Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Science Museums Rebound After Worst of Pandemic

                     https://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/postcards/buhlfountain.jpg

Pictured is the original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science and technology museum from 1939 to 1991. In 1973, Buhl Planetarium became the first official member of the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC), the organization of science museums throughout the world, which includes nearly 700 member institutions in almost 50 nations. In 1991, Buhl Planetarium was succeeded by The Carnegie Science Center (which includes a new, digital Buhl Planetarium). This month, ASTC held their annual conference in Pittsburgh, as they had held their 1996 annual conference in Pittsburgh. (Image Source: Friends of the Zeiss' History of Buhl Planetarium Internet Web-site)

By Glenn A. Walsh

Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

Science centers and museums around the world were greatly affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic, over the last two years. But, they are now rebounding, as was seen at the annual conference of the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) in Pittsburgh this month.

ASTC is the member organization for science centers and museums throughout the world. The ASTC annual conference is the premiere meeting of science and technology engagement professionals and educators in science communications and the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. These annual conferences include plenary and concurrent sessions, exhibit hall and poster vendors, along with social events and other networking opportunities.

The Pittsburgh conference, titled “What's Next?”, was held at Downtown Pittsburgh's David L. Lawrence Convention Center September 12 to 15 (with some “Pre-Conference Intensive” sessions held on Sept. 11), hosted by The Carnegie Science Center along with the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh and MuseumLab. The Pittsburgh conference, which hosted about 1,300 science education professionals, had originally been scheduled for 2020, but was delayed by the Pandemic. ASTC held virtual, on-line conferences in 2020 and 2021. So, this year's conference was the first in-person conference since the 2019 conference, which had been held in Toronto.

At the last plenary session Wednesday morning, just prior to the Keynote Address, ASTC presented their annual Roy L Shafer Leading Edge Awards. These awards are given to science centers and museums which excel in informal science education and engagement, enhancing both their organization and the professional field.

To recognize institutions which went beyond traditional education in the STEM fields to meet special needs of the community, a new category of awards was inaugurated this year: Community Service.

The Discovery Center museum of Springfield, Missouri epitomizes the purpose of this new category of awards. The Discovery Center provided child care services for health care workers during the Pandemic, as well as starting a private school (Discovery School at the Center) that focused on STEM, which assisted many parents during the Pandemic. In December, the Discovery Center had won the inaugural STOP award with a $1 million prize from Forbes Magazine and the Center for Education, regarding their extra efforts to serve their community.

During the Wednesday session, “Seizing Opportune Moments: Stories From Museums Taking on Big Change in a Changing World”, Discovery Center Executive Director Rob Blevins stated one important thing taught to children was the science of germs and the importance of hand-washing. He also indicated that, although there was a great community need during the Pandemic and the regular museum operation was on hiatus, there were no lay-offs; in fact, they actually had a need to add staff (they have 22 full-time and 28 part-time staff members).

Other awardees in the Community Service category included:

  • Telus Spark Science Centre, Calgary, Alberta, Canada – This institution created a new staff position, and new programming, to improve engagement with indigenous people in the community.

  • Copernicus Science Centre, Warsaw, Poland – The staff of this institution went well beyond the call-of-duty to support Ukrainians who had fled to Poland, after the Russian invasion of their country. The science center became a place of refuge, where the planetarium and exhibits were free-of-charge to refugees, as well as creating Ukrainian-language activities for children.

An award for Special Recognition in Community Service and Resilience was given to the Junior Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, which operates the Science Museum of Kyiv. This recognized the continued service to the community that the Junior Academy of Sciences provides, under very difficult circumstances. Tragically, a staff member was killed, who was involved in the preparation of a new science museum in Mariupol; as with most of the city, the historic building where this museum was to locate was destroyed. Yet, through the Internet and other opportunities, the Junior Academy of Sciences of Ukraine has continued to provide STEM learning to the residents of their country.

Other Roy L Shafer Leading Edge Awards, in the Resilience category, were given to:

  • Emerald Coast Science Center, Fort Walton Beach, Florida – When the Pandemic forced the science center to close, it was in dire straits, financially. The community pitched-in to save the local institution with supplemental funds. With these funds, the museum was able to erect outdoor exhibits that could benefit community members during the Pandemic.

  • Museum of Discovery, Little Rock, Arkansas – In February of 2021, a broken roof boiler led to water damaging two floors of offices and two major exhibit galleries. After being closed for 27 weeks, the rebuilding allowed the institution to create a facility even more responsive to community needs. This included new exhibits on STEM skills needed for renovations.

  • New York Hall of Science, Corona, Queens, New York – Originally established as part of the 1964 New York World's Fair, the museum suffered from both the Pandemic and a second closure in 2021 due to flooding damage from Hurricane Ida. Through a great deal of community support, they provided informal science education through the Internet, local schools, and at colleague institutions. They will fully reopen interior exhibition galleries later this year.

Several sessions, during the conference, reflected on the trials and tribulations science centers and museums experienced during the worst of the Pandemic. These included Monday sessions such as “Looking Back, Moving Forward: Reflections and Roadmaps for Rebuilding Our Field Together”, “The Infodemic: Addressing the Global Crisis of Misinformation”, “Engaging Your Community on Difficult Topics: Lessons From Communities for Immunity”, and “Expanding the Universe: Building Partnerships in a COVID World and Beyond”.

The Tuesday morning Plenary Session, known as the Alan J. Friedman Science Center Dialogues, was titled, “Preparing the Public for Future Pandemics: Fostering Collaboration Between Research and Engagement”. Other Tuesday sessions included “Developing Whole Institution Sustainability Projects for Science Centers and Museums” and “The Future of Professional Learning: Brainstorm Solutions for Professional Development in a Post-pandemic World.” Another Wednesday session that concentrated on the Pandemic was “Leadership Lab: Road to Recovery Edition”.

There were other highlights on Wednesday.

