Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Beautiful Pre-Dawn Planetary Alignment Thur.-Sat.

    Illustration image

This graphic shows the pre-dawn alignment of the classical planets, to be seen in the United States just before Sunrise 2022 June 23 to 25. (Graphic Source: TimeandDate.com)

By Glenn A. Walsh

Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

A beautiful alignment of the classical planets will be visible in the early morning sky, just before Sunrise, at the end of this week (weather-permitting). The non-profit group, Astronomers Without Borders, has voted this planetary alignment one of their top “Sky Events” for this year!

In the early morning hours, Thursday through Saturday, the classical planets known throughout human history will be visible, in their actual order from the Sun.

The classical planets, the “wanderers” in the Earth's sky, are the planets, plus the Sun and Moon, observed via the unaided or naked-eyes (one-power) by our ancestors for millenia. These planets were observed long before there was any written history or other documents. And, of course, long before famous Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei observed planets with his first astronomical telescope in January of 1610 (coincidentally, it was June 22 in 1633 when Galileo was sentenced to house-arrest for the rest of his life, due to his published scientific papers, by the Palace of the Holy Office in Rome). Hence, no one knows who first discovered these planets.

These planets, which will be seen in order rise east-to-southeast from the horizon: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn (their actual order of distance from the Sun). The ancients also placed the Sun and Moon in the wanderer category. The ancients observed that these celestial bodies did not act the same as the other stars in the sky.

While all other “fixed” stars and constellations in the sky moved together, harmoniously, across the sky each night, these five planets, along with the Sun and Moon, wandered throughout the sky. Hence, they were termed the wanderers or wandering stars. The word planet is derived from the Greek word planetes, which means wanderer.

While the alignment will look near-perfect to observers on Earth, this is actually an illusion of perspective. While the planets will be the correct order, from their distance from the Sun, they would not appear as such an alignment if the observer was in Outer Space or on another planet.

The best time to view this alignment will be about 45-to-60 minutes before local Sunrise. Mercury, the smallest classical planet, will be the most difficult to spot. Mercury is always seen close to the Sun, because it is the closest planet to the Sun.

At peak altitude above the horizon, Mercury will only reach a maximum of 14 degrees above the horizon. So, Mercury will be tricky to find. If you cannot find Mercury one morning, simply try a little earlier the next morning.

And, because Mercury is so low in the sky, people in locations further north than the northern part of the United States, such as in Toronto or London, may not be able to find Mercury.

These five planets may still be visible for another week or so, beyond this week. However, the alignment may not be as impressive, as the planets move apart.

Mercury may be visible a few days into the new month of July. However, on July 16 Mercury will move into Superior Conjunction, when Mercury moves very close to the Sun (from an observer's perspective) and on the opposite side of the Solar System from Earth. At that time, Mercury is not visible at all.

UNLESS YOU HAVE THE PROPER TRAINING, NEVER USE BINOCULARS OR A TELESCOPE TO TRY TO FIND MERCURY. SHOULD THE SUN RISE UNEXPECTEDLY, AND ENTER YOUR TELESCOPE OR BINOCULARS, IT COULD CAUSE PERMANENT EYE DAMAGE TO THE OBSERVER!!!

 Internet Links to Additional Information ---

Classical Planets: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_planet

 Superior Conjunction: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conjunction_(astronomy)#Superior_and_inferior

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

               Wednesday, 2022 June 22.


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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, June 19, 2022

Summer Begins at Solstice Early Tuesday

         http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/FAQ/JuneSolstice.JPG

[Graphic Source: © Copyright 2005, 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

Early Tuesday morning, Summer begins in the Northern Hemisphere of Earth, while at the same time, Winter begins in the Southern Hemisphere.

                                              2022 Summer Solstice

For A.D. 2022, the season of Summer begins at Earth's Northern Hemisphere's Summer Solstice (and the season of Winter begins at the Southern Hemisphere's Winter Solstice) at the moment of the June Solstice: Tuesday Morning, 2022 June 21 at 5:14 a.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 9:14 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC – International time used by scientists; previously referred to as Greenwich Mean Time or Greenwich Civil Time). Summer will continue until the season of Autumn / Fall commences: Thursday Evening, 2022 September 22 at 9:04 p.m. EDT / September 23 at 1:04 UTC.

In Meteorology (Weather Science), the convention is to start a season on the first day of a calendar month. So, Meteorological Summer runs from June 1 to August 31.

In Etymology, the word Solstice comes from the Latin terms Sol (Sun) and Sistere (to stand still). In ancient times, Astronomers / Astrologers / Priests recognized that on one day of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere, on or near the day we now call June 21), the Sun would appear to stand-still as Sol reaches its highest point in the sky for the entire year. The motion of the Sun's apparent path in the sky (what is known astronomically, today, as the Sun's Declination) would cease on this day, before appearing to reverse direction.

Although the Summer months in the Northern Hemisphere are known for the year's warmest weather, the Earth is actually at the point in its orbit farthest from the Sun (astronomically known as the point of Aphelion) around July 5. The Earth's closest approach to the Sun (Perihelion) each year is around January 2. Hence, in general, the distance from the Earth to the Sun is not the major factor determining the heat of Summer or the cold of Winter.

