Posts Tagged ‘Astronomy’

Monday, August 21, 2017

The North Country’s 1932 Solar Eclipse, And The Next One

The eclipse fever that has been sweeping the nation allows a glimpse of North Country life 85 years ago, when the path of totality clipped the region, allowing many upstate New York locations to experience 90 percent of the impact. It was a pretty exciting time, coming on the heels of the 1925 total solar eclipse in New York City. The Plattsburgh Sentinel reported on the viewing of that event at Saranac Lake.

“While not total, the eclipse was a magnificent spectacle, and during the greater portion, the sun was free of clouds. During the darkest period, snow fields and mountain ice caps were bathed in a violet light in which the shadows sharply were defined. The whole vast wilderness became a land of awesome beauty, with the snow and ice making a perfect background.”

In the Big Apple, the New York Stock Exchange and banks remained closed that day until after the eclipse. Many other cities did the same and launched special police patrols to prevent crimes that were normally committed under cover of darkness. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Legacy Of A Past Eclipse Found in Essex

Full Solar EclipseThe upcoming solar eclipse will be visible in a fairly wide belt from Oregon to South Carolina. Many enthusiasts (including my neighbors) have made plans to vacation in prime viewing spots, since the phenomenon will not be visible in the Adirondacks. Here we will only experience a partial covering of the sun.

News of the eclipse has been widely reported in the press and on social media and seems to have captivated the nation. Thousands of webpages are devoted to the coming eclipse, from the official NASA site to some pretty strange sites better left unnamed. This isn’t so surprising; it strikes at something primitive in us, while at the same time piquing our post-modern interest in astronomical science, or even in the history of natural science.

And it also is nothing new. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Catch The Solar Eclipse At The Wild Center

sunfest in tupperThe Wild Center will celebrate the partial solar eclipse on Monday, August 21st. As the moon passes between the earth and the sun, its shadow will darken the sky, plunging large swathes of the United States into sudden twilight, but this alignment is far from supernatural. Naturalists will be on hand to help answer questions about all things solar.

Attendees will have the chance to take ‘Eclipse 101’ in Planet Adirondack and learn about what the eclipse is and how it works. Watch a live call-in with NASA and have questions answered by astronomers. Viewing stations for the eclipse will be on Wild Walk and outside the Naturalists Cabinet. There will also be showings of the film To Scale: The Solar System. The film shows a group of friends who build the first scale model of the solar system with complete planetary orbits. Astronomers will also be on hand to help view the sun with specialized telescopes at the Adirondack Public Observatory.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Eclipse: A Dragon Devours the Sun

solar eclipseMore than 3,000 years ago, the Chinese believed that a dragon ate the sun during a solar eclipse, so they gathered outdoors to drive away the beast by beating pots, pans and drums. Some 500 years later, the Greek poet Archilochus wrote that Zeus had turned day into night.

In Australian Aboriginal mythology, Earth basked in the sun-woman’s heat and light as she traveled across the sky. When the dark orb of the moon-man mated with the sun-woman’s bright circle of light, her fire was temporarily obscured. Traditional Navajo belief holds that anyone who looks directly at an eclipse not only damages their eyes, but also throws the universe out of balance.

Humankind witnesses many dazzling astronomical events, including comets, lunar eclipses and the Aurora Borealis, but nothing inspires the imagination quite like a solar eclipse — those times when the moon’s path across the heavens brings it directly between the sun and earth. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Adirondack Public Observatory Celebrating The Solar Eclipse

There has been a lot of information in the news, blogs, and websites about the upcoming August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse. Though it will not reach totality (completely block out the sun) in the Adirondacks, it is still an interesting phenomenon that will not occur again until 2024. The partial solar eclipse will be visible in our area. With any event that garners such attention, there are safety precautions that need to be followed.

Whether attending a formal viewing party or a solitary event, plenty of people plan to take a few moments of their day to watch the moon pass in front of the sun. One place that can answer all solar eclipse questions is the Adirondack Public Observatory (APO) in Tupper Lake. Using solar telescopes and providing special view glasses, the APO is providing an free afternoon celebrating the sun and moon. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Photo: Supermoon

super-moonThis past Sunday saw the emergence of the biggest super moon in 68 years, bathing the world in ghostly silver light. Hopefully you captured some worthy images this past weekend; it’ll be another eighteen years before the moon comes this close again.