The Wednesday morning Plenary Session included the Keynote Address by Gregg Behr, Executive Director of the Grable Foundation, and Ryan Rydzewski, authors of the new book, When You Wonder, You're Learning. In their address of the same name, they talked about how the late Pittsburgh icon, Fred Rogers, host of the long-running PBS children's television program MisterRogers Neighborhood, used the latest in social science research to help young children wonder, learn, and create. The speakers opined that science center and science engagement professionals could learn much from what Fred Rogers achieved.

During mid-day on Wednesday, grade-school students and other members of the general public from the Pittsburgh community were invited to a free-of-charge event, participating with the conference attendees, at a Community Science Fair called the “Hands-On Science Showdown”. Science presenters from around the country provided special science demonstrations in the several booths along the nearby Rachel Carson Bridge, which for that day had been closed to automotive traffic. Some local organizations also had science activities for children at other booths.

This event took place, in beautiful weather, all along the Rachel Carson Bridge (originally known as the 9th Street Bridge), one of three, identical, “Sister Bridges” which cross the Allegheny River from Downtown Pittsburgh's Golden Triangle to the North Side. The Rachel Carson Bridge is named for famed Pittsburgh-area, native scientist, Rachel Carson, who penned the book, Silent Spring published exactly 60 years ago this day (1962 September 27), which greatly influenced the environmental movement.

The last day of the conference, Thursday, was reserved for conference attendees to visit The Carnegie Science Center or the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh and MuseumLab. The Carnegie Science Center is a state-of-the-art science museum, including the new, digital Buhl Planetarium, a large-screen theater, and even a World War II-era submarine, the USS Requin. The Children's Museum is hosted by two historic structures, the original Buhl Planetarium building and the former Allegheny City Post Office; MuseumLab is located in America's first publicly-funded Carnegie Library building. 

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

Additional Details from ASTC, Regarding the Roy L Shafer Leading Edge Awards:

Link >>> https://www.astc.org/astc-news-announcements/seven-astc-members-honored-with-roy-l-shafer-leading-edge-awards/

Rachel Carson: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Carson

Book: Silent Spring: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_Spring

Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) -

Link 1 >>> https://www.astc.org/

Link 2 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_of_Science_and_Technology_Centers

History of The Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science: Link >>> http://www.planetarium.cc/

The Carnegie Science Center: Link >>> https://carnegiesciencecenter.org/

Children's Museum of Pittsburgh: Link >>> https://pittsburghkids.org/

MuseumLab: Link >>> https://museumlab.org/

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

               Tuesday, 2022 September 27.


                             Like This Post?  Please Share!

           More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
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gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator                                                               (For more than 50 years! - Since Monday Morning, 1972 June 12):
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/
Electronic Mail: < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Formerly Trustee, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh: Link >>>  http://www.planetarium.cc  Buhl Observatory: Link >>>  http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/11/75th-anniversary-americas-5th-public.html
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago: Link >>> http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear: Link >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries: Link >>> http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc

* Other Walsh-Authored Blog & Web-Sites: Link >>> https://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/gawweb.html

Monday, September 26, 2022

LIVE-STREAM TONIGHT: NASA Asteroid Deflection Test

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/99/65803_didymos_model.png

Shape model of asteroid Didymos and its moon or satellite called Dimorphos. Tonight, the NASA DART spacecraft will attempt to slam into Dimorphos to slightly alter the satellite's orbit in the first test to deflect the orbit of an asteroid. If this test is successful, this will be provide information on the best way to deflect a larger asteroid that may impact Earth sometime in the future. (Image Sources: NASA, Wikipedia.org, By NASA/Naidu et al., AIDA Workshop, 2016 - https://www.nasa.gov/planetarydefense/darthttps://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/screen_shot_2017-06-30_at_12.03.56_pm.png, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=90615158)

By Glenn A. Walsh

Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

Tonight (2022 September 26), a NASA spacecraft named DART will make the first attempt to alter the orbit of a small asteroid. This attempt, which will be live-streamed by NASA, if successful, could lead to information on how to deflect a larger asteroid that could possibly hit the Earth sometime in the future.

The asteroid to be deflected in this test, actually a moon or satellite of a larger asteroid, is named Dimorphos. Neither Dimorphos, nor the larger asteroid Didymos, has any risk of hitting the Earth in the future.

NASA will provide live-stream coverage of this deflection test, on NASA-TV, tonight beginning at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 21:30 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), Friday Evening, 2022 September 26; the actual deflection test is expected to take place at 7:14 p.m. EDT / 23:14 UTC.

This coverage includes a news briefing that evening, from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, at 6:00 p.m. EDT / 22:00 UTC. Another media briefing will occur shortly after the asteroid impact occurs, at September 26, 8:00 p.m. EDT / September 27, 0:00 UTC. During the hour before impact occurs, DART will send images back to Earth at a rate of one image per second, “as Dimorphos grows from a point of light to an object that fills the entire camera frame”, according to a news release issued by The Planetary Society.

Internet link to LIVE-STREAM coverage of this event on NASA-TV can be found near the end of this blog-post.

NASA's DART spacecraft, which is an acronym for Double Asteroid Redirection Test, was launched from Earth, using a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, on 2021 November 24. It will slam into Dimorphos at a speed of about 14,000 miles-per-hour / 22,500 kilometers-per-hour. It is expected that the impact of DART on Dimorphos will slightly alter the orbit of Dimorphos around Didymos.

DART's sole instrument on-board is the Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical navigation (DRACO), which will only be used for coverage of the impact. The weight of this spacecraft: 1,345 pounds / 610 kilograms at launch and 1,210 pounds / 550 kilograms pounds at time of impact.

According to NASA, the mission of DART: “This test will show a spacecraft can autonomously navigate to a target asteroid and intentionally collide with it to change the asteroid’s motion in a way that can be measured using ground-based telescopes. DART will provide important data to help better prepare for an asteroid that might pose an impact hazard to Earth, should one ever be discovered.”

According to the mission overview, regarding proposed relevance to a larger asteroid heading for a collision with the Earth, by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, "Mostly, what we're looking to do is change the speed of the incoming object by a centimeter per second or so. That's not very fast, but if you do it enough seconds in advance, you can cause it to miss the Earth entirely."

