Friday December 13th 2019

Heidi

Heidi the 13th

   Friday December 13th is Friday the 13th! The number 13 is considered to be bad luck, as is any Friday occurring on a day number that is 13. Neither of which should portend bad things… however!
   For those that keep count, every year will have at least one Friday the 13th, while some years, like this one, have two Friday the 13th. Very interestingly the previous one was 13 weeks ago on – yes, wait for it… in September on Friday the 13th!
   Last year there were three of these days, but on the average those years only happen about 15 times each century. What is kind of interesting is that there are more Friday the 13th days than any other day of the week on a 13th. It is also thought that the Friday the 13th is more or less a modern thing as there seem to be no records or very few accounts of the idea of a Friday the 13th until sometime early during the last century.

   For those that like words, a fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia, while a fear of the number 13 is called triskaidekaphobia.
   


Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.


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Climate Change and Bees


   
So why the bee pictures? It’s all about climate change and the significance of these little residents that we share our planet with. A point is that climate change will certainly have an impact on the human population but perhaps even more serious will be the harm it does to Earth inhabitants like the Bee and its important work of pollinating plants.

   Here is an interesting an informative video from NASA about Bees, pollination, and how the Bees are used in a study about climate change effects..

   Keep informed about climate change with these smartphone apps from NASA.

Some of my Bee Pictures:

Remember: Earth is our home, our only home.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

NSTA @ Nashville


   I’m in Nashville Tennessee for the next several days at the NSTA national conference. Planets and stars will still be in the skies but not as easy to see from downtown Nashville as it is where I live. On the morning of April 1st the waning waning crescent Moon will be within a few degrees from Dwarf Planet Pluto. Too dim to be seen without a large telescope it is, nonetheless, a neat idea that when you look toward the Moon you are also looking in the direction of Pluto. It’s out there!
   And here is a sequence of graphics showing the pre-sunrise morning sky at 5:30 am EDT for each day during the conference, and one night view on April 1st showing Jupiter. Both Pluto and the Moon are located just above and to the left from the handle of the teapot asterism for Sagittarius the Archer.

   
   
   

Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

June Solstice

Sun's Apparent Motion Along the Ecliptic

Sun’s Apparent Motion Along the Ecliptic – from Taurus to Gemini

   Northern hemisphere spring comes to an end and its summer begins at 12:04 am CDT (05:04 UT) on 21 June as the Sun ‘reaches’ the celestial coordinates of 23.5oN and 6 hours right ascension. With respect to the Earth’s surface the Sun is described as over the Tropic of Cancer, 23.5oN of the Earth’s equator. At this same time the Sun is still within the boundaries of the constellation Taurus the Bull – but just barely. Interestingly 9 hours later, (9:00 am CDT – 14 UT), the Sun ‘will move’ into the region of Gemini as it crosses the boundary between Gemini and Taurus.
   We know that it is the Earth’s orbital motion around the Sun giving rise to the sun’s apparent eastward motion amongst the stars in the background. This is how the Sun ‘reaches’ a celestial coordinate, how it ‘crosses’ the boundaries between constellations, or how it is ‘in‘ a constellation.
   With respect to the southern hemisphere this is the end of their summer and start of their fall season so thinking globally my preference has been to use the name of the month to designate the season change. Hence the use of the term June Solstice rather than the limited to northern hemisphere term summer solstice.

   Follow the seasons by observing how vegetation changes during 1 year. The video below was produced by an Earth orbiting satellite operated by the NASA/NOAA Suomi National Polar Orbiting Partnership (NPP). It is a really interesting narrated tour of the Earth from orbit over a variety of geographic features and landscapes.

Just had to include this!!

Just had to include this!!

   
   

   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information.

Life in Tornado Alley

   Living in western Missouri near the stateline with Kansas places us in the area of the midwest known as “Tornado Alley”. While we have been very fortunate to not have had any tornadoes close by we have had to deal with the severe weather that accompanies tornadoes – including winds over 50 mph, and like this morning some really heavy torrential rains with thunder and lightning. In the span of less than 30 minutes the creek (aka the ‘river’ as our granddaughters call it) rose over its banks and flooded into the backyard. The base of the creek is at least 3 feet below the bottom of the fence and as the pictures show the water rose more than halfway up the fence and into the yard.

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A 1-minute look at the storm and flooding this morning.

   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information.

Preview June Issue of Qué tal

wordpress-voki   As the subject line states, the June preview issue of Qué tal in the Current Skies is now online and available at this temporary web address: http://currentsky.com/2013/jun13/index.html
   It will be at its regular web address in a few days.

   Thank you for your support and encouragement.
   Clear Skies…
   Bob Riddle

   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information.

Free Engineering Book

book   Just a quick note to alert you to a free book download for the Kindle. The book, Engineering Stories, is written by an engineer colleague of mine, and contains seven short fiction stories about engineers and how they do what they do. The stories are well written and allow the reader to follow the path an engineer takes from initial brainstorming through the development process to the final product.
   If you are doing anything related to STEM education or are just a curious type then I would recommend this book for you and your students.
   The entire book is available as separate stories and are all free and each may be downloaded from the author’s web site address.
   
   
Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.