay.php

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

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/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Also see: South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, & More: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
About the SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
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, August 21, 2015

Universe is Slowly (But Very Slowly) Dying



By Nola Taylor Redd and Space.com

The most comprehensive assessment of the energy output in the nearby universe reveals that today's produced energy is only about half of what it was 2 billion years ago. A team of international scientists used several of the world's most powerful telescopes to study the energy of the universe and concluded that the universe is slowly dying.

"We used as many space- and ground-based telescopes as we could get our hands on to measure the energy output of over 200,000 galaxies across as broad a wavelength range as possible," Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) team leader Simon Driver, of the University of Western Australia, said in a statement. The astronomers created a video explaining the slow death of the universe to illustrate the discovery.

When the Big Bang created the energy of the universe about 13.8 billion years ago, some portion of that energy found itself locked up as mass. When stars shine, they are converting that mass back into energy, as described by Albert Einstein's famous equation E = mc2 (energy = mass x speed of light squared).

"This new energy is either absorbed by dust as it travels through the host galaxy, or escapes into intergalactic space and travels until it hits something, such as another star, a planet, or, very occasionally, a telescope mirror."

More - Link >>> http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/it-s-official-the-universe-is-dying-slowly/?WT.mc_id=SA_DD_20150811

Video Explaining Universe is Dying:
Link >>> http://www.space.com/30194-rip-universe-your-time-is-coming-slowly-video.html

Sources: Space.com & Scientific American Magazine.

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/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Also see: South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, & More: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
About the SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
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 >

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Citizen Science: Smart Phone App to Detect Cosmic Rays

Smart phones contain a silicon chip inside the camera that might be used to detect rare, high energy particles from outer space.


National Public Radio ---



Scientists in California are hoping to use your smart phone to solve a cosmic mystery. They're developing an app to turn your phone into a cosmic ray detector. If enough people install the app, the scientists think they'll be able to figure out once and for all what's producing the very energetic cosmic rays that occasionally hit the Earth.
The project is the brainchild of physicists Daniel Whitesonat the University of California, Irvine, and his buddy Michael Mulhearn at the University of California, Davis. Both spend time in Switzerland, working on the giant particle accelerator known as the Large Hadron Collider. Whiteson says the Large Hadron Collider, located in a tunnel beneath the Swiss-French border near Geneva, is so huge and so complicated that scientists must share their time on the collider.

The reason this is possible is because smart phones use something called a CMOS chip inside their cameras. That's the same kind of chip that's used to detect particles generated by the Large Hadron Collider.

More - Link >>> http://www.npr.org/2015/03/30/395800694/want-to-do-a-little-astrophysics-this-app-detects-cosmic-rays

More about the project to detect cosmic rays: Link >>> http://crayfis.io/about.html

How to download the smartphone app, to detect cosmic rays: Link >>> http://crayfis.io/join.php

Source: National Public Radio.

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/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Also see: South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, & More: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
About the SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
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 >

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Great Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Wed. Night w/ Web-Casts


This graphic shows the spatial relationships of the Earth, the Comet Swift-Tuttle (parent of Perseid meteors), and the Constellation Perseus (apparent radiant of Perseid meteors), at the time of the Perseid Meteor Shower on 2015 August 12.
(Image Sources: Wikipedia. org :"Perseid Meteors and Comet Swift-Tuttle" by Aanderson@amherst.edu - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Perseid_Meteors_and_Comet_Swift-Tuttle.png#/media/File:Perseid_Meteors_and_Comet_Swift-Tuttle.png )

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

This year's Perseid Meteor Shower, which peaks tonight (Wednesday Evening / Thursday Morning), is expected to be one of the best of the last few years, due to little moonlight obscuring the dimmer meteors. Internet web-casts of this Shower are available, for areas which experience cloudy weather.

The peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower, this year, actually occurs early Thursday Morning, 2015 August 13 at 2:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 6:00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). And, the best time to watch most meteor showers, including this year's Perseids, is always between local midnight and dawn, when the Earth is rotating into the meteor shower.

During the peak time, often 50 to 80 meteors can be seen per hour, if observing conditions are ideal. As most meteors are often dim, it is best to view a meteor shower away from city lights, which cause a brightening of the sky at night, and hence, the dimmest meteors are often missed. And, you want to go out ahead of time, before you start actual viewing of meteors, to get your eyes accustomed to the dark sky. Dark-adapting your eyes for meteor watching could take up to a half-hour.