This year, Earth Aphelion will occur on American Independence Day, Monday Morning, 2022 July 4 at 3:10 a.m. EDT / 7:10 UTC. At that moment, Earth will be the farthest from the Sun for the whole year: 94,509,598 statute miles / 152,098,454.4837 kilometers.

However, because Earth is farther from the Sun during our Spring and Summer seasons, people in Earth's Northern Hemisphere actually benefit from a few extra days of warmth (on average), than the number of days in the Autumn and Winter seasons of the year. When Earth is closer to the Sun, the Earth travels faster in its elliptical orbit around the Sun (during the Autumn and Winter months); and, when Earth is farther than average from the Sun (during the Spring and Summer seasons) the Earth travels a little more slowly --- again, this refers to the Northern Hemisphere. Hence, the Spring and Summer seasons, in the Northern Hemisphere, have a few more days than the Autumn and Winter seasons.

In fact, Jay Pasachoff, Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts and author of widely-used, college astronomy text-books, has precisely calculated the duration of each season, in the Northern Hemisphere:

* Summer: 93 days, 15 hours

* Spring: 92 days, 19 hours

* Autumn / Fall: 89 days, 20 hours

* Winter: 89 days, 0 hours 

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

While the Sun does have motions (the Sun rotates on its own axis about once every 27 days; our Solar System revolves around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy once every 225 million-to-250 million Earth years), it is actually the motion of the Earth tilted on its axis, away from the plane of the ecliptic (Earth's orbital plane around the Sun), while revolving around the Sun, that causes the Earth's seasons.

As of this week in June, Earth's Axial Tilt, or Mean Obliquity is ~ 23.43636° or 23°26'10.8". The Mean Obliquity of Earth is ~ 0.00001°, or 0.04", less than 30 days ago.

Hence, as the Earth arrives at the point in its orbit around the Sun, when the north polar axis is most directly inclined toward the Sun, this marks the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and the Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere.

Alternately, the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere (the Winter Solstice is always on or near December 21) occurs when the Earth reaches the point in its orbit when the North Pole is most directly inclined away from the Sun. And, conversely, at this time Summer begins in the planet's Southern Hemisphere.

Currently (using a continuously updated formula), for Earth observers at precisely 23°26′10.9″ / 23.43637° North Latitude at the moment of the June Solstice, the Sun will appear to shine directly overhead. The line around the Earth at 23°26′10.9″ / 23.43637° North Latitude is known as the Tropic of Cancer (a.k.a. Northern Tropic). Likewise, at 23°26′10.9″ / 23.43637°) South Latitude is located the Tropic of Capricorn (a.k.a. Southern Tropic), where the Sun appears directly overhead at the moment of the December Solstice.

However, as the tilt of the Earth is dynamic, and changes minutely over the years, the location of the Tropic lines also change. Currently, these Tropic lines are moving north at the rate of 0.47 arc-seconds / 49.21 feet / 15 meters per year.

The names Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn were coined in the last centuries B.C., when the Sun would appear in the Constellation Cancer the Crab on the June Solstice and in the Constellation Capricornus the Horned Goat on the December Solstice. However today, hours after the June Solstice, the Sun enters the Constellation Gemini the Twins, 30 degrees from Cancer. And at the December Solstice, the Sun is now in the Constellation Sagittarius the Archer.

This is due to “Precession of the Equinoxes” of Earth, which is analogous to the wobbling of a spinning top. In the case of the Earth, this 25,772-year wobble causes observers to view the Sun in different parts of the sky over the centuries, at the same time of year while remaining in the same geographical location. As the Earth wobbles over the centuries, the North Pole Star also changes. Currently, Polaris is our North Pole Star; around A.D. 13,700, Vega will be our North Pole Star, due to the Precession of the Equinoxes.

No matter which hemisphere, the day of the Summer Solstice always has the most hours and minutes of daylight (the length of time between Sunrise and Sunset) for the year, while the Winter Solstice always has the least number of hours and minutes of daylight for the year. The exact number of hours and minutes of daylight, for a particular location, depends on the locale's geographic Latitude on the Earth. Astronomers, amateur ("ham") radio operators, and long-distance radio enthusiasts (“radio DXers”), all of whom mostly depend on non-daylight hours to ply their craft, often prefer the days closer to the Winter Solstice.

The Vernal Equinox, when the season of Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere (and the season of Autumn begins in the Southern Hemisphere), occurs between the Winter and Summer Solstices when the Earth reaches the point in its orbit around the Sun when the Earth's axis is inclined neither toward nor away from the Sun. Likewise, when the Earth reaches the point in its orbit around the Sun, between the Summer and Winter Solstices, when the Earth's axis is inclined neither toward nor away from the Sun, this is known as the Autumnal Equinox (beginning of Fall or Autumn) in the Northern Hemisphere; at this time Spring begins in the Southern Hemisphere. And, half-way between the beginning points of each season are Cross-Quarter Days, each related to traditional holidays: Groundhog Day (February 2), May Day (May 1), Lammas Day (traditionally, the first harvest festival of the year on August 1), and Halloween (October 31).

In ancient times, the Summer Solstice was known as Mid-Summer Day, in early calendars observed around June 24. At that time, May 1 to August 1 (i.e. the two Cross-Quarter Days) was considered the season of Summer. Such early European celebrations were pre-Christian in origin. Many will associate this ancient holiday with the famous William Shakespeare play, “A Midsummer Night's Dream.” Some speculate that the play was written for the Queen of England, to celebrate the Feast Day of Saint John.

