Orion Jumps the Fence Followed by the Big Dog

By: LowerCal , 7:23 PM GMT on November 23, 2007

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What is "Casual Astronomy"?
Cool Astronomy Links
(Scroll down for future dates, farther down for past dates.)

Starry Night by StarDancer Sunday December 9, 2007


Mid December
Mars Rises and Orion Jumps the Fence Followed by the Big Dog
The planet Mars (the Roman god of war) is the very bright orange point of light clearing the ENE horizon about 6 PM. Less than an hour later the constellation Orion (the Hunter) clears the E horizon. In the photo above Mars is shining through the upper branches of the tree at the left while Orion has just cleared the trees at the center.

"You know Orion always comes up sideways.
Throwing a leg up over our fence of mountains,
"
are the opening lines of the poem "The Star Splitter" by Robert Frost.

Two hours after Mars the very bright blueish white star Sirius clears the ESE horizon. Sirius is the alpha star in Canis Major (the Big Dog). Sirius is also the brightest star in all of Earth's sky. Currently while Mars and Earth are near their closest approach Mars will temporarily appear even brighter than Sirius.


***** Past Dates *****

November-December
Mars Rising
The planet Mars is the very bright orange light currently rising in the ENE. In Late November it rises by 8 PM. By early December it will be rising about 7 PM, mid December 6 PM, etc.

"Mars Rising" is also the title of a fascinating series currently airing on the Science Channel about the technological and human challenges of a Mars mission - Mars Rising :: The Science Channel.


Moon by Rusmwood Tuesday September 25, 2007


November 24
Full Moon (Exact at 9:30am EST)
"Historically the Native Americans who lived in the area that is now the northern and eastern United States kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to the recurring full Moons. Each full Moon name was applied to the entire month in which it occurred. These names, and some variations, were used by the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior."
Full Moon Names - The Old Farmer's Almanac

"Full Beaver Moon - November This was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter."
Farmers' Almanac - Full Moon Names and Their Meanings


November 26
Mars Passes the Moon
For America the Moon will rise just ahead of Mars this evening but Mars will pass the Moon as they cross the sky together tonight.



Photo credit: Vandenberg AFB

December 5
December 6
December 7

December 8

Delta 2 - COSMO-SkyMed 2
Launch at 6:31pm PST Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA.

Launch & mission status at
Spaceflight Now | Delta Launch Report | Mission Status Center.

Links to a live webcast and a wealth of information on this and other Delta II missions at
United Launch Alliance - Delta II Launch of COSMO SkyMed-2.



Photo credit: NASA/Troy Cryder

December 6-17
December 7-18
December 8-19
December 9-20

Shuttle Atlantis - STS-122
Launch at 4:31pm EST Kennedy Space Center, FL.
Landing at 12:29pm EST Kennedy Space Center, FL.
Launch at 4:09pm EST Kennedy Space Center, FL.
Launch at 3:43pm EST Kennedy Space Center, FL.
Launch at 3:21pm EST Kennedy Space Center, FL.
Landing at TBD Kennedy Space Center, FL.

Space shuttle Atlantis' STS-122 mission to the International Space Station is targeted to launch no earlier than Jan. 2 from NASA's Kennedy Space Center. The liftoff date depends on the resolution of a problem in a fuel sensor system.
NASA - Space Shuttle

Launch & mission status info at
Spaceflight Now | STS-122 Shuttle Report | Mission Status Center.

You can follow the progress of the Space Shuttle mission online at
NASA - Space Shuttle.
There are links in the "WATCH NASA TV NOW" section of that page where you can watch video (sometimes live).

Info on the mission can also be found at
Spaceflight Now | STS-122 Shuttle Report.

Shuttle & ISS #1 by Westerberg Sunday August 19, 2007


You can find out exactly when and where the International Space Station or the Space Shuttle is predicted to pass through your sky during the next 10 days. First enter your location at heavens-above.com (if you register you can save your location and don't have to reenter it every time). Then next to "Satellites, 10 day predictions for:" click "ISS" or "STS-120". You should check the predictions each day though. The shuttle has to change its orbit to approach and depart the station and it may "boost" the station's orbit while it is docked (see ISS Height Profile). If the time of your visible pass(es) is near docking or departure you can see both objects following almost the same orbit, one after/beside the other!


December 9
New Moon (Exact at 12:40pm EST)
to be followed by several evenings of crescent moon photo ops.

