Monday, May 30, 2016

Debris in Shellpot Creek

Interesting assorted debris washed up in Shellpot Creek by last night's storm.  

People upstream of me have drinking problems, broken Christmas decorations and their recyclables in the floodplain apparently.

I should also mention we got yet another beachball and other assorted floating toys.

Late Spring Flowers

Peonies smell delicious.

Giant clematis blooms.

Tiny irises and large ones.

A pink rose.

Screaming yellow!

This is one of the best times of year for our flower garden.  Many different plants are blooming.

Monday, May 09, 2016

End of the Transit of Mercury

Clouds rolled in around noon, so I didn't get to see the end of the transit of Mercury.  Had a good time this morning showing everyone so I felt I experienced and recorded what I could.

The Solarscope did its job well again, now it can rest until the solar eclipse of August 21, 2017.

Mercury Transit now past halfway mark.

More than halfway through the transit at 11:15am.  In this image Mercury is slightly to the left just above the halfway line of the Sun.  That smudgy sunspot is in the bottom half slightly to right of center.  

I also had some visitors join me to observe this time.

Mercury Transit at 9:30am EDT

Mercury is in the top half middle in this picture at 9:30am.  Needed to wait for the clouds to move.  Might be a problem for more viewing today.  We'll see.

Transit of Mercury Day!!

Today I will be blogging the Transit of Mercury, a less than once in a decade event.  I have been waiting for this one since the Transit of Venus in 2012.  Looks like a sunny day and reasonably clear enough skies for some viewing.

I started today with my son and my trusty work travelling solar viewer at the school parking lot. I had dozens of kids in line to look at it.

I repeatedly said, "NEVER look directly at the sun", so that none of the students would.  I asked them planet questions.  They mostly knew their planets and the correct order out to about Saturn.  Even remembered that Pluto is not a planet anymore.

I took a closeup of the sun image in the viewer around 7:35am.  Mercury's shadow is the sharp dot in the upper right of the sun.  Contrast that with the slightly larger fuzzy smudge of a sunspot more in the middle of the sun.

I have already accosted work colleagues on the way in to their offices to stop to look at the sun image in the viewer.  Here is the picture from 8:15am.

Fleet footed Mercury is racing across the sun.  Still about 6 hours to go however.