Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Laser Could Detect Skin Cancer

If a cancer cell forms in the body, does it make a sound?

John Viator, director of the Duquesne University biomedical engineering program, would say yes—if it’s hit by a laser.

Viator and his team received a five-year, $1.4 million federal grant to use lasers in detecting, capturing and analyzing circulating melanoma cells, which is the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

More - Link >>> http://wesa.fm/post/duquesne-professor-gets-14m-grant-develop-cancer-detection-tech

Source: WESA-FM 90.5 Pittsburgh.

2014: 75th Year of Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium Historic Zeiss II Planetarium Projector at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.


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gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
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/ >
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, April 18, 2014

Computus: How to Calculate the Date of Easter

http://s2.djyimg.com/n3/eet-content/uploads/2014/04/blood-moon.jpg

This month's Full Moon, which came at a time of a Total Eclipse
of the Moon, is also considered, ecclesiastically, the Paschal
Full Moon. (Image Source: NASA)

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

This Sunday marks the festival of Easter in the Christian calendar. However, it takes a bit of Astronomy, and knowledge of liturgical rules, to determine the Easter date each year.

In general, each year Easter falls on the Sunday following the Full Moon (called the "Paschal Full Moon") which follows Spring's Vernal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. From this date are set several other days in the Christian calendar: Ash Wednesday (46 days before Easter), and during Holy Week: Palm Sunday (Sunday before Easter), Holy Thursday (Thursday before Easter), Good Friday (Friday before Easter), and Holy Saturday (Saturday before Easter).

So, the determination of Easter sets a considerable part of the Spring Season for the Christian calendar. However, the determination of Easter is not that simple.

First, ecclesiastical definitions are not always the same as astronomical definitions. The ecclesiastical Spring Equinox is defined as always occurring on March 21 (used under the Gregorian calendar reform by the Roman Catholic Church since 1583). The astronomical Vernal Equinox often occurs on March 20, except in the far Eastern Hemisphere when it does occur the next calendar day.

The "Pascal Full Moon" is not always the same as the regular Full Moon of the month. The Roman Catholic Church defined the ecclesiastical Full Moon as occurring 14 days after the beginning of the ecclesiastical lunar month (determined by the ecclesiastical New Moon).

To further complicate matters, the ecclesiastical lunar month was defined as having 29 or 30 days. A lunar year of 12 lunar months, by the ecclesiastical definition, has a total of 354 days, far shorter than the traditional solar year which is defined as having 365 days (and 366 days during a Leap Year). When the difference in the ecclesiastical lunar year and the solar year reaches or exceeds 30 days, then an additional lunar month is added to the ecclesiastical lunar year!

The reason for all of these special rules came from dissatisfaction expressed by many Christians, in the 3rd and 4th centuries, regarding previous methods of establishing the date of Easter. Originally, they simply used the Jewish festival of Passover and set Sunday of the Passover week as Easter. Some did not like, what they perceived as, the general disorderly state of the Jewish calendar. Others were upset that, by using the Jewish calendar, Easter was sometimes celebrated before the Vernal Equinox, the beginning of Spring.

The First Council of Nicaea in A.D 325 was the first time the Roman Catholic Church officially addressed this issue. It was agreed that Christians should use a calendar to determine the Easter date separate from the Jewish calendar. However, little else was agreed-to at that time. It took several centuries before a method to compute the Easter date was common throughout the world's Catholics. For a while a computation method developed in Alexandria, Egypt was the most accepted computation.

With the Gregorian calendar reform of 1582, one computation method of determining Easter was established throughout the Roman Catholic Church. The Gregorian Calendar was established as a refinement of the Julian Calendar, which had incorrectly calculated the length of the year by 0.002 per cent. Although this seems a minor problem, it became a major problem as the actual dates of church holidays, particularly Easter, had been drifting.

With the English Reformation between 1532 and 1537, England and English colonies did not comply with the Gregorian calendar reform of 1582, thus remaining with the Julian Calendar. The British Empire did not accept the Gregorian Calendar until 1752. Hence, George Washington was born on February 11 in 1731 by the "Old System" (Julian Calendar), but his birthday is now celebrated on February 22 by the Gregorian Calendar (also, George Washington is now considered to have been born in the year 1732; in the "Old System" calendar, the year 1732 did not begin until March 25).

So now with the Gregorian Calendar in general agreement world-wide, again in general, Easter falls on the Sunday following the first Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. The following link provides details regarding the precise calculation of this holiday, given the several liturgical rules.