The extremely thin crescent moon of December 10 will difficult if not impossible to spot from much of world.
Visibility Map
How to Read the Visibility Map



Photo credit: Patrick AFB

December 10
Atlas 5 - NROL-24
Launch at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL.

NROL-24 is scheduled for launch on 2007 Dec 10, between 21:15 and 23:15 UTC
Milcom Monitoring Post: NROL-24 Launch Today - Possible SDS Commsat

Liftoff from Launch Complex 41 is scheduled for Dec. 10 at 5:04 p.m. EST. If the flight slips the launch time will move 5 minutes for each day the flight is delayed

The mission may be visible to people along the U.S. East Coast as far north as New England. This is because the United Launch Alliance Atlas V will fly an unusual trajectory at dusk, closely paralleling the Eastern Seaboard

Atlas V Poised for NRO Secret Mission (Thanks to Rainman32 for this link!)



Image credit: NASA MSFC

Evening December 13 - Morning December 14 and/or
Evening December 14 - Morning December 15

The Geminid Meteor Shower
Maximum hourly rate in dark country skies 120 per hour.

Geminid meteor photos and reports at
Spaceweather.com: 2007 Geminid Meteor Shower photo gallery.

Geminid meteor observation data with graphs and maps at
Geminids 2007: visual data quicklook.

The Geminids will be most visible in the early morning hours of December 14 and/or 15. However north of 30°N (which includes almost all of the US) a few meteors will begin to show as soon as it is dark. Around 2 AM is the time of maximum visibility. By that time some meteors will even be visible in the Southern Hemisphere.

For a more thorough analysis of Geminid visibility, especially for Europe and Asia, see
SkyandTelescope.com - Observing Highlights - The Geminids Are Coming

More Information
Geminids 2007 | International Meteor Organization
AMS - Viewing the 2007 Geminid Meteor Shower

For Better Viewing
Find a Dark Location - A dark country location without "security" lights is best. If that's not convenient try to find a location where you can't see any lights or lighted surfaces. A nearby park or maybe even your backyard would qualify. On a beach facing the water could be a good alternative.

Where to Look - Meteors can appear in any part of the sky. To see the most meteors face the darkest part of your sky and look at least 45° above the horizon.

Be Comfortable - A reclining chair will keep you from getting a stiff neck and tired feet. A sleeping bag will keep you warm. (Even in the summertime you can get chilly at night if you are just lying still.) Insect repellent will keep you from being distracted by those little pests.

General Meteor Shower Information
An easy to read introduction to meteors with an interesting summary of annual showers is Astronomy - Meteors and meteor showers - Francis Reddy.

The primary sources of most of what you'll read about meteor showers are these two sites.
The American Meteor Society
The International Meteor Organinzation



Photo credit: Patrick AFB

December 20
Delta 2 - GPS 2R-18 (M5)
Launch at 2:59-3:13pm EST Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL.

Links to a live webcast and a wealth of information on GPS IIR-18 (M5) and other Delta II missions at
United Launch Alliance.


December 22
Solstice (Exact at 1:08am EST)
See comment #128 re. the stone tomb webcast.


December 23
Full Moon (Exact at 8:16pm EST) and
Mars Passes the Moon
Once again for America the Moon will rise just ahead of Mars but Mars will pass the Moon as they cross the sky together tonight.




In the past day people have visited from the places shown.
Visitor Map
Create your own visitor map!

Luna 11-23-07 (Astronight)
Luna 11-23-07
rising pepto (MISC78)
for the second day in a row the sky went from completely overcast to nearly totally clear just minutes before moon rise. full moon next to the bee tree in the cornfield. taken with a consumer grade 70-300mm lens @300mm.
rising pepto
()
Comet Holmes from the south 2 (Simpleguy)
The comet Holmes seen from southern Brazil, low in the sky due to its north declination.
Comet Holmes from the south 2
()
Joshua Stars (Westerberg)
The clear, cool desert skies are great for star gazing. This is a 30 second exposure with the ISO set at 1 Step Over 1600. 18mm lens, f=4 with noise reduction on.
Joshua Stars
Persied meteor and lightning (mitercut)
A persied meteor streaks past a thunderstorm
Persied meteor and lightning
()
Comet 17P/Holmes with a star cluster and a small galaxy (nogarohiro)
We can see the comet 17p/Holmes and a star cluster, ngc1245 near the right bottom and a small galaxy, ngc 1169 near the tail. The picture was made of data acquired between 14:25 -15:32 December 9, 2007UTC in Yamanashi with FSQ-106ED, reducer QE 0.73x and EOS 5D-AP by IDAS at 3500K, ISO 1600, 17x4 minutes exposure, guided on Takahashi EM-200 temma2Jr and off-axis guider with TIS DMK21AF04 and PHD guiding, processed with IRIS and Photoshop CS2 with gradientXterminator.
Comet 17P/Holmes with a star cluster and a small galaxy
Northern Lights (alaskajuliens)
Creator Reminder An Algonquin myth tells of when Nanahbozho, creator of the Earth, had finished his task of the creation, he traveled to the north, where he remained. He built large fires, of which the northern lights are the reflections, to remind his people that he still thinks of them.
Northern Lights
()
Orion M 42 (Monarch)
Orion tonight 2008.01.01 Takahashi Telescope, Iso 800,Exposure 674 sec.
Orion M 42