As with the Roman Catholic Church's decision to Christianize the pagan Winter Solstice festivals with the introduction of Christmas Day on December 25 (by an early calendar, December 25 was reckoned as the Winter Solstice), the Church began to associate the Mid-Summer festivals with the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist on June 24. In the Christian Bible, the Gospel of Saint Luke implies that Saint John was born six months before the birth of Jesus, although no specific birth dates are given.

The most famous celebration of the Summer Solstice occurs each year at the Stonehenge pre-historic monument in England. Constructed between 3,000 B.C. and 1,600 B.C. in three phases, the actual purpose of the landmark is still unclear. However, it seems to have been associated with burials, originally. It was also used as a type of astronomical observatory, particularly for observing the Sun, which was important to help early cultures make annual decisions regarding agriculture.

Stonehenge is known as a way for pre-historic peoples to mark both the Summer and Winter Solstices. From inside the monument, a viewer facing northeast can watch the Sun rise (weather-permitting) above a stone outside the main circle of rocks, known as the Heel Stone, on the day of the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. Although today, due to serious erosion of the stones, visitors on the Summer Solstice can only walk around the landmark from a short distance away during this annual event.

Although not as prominent as Stonehenge, a calendar ring using smaller rocks was also constructed at Nabta Playa in southern Egypt, perhaps as early as 7,000 years ago! As with Stonehenge, some stones aligned with Sunrise on the day of the Summer Solstice.

Today, a Stonehenge-like event occurs each year at the University of Wyoming (UW) Art Museum in Laramie, Wyoming, free-of-charge to the general public. At 12:00 Noon Mountain Daylight Saving Time (MDT) / 2:00 p.m. EDT / 18:00 UTC on the day of the Summer Solstice, visitors can see a single beam of sunlight shine through a solar tube in the ceiling of the UW Art Museum's Rotunda Gallery; the beam of sunlight then shines onto a 1923 Peace Silver Dollar embedded in the floor of the Museum's Rotunda Gallery. Visitors are encouraged to arrive at the museum by 11:30 a.m. MDT / 1:30 p.m. EDT / 17:30 UTC, to view this rather unique architectural feature.

The bright Star Spica (Alpha Virginis), the brightest star in the Constellation Virgo the Virgin and the 16th brightest star in Earth's night sky (Apparent Visual Magnitude: + 0.97), may have helped develop another one of civilization's early calendars. A calendar of ancient Armenia used the year's first sighting of Spica in the dawn sky, a few days before the Summer Solstice, to mark the beginning of the New Year for this particular calendar. The development of this calendar somewhat coincided with the beginning of agriculture in Armenia.

Like clock-work, a well-known asterism (pattern of stars in the sky, not officially recognized as a constellation) of three stars shaped as a triangle is visible nearly overhead around local midnight during the Summer months (weather-permitting). And logically, as Star Trek's Mr. Spock might say, this asterism is known as the Summer Triangle!

Three of the brightest stars in the Summer sky constitute the Summer Triangle ---

  1. Vega (Alpha Lyrae - brightest star in the Constellation Lyra the Harp); brightest of the three stars and closest to the zenith (highest point in the sky);

  2. Altair (Alpha Aquilae - denotes the eagle eye and brightest star in the Constellation Aquila the Eagle); second brightest star of the trio;

  3. Deneb (Alpha Cygni - denotes the tail star, is the brightest star in the Constellation Cygnus the Swan, and is the “head” star of the asterism known as the Northern Cross).

The term Summer Triangle was popularized in the 1950s by American author H.A. Rey and British astronomer Patrick Moore, although constellation guidebooks mention this triangle of stars as far back as 1913. And, during World War II, military navigators referred to this asterism as the “Navigator's Triangle.”

Regardless of city light pollution, the three bright stars of the Summer Triangle should be visible to nearly everyone in Earth's Northern Hemisphere (weather-permitting). So, just look overhead late-evening or early-morning throughout the Summer for these annual visitors to our Summer sky!

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

Summer Solstice: 
Link 1 >>> http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/astronomy/SummerSolstice.html 
Link 2 >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summer_solstice  

Season of Summer: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summer  

History of Mid-Summer: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midsummer
 

Summer "Solstice Day" Annual Free-of-Charge Day (With Snowballs !), 1985 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:  
Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2015/06/snowballs-on-first-day-of-summer.html

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

News Release - University of Wyoming Stonehenge-type event:
Link >>> https://www.uwyo.edu/uw/news/2018/06/uw-art-museum-to-celebrate-summer-solstice-june-21.html

Star Spica: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spica

Precession of the Equinoxes: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axial_precession 

Tropic of Cancer: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropic_of_Cancer 

Tropic of Capricorn: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropic_of_Capricorn 

Summer Triangle: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summer_Triangle 

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

               Sunday, 2022 June 19.