More Details - Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computus

Related Blog Post ---

Total Lunar Eclipse Early Tue. Morning w/ Web-Cast  (2014 April 14):

 Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2014/04/total-lunar-eclipse-early-tue-morning.html

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

2014: 75th Year of Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium Historic Zeiss II Planetarium Projector at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.


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 >
About the SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
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/ >
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 >

Monday, April 14, 2014

Total Lunar Eclipse Early Tue. Morning w/ Web-Cast

blood moon, blood moons, eclipse, lunar eclipse, tetrad
So-called 'Blood Moon" visible during a Total Lunar Eclipse. (Image Source: NASA)

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

A Total Eclipse of the Moon or Total Lunar Eclipse occurs in the early morning hours of Tuesday in much of the Western Hemisphere. A Lunar Eclipse or the Eclipse of the Moon is the type of eclipse that is safe to watch with the naked-eye, binoculars, or a telescope, weather-permitting. Where the weather does not permit direct viewing, or for other parts of the world, there will be several web-casts available for people to follow the event.

This will be the first of four Total Lunar Eclipses, each one visible in at least part of the United States, over the next year and a-half, called a Tetrad of Total Lunar Eclipses. Lunar Eclipse Tetrads are sporadic and usually rare. There were no such Tetrads during the 300-year period of 1600 to 1900. However, this is the first of eight Tetrads in the 21st Century! The dates of the other three Total Lunar Eclipses of the current Tetrad are 2014 October 8, 2015 April 4, and 2015 September 28.

A Lunar Eclipse or Eclipse of the Moon is when the orbit of the Moon brings our natural satellite into the Earth's shadow, always near the time of a Full Moon. Unlike the Tetrad we are now experiencing, not all Lunar Eclipses are Total. Partial and Penumbral Lunar Eclipses also occur from time-to-time. However, all Total Lunar Eclipses include Partial and Penumbral phases of the Eclipse.

The April Full Moon, sometimes called by Native Americans the Pink Moon, occurs early Tuesday morning at 3:42 a.m. EDT / 7:42 Coordinated Universal Time or UTC.

Although the Moon enters the Earth's Penumbra (periphery of the Earth's shadow) Tuesday Morning at 12::53:37 a.m. EDT / 4:53:37 UTC, most people will probably not observe the Eclipse begin until the Moon enters the Earth's Umbra (core of the Earth's shadow) at 1:58:19 a.m. EDT / 5:58:19 UTC. The Total phase of the Eclipse begins at 3:06:47 a.m. EDT / 7:06:47 UTC and lasts until 4:24:35 a.m. EDT / 8:24:35 UTC, with the time of greatest eclipse being 3:45:40 a.m. EDT / 7:45:40 UTC. The Partial Eclipse then can be seen until 5:33:04 a.m. EDT / 9:33:04 UTC, when the Penumbral phase of the Eclipse continues until 6:37:37 a.m. EDT / 10:37:37 UTC, the official end of the Eclipse.

This Total Lunar Eclipse, in addition to being visible throughout most of the Western Hemisphere, weather-permitting, part of the Eclipse can also be seen in western Europe, western Africa, Australia, New Zealand, eastern Asia, and the Pacific Islands.


Often, particularly during the middle of a Total Eclipse of the Moon, the Moon will not disappear from view but can be seen with a reddish tint, what some call "blood red." If the Earth had no atmosphere, likely no sunlight would reach the Moon during a Total Lunar Eclipse and the Moon might seem to disappear.

Although no direct sunlight reaches the Moon during a Total Lunar Eclipse, the Earth's atmosphere refracts the sunlight around our planet allowing a portion of the sunlight to continue to be transmitted to the Moon. However, the refracted light reaching the Moon is primarily in the red portion of the light spectrum, as with red-tinted sunrises and sunsets (during such an Eclipse, a person standing on the side of the Moon facing Earth could see all Earth sunrises and sunsets simultaneously!). Hence, it is red light that is reflected from the Moon back into your eyes during a Total Lunar Eclipse.

More on the April 15 Total Lunar Eclipse:
Link 1 - NASA: >>> http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/OH2014.html#LE2014Apr15T
Link 2 - Wikipedia.org : >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_2014_lunar_eclipse

More on Lunar Eclipses: >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_eclipse

Web-Casts of the April 15 Total Lunar Eclipse:

Slooh.com : >>> http://events.slooh.com/ 

NASA: >>> www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles: >>> http://new.livestream.com/GriffithObservatoryTV

Related Blog Post ---

U.S. to See 4 Total Lunar Eclipses in Year & A-Half  (2014 March 29):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2014/03/us-to-see-4-total-lunar-eclipses-in.html

 

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

2014: 75th Year of Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium Historic Zeiss II Planetarium Projector at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.