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159. LowerCal
10:50 PM GMT on January 07, 2008
Karen, thanks. :^) I hope you had a great holiday season too. I'm pretty well positioned in the Woodland Hills hills so that I'm fairly well protected from the most frequent directions of high winds.

I glad you photo-documented what happens to the beach after a significant rain event. Many inlanders don't realize that litter in their neighborhoods ends up in their playground.

sp, glad to see you got a smile out of "The Star Splitter" by Robert Frost too. :^)

Thanks for updating the status the shuttle mission. :^) The latest on the efforts to resolve the problem is at NASA - Space Shuttle.

MLC, thanks for the wishes. :^) I hope you have a great 2008 too!

Skye, thanks for for the wishes and the AC photo link. :^)

No need for any extra presents. I'm grateful for you watching out for the home state year round. Congratulations on a nicotine-free year! :^) Glad I could be of help. I was "paying forward" the support and advice from those that helped me years ago and I notice that you have been doing the same. :^)

anvil, thanks for the heads up on Comet Tuttle. :^) I wasn't sure if it would get bright enough for the casual observer (binoculars from the city). I'm hoping for a cloud free evening soon when I can check it out myself.

Here's a great comet photo with Comet Holmes upper left, the Andromeda galaxy upper right and toward the bottom just right of center is Comet Tuttle (green) close to galaxy M33.

Sully, thanks for the mention of the Quadrantid meteor shower. :^) I was debating whether to mention them myself. They are most visible from more northerly latitudes so conditions like you mentioned (the cold) are one reason I hesitated. They also tend to be faint and less visible in and near cities. The peak tends to be brief also so that observers a few timezones apart may see many or none. As you can see the experience was varied widely:
International Meteor Organization - Quadrantids 2008: visual data quicklook,
SpaceWeather.com - The Quadrantid Meteor Shower and
Bad Astronomy Blog » Quadrantid meteor shower peaks tonight!.

Everyone, as they might say in the Carribbean, "New blog come soon!" ;^)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9214
158. sullivanweather
12:06 AM GMT on January 04, 2008
Hey LowerCal!

Mostly clear at the moment although some high clouds might sneak in here later tonight for the Quadrantids. Expecting rates of 40-60 per hour here. Only problem, it's only 2°F and heading below zero...
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
157. anvilhead
4:25 AM GMT on January 02, 2008
commet tuttle
Member Since: September 14, 2006 Posts: 128 Comments: 5257
156. Skyepony (Mod)
4:10 AM GMT on January 02, 2008
Happy New Year!!!

A Pic of Orion made AC today.

I wish I had more of a present. It's been a year since I quit smoking cigerettes. Thanks again for the gorey pics & the words of encouragement when I needed them:)
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 196 Comments: 38769
155. sp34n119w
10:22 PM GMT on December 31, 2007
Dropping by to say "Hi!" and wish you and Mrs. C a very Happy New Year!

Did you hear that the shuttle launch was cancelled? Bummer.

It's windy as all get out, here - 33mph! w/41mph high. At least it's warmer...

The upcoming storm looks nasty - not good for stargazing or much of anything else :(
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
154. moonlightcowboy
9:14 AM GMT on December 31, 2007
Photobucket

Be careful if you're out celebrating tonight! Have a good time!
Best wishes for a Healthy, Happy & Prosperous Year!



...a lil "cowboy" humor to bring in the new year!

Lone Ranger and Tonto

The Lone Ranger and Tonto walked into a bar
and sat down to drink a beer. After a few
minutes, a big tall cowboy walked in and said,
"Who owns the big white horse outside?"

The Lone Ranger stood up, hitched
his gun belt, and said, "I do...Why?"