                             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, June 13, 2022

2024 Launch: NASA Mission to Jupiter Moon Europa

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e4/Europa-moon-with-margins.jpg

Image of the trailing hemisphere of Jupiter moon, Europa, in approximate natural color. This solid-state television image was taken by the NASA Galileo spacecraft during its second orbit around Jupiter on 1996 September 7. At the time, the probe was 417,900 statute miles / 677,000 kilometers from the ice-covered satellite. (Image Sources: NASA, Wikipedia.org, By NASA/JPL/DLR - Derivative of File:Europa-moon.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74467836)

By Glenn A. Walsh

Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

While 2024 has been the targeted year for launch of Artemis and the return of astronauts to the Earth's Moon, NASA is also targeting a mission to another moon in 2024. The ice-covered moon of Jupiter, Europa, possibly with deep oceans, will be the first moon outside of the Earth-Moon system to receive a dedicated space probe.

This month, the main body of the space probe, known as the Europa Clipper, arrived at NASA's Jet Propulsion (JPL) in Pasadena, California. Now, JPL engineers and technicians will assemble the spacecraft and prepare it for launch.

The assembly will include installation of the nine science experiments on-board. Launch of the Europa Clipper is scheduled for October of 2024. The probe should arrive and enter an orbit of Jupiter in April of 2030.

“It’s an exciting time for the whole project team and a huge milestone,” said Jordan Evans, the mission’s project manager at JPL' as part of a NASA news release. “This delivery brings us one step closer to launch and the Europa Clipper science investigation.”

After entering orbit of Jupiter, Europa Clipper will conduct 44 fly-bys of Europa over a mission length expected to last 8 years.

Why not enter actual orbit of Europa, which is just a little smaller in size as the Earth’s Moon? Radiation emanating from the Jupiter magnetosphere at the orbit of Europa makes remaining this close to Jupiter dangerous for any spacecraft.

Europa's orbit lies completely within the harsh radiation fields of Jupiter. Even a hardened spacecraft, within such radiation fields, would last only a few months.

The problem is not the speed of scientific data accumulation. The scientific instruments can gather data pretty rapidly, so the limited life-span of the probe in Europa orbit would not have been a problem.

The problem comes when trying to communicate the data back to Earth. Because there are a limited number of receiving antennas on Earth, it takes longer to send the data back to NASA. Hence, the orbit of Europa will be elliptical, allowing the spacecraft to exist a fair amount of time beyond the radiation belts so it could survive for a longer period of time.

The Europa Clipper consists of an aluminum cylinder measuring 10 feet / 3 meters tall and 5 feet / 1.5 meters wide. This space probe will be launched a-top a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.

Once the Europa Clipper gets to work in 2030, the probe will be looking to determine this moon's habitability. It will seek information on the atmosphere, surface, and interior of this small planetary body.

In particular, the probe will seek water plumes coming from fractures in the surface ice. It is estimated that water below the icy surface of Europa could exceed the amount of water in all of Earth's oceans, possibly by two times. Hence, scientists will be evaluating these water plumes to look for evidence of life in the ocean of Europa.

The Europa Clipper is named after 3-masted, ocean merchant vessels of the 19th century.

Europa was one of the first four non-Earth moons discovered, following the invention of the astronomical telescope. Famous Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei discovered Europa with his telescope on 1610 January 8. Europa was one of the four moons he found orbiting Jupiter that evening, including the natural satellites Io, Callisto, and Ganymede; these are known as the Galilean moons.

Europa is the smallest of the four Galilean satellites, and the 6th closest to Jupiter of the 80 known Jupiter moons. Europa is also the 6th largest moon in our Solar System.

The name Europa is taken from the name of the daughter of Tyre, a Phoenician noble-woman of Greek mythology; all four Galilean satellites are named after a lover of Zeus, the Greek counterpart of Jupiter

Internet links to additional information ---

NASA/ JPL News Release on Europa Clipper: Link >>> https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/nasas-europa-clipper-mission-completes-main-body-of-the-spacecraft

 Europa Clipper -

Link 1 >>> https://www.nasa.gov/europa

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

 Europa >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europa_(moon)

 Galilean Satellites: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galilean_moons

 Galileo Galilei: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_Galilei

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

               Monday, 2022 June 13.


                             Like This Post?  Please Share!

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

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

                Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts in your 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

Monday, May 23, 2022

Public Comments Due May 31: NASA Plans to Explore Moon & Mars

  https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cf/Mars%2C_Earth_size_comparison.jpg

These two photographs show a side-by-side comparison of the sizes of the planets Earth (on left) and Mars (on right). Now, NASA seeks input on future Deep Space exploration, particularly human exploration of the Moon and Mars.

[Image Sources: NASA (image of Earth), European Space Agency (image of Mars), Wikipedia.org, By Earth: NASA/Apollo 17 crew; Mars: ESA/MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/RSSD/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA - File:The Earth seen from Apollo 17.jpgFile:OSIRIS Mars true color.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39785451}

By Glenn A. Walsh

Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

Last week (on 2022 May 17), NASA released a draft document containing a set of high-level objectives regarding future human exploration of the Moon and Mars. NASA is seeking input from U.S. industry, academia, international communities, NASA employees, and other stakeholders, as well as the general public, regarding these objectives; comments are due to NASA by May 31.

The NASA draft document identifies 50 proposed objectives, within four major categories:

  1. Transportation and Habitation

  2. Moon and Mars Infrastructure

  3. Operations

  4. Science

An Internet link to the draft NASA document can be found near the end of this blog-post. Another Internet link to provide NASA with public comments can also be found near the end of this blog-post.

