Daily Archives: November 12, 2015

The Holidays Begin

Starting next Saturday, Nov. 14, I’ll be showing my astro-photography prints at various holiday bazaars each weekend until mid-December. First up is the Mountainview High School bazaar (http://www.mvband.org/holiday-bazaar.html), one of the biggest and best such events in the area. I particularly like this one because it is a fund raiser for the school’s band program, which is just awesome. So please come out and get an early start on your holiday shopping. It’s great fun to see all the hand-made crafts and socialize with some very creative people.


Last week it was announced that a large asteroid would be passing close by Earth on Oct. 31 – Halloween. It has already passed as I write this and nothing extraordinary happened, except that a very spooky image of the asteroid was captured by bouncing radar pulses off it. As Phil Plait (famed “Bad Astronomy” blogger) explains, this isn’t really a photograph, but a 2 dimensional plot of certain characteristics of the radar signal. Nevertheless, that this would happen on Halloween seems a little too coincidental! http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2015/10/31/_2015_tb145_animation_of_asteroid_rotating.html

Dark Skies

This video has a powerful message about light pollution – please watch it (thanks to Lia for bringing it to my attention). I think the best way to make things better right now is to focus on the efficiency of better lighting. The video mentions that LED light fixtures are (usually) better at directing light where it is needed. That’s not inherent in LEDs, it happens because the people designing these fixtures are thinking about it – because it saves energy. With regard to street lights, the really good news is that LED fixtures can do something that other common […]

Venus, Jupiter, and Mars

People in some parts of the world are, no doubt, enjoying the sight of Venus, Jupiter, and Mars all within 3 degrees of each other in recent mornings. Here in the Portland area we’ve had either clouds or thick fog every morning, so we haven’t seen it. I got up at 5:30 this morning because the forecast was for relatively clear skies. I couldn’t tell if there were any clouds – the fog was so thick that I couldn’t see my neighbor’s house! Tomorrow morning will almost certainly be cloudy, so the only way to get a picture of this […]