The cowboy looked at the Lone Ranger and
said, "I just thought you would like to
know that your horse is about dead outside!"

The Lone Ranger and Tonto rushed outside,
and sure enough, Silver was ready to die
from heat exhaustion. The Lone Ranger got
the horse water, and soon, Silver was
starting to feel a little better.

The Lone Ranger turned to Tonto and said,
"Tonto, I want you to run around Silver
and see if you can create enough of a
breeze to make him start to feel better."

Tonto said, "Sure, Kemosabe," and took off
running circles around Silver. Not able to
do anything else but wait, the Lone Ranger
returned to the bar to finish his drink.

A few minutes later, another cowboy struts
into the bar and asks, "Who owns that big
white horse outside?"

The Lone Ranger stands again, and claims,
"I do, what's wrong with him this time?"

The cowboy looks him in the eye and says,
"Nothing, but you left your Injun runnin'."
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
153. sp34n119w
5:22 AM GMT on December 27, 2007
LC, don't encourage me ;)
I saw a beautiful sky on Christmas night in Beaumont. Crystal clear view of Mars, Orion, the Pleiades, and more... but, completely forgot about the ISS pass! Oh, well. Maybe if it had been warmer than 45º my brain would have worked a little better :( Mostly I stayed inside.
Later, even here in SP it was remarkably bright, er, dark - you know what I mean. I was able to see most of Orion's bow before I high-tailed it indoors :D
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
152. SBKaren
3:32 AM GMT on December 26, 2007
Merry Christmas LowerCal -

Hope you had an enjoyable day. I've been browsing the photos here and noticed that some folks received some wind damage in the valley. Did you have the winds bad?

We had some off shore breezes here, but they just made the waves look more dramatic. I posted some today, and but some in my blog. Wonder how long the winds will last?
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 195 Comments: 14585
151. LowerCal
3:21 AM GMT on December 26, 2007
gamma,
Hades,
thanks for your wishes! :^)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9214
150. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
10:13 PM GMT on December 25, 2007
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 46274
149. seflagamma
8:22 PM GMT on December 25, 2007
LowerCal,

Merry Christmas to you and yours!!
Christmas Glitter Graphics

glitter graphics

Christmas Glitter Graphics





Merry Christmas from our home to yours!
Love,
Gams & Poppy
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 299 Comments: 40929
148. LowerCal
7:12 PM GMT on December 25, 2007
Thanks Charles! Wishing you clear skies soon. :^)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9214
147. charlesimages
6:59 PM GMT on December 25, 2007
MERRY CHRISTMAS CAL!!!!!

WHITE CHRISTMAS IN MICHIGAN! Hope we get some clear skies sometime soon, I want to see the moon!
Member Since: May 25, 2006 Posts: 347 Comments: 29278
146. LowerCal
6:54 PM GMT on December 25, 2007
sp, some things just beg for a bashing. It's almost like your civic duty, lol! ;^)

Skye, a little later with more zoom and that pic would have looked like this ... Mars chasing the Moon.

Skye,
Sully,
MLC,
Fsh,
BT,
crab,
Michael,
Pat,

thanks for the holiday cheer! :^)

n8pzg, You're welcome! Thanks for the comment. :^)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9214
145. Patrap
3:20 AM GMT on December 25, 2007


Merry Christmas Lowercal from New Orleans ..
Pat & Family
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
143. n8pzg
5:32 PM GMT on December 24, 2007
Great links and pictures. Thankx
Member Since: November 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 199
142. hurricanecrab
3:02 PM GMT on December 24, 2007

Member Since: January 20, 2005 Posts: 64 Comments: 9242
141. bigtrucker
8:19 AM GMT on December 24, 2007
Low Cal From my family to yours, Merry Christmas and a happy and safe 2008

Member Since: January 9, 2006 Posts: 80 Comments: 6119
140. Fshhead
8:09 AM GMT on December 24, 2007

glitter-graphics.com
Thanx for always contributing to my blog & also for yours!
A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU & YOURS MR. & MRS. CAL!!!!
Member Since: November 19, 2005 Posts: 9 Comments: 9960
139. moonlightcowboy
8:03 AM GMT on December 24, 2007
Photobucket
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
138. sullivanweather
7:07 AM GMT on December 24, 2007
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
137. Skyepony (Mod)
6:16 AM GMT on December 24, 2007
Wundering what you think of this pic..