This technique, to influence the orbit of a celestial object, is known as "deflection by kinetic impactor.

There are several ways to confirm a successful mission.

Several astronomical observatories around the world will train their telescopes to determine the outcome of the impact event. This includes the Lowell Discovery Telescope in Arizona, the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, the Las Cumbres Observatory global network, and the Magdalena Ridge Observatory in New Mexico.

A CubeSat, a miniature satellite deployed by DART before the impact event, will also observe the event and send data back to NASA regarding the result. Called LICIACUBE (Light Italian CubeSat for Imaging of Asteroids), it was deployed from DART about 10 days ago. From a distance of about 31 statute miles / 50 kilometers, LICIACUBE will be looking for the actual impact of DART on Dimorphos, the plume the impact generates, and possibly the impact crater. LICIACUBE can only communicate with Earth using slow data rates, so it could be days or weeks before scientists get the chance to view LICIACUBE images.

In 2026, the European Space Agency (ESA) space probe, Hera, will visit the Didymos / Dimorphos asteroid system to evaluate the type of crater created when DART hit Dimorphos. To be launched in 2024, Hera will evaluate the impact using a laser altimeter that will create 3-D maps and an infrared camera to determine the asteroid’s temperature and surface properties. Hera will deploy two of its own CubeSats, as well as Hera landing on Dimorphos and, possibly, Didymos.

One way scientists will evaluate the impact will be determining any change in the revolution time of Dimorphos around Didymos. Presently, it takes about 11.9 hours for Dimorphos to complete one orbit around Didymos; Scientists expect that this revolution time should be reduced to 11.8 hours by the DART impact. Also, Dimorphos should end-up a little closer to Didymos after the impact. If this happens, this will be one strong piece of evidence showing that the deflection test was a success.

NASA's Planetary Defense Program spent $324.5 million on DART. This includes $308 million for the spacecraft, $68.8 million for launch services, and $16.5 million on operations and data analysis.

LIVE-STREAM Internet Coverage of DART Mission, from NASA-TV:

Link >>> https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

DART -

Link 1 >>>  https://www.nasa.gov/planetarydefense/dart/dart-news 

Link 2 >>> https://www.planetary.org/articles/dart-impact-what-to-expect

Link 3 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_Asteroid_Redirection_Test 

Link 4 >>> https://www.cnet.com/science/nasa-will-crash-the-dart-probe-into-an-asteroid-on-monday-what-to-know/

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

Didymos: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/65803_Didymos

Related Blog-Post ---

"Scientists Plan for Asteroid Deflection Mission." Mon., 2013 April 15.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/04/scientists-plan-for-asteroid-deflection.html

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

               Monday, 2022 September 26.


                             Like This Post?  Please Share!

           More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
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                Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts in your in-box ?
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gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator                                                               (For more than 50 years! - Since Monday Morning, 1972 June 12):
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/
Electronic Mail: < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Formerly Trustee, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh: Link >>>  http://www.planetarium.cc  Buhl Observatory: Link >>>  http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/11/75th-anniversary-americas-5th-public.html
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago: Link >>> http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear: Link >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries: Link >>> http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc

* Other Walsh-Authored Blog & Web-Sites: Link >>> https://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/gawweb.html

Monday, September 19, 2022

Fall Begins at Equinox Thur. Evening

http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/pix/graphics/solsticeimage008.png
This diagram shows the position of the Earth, in relation to the Sun, at the time of the Autumnal Equinox, as well as the other equinox and solstices of the year.
(Graphic Source: ©1999, Eric G. Canali, former Floor Operations Manager of the original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center - Pittsburgh's science and technology museum from 1939 to 1991) 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 Autumnal Equinox on Thursday evening marks the end of the season of Summer and the beginning of Fall or Autumn in Earth's Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, this marks the transition from Winter to Spring.

The Autumnal Equinox (also known as the September Equinox), the beginning of the season of Autumn or Fall in Earth's Northern Hemisphere of Earth, occurs Thursday Evening, 2022 September 22 at 9:04 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / September 23 at 1:04 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). In the Southern Hemisphere, this moment marks the astronomical beginning of the season of Spring.

On the day of the Equinox, the Sun appears directly overhead at local Noon on the Equator. At the moment of Equinox, the Northern and Southern Hemispheres of Earth are illuminated equally. And, the time of Equinox is the only time when the Earth Terminator (dividing line on Earth between daylight and darkness) is perpendicular to the Equator.

This, and the reason for seasons on Earth in the first place, is due to the fact that Earth rotates on its axis, which is tilted at an approximate 23.44-degree angle from the ecliptic, the plane of the Earth's orbit around the Sun. As the Earth revolves around the Sun, this axial tilt causes one hemisphere of the planet to receive more direct solar radiation during that hemisphere's season of Summer and much less direct solar radiation about a half-year later during that hemisphere's season of Winter. As mentioned, during an Equinox [in the Northern Hemisphere: about half-way between Summer and Winter (Autumnal Equinox), and about half-way between Winter and Summer (Vernal Equinox)] both planetary hemispheres receive an equal amount of solar radiation. 

Although "Equinox" in Latin means equal-night, the day of the Equinox does not actually have an equal amount of daylight and nightfall, as it appears on the Earth's surface. If the Sun was just a pin-point of light in our sky, as all other stars appear, day and night would be equal.

But, because the Sun is a disk, part of the Sun has risen above the horizon before the center of the Sun (which would be the pin-point of light); so there are extra moments of light on the Equinox. Likewise, part of the Sun is still visible, after the center of the Sun has set.

Additionally, the refraction of sunlight by our atmosphere causes sunlight to appear above the horizon, before sunrise and after sunset.

September 25 will mark the Equilux ("equal-light"), the actual day with equal hours and minutes of the Sun above the horizon, and equal hours and minutes of the Sun below the horizon. The Equilux occurs twice each year, approximately 3-to-4 days before the Vernal Equinox, when Spring begins,  and 3-to-4 days after the Autumnal Equinox, after Autumn or Fall has begun.