At this time, the Moon will be in a waning crescent phase, providing little reflected sunlight to obscure the dimmer meteors. In fact, the New Moon phase, when the Moon cannot be seen at all (except during a solar eclipse), is the very next day: Friday Morning, 2015 August 14 at 10:53 a.m. EDT / 14:53 UTC (Lunation # 1146).

Viewers in the Northern Hemisphere are fortunate that the Perseid Meteor Shower arrives during the Summer month of August, when temperatures are comfortable for nighttime viewing, although sometimes August can be very humid with poor seeing conditions.

Binoculars and telescopes are not very useful for finding meteors. Meteors streak across the sky in a very brief period of time, too short to aim binoculars or a telescope. So, the best way to view a meteor shower is to lie on the ground, 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.

Meteor showers appear to emanate from a radiant point in the sky. For the Perseid Meteor Shower, the radiant appears to be the Constellation Perseus, named for the hero of Greek mythology. However, you should not, necessarily, be looking only at Perseus, when looking for meteors in this shower. Meteors can appear in any part of the sky at any time. In fact, looking  towards Perseus may not result in finding the best meteors, as meteors coming from the apparent radiant may be seen for a shorter time in the sky.

A meteor shower normally consists of dust particles related to a comet. Each time a comet approaches the Sun, the comet loses dust particles following the melting of ice on the comet. These dust particles, called meteoroids, continue to follow the same orbit as the comet and form a meteoroid stream. Each year, as the Earth orbits the Sun, the Earth passes through several of these meteoroid streams, becoming Earth's meteor showers.

The Earth's gravity then attracts many of these meteoroids to fall to Earth, and they are viewed by people as meteors, as they burn-up in the atmosphere. Most are extremely small and burn-up completely. From time-to-time, larger particles enter the atmosphere and create brilliant displays known as fireballs. If these particles are large enough, they may not completely burn-up and land on Earth as a meteorite.

Meteors can be seen any night of the year, although they are not predictable and are rare outside of one of the annual meteor showers. The vast majority of meteors that can be seen during the Perseid Meteor Shower originate from the Comet Swift-Tuttle, which has an orbital period of 133 years, leaving behind a trail of dust and grit. Comet Swift-Tuttle was discovered in 1862 and returned for viewing in 1992.

Comet Swift-Tuttle measures about 16-miles across, much larger than the object that is thought to have fallen to Earth which resulted in the extinction of the dinosaurs. Comet Swift-Tuttle will make a very close approach to the Earth in  the year 4479. Scientists are now studying whether some day Comet Swift-Tuttle could impact the Earth. Comet Swift–Tuttle has been described as "the single most dangerous object known to humanity".

So, the time for viewing is right and the lack of moonlight is great. And, of course, with the warm weather most of us experience in the Northern Hemisphere, this time of year, what could be better for viewing meteors?

Of course, meteor showers. like all celestial observations, are weather-permitting. If the weather in your area does not permit direct viewing outdoors of this meteor shower, it can be viewed during special web-casts at a couple sites on the Internet.

A cautionary note for those who find it necessary to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower on the Internet. The video camera, used for each web-cast, can only aim at one part of the sky at a time. Hence, do not expect to see as many meteors as you might see with your own eyes outside. Outdoors, you can easily scan the entire sky for meteors, while a camera aimed at one area of the sky will only be able to see the meteors that enter that particular part of the sky

Internet Sites for Viewing Perseid Meteor Shower Near Peak ---

NASA - Wednesday Evening, 2015 August 12 from 10:00 p.m. to Aug. 13 at 2:00 a.m. EDT / Aug. 13 2:00 to 6:00 UTC: Link >>> http://www.ustream.tv/NASAHDTV

Slooh Community Observatory - Wednesday Evening, 2015 August 12 at 8:00 p.m. EDT / Aug. 13 at 0:00 UTC: Link >>> http://main.slooh.com/event/the-perseid-meteor-shower-2015/?event_date=2015-08-12 

More ---

NASA Science News - "A Good Year for Perseid Meteors." 2015 Aug. 11.
Link >>> http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2015/11aug_perseids/ 

"NASA TV to Host Perseid Meteor Shower Program." 2015 Aug. 11.
Link >>>http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-tv-to-host-perseid-meteor-shower-program

"Everything you need to know: Perseid meteor shower." 2015 Aug. 2.