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Astronomy: The Transit Of Mercury On Monday

mercury transit the outsiderIt’s just a tiny black dot moving very, very slowly. But if you’re interested in astronomy, this is an exciting dot. It is Mercury, the smallest planet in our solar system, passing between the earth and the sun. The transit of Mercury is a relatively rare event, so sky-watchers are hoping for clear skies between 7:13 am and 2:41 pm on May 9.

“To us, it’s a very neat thing to see this phenomenon, and perhaps to take photographs during the course of the event. We can’t get enough of it!” said William Vinton, president of the Northeast Kingdom Astronomy Foundation. Weather permitting, he will view the event with his students at St. Johnsbury Academy. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Seeing Stars: The Adirondack Night Sky

Night Sky of Cranberry Lake by Jessica TaboraOn a clear night stargazers can often be found at the heights of Norton Cemetery in Keene looking up.

A recent weekend provided stellar nights for gazing. Not perfect as high cirrus clouds shaded a few assets, but four great ones were clear: Jupiter and its four moons, Mercury, the Moon in its pocketed glory, and space lab whizzing by. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Searching for the Stars at UpYonda Farm

starlabMy kids are always searching the sky for various constellations. We are so fortunate to have a dark evening sky so readily available to us. Though the Adirondacks may have less ambient light, the January 23rd full moon will make observing familiar constellations a bit more difficult. Don’t worry. The staff at UpYonda Farm in Bolton Landing is using their indoor StarLab to bring the night sky to us.

According to Naturalist Peter Olesheski the portable planetarium is not a new activity for UpYonda Farm. The StarLab unit was purchased with the Glens Falls Pubic School through a grant and is shared throughout the year. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Understanding Extreme Space Weather

Space WeatherA severe solar storm could disrupt the nation’s power grid for months, potentially leading to widespread blackouts. Resulting damage and disruption for such an event could cost more than $1 trillion, with a full recovery time taking months to years, according to the National Academy of Sciences. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Upcoming Meteor Showers In The Adirondack Night Sky

TOS_Shooting_StarsWe call them shooting stars, and they never fail to make us catch our breath in surprise and wonder. But they’re not stars at all. Those bright, brief streaks across the night sky are meteors. And, clear skies permitting, the next month brings two excellent chances to see them.

Meteors are debris left by disintegrating comets. Comets are mostly rock and ice, and once they enter the inner solar system, their orbits may bring them close enough to the sun to heat up, causing the ice to melt and vaporize. Particles of rock fall away from the nucleus of the comet when this happens. When the earth collides with the trail of this debris, the particles burn up in our atmosphere. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Dark Skies Over Cranberry Lake

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This year I had the opportunity to stay at the Cranberry Lake State Campground for National Trails Day weekend. Clear skies were forecast Saturday night so I brought my camera to the beach to capture some photos. Here you can see the Milky Way rising above the trees. This place offers some of the darkest skies in the Adirondacks.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Winter Solstice Will Be Marked With Meteors

TOS_WinterSolsticeEvery year, I eagerly await the winter solstice, which this year falls on this Sunday, December 21. My anticipation is driven not from an affection for winter, but a hunger for sunlight. I want the ever-shrinking days of autumn to be over and done and the slow, steady march towards late-evening sunsets to begin. So really it’s not the winter solstice I await, so much as being on the other side of it.

But this December I’ve decided to pay attention and learn more about the day itself. Turns out to have been a good choice, as this year’s solstice proves to be more interesting than most. » Continue Reading.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Stargazing At Pharaoh Lake In The Eastern Adirondacks

Pharaoh Lake stars

I’ve been patiently waiting for a clear night and conditions were perfect last Friday. Cool temps and open skies. Pharaoh Lake is a great place for stargazing.  The Milky Way is visible from the northern end of the lake.  The crescent moon had set about an hour before I took this photo.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Adirondack Dark Skies And Our Magnificent Milky Way

Milky Way 017As the end of summer nears we have an opportunity to peer into the heart of our magnificent galaxy, the Milky Way. Go outside around 9:30, when all traces of dusk have vanished, and follow the Milky Way’s band of light from north to south. If you have the good fortune to see an unobstructed south, close to the horizon you’ll observe the bulge of the galaxy’s center.

Pan this region with a pair of binoculars and you’ll be rewarded with the sight of dark dust lanes, open and globular clusters, large bright areas filled with countless stars, and ghostly, luminous nebulae. Welcome to the center of our galaxy—at 28,000 light years from earth, a veritable garden of celestial delights.

I took this photo facing south over Trout Brook in Olmstedville. The orange glow on the horizon is from the lights of Glens Falls (about 45 miles away), reflected on atmospheric particles and water vapor in the sky. » Continue Reading.


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