An urban legend that has been making the rounds for decades has it that eggs can be stood on their ends only during an Equinox, whether the Vernal Equinox in the Spring or the Autumnal Equinox in the Fall. This is completely false. Depending greatly on the size and shape of the particular egg, eggs can be stood on their ends any day of the year! Astronomy has nothing to do with whether an egg can stand on its end. If an egg can stand on its end on the Equinox (and, due to the shape and size of some eggs, this is not even possible), it can stand the same way any other day of the year.

In the last few years, with the help of the Internet and Social Media, another urban legend has become prevalent. Now it is claimed that brooms can stand, on their own, on their bristles, only on an Equinox day. This is also false. Again, as with eggs, if a broom can stand on its bristles by itself (this usually only works with newer brooms, with more stiff and even bristles) on an Equinox, it can do so any day of the year!

In China, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, and other nations in East and Southeast Asia, a popular harvest festival is celebrated on the date close to the Autumnal Equinox of the Solar Cycle, as well as close to the Harvest Moon. This Mid-Autumn Festival / Moon Festival dates back more than 3,000 years to Moon worship in China's Shang Dynasty.

Although, Western Cultures consider September the beginning of Autumn, the ancients often termed this as "Mid-Autumn". By this reckoning, Autumn actually began at the traditional Cross-Quarter Day of August 1 (when some harvesting actually begins) and ends at the traditional Cross-Quarter Day of All-Hallow's Eve, also known as Halloween.

On the Chinese Han Calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th month (on a day between September 8 and October 7 in our Gregorian Calendar). This usually falls on the night of a Full Moon, the Harvest Moon.  This year, the Mid-Autumn Festival was held on Saturday, 2022 September 10, coinciding with this year's Harvest Moon, the Full Moon of September.

September 22 is also designated as Falls Prevention Awareness Day for this year.

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

Mid-Autumn Festival / Moon Festival: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mid-Autumn_Festival

Cross-Quarter Day: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheel_of_the_Year

Autumnal Equinox: Link >>> http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/astronomy/AutumnalEquinox.html


Season of Autumn or Fall: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autumn

Equinox: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equinox


Equilux: Link >>> https://darkskydiary.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/equinox-equilux-and-twilight-times/


Earth's Seasons: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Season

Tilt of a planet's axis: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axial_tilt

Urban legend of eggs and brooms standing on their own, only on an Equinox:
Link >>> http://www.snopes.com/science/equinox.asp

Falls Prevention Awareness Day: Link >>> https://nationaltoday.com/falls-prevention-awareness-day

Related Blog-Post ---

"More Evening Light w/ Harvest Moon This Weekend." Tue., 2022 Sept. 6.

Link >>> https://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2022/09/more-evening-light-w-harvest-moon-this.html

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

               Monday, 2022 September 19.


                             Like This Post?  Please Share!

           More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
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        Astronomy & Science Links: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks

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

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator                                                               (For more than 50 years! - Since Monday Morning, 1972 June 12):
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/
Electronic Mail: < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Formerly Trustee, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh: Link >>>  http://www.planetarium.cc  Buhl Observatory: Link >>>  http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/11/75th-anniversary-americas-5th-public.html
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago: Link >>> http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear: Link >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries: Link >>> http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc

* Other Walsh-Authored Blog & Web-Sites: Link >>> https://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/gawweb.html

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

More Evening Light w/ Harvest Moon This Weekend


The Harvest Moon often appears orange in color due to Rayleigh Scattering of sunlight from the Moon, which occurs whenever the Moon is near the horizon. The Harvest Moon always rises around the time of local sunset. (Image Sources: Wikipedia.org, By The original uploader was Roadcrusher at English Wikipedia. - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Khayman using CommonsHelper., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15755496)

By Glenn A. Walsh

Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

More evening light, coming just after the earlier sunsets of late Summer and early Autumn, occur with the Harvest Moon (the Full Moon of September) and a few days near the day of this Full Moon (weather-permitting). Traditionally, this time of year helped give farmers more light in the evening as they work to harvest their crops before the coming Winter. However, anyone can take advantage of this extra evening light, as the late Summer and early Autumn evenings continue with moderate temperatures.

For this year, the Harvest Moon will be the Full Moon of Saturday Morning, 2022 September 10, at 5:59 a.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 9:59 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Of course, the Harvest Moon becomes visible (weather-permitting) in the vicinity of the time of sunset on the days around the day of Full Moon.

For farmers eager to finish harvesting their crops, the bright Full Moon which shines on their farms for the several evenings closest to the Autumnal Equinox is called the Harvest Moon. This year the Autumnal Equinox, the beginning of the season of Autumn or Fall in the Earth's Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of the season of Spring in the Southern Hemisphere, falls on Thursday Evening, 2022 September 22 at 9:04 p.m. EDT / September 23 at 1:04 UTC.

The Harvest Moon is one of the signature astronomical events shortly before the beginning of, or shortly after the beginning of, the Fall season. It is an event particularly anticipated by farmers of both the past and the present. As many crops reach the time of harvest in late Summer and early Autumn, often the work of the harvest has to continue past sunset, which comes earlier and earlier each evening.

Nature has come to the rescue of these farmers, with a bright Full Moon (weather-permitting), which arrives just around the time of sunset, that allows farmers and their staff to continue the harvest after the Sun's direct light has dissipated. Hence, long-ago this Full Moon came to be known as the Harvest Moon.

For a similar reason, the Full Moon of October is often known as the Hunter's Moon, which allowed Native Americans to continue the hunt after sunset, to begin to store meat for the coming Winter months. However, the Harvest Moon is designated as the closest Full Moon to the Autumnal Equinox, and such a Full Moon does not always occur in September. Every few years the Harvest Moon occurs in October, shortly after the Autumnal Equinox. During those years, the Hunter's Moon occurs in November.