Link >>> http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/everything-you-need-to-know-perseid-meteor-shower

 

History of the Perseid Meteor Shower:
Link >>> http://meteorshowersonline.com/perseids.html  


Perseid Meteor Shower: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perseids

Comet Swift-Tuttle: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comet_Swift%E2%80%93Tuttle

Constellation Perseus: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perseus_%28constellation%29

Meteor Shower: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meteor_shower

Meteor: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meteoroid#Meteor

Meteoroid: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meteoroid

Meteorite: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meteoroid#Meteorites

Fifth largest fragment of the meteorite which struck Barringer Meteor Crater near Winslow, Arizona, which was displayed at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science:
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/Buhlexhibits.htm#meteorite


Related Blog Post ---


"NASA: Perseid Meteor Shower Has Most Fireballs." 2013 July 27.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/07/nasa-perseid-meteor-shower-has-most.html



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

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/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Also see: South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, & More: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
About the SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
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, August 7, 2015

Astronomical Middle of Summer


This is the exterior of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, established in 1890 by the Smithsonian's third Secretary, Samuel Pierpont Langley, who had been Director of Pittsburgh's Allegheny Observatory. Former U.S. President John Quincy Adams had originally proposed that the Smithsonian bequest be used to construct a national observatory, what he called "a lighthouse of the skies." And, in addition to being the astronomical middle of Summer, August 7 has been designated National Lighthouse Day by the U.S. Congress.
(Image Source: Wikipedia.org )

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

The moment of posting of this blog post, 8:29 a.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 12:29 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) on Friday Morning, 2015 August 7, marks the astronomical middle of the season of Summer. While August 1 had marked the traditional middle of Summer, the moment of posting of this blog post marks the actual mid-point of Summer, astronomically.

This point in time is known by the term, Cross-Quarter Day (XQ). Having no formal astronomical definition, "cross-quarter" here is defined as the moment in time precisely half-way between an adjacent equinox and solstice or adjacent solstice and equinox.
.
In this case, the moment in time is precisely half-way between the Summer Solstice (observed on June 21) and the Autumnal Equinox (which will be observed on September 23). The traditional cross-quarter day of August 1 is known in the British Isles as Lammas (Anglo-Saxon) or Lughnasadh (Irish/Scottish).

Lammas / Lughnasadh Day is the least known, to the general public, of the four cross-quarter days each year. The other three, traditional, cross-quarter days have long been part of the popular culture: Groundhog Day (February 2), May Day (May 1), and Halloween Day (October 31). Likewise, due to the evolution of our calendar from ancient times, the actual cross-quarter day for each of these holidays also occurs a few days after the traditional date.

Lammas / Lughnasadh Day, in ancient times, was a festival day which marked the start of the harvest season, particularly the wheat harvest. On Lammas Day, it was customary to bring a loaf of bread, from the new crop, to church to be blessed.

Lughnasadh Day, in Irish mythology, is a festival said to have begun by the God Lugh as a funeral feast for his foster-mother, Tailtiu, a goddess said to have died of exhaustion from clearing the plains of Ireland for agriculture.

At about the same time as the mid-point of Summer is the Heliacal Rising of the Star Sirius on August 7. This is the first day, normally, that Sirius can briefly be seen on the eastern horizon just prior to sunrise (seven degrees altitude ahead of the Sun), weather-permitting.

As Sirius is the brightest star in the nighttime sky, the ancient astronomers / astrologers believed that the rising of Sirius in the daytime sky added to the heat from the Sun, to make Summer even hotter: The Dog Days of Summer (being in the Constellation Canis Major, Sirius is nicknamed The Dog Star). Actually, The Dog Days of Summer are generally considered to run from early July to early September, some specify from July 3 to August 11. Although Sirius is much hotter than our Sun, it is much too distant to provide any appreciable heat to our planet.

August 7 also marks National Lighthouse Day designated by the U.S. Congress on this date in 1989, which was the 200th anniversary of the commissioning of the first Federal lighthouse.