“The feedback we receive on the objectives we have identified will inform our exploration plans at the Moon and Mars for the next 20 years,” said NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy. “We’re looking within NASA and to external stakeholders to help us fine-tune these objectives and be as transparent as possible throughout our process. With this approach, we will find potential gaps in our architecture as well as areas where our goals align with those from industry and international partners for future collaboration.”

This project is being managed by a team in the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

“These objectives will move us toward our first analog Mars mission with crew in space and prepare us for the first human mission to the surface of the Red Planet,” said Jim Free, NASA Associate Administrator for the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate. “After reviewing feedback on the objectives, we will work with our partners to discuss input and finalize our framework this fall.”

Feedback on the draft document will be discussed at two NASA-sponsored stakeholder workshops. The first in June will be with NASA partners in American industry and academia. The second workshop in July will be with international organizations.

NASA Draft Document of 50 Objectives:

Link >>> https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/moon-to-mars-objectives-.pdf

Public comments will be accepted at the following NASA web-site. Public comments are due to NASA by the end of the business day on Tuesday Afternoon, 2022 May 31:

Link >>> https://socialforms.nasa.gov/m2m-objectives

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

NASA News Release on this project: Link >>> https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-seeks-input-on-moon-to-mars-objectives-comments-due-may-31

NASA Artemis Program to Return Humans to the Moon:

Link 1 >>> https://www.nasa.gov/artemis-1

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

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

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

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

                 Monday, 2022 May 23.

                             Like This Post?  Please Share!

           More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
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gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator:
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

 

 

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Live-Stream Thur. PM: NASA Starliner Test Flight Launch

        

This Sunday, 2019 December 22 photograph shows the Boeing Starliner space capsule following a landing at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, during the first Orbital Flight Test (OFT). A scheduled docking with the International Space Station (ISS) was scrubbed due to technical difficulties. Consequently, the mission ended early.

(Image Sources: NASA, Wikipedia.org, By NASA/Bill Ingalls - https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasahqphoto/49258250868/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=85140253)

By Glenn A. Walsh

Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

SpaceX has been launching NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) since 2020. Early Thursday evening, the Boeing Corporation plans to launch their uncrewed Starliner space vehicle to the ISS in the second test of an alternative method of transporting astronauts into Outer Space.

NASA's Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission of the United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, on an Atlas V rocket, for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, is scheduled for launch to the ISS on Thursday Evening, 2022 May 19 at 6:54 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 22:54 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

NASA-TV Live-Stream coverage on the Internet begins on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. EDT / 22:00 UTC. Assuming no problems or delays with the launch, a NASA post-launch news conference is scheduled for Thursday at 9:00 p.m. EDT / Friday at 1:00 UTC.

NASA-TV will also provide Live-Stream Internet coverage of three other scheduled events:

  • Friday, 2022 May 20, 3:30 p.m. EDT / 19:30 UTC - Rendezvous and docking of NASA's Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 vehicle to the International Space Station

  • Saturday, 2022 May 21, 11:30 a.m. EDT / 15:30 UTC - Opening of the hatch to NASA's Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 vehicle at the International Space Station (Hatch opening is scheduled at 11:45 a.m. EDT / 15:45 UTC and will continue through welcoming remarks by the crew)

  • Saturday, 2022 May 21, 1:00 p.m. EDT / 17:00 UTC - Welcoming remarks by the Expedition 67 crew on the arrival of NASA's Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 vehicle to the International Space Station

Internet link to NASA-TV Live-Stream coverage of these scheduled events can be found near the end of this blog-post.

The Boeing Starliner capsule has a diameter of 15.0 feet / 4.56 meters. This is slightly larger than the Apollo Command Module and the SpaceX Dragon 2 capsule; it is slightly smaller than the Orion capsule. Starliner can hold a crew of up to seven people and can stay docked to the ISS for up to seven months. The Starliner capsule is designed to be reused--for up-to ten flights. It is compatible with the Delta IV, Falcon 9, and Vulcan Centaur launch vehicles, in addition to the Atlas V which will be used for the OFT-2 launch

This uncrewed flight will carry 800 pounds of cargo to the ISS. This includes about 500 pounds of NASA cargo and crew supplies.

According to a NASA news release, “OFT-2 will test the end-to-end capabilities of Starliner from launch to docking, atmospheric re-entry, and a desert landing in the western United States. OFT-2 will provide valuable data that will help NASA certify Boeing’s crew transportation system to carry astronauts to and from the space station.”

Rosie the Rocketeer, Boeing's anthropometric test device, will be in the Starliner commander’s seat during the OFT-2 mission. During the OFT-1 mission, Rosie the Rocketeer was outfitted with 15 sensors to develop information regarding what live astronauts would experience during a Starliner mission. This data capture will be enhanced during the OFT-2 mission.

Automated operation of the Starliner vehicle will be one of the primary tests of the OFT-2 mission. This includes autonomous docking with the Space Station using Starliner’s vision-based navigation system. Starliner will also demonstrate the spacecraft's ability to autonomously retreat from a docking approach, in the case of an emergency.

Once Starliner docks with the ISS, it will spend 5-to-10 days docked to the Space Station. The Starliner will, then, return to Earth, landing in the western United States, with nearly 600 pounds of cargo, including reusable Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System tanks that provide breathable air to station crew members.

