Posts Tagged ‘Astronomy’

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.


Kid next to water
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.


Friday, August 29, 2014

The Milky Way Over Johns Brook Lodge

JBL Milky Way 2

The night sky at Johns Brook Lodge on a clear moonless night is always breathtaking. The lodge is a great place to visit if you enjoy staring into the heavens. It is a backcountry lodge outside of Keene Valley, 3.5 miles into the High Peaks Wilderness. There have been numerous renovations to the lodge over recent years, most recently the sleeping accommodations were upgrade with real mattresses and new bunks. The staff are really what makes the place special though, they make great meals and know the valley inside and out. If you are looking for a nice backcountry accommodation it is definitely worth checking out. The view from the porch on a night like this is always a nice bonus as well.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Moonset Over The High Peaks

Moonset Big Slide

I headed up Big Slide this weekend to watch the Perseid meteor shower. The full moon washed out most of the night sky making viewing of the Perseids difficult. I saw a few meteors but was more surprised by the show the moon put on as it set over the high peaks. As the moon dipped behind Algonquin it left a faint red glow on the southern horizon. With the moon set the sky became sufficiently dark to allow for the capture of the stars above. The experience was rather surreal and made for a photograph that looks like a sunset or sunrise, but is actually the result of the moonset.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Milky Way From Adirondak Loj Road

Loj Rd Milky Way

Photographing the Milky Way is both fun and challenging. July and August are the best times of year to view the Milky Way. During these months the bright center of the galaxy is visible in the night sky. While you will see the Milky Way arcing across the sky on a clear dark night, the best direction to look this time of year is to the south.

If you want to photograph the Milky Way make sure your camera is on a tripod and start with these settings: f2.8, 30sec, ISO 6400. Further adjustments may need to be made on your computer, but you should get a good image of the Milky Way, especially in a dark location. Astrophotography images require practice and a bit of knowledge about the night sky and current weather conditions. Regardless of how my photographs turn out it is always a pleasure to spend a few hours staring into the heavens.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Night Sky Over Heart Lake

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Last night was perfect for viewing the stars over large portions of the Adirondacks.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Northern Lights: Nature’s Light Show

auroraborealisIn October of last year friends Dan Russell and Charles Baldridge stood on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain and had what they later described as an awe-inspiring experience. For an hour and a half, the sky was lit up with columns of white light, some of them tinged with red and green. This was the Aurora Borealis making an unusual appearance.

Russell remembered having goose bumps for most of the event, while Baldridge remembered wanting to call everyone he knew. “It was really exciting.” » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Adirondack Night Sky: Taurus The Bull

2 cave art at LascauxOn a clear midwinter evening, look high above the southern horizon and you will see a V-shaped group of moderately bright stars. These stars form the center of the large constellation Taurus. Imagine, as did the Sumerians four thousand years ago, that this pattern outlines the horns of a charging bull. The bright red star Aldebaran prominently shines on his lower (southern) horn.

The stars of the horns are called the Hyades. In Greek mythology, they were the daughters of Atlas and Aethra. Their appearance was associated with the rainy season.  At a mere 150 light years away, The Hyades are actually an open cluster of related stars. Look above and a little to the right (west) of the V and you’ll see a compact cluster of blue stars called the Pleiades. Although this beautiful little asterism is known as the Seven Sisters, some people see six stars with the naked eye, where others claim they can see eleven. With the magnification of 7×50 binoculars, a hundred or more of these gem-like blue stars are revealed in the cluster. The view is spectacular.   » Continue Reading.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Stars Align At The Adirondack Public Observatory

Marc Staves inspects a telescope at the Adk Public Observatory in Tupper Lake (Pat Hendrick Photo)Framed by mountains and free of sprawl, Tupper Lake has always been a good place for gazing at the stars. Now the heavens just got closer.

The Adirondacks’ first public observatory is set to formally open in July in a clearing above Little Wolf Pond. Ten years in the making, the Adirondack Public Observatory is the work of a group of committed astronomers who raised $200,000 in community donations and persuaded village leaders to preserve Tupper Lake’s dark skies by toning down the lights.

On a recent summer evening, the observatory’s cofounder, Marc Staves, rolled back the observatory’s four-thousand-pound roof. A storm was on its way, but the clouds did little to dampen his enthusiasm. Closing the roof as the first raindrops started to fall, Staves introduced the observatory’s other attractions: three working telescopes bolted to the floor and a bank of computers, arranged 2001 Space Odyssey-like, in a control room next-door. Equipped with high-speed Internet, the observatory will eventually allow sky watchers to remotely aim computerized telescopes at stars, planets, comets, and other objects in the night sky and take pictures and astronomical measurements that could help identify, say, the next asteroid crashing to Earth. » Continue Reading.


Kid next to water
Tuesday, January 14, 2014

World Premiere of NASA Film At The Wild Center

WaterFallsWildCenter2_1The Wild Center will host the World premiere of a new film produced by NASA on Saturday, January 25th.  Water Falls, a film created exclusively for spherical screens like the Center’s Planet Adirondack, introduces the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission to the public and explains the mission’s profound importance to everyone who lives on Earth.

In 2014, GPM will launch a Core satellite that will anchor a fleet of domestic and international satellites designed to measure precipitation around the globe approximately every three hours. The mission is driven by the need to understand more about the global water cycle, one of the most powerful systems on Earth.  Water Falls will use the sphere of Planet Adirondack to give viewers a global view of water, where it comes fromw and where it may be going. » Continue Reading.



Kid next to water

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