This year, the Hunter's Moon occurs on Sunday Afternoon, 2022 October 9 at 4:55 p.m. EDT / 20:55 UTC. Of course, the Hunter's Moon becomes visible (weather-permitting) in the vicinity of the time of sunset on the days around the day of Full Moon.

On average, the Moon rises about 50 minutes later each day. However, during the days near the Autumnal Equinox, the Moon rises each day only about 25-to-35 minutes later each day in the U.S.A., and only 10-to-20 minutes later in much of Canada and Europe. Thus, for several days around the time of the Autumnal Equinox, the Harvest Moon appears to rise around the same time each evening (roughly coinciding with local sunset), providing light at the time most needed by farmers.

The reason for this is due to the ecliptic, the apparent path of the Sun, Moon, and planets through Earth's sky, which makes a narrow angle with the horizon this time of year. It is this narrow angle which provides that moonrise occurs around the time of sunset, near the time of the Full Moon of September (for the Harvest Moon) and near the time of the Full Moon of October (for the Hunter's Moon). Hence, several evenings (before darkness has fallen) appear to have a rising Full Moon.

Also, at this time of year when farmers need moonlight the most, the Harvest Moon appears larger and more prominent, due to the mysterious but well-known "Moon Illusion" that makes the Moon seem larger when it is near the horizon. And, while near the horizon, the Moon is often reddened by clouds and dust, creating the appearance of a large, rising red ball.

Some even liken a rising Harvest Moon to a rising "Great Pumpkin," of Peanuts comic-strip fame! In the Peanuts' network-television cartoon just before Halloween each year (originally aired on CBS-TV on 1966 October 27) titled, "Its the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown", the “Great Pumpkin” rises over the pumpkin patch to provide gifts to all good little boys and girls.

In China, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, and other nations in East and Southeast Asia, a popular harvest festival is celebrated on the date close to the Autumnal Equinox of the Solar Cycle, as well as close to the Harvest Moon. This Mid-Autumn Festival / Moon Festival dates back more than 3,000 years to Moon worship in China's Shang Dynasty.

Although, Western Cultures consider September the beginning of Autumn, the ancients often termed this as "Mid-Autumn". By this reckoning, Autumn actually began at the traditional Cross-Quarter Day of August 1 (when some harvesting actually begins) and ends at the traditional Cross-Quarter Day of All-Hallow's Eve, also known as Halloween.

On the Chinese Han Calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th month (on a day between September 8 and October 7 in our Gregorian Calendar). This usually falls on the night of a Full Moon, the Harvest Moon.  This year, the Mid-Autumn Festival will be held on Saturday, 2022 September 10, coinciding with this year's Harvest Moon, the Full Moon of September.

Native Americans also called the Full Moon of September the Corn Moon or Barley Moon, as Corn and Barley were among their main crops. Sometimes, the September Full Moon in the Northern Hemisphere is also known as the Fruit Moon.

In the Southern Hemisphere, where Winter is about to turn to Spring, the September Full Moon is known as the Worm Moon, Crow Moon, Sugar Moon, Chaste Moon, or Sap Moon.

The Harvest Moon in the Southern Hemisphere occurs in March or April, with the same advantages to Southern Hemisphere farmers as the Harvest Moon in the Northern Hemisphere.

Internet Links to Additional Info.orrmation ---

Harvest Moon: Link >>> https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/16sep_harvestmoon/ 

Native American Full Moon Names: Link >>> https://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/full-moon-names/ 

Mid-Autumn Festival / Moon Festival: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mid-Autumn_Festival

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

               Tuesday, 2022 September 6.


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gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator                                                             (For more than 50 years! - Since Monday Morning, 1972 June 12):
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/
Electronic Mail: < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Formerly Trustee, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh: Link >>>  http://www.planetarium.cc  Buhl Observatory: Link >>>  http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/11/75th-anniversary-americas-5th-public.html
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago: Link >>> http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear: Link >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries: Link >>> http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc

* Other Walsh-Authored Blog & Web-Sites: Link >>> https://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/gawweb.html

Sunday, August 28, 2022

UPDATE: Live-Stream: NASA Artemis I to Orbit Moon - Launch Delayed Indefinitely


NASA's Artemis I spacecraft arrived at Launch Pad 39B (previously used by Apollo 10 in 1969), at Florida's Kennedy Space Center, on August 17. (Image Source: NASA)

UPDATE 7 (2022 Sept. 26) - Due to the strengthening of Hurricane Ian in the Gulf of Mexico, NASA has decided to move the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the Orion space capsule, of the Artemis I mission, back to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to best protect the rocket and space capsule. It could be several weeks before another launch attempt.

More Information: Link >>> https://blogs.nasa.gov/artemis/2022/09/26/nasa-to-roll-artemis-i-rocket-and-spacecraft-back-to-vab-tonight/

UPDATE 6 (2022 Sept. 24) - NASA has waved-off the September 27 launch of the Artemis I mission, due to the approach of Tropical Storm Ian to Florida. A decision to move the rocket back to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) will be made on September 25. If the Artemis / Space Launch System rocket is moved back to the VAB, it could be several weeks before another launch attempt.

More Information: Link >>> https://blogs.nasa.gov/artemis/2022/09/24/artemis-i-managers-wave-off-sept-27-launch-preparing-for-rollback/ 

UPDATE 5 (2022 Sept. 15) - NASA has adjusted the target launch date for the Artemis I mission to September 27, with October 2 as a back-up date.

More Information: Link >>> https://blogs.nasa.gov/artemis/2022/09/12/nasa-adjusts-dates-for-artemis-i-cryogenic-demonstration-test-and-launch-progress-at-pad-continues/

UPDATE 4 (2022 Sept. 8) - NASA has announced that the Artemis I mission may be launched on September 23 or September 27.

More Information: Link >>> https://spacenews.com/nasa-preparing-for-late-september-artemis-1-launch-attempt/

UPDATE 3 (2022 Sept. 3) - NASA scrubbed the second launch attempt of the Artemis I mission at 11:17 a.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 15:17 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) on Saturday Morning, 2022 September 3; the launch attempt had been scheduled at 2:17 p.m. EDT / 18:17 UTC. Engineers encountered a liquid hydrogen (H) leak while loading the propellant into the Space Launch System rocket's core stage. Multiple troubleshooting efforts to address the leak did not fix the issue.

