Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Sky Gazing

Astronomy has never much been 'My thing'... I think it's because I just can't wrap my head around the idea of 'The Universe'... It's quite enough for me to try to focus on 'This Planet' and everything IT encompasses. Is there life out there? Perhaps, maybe, I don't know. All I know is, it's just too much to consider. So I don't care, call me narcissistic.

For my husband and my daughter though, star gazing is becoming a bonding experience. My husband received a telescope for his birthday this year and he and the girl child are so excited by each new discovery.

Today, they got up at Oh-dark-thirty so they could see this:

Amazing isn't it? Can you guess what star that is?

Surprise! It's not a star at all, it's this:

It's the Space Station and it flew over our house at 5:32 am this morning.

In my husbands words, this is what they had to do to prepare for the sighting:

We had to figure out which way WNW was (we did this the night before)…

We used google earth to find North relative to the front of the house,
We then magnetized a needle, put it in a cork, floated it in water, and found north that way,
Finally, we located the North using the North Star.

Then we drew compass points on the driveway in chalk based on the results of the various methods. The needle method differed from google and the north star (which agreed fairly well), so we went with the majority opinion.

We went out this morning at about 5:25 and sat on the sidewalk facing WNW, positioned so our little tree in the front yard blocked the annoying street light… and watched.

Of course, eagle-eye Sarah spotted it first, slightly north of where we had 'computed' it to appear. It moved quickly, going from horizon to overhead in about 2 minutes. We watched with binoculors and Sarah tried a time exposure with her camera. After it went overhead, we got up, went to the driveway, and watched it some more.

A very nice way to start the day.

A very nice way to start the day, indeed! A Dad and his Daughter bonding under the stars... Well, it makes for a wonderful life. Where was I? In bed, asleep, of course!

Kick Ass I-Pod Shuffle Song of the Day:
First off, I have to fess up and admit to not walking this morning. I'm giving the dogs a rest, meaning my feet AND the actual dog, 10 yr. old Anna. She's been gimping around too much to subject her to 3 days in a row. But anyway, this song was in my rotation yesterday and while it may be a little too 'Alternative' for some of you, it's got a kick-ass pounding rhythm. Anyone else out there a Blue October fan?

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Blogger lime said...

i'd have been snoring away with you. though i will say a bunch of years ago when we woke the kids in the middle of the night to see a maeteor shower that was a very sweet memory.

9:55 PM, September 06, 2009  
Blogger EmBee said...

Meteor shower, family time, sweet memories indeed!

7:14 AM, September 07, 2009  

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