The OFT-2 mission will be Boeing's second orbital flight test of Starliner. The first mission, OFT-1 in December of 2019, ended prematurely due to technical problems; a scheduled docking with the ISS did not occur. A second attempt (Boe-OFT-2) in August of 2021 was never launched, due to inoperable valves in the propulsion system. The OFT-2 mission includes the first flight of the second Starliner crew module.

With the OFT-2 mission, Boeing hopes to prove to NASA that the Starliner meets the space agency's requirements for safe transportation of astronauts into Outer Space, including docking with the ISS. Upon completion of a successful OFT-2 mission, a Starliner Crew Flight Test (CFT) to the ISS with NASA astronauts could occur before the end of this year.

Internet Link to LIVE-STREAM coverage of NASA Boeing Starliner launch and events:

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

Internet links to additional information ---

Starliner:

Link 1 >>> https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/tag/cst-100-starliner/ 

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

NASA News Release on Starliner Launch: Link >>> https://www.nasa.gov/feature/what-you-need-to-know-about-nasa-s-boeing-orbital-flight-test-2-0

Photograph of Starliner crew module being mounted on Atlas V launch vehicle at Cape Canaveral:

Link >>> https://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2022/05/astro-calendar-2022-may-starliner-test.html

Related Blog-Posts ---

 "Starliner Test Flight May 19." Mon., 2022 May 2.

Link >>> https://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2022/05/astro-calendar-2022-may-starliner-test.html

"Update: Boeing Starliner Launch Delayed Indefinitely." Sun., 2021 Aug. 1.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2021/08/astro-calendar-2021-aug-boeing.html

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

                 Thursday, 2022 May 19.

                             Like This Post?  Please Share!

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

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

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

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator:
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

 

Friday, May 13, 2022

Total Lunar Eclipse Sun. PM/Mon. AM w/Live-Streams

                   

This graphic shows the configuration of the Sun, Earth, and Earth's Moon during a Lunar Eclipse / Eclipse of the Moon. (Graphic sources: Wikipedia.org, By Sagredo - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3629491)

By Glenn A. Walsh

Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

A Total Lunar Eclipse / Total Eclipse of the Moon, visible in most of the Western Hemisphere, Western Europe, and Africa, occurs late Sunday night and early Monday morning.

A Lunar Eclipse / Eclipse of the Moon is the only category of eclipses which is safe to view with the unaided eyes (one-power), binoculars, and a telescope.

Live-stream Web-casts of this Total Lunar Eclipse / Total Eclipse of the Moon will be available for observers not in a region where the Eclipse is visible in the sky, or where weather conditions make such an observation impossible (Internet links to these Live-streams near the end of this blog-post).

Everyone on the night side or dark side of the Earth can view at least part of any Lunar Eclipse / Eclipse of the Moon, weather-permitting. For the May 15 to 16 eclipse, only people in north-western North America, eastern Europe, Asia, Middle East, and the extreme eastern section of Africa could not view any part of the eclipse in the sky; they would need to watch the eclipse on the Internet.

Internet link to a graphic by NASA, showing areas of the Earth where the Eclipse will be visible weather-permitting, can be found near the end of this blog-post.

MAJOR STAGES OF TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE / TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE MOON –--

Late Sunday Evening, 2022 May 15 and Early Monday Morning, 2022 May 16 -

[Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)]

(Note that a Lunar Eclipse / Eclipse of the Moon is the only type of Eclipse where the times of Eclipse are the same world-wide when using Coordinated Universal Time, the international time used by scientists. Everyone on the night side or dark side of Earth can view this Eclipse in the sky, weather-permitting.)

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse Begins --- Sun., 9:31:44 p.m. EDT / Mon., 1:31:44 UTC

Partial Lunar Eclipse Begins --- Sun., 10:27:31 p.m. EST / Mon., 2:27:31 UTC

Total Lunar Eclipse Begins --- Sun., 11:28:40 p.m. EDT / Mon., 3:28:40 UTC

Greatest Total Lunar Eclipse --- Mon., 12:11:31 a.m. EDT / 4:11:31 UTC

Primary Moon Phase: Full Moon – Flower Moon --- Mon., 12:14 a.m. EDT / 4:14 UTC

Total Lunar Eclipse Ends --- Mon., 12:54:11 a.m. EDT / 4:54:11 UTC

Partial Lunar Eclipse Ends --- Mon., 1:55:27 a.m. EDT / 5:55:27 UTC

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse Ends --- Mon., 2:51:11 a.m. EDT / 6:51:11 UTC

A Lunar Eclipse / Eclipse of the Moon occurs when the orbit of the Moon brings our natural satellite into the Earth's shadow (shadow caused by the Earth completely blocking light from the Sun). The Earth's shadow, extending into Outer Space from the night side or dark side of the Earth, is divided into two sections: the dim Penumbra or Penumbral shadow, which encircles the deeper Umbra or Umbral shadow.

A Lunar Eclipse / Eclipse of the Moon always occurs near the time, and including the time, of a Full Moon. Many Native Americans called the Full Moon of May the Flower Moon, but, more on that later. The Moon's orbit is slightly tilted, so most months at the primary Moon phase of Full Moon, the Moon moves above or below the Earth's shadow, with no Eclipse occurring. Only when the Full Moon crosses the plane of the Earth's orbit will a Lunar Eclipse occur.

