Lunar Eclipse Visible!

[img_assist|nid=689|title=2008-02-20 Lunar Eclipse|desc=|link=node|align=undefined|width=640|height=640]

Starting around 2 pm EST, the clouds rolled in and it didn't look good for viewing. But around 8:30 pm the clouds thinned allowing a fuzzy moon to be visible through and between the clouds so we could see the eclipse begin. By 10 pm, the skies had completely cleared an we were able to view totality without any clouds (now, if we could just do it without that streetlight at the end of the block...).

Lunar Eclipse

Well, the Eclipse Party is on, but the Eclipse will probably be eclipsed by bad weather here in NYC and other parts of the northeast. I've been working with Celestia to have a simulation of the earth/moon as seen from the Earth-Sun L1 point. That lets you see both the geometry that results in eclipses as well as zoom in to see what causes the seasons.

Halloween Comet

Last night was Halloween (how's that for stating the obvious). I brought out the 8-inch Dob and set up by our stoop to show trick-or-treaters the comet (and yes, we also gave out candy). The weather was not very cooperative with clouds in the northeast until about 7:50pm by which point most trick-or-treaters were packing it in. A few hardy (and mostly older) souls still stopped by until about 8:45 at which point I gave up and went in.

Comet 17/P Holmes

Wow! I haven't been paying attention lately; I heard there was a comet which had undergone an significant outburst, but my experience with comets hear in Brooklyn as been "that's nice" and that's about it. But after reading how bright it was, I went outside tonight with my 10x50 binoculars and tried to find it. I scanned around for a little while disoriented and couldn't find it. So I went back in, looked at the charts and tried again.

Boring Stuff

Last week, I took a class on Spring and Hibernate which sounds pretty strange unless you happen to be a Java programmer in which case it makes perfect sense. So this week, I've been busy trying to put my new-found knowledge to work at work. Okay, I warned you, boring stuff.

Too Much Happening

Hmm, since I last took time to write we've come back from our vacation to Missouri, went on a vacation to the Berkshires (annual camping/astronomy trip), came back from that, emptied our basement and begun "remodelling" (in quotes because ripping out the walls and digging out the floor is more like "reconstructing"). Oh yes, and toss in a few weekend activities and one tornado (yes, a tornado in Brooklyn ).

Crayfish in Hubble Creek

Hubble Creek is a small creek that runs through the edge of town in Jackson, MO and, except in the driest of conditions, always has a small flow of water with a few pools where water may be as much as three feet deep. There are some small bluegill and sunfish, plenty of minnows and crayfish. Matthew and Jonathan have been begging to go catch them since we arrived and were sorely disappointed when we couldn't manage to do everything the first day.

Made it!

After a 24-hour delay, we made it to St. Louis. Having lost the first day of our vacation to travel woes meant we lost our scheduled day of unwinding and went straight into activities. Friday evening was still pretty laid back and apart from accumulated sleep deprivation, Saturday was fine. The kids had fun in the pool/water park in Arnold, MO. Then in the evening we spend about three hours at Six Flags which was, but the kids reckoning, too short (of course).

Visiting Charlotte, NC

But not by choice. We're stuck after storms mangled all air traffic in the northeast. So the first day of vacation was spent in the airport. Let's see, it started with car service giving us repeated assurances that they would be there in a few minutes (4-5 minutes, then 4-5 minutes later it would only be 3-4 minutes, hmmm). We gave up after our neighbor offered us a ride to JFK.

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