Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: Off Topic:
Astronomy bulletin board
First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 Next page Last page  View All

Cygnus
Rivendell


Jan 10, 5:39pm

Post #1 of 95 (563 views)
Shortcut
Astronomy bulletin board Can't Post

I have decided to start an astronomy thread where I will post things that are going on in the night sky that folks might be interested in. Next week I will post information about the upcoming total lunar eclipse on January 20 that will best be visible in the Americas, although Europe and western Africa will get a limited view.
Here is a quote I just read in The Hobbit (second paragraph of "Fire and Water).
"......and watching, as they were fond of doing, the stars shine out from the smooth patches of the lake as they opened in the sky."

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf


Darkstone
Immortal


Jan 10, 5:41pm

Post #2 of 95 (445 views)
Shortcut
Sounds good! [In reply to] Can't Post

I look forward to it!

******************************************
Character is what we do on the internet when we think no one knows who we are.


Lissuin
Valinor


Jan 10, 9:19pm

Post #3 of 95 (436 views)
Shortcut
Great idea, thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

This might inspire me to keep better track of what's happening in the Southern Hemisphere skies. The latest is that Stewart Island, NZ has just been designated a Dark Sky Sanctuary.
https://www.radionz.co.nz/...a-dark-sky-sanctuary

And over the mountains from Wellington, the Wairarapa region is working towards establishing a very large dark sky reserve. https://www.stuff.co.nz/...ld-be-worlds-largest It is pretty darn dark over here.Laugh


Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Jan 10, 10:13pm

Post #4 of 95 (434 views)
Shortcut
Thank you so much! I'm absolutely mesmerized [In reply to] Can't Post

by astronomy, and have 3 liberal arts astronomy textbooks lying around that my mom got me for Christmas over the years, just for fun.
The problem is, I can't understand the math . . .Blush
But I do get a lot of the concepts. I'm especially riveted by those gorgeous pictures of nebulae.



Cygnus
Rivendell


Jan 10, 10:37pm

Post #5 of 95 (432 views)
Shortcut
Math [In reply to] Can't Post

I am what is labeled an "advanced amateur" which means I have a lot of experience but have never made money off astronomy (except $200 for an article that was published in a magazine). In my case it also means that I never had to learn the mathematics of it all....even though I do understand some of it. I'm only telling you this so you don't embarrass me by asking a tough math question...LOL. I do like to answer astronomy questions though.....I am very inqusitive and like to help other inquisite people if I can.

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf


Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Jan 10, 10:41pm

Post #6 of 95 (430 views)
Shortcut
Sounds good. :) I don't really [In reply to] Can't Post

understand the math enough to actually ask a tough question, so I believe you're safe. Laugh You're at the level of expertise I always aspired to, but could never quite accomplish.
Looking forward to your posts!



Cygnus
Rivendell


Jan 10, 10:42pm

Post #7 of 95 (431 views)
Shortcut
Southern Hemisphere [In reply to] Can't Post

Nice! Already a challenge. I've never been to the Southern Hemisphere but it will be a challenge to keep you in mind since your night skies are dramatically different. Sadly, this upcoming eclipse is something you won't be able to see. And there will be other things I will post that will be out of your view. I apologize in advance for that.

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf


Cygnus
Rivendell


Jan 10, 10:48pm

Post #8 of 95 (429 views)
Shortcut
Expertise [In reply to] Can't Post

And I'm here because I aspire to become a Tolkien expert. I know I'll ever reach the level of folks around here but I'm going to have fun trying!

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 11, 2:59am

Post #9 of 95 (411 views)
Shortcut
The sky's the limit! [In reply to] Can't Post

Angelic

I took an astronomy course way back in college...up in Maine. We went on field trips at night, the prof's beard would get encrusted with ice. Chilly, but oh what excellent viewing! And his quizzes would include things like "What is the current phase of the moon?" to ensure we were doing our homework properly.

I look forward to your posts! Will you include what the planets are up to?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jan 11, 12:33pm

Post #10 of 95 (386 views)
Shortcut
*geeky hand clapping* Goodie! :D [In reply to] Can't Post

I would REALLY appreciate this so much!! What a great idea, and a lot of work on your part. So THANK YOU in advance! I'm really looking forward (and up) for this! :D




sample

We have been there and back again.


TIME Google Calendar


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 11, 1:04pm

Post #11 of 95 (385 views)
Shortcut
In particular.... [In reply to] Can't Post

...those very bright planets that are well above the eastern horizon before the sun rises? I'm seeing them every cloudless morning on my way to work, they're magnificent! Which one is Jupiter, and which is Venus?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


Annael
Half-elven


Jan 11, 3:02pm

Post #12 of 95 (385 views)
Shortcut
excellent [In reply to] Can't Post

My dad taught us the constellations when I was little, and I've been interested in astronomy ever since.