When the Earth's dim shadow, known as the Penumbra, falls on the Moon, it is called a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse / Penumbral Eclipse of the Moon. Because the Earth's shadow is dim in this case, this type of Eclipse is difficult to discern.

When the Earth's deep shadow, known as the Umbra, falls on only part of the Moon's surface, this is known as a Partial Lunar Eclipse / Partial Eclipse of the Moon. This is more easily visible, if you are in the right location and weather conditions are acceptable.

A Total Lunar Eclipse / Total Eclipse of the Moon is when the Earth's deep shadow, or Umbra, completely envelops the Moon. Usually, a Total Lunar Eclipse / Total Eclipse of the Moon only occurs once every 2.5 years, approximately, as seen from someplace in the world.

The last one happened on 2021 May 26. This is exactly one Lunar Year between the 2021 May 26 and 2022 May 16 Total Lunar Eclipses. A Lunar Year, 354.4 days long, is 11 days shorter than a Gregorian Calendar Year. A Lunar Year is composed of 12 Lunations. One Lunation is the time period between one Full Moon Phase and the next Full Moon Phase, or about 29.5 days.

Interestingly, it actually only takes 27 days, 7 hours, and 43 minutes for the Moon to make one complete orbit around the Earth (The Moon appears to move 12-to-13 degrees east, in the sky, every day; this is why moonrise is, on average, about 50 minutes later each day.). Due to the Earth's revolution around the Sun, the Moon must travel a couple extra days to make-up for the added distance and complete the Lunation.

The next Total Lunar Eclipse / Total Eclipse of the Moon will occur on 2022 November 8, one Lunar Semester (6 Lunations) from the 2022 May 16 Eclipse. And, one Lunar Year from the 2022 May 16 Eclipse will be a slight Eclipse, a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse / Penumbral Eclipse of the Moon on 2023 May 5 to 6.

The total duration of the 2022 May 15 to 16 Eclipse will be 5 hours and 19 minutes. The duration of the Total Phase of this Eclipse will be 1 hour and 25 minutes. The duration of the Partial Phases of this Eclipse will be 2 hours and 2 minutes. The duration of the Penumbral Phases of this Eclipse will be 1 hour and 51 minutes.

Of course, "Totality" / Total Phase of a Total Lunar Eclipse / Total Eclipse of the Moon is the most impressive part of this type of Eclipse, what most people wait to see. The Partial Phases of the Eclipse are when a piece of the Moon seems missing, as the Moon moves further into the Earth's main shadow known as the Umbra, or as the Eclipse is ending and the Moon is further moving out of the Earth's Umbra.

The Penumbral Phases of the Eclipse are difficult to see, as the Moon moves into or out of the Earth's secondary shadow or Penumbra. In this case, one would not see any chunks or bites taken out of the Moon's disk, as one would see when the Moon moves into the Umbra shadow during the Partial Phases. Instead, if your eyes are very good, you may notice a slight dimming of the light coming from the Moon, as the Moon moves further into the Penumbral shadow

Although no direct sunlight reaches the Moon during a Total Lunar Eclipse / Total Eclipse of the Moon, 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 yellow, orange, and red portion of the electromagnetic spectrum (the Earth's atmosphere filters-out the violet, blue, and green colors), as with orange or red-tinted sunrises and sunsets (during such a Total Lunar Eclipse / Total Eclipse of the Moon, a person standing on the side of the Moon facing Earth could see all Earth sunrises and sunsets simultaneously, as they viewed the Earth in a Total Solar Eclipse / Total Eclipse of the Sun --- but, even on the Moon, a person would need to take strong precautions to ensure their eye-sight is not damaged by such a view). Hence, it is orange or red light that is reflected from the Moon back into your eyes during a Total Lunar Eclipse / Total Eclipse of the Moon.

Hence, particularly during the middle of a Total Lunar Eclipse / Total Eclipse of the Moon, the Moon will not disappear from view but can be seen with an orange or reddish tint, what some call "blood red" (this is sometimes referred to as a “Blood Moon”). If the Earth had no atmosphere, likely no sunlight would reach the Moon during a Total Lunar Eclipse / Total Eclipse of the Moon, and there would be no "Blood Moon;" the Moon would seem to completely disappear.

A telescope or binoculars can make Lunar Eclipse / Eclipse of the Moon observations more valuable. However, in the case of a Lunar Eclipse / Eclipse of the Moon, binoculars or a telescope would not be necessary. A Lunar Eclipse / Eclipse of the Moon can, usually, be easily observed with the naked-eyes (one-power).

For areas where a Lunar Eclipse / Eclipse of the Moon occurs near the time of Moon-rise or Moon-set, a good view of the horizon would be necessary to achieve a good view of such an Eclipse. This would be particularly true for areas where hills or mountains, tree-cover, or buildings could obstruct the view of the horizon.

A good view of the horizon may also be important when the Eclipse has a lower Declination, that is the object being viewed crosses the sky at a lower elevation in the sky. In the case of a Lunar Eclipse / Eclipse of the Moon, such an object would always have a lower Declination during months in, and adjacent to, the season of Summer. 

As with all celestial events observed from the surface of planet Earth, sky weather conditions must be acceptable for a successful observation. Inclement weather, including many clouds in the sky, can make a Lunar Eclipse / Eclipse of the Moon observation difficult, if not impossible. Again,, one or more Live-Stream Web-Casts on the Internet may be available if weather conditions do not allow direct viewing of the event.

