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doncat

Autumn 2020 Banter

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8 minutes ago, LibertyBell said:

Yes, I've seen them reported from Alabama to New Jersey to Quebec to Sweden!  Bright fireballs and the Alabama one was called an asteroid by NASA.  The one in NJ was a low flying meteoroid and the one in Sweden made it to around 15 km before disintegrating!  What's going on?  All unrelated to each other and not part of some outburst?

Maybe it's a sign that we're about to enter one of the famous Leonid outbursts? There are also probably some non-celestial factors contributing to high report rates. This stretch of fair weather across most of the east has allowed outdoor dining and gatherings to continue deep into the autumn, so if something happens during the increasingly dark evenings, it'll have been hard to miss. I mean, last night I was outside in shorts and a tee, starhopping around the winter constellations with a pair of binos. It was bizarre. Mid-60s under clear skies is something that simply doesn't happen in the middle of November.

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2 minutes ago, Juliancolton said:

Maybe it's a sign that we're about to enter one of the famous Leonid outbursts? There are also probably some non-celestial factors contributing to high report rates. This stretch of fair weather across most of the east has allowed outdoor dining and gatherings to continue deep into the autumn, so if something happens during the increasingly dark evenings, it'll have been hard to miss. I mean, last night I was outside in shorts and a tee, starhopping around the winter constellations with a pair of binos. It was bizarre. Mid-60s under clear skies is something that simply doesn't happen in the middle of November.

Yes the last one was in November 2001 and it was unforgettable.  I thought they recurred every 33 years but looking at the historical record there have been unpredictable outbursts that occur outside of the 33 year cycle.

The amazing weather is a good point too, it isn't just warm, it's been warm during the day and cold at night because of the exceptionally dry air; these are ideal desert-like viewing conditions!  I even saw the thin waning crescent moon yesterday at high noon.  I dont think I've ever seen it at that time before.   Of course the prime time celestial viewing weather is now coming to an end.

Did you see Mars the last few nights?  It looks exceptionally bright probably because it is closer than it will be for a few decades.

This is my favorite time of year for clear skies, M42 Orion Nebula is clearly visible, even visually and I imagine it's an amazing sight in 10x50 or larger binos.  M31 Andromeda Galaxy should look amazing too.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Juliancolton said:

Maybe it's a sign that we're about to enter one of the famous Leonid outbursts? There are also probably some non-celestial factors contributing to high report rates. This stretch of fair weather across most of the east has allowed outdoor dining and gatherings to continue deep into the autumn, so if something happens during the increasingly dark evenings, it'll have been hard to miss. I mean, last night I was outside in shorts and a tee, starhopping around the winter constellations with a pair of binos. It was bizarre. Mid-60s under clear skies is something that simply doesn't happen in the middle of November.

Oh its a sign alright. 

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2 hours ago, BxEngine said:

Oh its a sign alright. 

I had to go up to the row house roof for a leaf check and even at twilight the light pollution, from the Brooklyn skyline, was breathtaking. I forego the shorts because I do have consideration/respect for the ambiance of the surrounding area. As always ....

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my grand daughter was born on this day in 2018...Todays her 2nd birthday...a record snow for so early in a season...maybe that fact will make her a weather fanatic like her grandfather...

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31 minutes ago, forkyfork said:

a saw whet owl omg

 

Such expressive eyes. I wonder if the owl hitched a ride or just remained with its home while it was destroyed right under it. As always ...

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On 11/18/2020 at 6:23 PM, rclab said:

Such expressive eyes. I wonder if the owl hitched a ride or just remained with its home while it was destroyed right under it. As always ...

I've never agreed with this policy of hacking down a tree and putting it in the middle of Rockefeller Center.

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You guys really need to watch Cosmos: Possible Worlds.  Excellent narration by Neil DeGrasse Tyson.  Season 3 Episode 7- The Four Kingdoms of Life- was particularly memorable.  He mentioned the intelligence and empathy of trees and bees (and the mathematical and astronomical knowledge that bees possess) and how humans first need to realize the sentience that exists on earth itself before they go looking for it elsewhere.

 

Talks about empathy, sentience and intelligence among nonhumans (including trees!)  And how human-centricism may prevent us from recognizing it elsewhere.

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3 hours ago, LibertyBell said:

You guys really need to watch Cosmos: Possible Worlds.  Excellent narration by Neil DeGrasse Tyson.  Season 3 Episode 7- The Four Kingdoms of Life- was particularly memorable.  He mentioned the intelligence and empathy of trees and bees (and the mathematical and astronomical knowledge that bees possess) and how humans first need to realize the sentience that exists on earth itself before they go looking for it elsewhere.

 

Talks about empathy, sentience and intelligence among nonhumans (including trees!)  And how human-centricism may prevent us from recognizing it elsewhere.

the original was better with Carl Sagan...he was the man...

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5 hours ago, LibertyBell said:

I've never agreed with this policy of hacking down a tree and putting it in the middle of Rockefeller Center.

