Tupper Lake is set to hold stargazing events to raise funds and awareness about the planned opening of the new AstroScience Center in 2024, aimed at exposing the public to the night sky. With its location within the protected Adirondack Park, with low light pollution, typically low humidity, and a relatively high altitude, Tupper Lake provides ideal conditions for night sky viewing, some of the best east of the Mississippi. » Continue Reading.
Posts Tagged ‘Astronomy’
Adirondack Sky Center Awarded $125k Grant
The Adirondack Sky Center & Observatory (formerly the Adirondack Public Observatory) has been awarded a grant of $125,000 by Stewart’s Shops/Dake Family Foundation to support the Campaign for the AstroScience Center museum and planetarium. » Continue Reading.
Poetry: The Way Galileo Saw It
The Way Galileo Saw It
When I look up
I see the quiet survival
of the solar system.
I see the outbursts of
the disturbing meaning
of the Milky Way.
When I look up
I see the penetration of the
corona, a universe of stars,
the way Galileo saw it,
all ionized and catastrophic.
Perihelion: Proximity Doesn’t Always Generate Heat
Few things seem as remote as the January sun in the North East. We see the light, but we feel almost no heat. In this way, winter can feel like a kind of exile – there’s a sense that the Earth has been flung to the farthest reaches of its orbit.
The idea that the winter sun is remote, however, is misguided. In fact, the Earth is closest to the sun when the Northern Hemisphere is in the deep freeze of winter. This extreme proximity is known as perihelion, and in 2019 it will take place on January 3. Conversely, aphelion – when the Earth is farthest from the sun – takes place during the height of summer, this year on the Fourth of July. The exact dates vary slightly every year, but always occur in January and July. » Continue Reading.
Adirondack AstroScience Center Awarded Grants
The Adirondack Sky Center (a.k.a. the Adirondack Public Observatory) has been awarded three grants to support planned AstroScience Center museum and planetarium construction and education programs.
Situated on four acres of raised land in the northerly area of Tupper Lake, the Adirondack Sky Center benefits from some of the darkest and most pristine skies east of the Mississippi River. Interest from across the northeast as well as the local community has spurred the establishment of a permanent Adirondack center for astronomy and space science, the AstroScience Center. Complementing the Wild Center natural history museum, the Adirondack Sky Center is expected to help expand science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning in the region, while also strengthening the the Adirondacks as a travel destination. » Continue Reading.
Thatcher’s Remains: Lyrid Meteor Shower April 16-25
In the pre-dawn hours of April 22, the Lyrid meteor shower will peak. About 15 to 20 meteors will be visible each hour, which is really not very many. By comparison, the Perseid meteor shower in August averages about 60 to 70 an hour, and the Geminid in December can top 120. But I’m most fascinated by the Lyrid.
Here’s why: More than 2,700 years ago, someone in China looked to the heavens, observed this meteor shower, and left a written record of what they saw. And so this yearly event has been happening for millennia – it is perhaps the oldest meteor shower known to humans. I love that when I step outside to watch the Lyrid, I am connected to that long-ago human being from a far off place, and to all of those who have followed. We are fleeting observers of an enduring phenomenon. » Continue Reading.
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.
Legacy Of A Past Eclipse Found in Essex
The 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.
Catch The Solar Eclipse At The Wild Center
The 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.
Eclipse: A Dragon Devours the Sun
More 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.
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.
This 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.
Astronomy: The Transit Of Mercury On Monday
It’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.
Seeing Stars: The Adirondack Night Sky
On 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.
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A Change of Season: The fall equinox and ancient astronomers
The Autumnal Equinox
This year, the autumnal equinox falls on the 22nd of September. It typically occurs on the 22nd or 23rd but, due to differences between the calendar year and the solar year (365 days versus 365 and 1/4 days), may take place anytime between Sept. 21st and Sept. 24th. The last time an autumnal equinox was on the 21st however, was in 1931. And the next Sept. 21st equinox isn’t until 2076. The last time one occurred on the 24th was in 1907. That won’t happen again until 2303.
An equinox takes place when the Earth’s axis is turned neither away from nor towards the sun, which when seen from the equator rises due east and sets due west. Day and night are of approximately equal length everywhere in the world. The word equinox comes from the Medieval Latin word equinoxium, which means equality of day and night.
» Continue Reading.