NASA will probably need to return Artemis I to the Vehicle Assembly Building for inspection and maintenance. This would delay the launch of Artemis I by several weeks, at the least.

More Information: Link >>> https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/03/world/nasa-artemis-1-saturday-launch-scn/index.html

UPDATE 2 (2022 Aug. 31) - NASA announced that the second launch attempt for the Artemis I mission would be Saturday Afternoon, 2022 September 3 at 2:17 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 18:17 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Engineers will start the chill-down procedure for the engines 30-to-45 minutes earlier in the countdown, a procedure that was successful during earlier tests at NASA's  Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

For Live-stream coverage of Artemis I launch and mission hightlights, Internet Link to NASA-TV located near the end of this blog-post.

More Information: Link >>> https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/take-2-nasa-aims-for-saturday-launch-of-new-moon-rocket/ar-AA11i3VK?ocid=msedgntp&cvid=d9b7ab357bed4aa8b6562703a4d73c43

UPDATE (2022 Aug. 30) - Launch of the historic Artemis I mission was scrubbed by NASA at 8:34 a.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 12:34 Coordinated Univeral Time (UTC) on Monday Morning, 2022 August 29. One of the 4 RS-25 Space Launch System (SLS) rocket engines (engine 3) had not cooled to the proper temperature range, in order to allow super-cold propellant to begin flowing through the engine. Each engine must be thermally conditioned for the super-cold propellant, for the engine to operate properly.  Engineers are now evaluating data gathered from the launch attempt, to determine what needs to be done for a future successful launch.

Although no alternative date and time have been confirmed for a second launch attempt, NASA has stated that a launch could take place at the beginning of a 2-hour window beginning at 12:48 p.m. EDT / 16:48 UTC on Friday AfternNASAoon, 2022 September 2.

After Friday, a launch could also take place at the beginning of a 2-hour window beginning at 5:12 p.m. EDT / 21:12 UTC on Labor Day, Monday Afternoon, 2022 September 5.

More Information: Link >>> https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/nasa-scrubs-first-test-flight-of-moon-rocket-after-engine-fault/ar-AA11dVx2?ocid=msedgntp&cvid=442cf21a13027aefd78736e98a39817e

By Glenn A. Walsh

Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

After several delays, the first launch in NASA's Artemis Space Program is scheduled for Monday, Morning. This test mission, called Artemis I, will include no human crew but will fly beyond the Moon before returning to Earth.

Live coverage of the launch and other mission highlights will be provided on NASA Television, the NASA Telephone App, and the NASA Internet Web-site. The launch of Artemis I is currently scheduled at the beginning of the first 2-hour launch window, which opens at 8:33 a.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 12:33 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) on Monday Morning, 2022 August 29. Back-up launch dates are September 2 and September 5.

Internet Link to NASA-TV located near the end of this blog-post.

Currently, meteorologists are studying the potential impact that 3 lightning strikes, yesterday on the launch pad's 2 lightning protection towers, may have on Monday's launch. Electromagnetic environment experts will determine if any constraints on vehicle or ground systems were violated.

Artemis I consists of NASA's new Moon rocket, called the Space Launch System (SLS) and the new Orion space capsule. As a test mission, this mission could end prematurely if major problems are experienced.

We’re going to stress it and test it. We’re going make it do things that we would never do with a crew on it in order to try to make it as safe as possible,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The primary mission of Artemis I is a proof-of-coneept mission. NASA states on their Internet Web-site: “The primary goals for Artemis I are to demonstrate Orion’s systems in a spaceflight environment and ensure a safe re-entry, descent, splashdown, and recovery prior to the first flight with crew on Artemis II.”

The Artemis I mission is scheduled to last 42 days, 3 hours, and 20 minutes. In that amount of time, the Orion spacecraft is expected to travel 1.3 million miles / 2.09 kilometers. On the launch pad, the combined Orion space capsule and SLS rocket stand as tall as a 32-story building.

Major payloads aboard Artemis I include 10 small and low-cost Cube-Sat satellites to be deployed during the mission. Also, mannequins will take the place of live crew members in the Orion capsule, including "Captain Moonikin Campos" (named after Arturo Campos, an engineer who played a major role in resolving the emergency that occurred during the Apollo 13 mission), alongside NASA's Snoopy (the famous beagle from the Peanuts comic-strip) and the European Space Agency's Shaun the Sheep. In cooperation with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Israel Space Agency (ISA), a Matroshka AstroRad Radiation Experiment (MARE) will take place during the mission, which will measure tissue radiation doses aboard Artemis 1 and test the effectiveness of the AstroRad radiation vest.

For 6 days, Artemis I will be in a distant retrograde orbit of the Moon. While at one point this orbit will bring the spacecraft within about 60 miles / 96.56 kilometers of the lunar surface, the orbit will also take the spacecraft well beyond the Moon.

The cost of the Artemis I mission is $4 billion. The estimated cost of the Artemis Program up until a possible 2025 lunar landing is $93 billion. This includes cost-over-runs from several years of delays.

The Orion space capsule is designed to hold a maximum of 6 astronauts; but, again, the Artemis I test mission will hold no human crew. Orion is a partially re-usable spacecraft with a Crew Module and an European Service Module. It utilizes solar panels for electrical power, an automated docking system, and glass cockpit interfaces similar to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet aircraft.

Orion can be sustained for 21 days while not docked to a space station and can last up to 6 months while docked at a space station. As Artemis I is a test mission and carries no crew, the Orion capsule will actually remain in Outer Space for 6 weeks, to test all aspects of the spacecraft as well as all contingencies.

The Space Launch System (SLS), the heaviest rocket ever produced by NASA, will be the vehicle used to lift the Orion capsule from Earth to the Moon. As NASA's successor to the Space Shuttle, the SLS is meant to be NASA's primary rocket for Deep Space missions with astronauts going to the Moon, Mars, Asteroid Belt, and possibly beyond.