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.

More on Lammas Day: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lammas

More on Lughnasadh Day: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lughnassad

More on Cross-Quarter Days: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-quarter_day
Also see Quarter Days (roughly coinciding with Equinoxes and Solstices):
Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarter_day

More on The Dog Days of Summer:
Link 1 >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_days_of_summer
Link 2 >>> http://www.souledout.org/nightsky/dogdays/dogdays.html

More on the heliacal rising of a celestial object:
Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliacal_rising

More on the Star Sirius: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sirius

More on National Lighthouse Day:
Link >>> http://www.lighthousefoundation.org/museum/natllighthouseday_info.htm

More on Samuel Pierpont Langley: Link >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com/bio/LangleySP.htm

More on John Quincy Adams:
Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2014/02/presidents-day-astronomy-president.html

Related Blog Posts ---

"Snowballs on the First Day of Summer!" 2015 June 21.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2015/06/snowballs-on-first-day-of-summer.html

 

"Summer Begins Saturday Morning at 6:51 a.m. EDT." 2014 June 19.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2014/06/summer-begins-saturday-morning-at-651.html


"Presidents' Day: The Astronomy President." 2014 Feb. 17. ---

Regarding John Quincy Adams' role in creating the Smithsonian Institution: 

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2014/02/presidents-day-astronomy-president.html


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

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/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Also see: South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, & More: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
About the SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
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 >

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Interactive Exhibits: Future of Air & Space Museum


interactive exhibit
In one interactive exhibit, people flap their arms and sway their bodies to fly a bird on a screen. (credit: NASM)

By Jeff Foust, The Space Review

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum (NASM) regularly opens new exhibits at its downtown Washington building, rotating in new artifacts and displays with specific themes, often for limited times. Last week, the museum opened its latest such exhibit, “Above and Beyond,” an interactive survey of the present and future of aviation and spaceflight, one intended for “visitors of all ages, but especially ages 7–14,” according to a museum statement.

It’s also, museum officials said, a glimpse at the museum’s future. “‘Above and Beyond’ is the most electronics-heavy exhibition ever housed at the National Air and Space Museum,” associate director Roger Launius said at a preview of the exhibit July 30. “As such, it will help shape the future of this particular museum.”

That “electronics-heavy” aspect of the exhibit is due to its interactive elements. In one, people stand on spots on the exhibit floor, moving their arms and swaying their bodies to control birds on screen. (That sounds a little ridiculous if you’re an adult, but fun if you’re in at least part of that 7–14 age group.) In another, people can design and fly jet fighters. And space isn’t forgotten, either: another feature is effectively a multiplayer video game, where people have to use the right tools to clean up orbital debris.

The exhibits don’t focus on just the positive aspects of aerospace. The orbital debris display discusses the threats posed by debris, including in gameplay itself: shoot a laser at a “large” piece of debris and you’ll lose points by creating more debris.

More - Link >>> http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2797/1

Source: The Space Review.

Related Blog Posts ---

"Air & Space Museum Debates Preservation of U.S. Plane at Pearl Harbor Attack." 2014 Dec. 7.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2014/12/air-space-museum-debates-preservation.html

 

"$30 Million Rehab of Air & Space Museum Announced." 2014 April 5.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2014/04/30-million-rehab-of-air-space-museum.html

 

"Space Artifacts Move to New Climate-Controlled Facility." 2014 Feb. 20.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2014/02/space-artifacts-move-to-new-climate.html

 

"Presidents' Day: The Astronomy President." 2014 Feb. 17. ---


Regarding John Quincy Adams' role in creating the Smithsonian Institution:


Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2014/02/presidents-day-astronomy-president.html


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/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Also see: South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, & More: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
About the SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
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 >

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Astronomical Calendar: 2015 August


File:Atomic bombing of Japan.jpg Seventy years ago this month, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan on 1945 August 6 (left photograph) and Nagasaki, Japan on 1945 August 9 (right photograph) led to the end of World War II.
(Images Source: Wikipedia.org )

Astronomical Calendar for 2015 August:
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium4.tripod.com/astrocalendar/2015.html#aug

Source: Friends of the Zeiss.

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/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Also see: South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, & More: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
About the SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
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 >