One of my favorite things to do is to lie flat on the ground and look up at the stars at night, and then re-orient myself to feel that I am stuck up against the planet and actually looking out at the stars. Or even down at them. I remind myself that if it weren't for gravity, I would float off among them. It changes my perspective in a fun way (and an accurate one).

I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the words begin to move around The words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young.

-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Jan 11, 3:55pm

Post #13 of 95 (376 views)
Shortcut
Speaking of the Southern Hemisphere [In reply to] Can't Post

As it happens, I'll be in Argentina on January 20th. I understand I'll still be able to see the eclipse, but I'm thinking that it will look different from so much further south. Is that true?

Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the hand on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?
They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow....


Cygnus
Rivendell


Jan 11, 5:41pm

Post #14 of 95 (367 views)
Shortcut
planets [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Angelic



I look forward to your posts! Will you include what the planets are up to?

Right now the best planet to observe is Mars. It in currently in the constellation Pisces. You can find it tonight by looking to the upper left of the Moon. It will be the object that looks like a bright red star....reddish because it is literally rusting--iron oxide. By Sunday (Jan 13) the Moon (which will be at First Quarter that night, meaning it looks like a half circle) will have slid over, so Mars will be to the upper right of the Moon. From there, every night the Moon will move further to the left (in comparison to Mars and the background stars) and get larger every night until it becomes full on Jan 20.
Neptune and Uranus are also visible in the evening sky but both are difficult to find for a beginner, especially Neptune which requires a telescope to see. The other planets are all to the east in the morning but when they are lined up closely to the Sun aren't visible. Venus is always the brightest. The only things brighter in the sky are the Moon and Sun, although an occasional meteor can do the trick. A meteor that is brighter than Venus is sometimes called a fireball or bolide.
Planets are pretty awesome, but to see any details requires a telescope. However, binoculars are great astronomy tools. Even if you have a cheap pair get out there at night (avoiding as much light pollution as possible) and check out the night sky. You'll be shocked at how many more stars you will see, especially if you turn them toward the area that looks like a band of smoke....visible only if your sky is dark enough. As you likely know, that is the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy.

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf


Cygnus
Rivendell


Jan 11, 5:53pm

Post #15 of 95 (364 views)
Shortcut
Argentina [In reply to] Can't Post

All of the Americas will be experiencing the total lunar eclipse so you're in a great spot. In a best case scenario, the Moon will get so dark it will nearly be invisible. This will depend on the time of night and the atmospheric conditions in your area. The biggest thing us folks in the Americas have to worry about is clouds. I'll be posting much more later.
(for those who don't know, a total lunar eclipse is a night time event when the Earth's shadow blocks sunlight from striking the Moon and reflecting back to Earth. It causes the Moon to turn reddish and/or orangish and also darken. It is nowhere nearly as dramatic as a total solar eclipse...a day time event... where the Moon blocks sunlight, turning night to day for a few minutes.)

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf

(This post was edited by Cygnus on Jan 11, 5:56pm)


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 11, 5:55pm

Post #16 of 95 (360 views)
Shortcut
The darkness of the night [In reply to] Can't Post

One thing I love about the rural side-street I live on, is that there are no streetlights. There are nights that, by the time I've walked to the end of our driveway, I cannot see my hand in front of my face, and rely on sensing where things are to walk down the road. And looking up - what a multitude of jewels there are, twinkling between the tree-branches!

What's best is finding a field, or segment of shoreline, as far away from lights as possible. I've had some excellent star-gazing at places in Maine.

So that's Venus that's the brighter of the two stars! Is it at - uh, is the term "aphelion" or "perihelion"?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Jan 11, 9:45pm

Post #17 of 95 (348 views)
Shortcut
Thank you [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm hoping for less light pollution on our sea journey south than we would normally get here at our home in North Texas, so we can see the southern hemisphere stars. I've seen the Southern Cross from Australia, for example, but not from South America.

Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the hand on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?
They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow....


Cygnus
Rivendell


Jan 11, 10:56pm

Post #18 of 95 (338 views)
Shortcut
sea journey [In reply to] Can't Post

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but since the Moon is full on Jan 20 that means that star gazing won't be so great a few days before and after that date. When the Moon is out it's brightness drowns out the light of the stars. It won't be terrible but it won't be great either. Astronomers usually schedule serious astronomy during a New Moon when it is near the Sun and not visible.....or when it is just a thin sliver. But look at the bright side of it (no pun intended) a Full Moon has its advantages. It adds a certain atmosphere to special occasions.

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf


Cygnus
Rivendell


Jan 11, 11:06pm

Post #19 of 95 (337 views)
Shortcut
Mars tonight [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
Angelic



I look forward to your posts! Will you include what the planets are up to?

Right now the best planet to observe is Mars. It in currently in the constellation Pisces. You can find it tonight by looking to the upper left of the Moon. .