Unlike the Space Shuttle, the Orion spacecraft will return to Earth using parachutes and splashdown in an ocean, as did the Apollo Moon missions. The Artemis I Orion capsule, utilizing a heat shield, is scheduled to splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on Monday, 2022 October 10.

Before astronauts can land on the Moon, a small space station, called the Lunar Gateway, will be placed in orbit around the Moon. The Lunar Gateway Space Station is a cooperative project of NASA, European Space Agency (ESA), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and Canadian Space Agency (CSA). As the Lunar Gateway Space Station has yet to be built, Artemis I tests will not include space station dockings.

A solar-powered communications hub, the Lunar Gateway Space Station will serve as a transfer station where astronauts from Earth will transfer to a shuttle-craft for the trek to the Moon's surface. The Lunar Gateway Space Station will also be a short-term habitation module and science laboratory, as well as a holding area for rovers and other robots. Last year, NASA awarded a $2.9 billion contract to Elon Musk's SpaceX, to produce a lunar lander spacecraft for the Artemis III mission.

If all goes well with the. Artemis I mission, astronauts will board Artemis II for a loop around the Moon in 2024. And, if that goes well, Artemis III will land astronauts on the Moon, probably near the Moon's South Pole, at the end of 2025 or in 2026, including the first female astronaut and the first astronaut of-color. 

Internet Link to NASA-TV Live Coverage of Artemis I Launch & Mission:

Link >>> https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

Artemis 1 -

Link 1 (NASA) >>> https://www.nasa.gov/specials/artemis-i/ 

Link 2 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemis_1

Orion Space Capsule: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_(spacecraft) 

Space Launch System (SLS) Rocket: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Launch_System

Lunar Gateway Space Station: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_Gateway 

Related Blog-Posts ---

"Public Comments Due May 31: NASA Plans to Explore Moon & Mars." Mon., 2022 May 23.


"Roll-Out Thur.: NASA's New Moon Rocket / Fly Your Name Around Moon on Artemis I." Tue., 2022 March 15.

Link >>> https://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2022/03/roll-out-nasas-new-moon-rocket-thur-fly.html

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

               Sunday, 2022 August 28.


                             Like This Post?  Please Share!

           More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
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gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator                                                             (For more than 50 years! - Since Monday Morning, 1972 June 12):
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/
Electronic Mail: < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Formerly Trustee, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh: Link >>>  http://www.planetarium.cc  Buhl Observatory: Link >>>  http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/11/75th-anniversary-americas-5th-public.html
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago: Link >>> http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear: Link >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries: Link >>> http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc

* Other Walsh-Authored Blog & Web-Sites: Link >>> https://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/gawweb.html

Monday, August 8, 2022

Active Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Fri., Sat.

           https://buhlplanetarium3.tripod.com/CSC-Meteorite.JPG

The vast majority of meteors that are visible during meteor showers are usually quite small, even though they often make a bright spectacle when entering Earth's atmosphere. However, some meteors which actually land on Earth, sometimes creating a crater, can be quite large. The above photograph shows the fifth largest fragment of the meteorite which created Meteor Crater near Winslow, Arizona, on public display at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Science Center. Owned by the City of Pittsburgh, this meteorite was originally acquired for, and displayed at, the original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science and technology museum from 1939 to 1991.

More Information: Link >>> https://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/Buhlexhibits.htm#meteorite

(Image Source: Friends of the Zeiss' History of Buhl Planetarium Internet Web-site)

By Glenn A. Walsh

Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

The annual Perseid Meteor Shower, which peaks late this week, is considered the best meteor shower of the year by NASA and most astronomers. Although, a near-Full Moon this year will make viewing the dimmer meteors a challenge.

Astronomically, the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower comes this year during the late-night and early-morning hours of Friday and Saturday, 2022 August 12 and 13. 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.

So, the best time to view this year's Perseid Meteor Shower is late Thursday night / early Friday morning and late Friday night / early Saturday morning. It is possible this peak of the Perseids could stretch into late Saturday night / early Sunday morning.

At the peak time, sometimes up-to 50-to-100 meteors could possibly be seen per-hour, if observing conditions are ideal. Depending on your location (including elevation and number of obstructions to sky viewing, such as hills, trees, and buildings), weather conditions, Moon phase, and the condition of your eye-sight, seeing 40-to-60 meteors per-hour would be more likely.

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 one half-hour.

Also, after your eyes are dark-adapted, do not look at your cellular telephone while looking for meteors. The light you see from your telephone could disrupt your dark-adapted night-vision.

For the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower this year, the Moon will have just passed the bright Full Moon Phase. Hence, the dimmer meteors will be more challenging to find in a sky brightened by Moon-light.

The Moon will have passed the Primary Lunar Phase of Full Moon on Thursday Evening, 2022 August 11 at 9:36 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / Friday Morning, 2022 August 12 at 1:36 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). So,reflected sunlight from the Moon could obscure the dimmer meteors. Try not to look directly at the Moon, so it does not hinder your dark-adapted eye-sight.

Actually, some meteors from the Perseid Meteor Shower can be seen as early as mid-July and as late as late August (~July 17 to August 24); but they are few and far-between. Most Perseid meteors can be seen three-to-five days before and three-to-five days after the peak time, which is considered, approximately, between August 9 and 14 each year; again, the absolute peak is August 11 to 13.

Viewers in the Northern Hemisphere are fortunate that the Perseid Meteor Shower arrives during the Summer month of August, when temperatures are comfortable for night-time viewing. However, some locations (such as in the mountains) could be cooler in the early-morning hours. So, be sure to check your local weather forecast (with NOAA Weather-Radio, local forecasts on radio, television or local newspapers, Internet, or your smart-telephone or smart-speaker) and bring a sweater or jacket with you if your location has a cooler weather forecast.