This is great the solstice, full moon, right into Christmas. Happy Holidays:)
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 196 Comments: 38769
136. sp34n119w
5:55 AM GMT on December 22, 2007
Can't beat that! I seem to be into mild bashing, lately. Must be the holiday spirit, lol :)

I'm about to go outside and pretend I can tell that it is the exact moment of the Solstice just by standing in the open air... wish it wasn't quite so cold!
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
135. LowerCal
2:00 AM GMT on December 22, 2007
NumberWise,
sp,
glad you enjoyed the webcast archive. :^) It is irresistible and with the met-bashing ... why, there's something for everyone, lol.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9214
134. sp34n119w
12:03 AM GMT on December 22, 2007
I didn't expect to watch the entire hour of the webcast from this morning... but, I did! What a beautiful place. Thanks so much for posting that link, LC! :)
The commentary was very interesting and they even did a little met-bashing ;)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
133. NumberWise
11:49 PM GMT on December 21, 2007
Yes, cool! The webcast archive is wonderful.
Member Since: October 22, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1718
132. SBKaren
11:26 PM GMT on December 21, 2007
Thanks LowerCal, I know she'll make it special, and we'll sing happy birthday to her on Christmas Eve!!!
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 195 Comments: 14585
131. LowerCal
11:22 PM GMT on December 21, 2007
sp, I'm not going to commit to that 12:30am PST either, lol. ;^)

Karen, remarkable timing! If she were born 5,000 years ago in Ireland with that timing she might have enjoyed special status there. I hope tonight's and Christmas Eve's celebrations are special for her.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9214
130. SBKaren
10:54 PM GMT on December 21, 2007
And let's not forget it's my daughter's birthday too! She was born at 12:10 AM on December 21st, 26 years ago. She's doing her own celebrating tonight, but we'll see her on Christmas Eve and cook somethin' up!
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 195 Comments: 14585
129. sp34n119w
10:51 PM GMT on December 21, 2007
Cool! I'm watching the archive from this morning, now. I'll check tonight - um, 12:30am, I think :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
128. LowerCal
10:37 PM GMT on December 21, 2007
Thanks sp! Here's some webcast for you. :^)

The Winter Solstice event from inside the chamber at Newgrange will be broadcast on the mornings of Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd December 2007. If conditions are good the rising sun will illuminate the passage and chamber between 8:58am and 9:15am GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).
Newgrange Winter Solstice Webcast

Newgrange's accuracy as a time-telling device is remarkable when one considers that it was built 500 years before the Great Pyramids and more than 1,000 years before Stonehenge. The intent of its builders was undoubtedly to mark the beginning of the new year. In addition, it may have served as a powerful symbol of the victory of life over death.

Newgrange Passage Tomb - Boyne Valley, Ireland
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9214
127. sp34n119w
10:27 PM GMT on December 21, 2007
Some Solstice wiki for you :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
126. sp34n119w
10:24 PM GMT on December 21, 2007

Happy Solstice!

Length of Day 9h 51m
Tomorrow will be 0m 0s shorter.

WOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOO!
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
125. LowerCal
3:51 AM GMT on December 21, 2007
Hi Karen. :^) Yep, the rain was just right. I'm looking forward to the warm up Sunday and Monday.

I don't know about Santa but Mars is unmistakable every evening now above the eastern horizon. It's the brightest point of light in the area and some say reddish while some say orangeish.

GG, I hate when that happens, lol!
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9214
124. Gatorxgrrrl
1:20 AM GMT on December 21, 2007
I MISSED IT!! I am so mad at myself, about 10 minutes before it was to go off, I looked at my watch and said to myself - 10 more minutes and then I got distracted and before I knew it - it was 4:00!!
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 70 Comments: 15599
123. SBKaren
12:10 AM GMT on December 21, 2007
Hi LowerCal - LTNS....wasn't the ran wonderful? Just enough without being too much. I will look forward to the weekend dry out though.

They announced on the news last night that we should see Mars on Christmas Eve along with Santa flying in the night sky. I heard that right....right? They said Mars would be in exact opposition of the sun so should be rather bright.

OK Ian is pulling on my leg and wants up - blogging time is over!