If you hold your hand up at arm's length and close one eye Mars is the width of your hand away from the Moon tonight. It's nice and clear here on Lake Erie.

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf

(This post was edited by Cygnus on Jan 11, 11:08pm)


Cygnus
Rivendell


Jan 11, 11:23pm

Post #20 of 95 (336 views)
Shortcut
So close [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm impressed but you didn't quite get it right. Planets don't make perfect circles around the Sun so when one is closest to the Sun that is perihelion. When it is farthest from the Sun that is apehelion. That's different than this: If a planet is lined up behind the Sun (and the Sun makes it too bright to see) it is in superior conjuction.....unless it is Mercury and Venus, they can't line up with the Earth behind the Sun but they can line up with Earth in front of the Sun. That is called inferior conjunction and also makes them impossible to see because of the Sun's light.

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf

(This post was edited by Cygnus on Jan 11, 11:26pm)


squire
Half-elven


Jan 12, 12:36am

Post #21 of 95 (337 views)
Shortcut
Is that quite right? [In reply to] Can't Post

If I understand you, conjunction is when a planet is in line with earth and the sun, in the direction of the sun. Mercury and Venus would have two conjunctions then, as they can be behind and in front of the sun, from earth's POV. It would be all the other planets, outside our orbit, that could only make a conjunction on the far side of the sun. I found this diagram on wikipedia that seems to agree with this thinking:



As far as Dernwyn's original question goes, I have been thinking the same thing as she when I've admired Venus in the predawn sky these past few weeks. What is the name for the position of Venus when it is as far from the sun relative to our point of view - i.e., as high in our sky - as possible?



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Cygnus
Rivendell


Jan 12, 1:28am

Post #22 of 95 (330 views)
Shortcut
Great diagram [In reply to] Can't Post

As you can visualize by using your diagram the answer to your question is the two things called elongation.
One more thing: the opposition position can only apply to the planets more distant from the Sun than we are, simply because Mercury and Venus cannot draw a bigger circle than Earth can. If you were standing on the Sun (not recommended) you would never see Mercury and Venus behind the Earth .The word opposition also could apply to the Moon because when it is full it is opposite of Earth (from the Sun). It then has the effect of a round mirror, reflecting all the sunlight that hits it on this side. Thanks so much for posting this great diagram.

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf


Cygnus
Rivendell


Jan 12, 1:43am

Post #23 of 95 (329 views)
Shortcut
Embarressing [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I'm impressed but you didn't quite get it right. Planets don't make perfect circles around the Sun so when one is closest to the Sun that is perihelion. When it is farthest from the Sun that is apehelion. That's different than this: If a planet is lined up behind the Sun (and the Sun makes it too bright to see) it is in superior conjuction.....unless it is Mercury and Venus, they can't line up with the Earth behind the Sun but they can line up with Earth in front of the Sun. That is called inferior conjunction and also makes them impossible to see because of the Sun's light.

This is what I get for rushing and not rechecking my words. Of course Venus and Mercury can line up behind the Sun from Earth's vantage point. That's called superior conjunction. If a planet further than the Earth from the Sun lines up on the other side of the Sun is it simply called conjunction. I'm very embarrassed and will be more careful next time.

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf


Cygnus
Rivendell


Jan 12, 2:58am

Post #24 of 95 (327 views)
Shortcut
Disasterous first day [In reply to] Can't Post

I was really excited about starting this thread. A few hours later I was sorry I did. I hadn't considered that Southern Hemisphere users will find most of it useless since their view is dramatically different. Then I messed up the conjunction thing. And then when describing Mars' position relative to the Moon I forgot to add that it changes when they set. Tonight when the Moon set, Mars was straight up, in the 12:00 position by comparison. That happens because the planets, Moon and Sun follow an imaginary line in the sky called the ecliptic that traces out the path of the solar system. It is an arched shaped line so this causes the change when they move across the sky. The shape of the arch depends on your position on Earth.
Anyway, I just wanted to go run away forever since I was so embarressed but I will try to dust myself off and continue. I promise to do a much better job. Please feel free to question everything I say and challenge anything you'd like to challenge. That will only make me better at this.....and besides, that's how science works. I would much rather be proven wrong than give innacurate information. (Thanks again for the diagram). I think I was just so excited to start this I was like a little kid, letting my excitement get the best of me. I promise to slow down and think things over a little more before I post. If I mess up, or if you think I messed up, or if you have any questions at all please post. It will get better!

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Jan 12, 3:15am

Post #25 of 95 (319 views)
Shortcut
Not disasterous at all! [In reply to] Can't Post

My take-away from this thread is that people are very excited about your proposal, as am I. Having spent time in the Reading Room, you know that folks here greatly appreciate initiative and enthusiasm, both of which far outweigh perfection. Laugh So, please don't be daunted! It's a great discussion topic and I'm positive everyone will enjoy it!


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase




First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 Next page Last page  View All
 
 

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.