Be aware that sometimes August can be very humid with poor seeing conditions. And, the closer to the horizon, the worse the seeing conditions could be.

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 (perhaps on a blanket, sheet, or beach-towel—or possibly in a reclining beach or lawn-chair), in an area with a good view of the entire sky (with few obstructions such as buildings, trees, or hills, perhaps at a higher elevation), and keep scanning the entire sky with your naked-eyes (one-power).

Meteor showers appear to emanate from a radiant point in the sky. For the Perseid Meteor Shower, the radiant appears to be within the Constellation Perseus, named for the hero of Greek mythology (hence, the name Perseid Meteor Shower). 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, with much shorter sky streaks.

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, often high 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 fire-balls or bolides. If these particles are large enough, they may not completely burn-up and land on Earth as a meteorite, perhaps even creating a crater on Earth if the meteorite is large and heavy enough.

Many museums and science centers display meteorites to the general public. From 1939 to 1991, the original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center - Pittsburgh's science and technology museum from 1939 to 1991) displayed the fifth largest fragment of the meteorite that formed Barringer Meteor Crater near Winslow, Arizona. Owned by the City of Pittsburgh, this large meteorite is now displayed on the second floor of Pittsburgh's Carnegie Science Center, outside the entrance to the Henry Buhl, Jr. Planetarium. Meteorites are also on display in the Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

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 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 last returned for Earth viewing in 1992.

Comet Swift-Tuttle measures about 16 statute miles / 25 kilometers across, much larger than the object that is thought to have fallen to Earth which resulted in the extinction of the dinosaurs (about 6 statute miles / 10 kilometers across) approximately 66 million years ago (after the dinosaurs had lived on Earth for about 165 million years!).

Comet Swift-Tuttle will make a very close approach to the Earth in the year A.D. 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".

There are two additional meteor showers, which both peaked at the end of July, with some meteors still visible in mid-August.

The Southern Delta Aquariid meteor shower peaked at 8:00 a.m. EDT / 12:00 UTC on Sunday Morning, 2022 July 30; these meteors are visible each year between July 12 and August 23. It is not certain which comet originated the Southern Delta Aquariids. This is considered a strong meteor shower, with 15-to-20 meteors visible per-hour, around the peak of shower; fewer would now be visible per-hour.

The evening of 2022 July 29 / early-morning of July 30 saw the peak of the Alpha Capracornid meteor shower. The official peak also occurred around 8:00 a.m. EDT / 12:00 UTC on Sunday Morning, 2022 July 30. At the peak time, 5 meteors per-hour are expected, making the Alpha Capracornids a minor meteor shower; of course, now there would be fewer Alpha Capracornids visible per-hour. The Alpha Capracornids, which originated as remnants of Comet 169P / NEAT, are visible each year from July 3 to August 15.

Another minor meteor shower may be visible to some between August 28 and September 5 each year; the peak is expected August 31 / September 1. The peak for this meteor shower is about 5:00 a.m. EDT / 9:00 UTC on Thursday Morning, 2022 September 1. The Aurigid Meteor Shower is believed to have originated as remnants of Comet Kless (C / 1911 N1). Astronomers do not know the composition of this meteoric debris. So, it is uncertain how the meteors from this shower may interact with the Earth's atmosphere, and hence, scientists are unsure how visible this shower may be each year.

So in mid-August, the time for viewing is right. 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. Even a few clouds could obscure quite a few meteors.

If the weather in your area does not permit direct viewing of this meteor shower outdoors, it is possible (but not guaranteed) you may be able to use Google, Yahoo, Bing, Lycos, or your favorite Internet search engine to find special, Live-stream Web-casts of the meteor shower at one or more sites on the Internet.

A cautionary note for those who find it necessary to watch the meteor shower on the Internet. The video camera, used for each Live-stream 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 field-of-view.

Internet Links  to Additional Information ----

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

South Delta Aquariid Meteor Shower: Link >>>  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Delta_Aquariids 

Alpha Capracornid Meteor Shower: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_Capricornids 

Aurigid Meteor Shower:

Link 1 >>> https://astronomyforbeginners.wordpress.com/2007/08/24/aurigid-meteor-shower-astronomy-for-beginners/ 

Link 2 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurigids

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 (1939 to 1991) at the original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science and technology museum from 1939 to 1991. Today, this meteorite is displayed on the second floor of Pittsburgh's Carnegie Science Center, next to the Henry Buhl, Jr. Planetarium:
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/Buhlexhibits.htm#meteorite

Related Blog-Posts ---

Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Wed., Thur." Mon., 2021 Aug. 9.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2021/08/perseid-meteor-shower-peaks-wed-thur.html

 

Annual Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Tue. Night / Early Wed. Morning." Mon., 2020 Aug. 10.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2020/08/annual-perseid-meteor-shower-peaks-tue.html 


"Tonight's 'Meteor Outburst' w/Web-Casts: 150 Years After Comet-Meteor Shower Link Found." Thur., 2016 Aug. 11.

Link >>> https://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/08/tonights-meteor-outburst-wweb-casts-150.html

 

"Great Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Wed. Night w/ Web-Casts." Wed., 2015 Aug. 12.

Link >>> https://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2015/08/great-perseid-meteor-shower-peaks-wed.html

 

"Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks in Sky & Web-Casts." Tue., 2014 Aug. 12.

Link >>> https://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2014/08/perseid-meteor-shower-peaks-in-sky-web.html

 

"Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Sun., Mon. Nights." Sat., 2013 Aug. 10.

Link >>> https://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/08/perseid-meteor-shower-peaks-sun-mon.html

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

               Monday, 2022 August 8.


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gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator                                                             (For more than 50 years! - Since Monday Morning, 1972 June 12):
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/
Electronic Mail: < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Formerly Trustee, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh: Link >>>  http://www.planetarium.cc  Buhl Observatory: Link >>>  http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/11/75th-anniversary-americas-5th-public.html
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago: Link >>> http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear: Link >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries: Link >>> http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc

* Other Walsh-Authored Blog & Web-Sites: Link >>> https://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/gawweb.html