Happy Holidays
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 195 Comments: 14585
122. LowerCal
11:40 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
Pat, thanks for the word on the mission.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9214
121. Patrap
8:13 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
The Delta Rocket delivers the GPS sat to orbit.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
120. LowerCal
7:52 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
GG, you're welcome! Thanks and merry Christmas to you and yours too! :^)

Launch time is now set for 3:04pm EST.
LIVE: Delta II ready to launch GPS IIR-18 for the USAF - NASA SpaceFlight.com
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9214
119. Gatorxgrrrl
6:41 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
Oh thanks for the reminder! I would have missed another one! Merry Christmas!
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 70 Comments: 15599
118. LowerCal
6:21 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
sp, thanks for the heads up on the Alaskan aurora activity.

Yes, that was a happy rain day, all day long but not enough to make the hillside slide off. :^)

SL, I didn't have such great luck either. Thank goodness for the internet! :^)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9214
117. sp34n119w
12:27 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
So? Rain?
(this comment brought to you by the "shameless bump so I don't have to search so hard for LC's blog" campaign)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
116. SouthernLady
6:37 AM GMT on December 18, 2007
Totally 'sopped' in with clouds during the Geminids....And COLD!!!! Enjoyed the pics!!!
Member Since: August 27, 2005 Posts: 115 Comments: 29926
115. sp34n119w
6:17 AM GMT on December 18, 2007
Just came in to wish you happy rain days :)

Thanks for the heads up on the ISS passes!

Oh, and a bit of aurora activity in Alaska through the clouds - you can see the Big Dipper, too.
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
114. LowerCal
11:07 PM GMT on December 16, 2007
Info Updates:

Geminid meteor photos and reports at
Spaceweather.com: 2007 Geminid Meteor Shower photo gallery.

Geminid meteor observation data with graphs and maps at
Geminids 2007: visual data quicklook.

The earliest possible launch of Shuttle Atlantis has been pushed back from January 2. Actual launch still depends on resolution of a problem in a fuel sensor system.
NASA - NASA Targets Space Shuttle Atlantis Launch on Jan. 10

... for SoCal ...

The International Space Station (ISS) will soon be making a series of bright evening passes over Southern California. The pass on the evening of December 22 should be particularly brilliant and easily visible over much of the southern half of the state. Get precise times and directions of the ISS's passage for your location at
Heavens-Above.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9214
113. LowerCal
11:07 PM GMT on December 16, 2007
Foxx, thanks! :^) You're welcome and thanks for leaving a comment.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9214
112. Beachfoxx
7:44 PM GMT on December 16, 2007
Great Blog w/ great information! Thank you so very much!
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 29384
111. LowerCal
6:33 PM GMT on December 16, 2007
bt, glad you opted for the fireplace!

crab, glad it worked out for you and bride. Thanks for thinking of those less fortunate (the link). ;^)

You know I have noticed that about cats. It's puzzling to me because otherwise they seem so intelligent, lol.

GG, I sympathize. It started out hazy here and didn't take long to become fog. The few meteors I did see were out of the corner of my eye.

MLC, fascinating stuff. Here's a zoomable view.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9214
110. moonlightcowboy
4:11 AM GMT on December 15, 2007
Remote Lake May Be Treasure Trove of Climate Data - complete article. Dec 13, 2007



The vault.
The sediments at the bottom of the lake in Northen Quebec's Pingualuit Crater hold unmatched clues to North America's climate record. Credit: Robert Fréchette / ARK; (inset) University of Arkansas

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA--A million years ago, a large meteorite smashed into what is now northern Quebec and created a crater that may become an unprecedented repository of data with which to study long-term climate change, researchers reported here this week at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

Canada and the northern United States are dotted with tens of thousands of lakes, most of them formed by meltwater at the end of the last ice age about 12,000 years ago. Sediments at the bottom of those lakes hold chemical and biological evidence of how the planet's climate has varied for even longer periods, over many ice ages and interglacial cycles, and how those variations have affected the local ecosystems. But almost all of these sediments have been bulldozed repeatedly by glaciers as the giant rivers of ice have advanced and retreated over the last 2 million years, scrambling the geological record.

Pingualuit Crater in northern Quebec seems to have escaped this fate. Its 3.7-kilometer-wide, nearly circular lake not only is deep enough--nearly 270 meters--to have avoided the glacial pummeling but also has remained sequestered from any other body of water during its entire history. So the sediment that has collected on the lake's bottom has preserved a pristine record of the climate and biological activity in the lake for more than a million years--much longer than any similar climate data source currently available. Until recently, however, the technology necessary to retrieve samples from the bottom, without disturbing the samples or contaminating the lake's ultraclear water, did not exist.
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
109. bigtrucker
4:03 AM GMT on December 15, 2007
Thanks crab!!! Hope you and your bride are doing well
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