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 >
About the SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
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/ >
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, April 12, 2014

NASA Explains "Flash" on Mars Surface

Image: Mars view
A bright spot shows up in Curiosity's right-hand navigation camera image from April 2.
(Image Source: NASA)

By Alan Boyle

A leader of NASA's Mars Curiosity rover team has offered a couple of explanations for an anomalous bright spot that showed up on pictures from the Red Planet — but they're not the conventional explanations.

Let's get this straight first: It's not an alien spotlight, according to Justin Maki, an imaging scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory who is the lead for Curiosity's engineering cameras. Maki isn't giving any weight to the not-completely-serious claims that are being bandied about by UFO websites.

At the same time, Maki isn't immediately dismissing the phenomenon as a double-shot of cosmic rays or data dropouts. In his view, that spot of light could have entered Curiosity's right-hand navigation camera, even though there's no sign of the spot in the stereo imagery from the left-hand camera.

Maki and his colleagues think it could be a well-placed flash of reflected sunlight, or light shining through a chink in Curiosity's camera housing.

More w / Official NASA Explanation - Link >>> http://www.nbcnews.com/science/space/nasa-explains-martian-flash-its-not-what-you-think-n74931

Source: NBC News.

2014: 75th Year of Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium Historic Zeiss II Planetarium Projector at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.


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 >
About the SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
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/ >
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 >

Thursday, April 10, 2014

NASA "Flying Saucer" Planned for Mars Landing

It comes in peace <i>(Image: NASA)</i>
NASA "Flying Saucer" may be used for landing
heavy loads on the red planet.
(Image Source: NASA)


In June, while beachgoers in Hawaii sit blissfully unaware, a flying saucer will descend over the island of Kauai. This is not a trailer for an alien invasion movie – NASA is gearing up to conduct the first test flight of a disc-shaped spacecraft designed to safely land heavy loads and one day people on the surface of Mars.

The Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) will be lofted into the stratosphere from the US Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. The inflatable technology is intended to help slow down vehicles after they enter the thin Martian atmosphere at supersonic speeds.

"It may seem obvious, but the difference between landing and crashing is stopping," says Allen Chen at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, who oversaw the successful landing of the one-tonne Curiosity rover in 2012. "We really only have two options for stopping at Mars: rockets and aerodynamic drag."

More - Link >>> http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25391-nasa-flying-saucer-for-mars-to-land-in-hawaii.html#.U0bUATeyK3J

Source: New Scientist Magazine.

2014: 75th Year of Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium Historic Zeiss II Planetarium Projector at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.


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 >
About the SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
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/ >
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 >

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April Best Time to See Mars

File:Water ice clouds hanging above Tharsis PIA02653 black background.jpg
Computer-generated image of the planet Mars, from a Mars global map from photographs by  the
Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. (Image Sources: NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory / Cal Tech)

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

This month is the best time to look for the planet Mars in the night sky. It will be visible practically all night long for most of the month, as well as the red planet's appearance in April being the largest and brightest for the next two years. In fact, right now Mars is the third brightest object in the night sky, just behind the Moon and Jupiter, respectively.

In relation to the Earth, the planet Mars reaches opposition today at this hour (Tuesday, 2014 April 8 at 5:00 p.m. EDT / 21:00 Coordinated Universal Time), when the speedier Earth flies between Mars and the Sun, as both planets revolve in their respective orbits around the Sun. At the time of opposition, Mars has a visual magnitude of -1.5, and the Martian disk will appear as large as 15.2" in  the sky (just a wee-bit larger than the 13.9" disk seen at the height of the 2012 close apparition of Mars).

Being farther from the Sun, Mars takes 687 Earth days  (1.8809 Earth years, or 1 year, 320 days, and 18.2 hours) to make one complete orbit of the Sun, in essence the duration of the Martian year. Thus, the Earth routinely passes Mars, in their respective orbits, whenever Earth and Mars are close.

On average, Earth and Mars come closest every two years. The next time Mars is near the Earth will be in May of 2016. 

