The DC Women's Hiking Group will hike Tues., Sept. 4th and Thurs., Sept. 6th at Pine Mountain in Ridgefield.
Take Pine Mountain Rd. to end.
Parking is on the right.
Meet at new time 8:30Am.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Scorpius, the scorpion, is one of the largest constellations, and one of the most recognizable. It is low in the South, with the curved tail at the bottom and the head at the top. You may need to find an elevated viewing spot where the southern horizon is not obscured by trees in order to see the entire constellation. In Greek mythology, Scorpius killed Orion the Hunter, our March 2012 constellation of the month.
It's brightest star, Antares, is a red supergiant, more than 800 times larger than our Sun. If it were in our solar system, its surface would extend beyond Mars. So, the first 4 planets in our solar system, including Earth, would not exist. And Jupiter would be much warmer than it is now.,
The open star cluster, M7, is located just beyond the tip of the tail. It covers an area about twice the size of the Moon; it is best viewed with binoculars.
After the Sun, the next strongest source of X-rays is Scorpius X-1. It is a binary star (two stars circling each other), in which the intense gravity of one of the stars draws material off the other star. This material circles the first star in a disk shape and then falls to the surface of the star. The acceleration of the charged particles in the disk causes a tremendous amount of energy to be released as X-rays.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
August 11 – 12 is the climax of the annual Perseid meteor shower. But any night this week will provide a good chance of seeing some action - weather permitting of course. The best time for viewing is after midnight to the predawn hours. Find a spot away from a lot of ground lights and look to the northeast. If there is a lot of ground light, look to the darkest part of the sky. Like most meteor showers those with patience see the most. The meteors tend to come in batches out the constellation Perseus, hence the name. However, they can appear in any part of the sky but all their tails will point back to Perseus. Although the moon will be present, this year it will be waning crescent (a sliver that is getting smaller ) so moonlight won't hinder the show. The Perseids occur every year as the Earth passes through a stream of dust particles and debris from the Comet Swift-Tuttle. These particles hit the earth’s atmosphere at speeds up to 140,000 mph and become heated to form bright streaks across the sky – shooting stars. The shower is at its peak or climax when the earth passes through the middle of the tail debris. For those willing to stay up later or get up extra early, there is an added treat. The moon will be passing the brightest planets Venus and Jupiter in the predawn eastern sky. So get out a blanket, lay on your back and enjoy the show. If you would like more information about this event, attend our 8PM program on Sat. Aug 11 at New Pond Farm, West Redding. Picture from BBC and Sky and Telescope (2011).