A Night on Bald Mountain

Bald Rock Sunrise-016

For my birthday this year I decided to take a vacation day from work. Most people would take this as an opportunity to sleep in. I’ve always been of the mind that if I have a day off, I really don’t want to waste any of it, and usually would like to get an early start.

This year I got an earlier start than usual. This night is the peak of the Geminid meteor shower. My plan was to head up to Bald Rock in the South Carolina foothills and watch the meteors, then catch the morning sun rising over the Piedmont. I was hoping to replicate this photo…

Piedmont Sunrise 1 Cropped

…which was taken in January of 2007. Continue reading “A Night on Bald Mountain”

There’s a little black spot on the sun today…

Transit of Venus Jun 5, 2012 7-33 PM.16 PM

Yesterday evening Laura and I headed to to Furman to observe the transit of Venus, as the planet made its way across the surface of the sun.  This astronomical event happens every 120 years, and occurs in pairs, separated by 8 years.  The last transit was in 2004, and the next one won’t be until 2117.

It didn’t look like the weather was going to cooperate.  Heavy clouds obscured the sun, but there were enough breaks to make at least a momentary observation a possibility. So, we made our way down to the central quad area of the Townes Science Center at Furman, where Dr. David Moffat had two telescopes set up, and where others were gathering.

Transit of Venus Jun 5, 2012 6-54 PMTransit of Venus Jun 5, 2012 6-055Transit of Venus

Continue reading “There’s a little black spot on the sun today…”

A Super Moon Weekend

Reedy Falls Panorama

It’s been a busy week, and I haven’t had much time for blogging. I’ve got a few projects underway, and I hope to write about those shortly. In the meantime, here’s a quick weekend update…

Friday night:

One of Laura’s friends from grad school at UC Riverside has a goal – to visit every state in the United States. Carolyn had two left on her list, Idaho and South Carolina. Her friend from Germany, Christian, has accompanied her on this quest, so she met him in Charleston, toured there for a day, then headed to Greenville for a visit with Laura.

We picked up Carolyn and Christian and headed down to River Place. We knew that there was a TEDx event at the Peace Center, and that evening there was supposed to be something called the Greenville Xperience in the amphitheater, so we wanted to get parked early. We wandered around the Falls Park area, walking over the Liberty Bridge and enjoying a warm spring evening, as did half of Greenville, it seems.

Christian, Carolyn, and Laura

At one point I spotted to kayakers launching above the falls, and I knew what was about to happen. I took off at a run with my camera, but was not in time to see the first boat go over the falls. I did, however, catch the second one. Continue reading “A Super Moon Weekend”

Paschal Moon

Last night was the first night of Passover. According to Wikipedia… Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan, which corresponds to the full moon of Nisan, the first month of the Hebrew calendar, in accordance with the Hebrew Bible. This is also the first full moon after the vernal equinox, and … Continue reading Paschal Moon