Liberty, the attached photo is from a book titled The Christmas Tree At Rockefeller Center. A pictorial history of the tree. Ironically the forward of the book is by Willard Scott a TV weather person, it came out over 20 years ago. The photo below is from page 68, titled Patriotic Statement. The year was 1942 and conservation for the war effort was in effect. The trees, three of them, remained unlit,  alive, root bagged for replanting. Each Norway Spruce was thirty feet high. The next year the same was done with a 55 foot Norway Spruce. I would like to see a resumption of the replanting tradition. I’m not a horticulturist and not even sure if it is possible with a live tree or if it was even successful during the years mentioned. To me that type of preservation is very Patriotic. As always ....

 

69BCB465-A3B6-43D4-950C-F1C5786F1DFA.jpeg

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On 11/20/2020 at 8:47 AM, rclab said:

Liberty, the attached photo is from a book titled The Christmas Tree At Rockefeller Center. A pictorial history of the tree. Ironically the forward of the book is by Willard Scott a TV weather person, it came out over 20 years ago. The photo below is from page 68, titled Patriotic Statement. The year was 1942 and conservation for the war effort was in effect. The trees, three of them, remained unlit,  alive, root bagged for replanting. Each Norway Spruce was thirty feet high. The next year the same was done with a 55 foot Norway Spruce. I would like to see a resumption of the replanting tradition. I’m not a horticulturist and not even sure if it is possible with a live tree or if it was even successful during the years mentioned. To me that type of preservation is very Patriotic. As always ....

 

69BCB465-A3B6-43D4-950C-F1C5786F1DFA.jpeg

I always wondered why they can’t just plant a tree and leave it there all year around.

It would be the most famous urban tree in the world.

Although, in fairness, a lot of the Rock Center trees have been in distressed situations and needed to be removed anyway (at least they usually say that)

 

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I concur with you guys, it would be amazing if they could replant it.  I also gained some more empathy for trees after watching Cosmos s 3 e 7, where it was mentioned that trees reach out with their roots to sustain one of their own that just got cut off at the trunk and how a "mother" tree controls the growth of her offspring.  All very eye-opening.

 

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53 minutes ago, IrishRob17 said:

They should just put up a huge artificial tree, @BxEngine can help them set it up each year on 11/1. 

Good morning, Irish. I agree only if BX E is assisted by Anthony and S19. RJ would be responsible for keeping a video record for the Department Of Defense. As always ....

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13 minutes ago, IrishRob17 said:

Will have to throw @Juliancolton in the mix too as he is know for exterior illumination skills. 

One last touch, we can ask Liberty to operate a snowmaker on the roof of one of the Rock Center buildings, for lighting day. We just have to hope it can reach the ground still frozen. As always ....

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On 11/22/2020 at 11:20 AM, IrishRob17 said:

Will have to throw @Juliancolton in the mix too as he is know for exterior illumination skills. 

First order of business is switching back to incandescent bulbs. Let's show the city folk what real Christmas lights look like.

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57 minutes ago, Juliancolton said:

First order of business is switching back to incandescent bulbs. Let's show the city folk what real Christmas lights look like.

Switch back? Switch....back? 
 

its like i dont even know you.

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On 11/23/2020 at 4:08 PM, Juliancolton said:

First order of business is switching back to incandescent bulbs. Let's show the city folk what real Christmas lights look like.

did you hear about this big event that will occur in the latter part of December?

Wow this link says they will be close enough to seem like a single point of light

https://www.sciencealert.com/the-planets-will-align-in-christmas-week-for-a-rare-spectacle-not-seen-in-800-years?fbclid=IwAR1R1rtsaSHcIAh8yKaFgAM99SLeBDPlhoPnTEKWg-mvd-V98VNK-34h7bw

In that image you can see their moons clustered around them as if they were all about to collide.....

"You'd have to go all the way back to just before dawn on March 4, 1226, to see a closer alignment between these objects visible in the night sky."

To get the best viewing experience for this spectacular show, you're going to need to be somewhere near the equator – but if the skies are clear then the alignment should still be visible from just about anywhere on Earth.

The pair of planets will show up in the night sky for about an hour after sunset each evening, according to astronomers. If you're hoping to catch a glimpse yourself, you'll need to point your telescope towards the western sky.

"On the evening of closest approach on Dec 21 they will look like a double planet, separated by only 1/5th the diameter of the full moon," says Hartigan. "For most telescope viewers, each planet and several of their largest moons will be visible in the same field of view that evening."

"The further north a viewer is, the less time they'll have to catch a glimpse of the conjunction before the planets sink below the horizon."

The planets will be bright enough in the sky to be visible in twilight, which might be the best time to try and take a look at them if you're in the US. Websites such as Stellarium should help you work out where you should be looking from your vantage point.

While this kind of alignment hasn't occurred since the Middle Ages, it will happen again fairly soon, in March 2080. After that though, Jupiter and Saturn won't get as close in our night sky until 2400.

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Yeah, that'll be cool. The angular separation of 6' is about half the apparent distance between Mizar and Alcor in the Big Dipper. I can just resolve that double star if skies are clear and my prescription is up to date (and the creek don't rise?), so I can buy that Jupiter and Saturn will just about show as a single point for most folks.

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