Aristotle Discovers World is Round Due, in Part, to Lunar Eclipse

Civilized society has known that the Earth is not flat, but is round, for about 2500 years. The famous Greek philosopher and academic, Aristotle who lived between 384 and 322 B.C., used a Lunar Eclipse / Eclipse of the Moon as one demonstration that the Earth is round.

This was documented in a book he published around 350 B.C. As he observed the Earth's shadow pass across the face of the Moon, he noticed that the shadow is curved, which is one of three indications he found that the Earth is round.

As the percentage of the Earth's shadow which falls on the Moon is relatively small, an observation of the curvature of the Earth's shadow on the Moon is not easy to discern, particularly without use of binoculars or a telescope which were not available in Aristotle's day. One of the best times to search for curvature of the Earth's shadow on the surface of the Moon, during a Total Lunar Eclipse / Total Eclipse of the Moon, is during the middle of either partial eclipse phase, when the largest portion of the shadow's edge can be viewed.  The shadow's curvature may also be noticeable near the time just before total eclipse phase begins and just after total eclipse phase ends.

One of the other two indications, determined by Aristotle, was the concept that gravity required a common center for a planetary body such as Earth. He also noticed that different stars were seen from different locations on our planet, and some stars cannot be seen from certain locations.

Full Moon of May

The Primary Moon Phase of Full Moon occurs in May on Monday Morning, 2022 May 16 at 12:14 a.m. EDT / 4:14 UTC. At the mid-point of Spring, with flowers finally starting to bloom after the long cold Winter, the May Full Moon is primarily known as the Flower Moon to Native Americans.

Due to increasing fertility in mid-Spring, along with the end of hard frosts and warmer temperatures better attuned to the bearing of young and the raising of crops, in the Northern Hemisphere the Full Moon of May is also known as the Mother's Moon, and the Corn-Planting Moon or just Planting Moon. And, as Beltaine (better known as May Day, on May 1) was the time when farmers in Medieval Europe would move their cows to the better Summer pastures, it was also known as the Milk Moon.

As the Southern Hemisphere begins to enter their colder months, their Full Moon names include Hunter's Moon, Beaver Moon, and Frost Moon.

Full Moon of May Could Have Affected U.S. Civil War

In a 2013 study, Astronomer Don Olson and Researcher Laurie E. Jasinski from Texas State University claim an errant shot, influenced by the Full Moon, could have affected the outcome of the U.S. Civil War.

During the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia, on 1863 May 2, Confederate soldiers inadvertently shot Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. The General had been mistaken for enemy troops when the mishap occurred.

According to the Texas State University researchers, the angle of the moonlight of the Full Moon, that evening, obscured the view of the Confederate infantrymen, the men of the 18th North Carolina Infantry Regiment. Their conclusion is based on the use moon phases and maps to reconstruct the incident.

General Stonewall Jackson lost his left arm to amputation due to the incident. Due to his weakened condition, he died of pneumonia eight days later.

Live-Stream Web-Casts of 2022 May 15 to 16 Total Lunar Eclipse / Total Eclipse of the Moon ---

Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles: Link >>> https://griffithobservatory.org/event/total-lunar-eclipse-broadcast/ 

Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona (YouTube.com): Link >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRhFaNVxGrQ

TimeandDate.com: Link >>> https://www.timeanddate.com/live/eclipse-lunar-2022-may-16

Virtual Telescope Project (YouTube.com): Link >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3M6FSVRXWA

High Point Scientific (YouTube.com): Link >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j85KhAmgUuk

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

World Map Showing Areas of Eclipse Visibility (NASA): Link >>> https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/details.cgi?aid=4981&button=recent

Lunar Eclipse / Eclipse of the Moon: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_eclipse

Earth's Moon: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon 

Our Solar System's Sun: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun

Additional links and information: Link >>> https://buhlplanetarium4.tripod.com/astrocalendar/2022.html#luneclipse20220516 

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

                 Friday, 2022 May 13.

                             Like This Post?  Please Share!

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

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

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

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator:
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, May 2, 2022

Astro-Calendar: 2022 May / Starliner Test Flight May 19

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/14/CST-100_Starliner_integration_with_Atlas_V_for_Orbital_Flight_Test_%28KSC-20191121-PH-CSH02_0080%29_%28cropped%29.jpg

This photograph shows the Boeing Starliner spacecraft being mounted on top of the ULA Atlas V rocket at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The second flight test is scheduled for May 19. More Information: Link >>> https://buhlplanetarium4.tripod.com/astrocalendar/2022.html#starliner2022-5

(Image Sources: NASA, Wikipedia.org, By NASA/Cory Huston - https://www.nasa.gov/feature/boeing-cst-100-starliner-takes-next-step-for-orbital-flight-test (image link), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=87867676)

Astronomical Calendar for 2022 May ---
Link >>> https://buhlplanetarium4.tripod.com/astrocalendar/2022.html#may

 Related Blog Post ---

"Astro-Calendar: 2022 April / 1st Private Astronaut Launch to Space Station April 6" Fri., 2022 April 1.

Link >>> https://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2022/04/astro-calendar-2022-april-1st-private.html

Source: Friends of the Zeiss.
            Monday, 2022 May 2.

                             Like This Post?  Please Share!

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

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

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

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator:
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