Next week, on April 14 at 9:00 a.m. EDT / 13:00 UTC, Earth and Mars will be at their very closest for 2014. At that time Mars will be only 57 million miles from the Earth. The time of opposition and the time of closest approach to Earth differ due to the elliptical nature of both planets' orbits and the fact that Mars is nearing perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) while the Earth is heading for aphelion (farthest distance from the Sun) on July 4.

On April 14 at 2:00 p.m. EDT / 18:00 UTC Mars will be in conjunction with the Moon, appearing 3 degrees north of the Moon at that time. Of course, both Mars and the Moon will be below the horizon for Western Hemisphere observers, although the Moon and Mars will still be rather close that evening.

However less than a day after closest approach to Earth,  Mars can be seen just 9 degrees away from a Total Eclipse of the Moon / Lunar Eclipse, in the early morning hours of April 15. SPECIAL NOTE: A Lunar Eclipse or Eclipse of the Moon is the type of eclipse that is safe to look at with the naked-eye, binoculars, or a telescope.

The month of April will be the best time to view Mars, when it will appear bigger and brighter than usual, as Earth is closer to the red planet this month than it has been in six and one-half years. It was back in December of 2007 that was the last time that Earth approached this close to Mars.

Mars opposition is often the best time to view the red planet. During the days around an opposition event, Mars can be seen in the sky, when it rises in the east-southeast at approximately local sunset with the bright star Spica below it, travels low in the southern sky throughout the night, and sets in the west at approximately local sunrise, weather permitting.

However, this year Mars will not be as close as in other years. Mars' orbit around the Sun is more lopsided than the solar orbit of Earth. So some years, such as in 2014, Mars is farther from the Sun, and hence farther from the Earth. At other biennial oppositions of Mars, the planet is closer and appears even larger and brighter.

As it is called the red planet, Mars does appear in the sky as a small dot with a reddish-orange tint, the coloring caused by dust in the planet's atmosphere. The planet will appear as a dot with a much steadier light (except when it appears near the horizon, when just rising or about to set), larger than the twinkling stars which are pinpoints of light due to their much greater distance from the Earth. Observers with good eye-sight may be able to notice that Mars appears a little larger  in the sky, than at other times of the year.

While the Martian year is nearly two Earth years, despite Mars' smaller size the Martian day is just a little longer than the Earth day at 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35.244 seconds.

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

More on this Mars Opposition event:
Link 1 >>> http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/mars-2014-opposition-how-to-see-april-best-time-to-see-brightest
Link 2 >>> http://www.universetoday.com/110930/night-of-the-red-planet-mars-opposition-2014-coming-soon/#ixzz2xrFI3Rsb

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

2014: 75th Year of Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium Historic Zeiss II Planetarium Projector at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.


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 >
About the SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
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/ >
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, April 5, 2014

$30 Million Rehab of Air & Space Museum Announced

File:ApolloLunarModule.JPG
Renovation plans for the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington include more prominent display of a model of the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM), which carried men to the surface of the Moon. (Image Source: Wikipedia.org )

By Nell Greenfield Boyce

Throngs of museum-goers mill through the grand entrance hall of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., every day, gawking at such treasures as the Apollo 11 capsule that carried Neil Armstrong's crew to the moon and back, as well as Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis airplane.

But the famous museum and exhibits have not significantly changed since the museum opened in 1976.

Now the largest corporate donation ever for a Smithsonian museum — $30 million from Boeing — will let curators remodel the display at the nation's most visited museum to suit today's needs. The gift was announced Thursday.

Additions to the museum will include the model of the "Starship Enterprise" used in the Star Trek television series, as well as a Telstar satellite like the one that enabled the first transatlantic television transmission.

More - Link >>> http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/04/03/298718398/smithsonians-air-and-space-museum-to-get-30-million-spiffier

Source: National Public Radio.

More on the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum:
Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Air_and_Space_Museum

More on the Smithsonian Institution:
Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smithsonian_Institution

Cornell University President to Become New Secretary of Smithsonian Institution:
Link >>> http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/03/10/288683634/smithsonian-institution-gets-a-new-director

Third Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, then considered the highest scientific appointment in the nation (1887), was Samuel Pierpont Langley, previously Director of Pittsburgh's Allegheny Observatory:
Link >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com/bio/LangleySP.htm

Scale-model of Telstar Satellite displayed at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science from 1960s through 1991:
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/exhibits/telstar.html

2014: 75th Year of Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium Historic Zeiss II Planetarium Projector at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.


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gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
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/ >
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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 >