darkoshi: (Default)
My mom called to tell me that she heard that Jupiter is bright tonight - at opposition - and that it might even be possible to see its moons using binoculars. I thought, fat chance of that for me, but I went and looked. First I had to figure out how to adjust the focus on the binoculars; it's been a long time since I used them, and I was turning the diopter adjustment by mistake. Then, when I was looking at Jupiter, I did see another fainter object to the west-south-west (ie, left-bottom-left) of it, about 8 Jupiter-widths away. Could that be a moon? Based on this diagram, it's probably the star Theta Virginis.

Tonight, I kept having a problem with the binoculars, seeing double. I'm not sure if it is an issue with them or my eyes. To begin with, it wasn't double. Then, when it was, every once in a while, the double vision went away.

Since the moon is almost full, I looked at it through the binoculars too. Wow! Maybe I've never looked at it through binoculars before? That is the clearest I've ever seen the moon, that I can recall. The craters and lines/rays and texture/contours (towards the bottom) are visible, and even a crater sticking out on the left edge between light and dark.

Curiosity rover shows new signs of wheel wear - it's still sending back photos from Mars!? Wow, I didn't realize we still had contact with it.

By the way, it's weird that the moon always looks black & white / grayscale, when the rest of the universe is in color.

astronomy! hail!

Friday, May 23rd, 2014 09:49 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Why do these articles seem so amazing* to me tonight?!

NASA discovers 715 new planets (including an earth-sized one in a habitable zone)

Astronomers find first asteroid with rings

Dwarf planet discovered at solar system's edge

And regarding tonight's meteor shower:
Meteor shower approaches in time for holiday weekend - not just any meteor shower, but a *new* one!

*I know! It's because I got to see quarter-sized hail thunking down out of the sky, just as I was ready to leave work! It was making loud ka-plunking noises on the overhead skylight/ceiling! And then when that ended, there was awesome mist swirling on the pond! And then the sun was so beautifully orange amidst the dark cloudy sky! And then after getting home, there was a little bit more hail, and one of those stationary cloud lightning light shows in the sky!
darkoshi: (Default)
If the Moon was only one Pixel - a tediously accurate scale model of the solar system. Wow. Just wow. I recall being similarly impressed by another scale model, which I thought I had also linked to, but I can't find that one any more...

Ah, here it is - an image showing the earth and moon, and distance between them, to scale.

(no subject)

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008 11:52 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Quadrantid meteor shower tonight - best viewable from western Europe and the Eastern U.S./Canada.

This page has a sky-chart of the radiant location.

It's going to be vewwy vewwy cold here tonight though, not sure if I will venture outdoors long to peek at the sky.

hair milestone

Monday, November 19th, 2007 12:18 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Today was the first day since I started growing my bangs out that my hair felt comfortable enough not to have to pin it back out of my face. In other words, it wasn't scratching my eyeballs or tickling my nose.

It sure is nice to be able to pull shirts over my head again, without it messing up the pins in my hair. And it looks much better without the pins.


I can see the sun as it rises from the yellow room window.

(The sun below the horizon is a window reflection.)
It is surprising how fast the sun rises - on the day I took the above photo, the sun was only halfway over the horizon when I first looked out the window, and that is what I wanted to capture. But in the minute or so that it took me to get my camera from the other room, it had already risen all the way over the horizon, as can be seen in the photo.

I will take a photo every week or so until the solstice, so I can see how the sun moves along the horizon, and what the southernmost sunrise point is... Maybe I'll try to figure out where it should rise on the solstice, based on this data, and then see if I'm right or not.

sunshine stuff

Sunday, May 21st, 2006 02:49 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Starting in 2007, Daylight Savings Time in the U.S. will start earlier and end later. We will have about 3 more weeks of DST. Our start and end dates still won't match up with Europe's.

From Wiki... "Clocks will be set ahead one hour on the second Sunday of March instead of the current first Sunday of April. Clocks will be set back one hour on the first Sunday in November, rather than the last Sunday of October. ... This will affect accuracy of electronic clocks that had pre-programmed dates for adjusting to daylight saving time. The date for the end of daylight saving time has the effect of increasing evening light on Halloween (October 31)."


My compass doesn't seem to consistently point in the same direction for North. Sigh. How can I use my compass, when I can't even be sure it's pointing in the right direction?

Columbia, SC data
(latitude 34 degrees north, longitude ~81 degrees west)

- Magnetic North is 6 degrees 40' west of geographic North

- On the summer solstice, sunrise azimuth is at ~ 61 degrees, and sunset is at ~298 degrees.
- On the winter solstice, sunrise azimuth is at ~118 degrees, and sunset is at ~241 degrees.

Ie., the sunrise angle varies between 0 and ~29 degrees north and south of Due East
and the sunset angle varies between 0 and ~29 degrees north and south of Due West.

- The sun's highest altitude in the sky is...
on the summer solstice at 80 degrees,
on the equinox at 56 degrees,
and on the winter solstice at 32 degrees.

- In the summer, earlist sunrise is at 6:12am and latest sunset is at 8:40pm (Daylight Savings Time).
- In the winter, latest sunrise is at 7:30 am and earliest sunset is at 5:15pm (Standard Time).