Plan to rise before sunrise on several mornings between August 16 – 23. Check the weather forecast to see if clear skies are expected. If they are, you might witness one of the most beautiful pairings of planets for this year. Each morning, Jupiter and Venus appear close and a different distance apart. On the morning of August 18th, they will be closest to each other, about the width of a full moon.
If you have reliably clear morning skies, a series of photographs would be an interesting project. The details and helpful directions about the conjunction are in this video from Science @ NASA. Enjoy the show.
The cool Iowa morning drew me outside to enjoy my cup of coffee. Two Blue Jays were busy calling to each other as they patrolled the backyards. The air was heavy with moisture. Soybeans and corn grew tall.
I reached for my cup and noticed some movement out the corner of my eye. It was an ant, only 1/4″ long, moving up a black metal rod. It’s antennae were feeling the way ahead of it. They were keeping it on some sort of invisible trail.
Heading toward food.
It went up and over the arch and down the other side. It carefully negotiated the wire hanger and went down the side of the bottle of sugar water of the hummingbird feeder. Each ant followed the same path to within about 1/2″. The invisible trail guided them well. Returning ants rounded the top of the arch and got to the rail of the…
Maybe you were one of the fortunate ones last month to see the July Supermoon. My blog post explained quite a bit about it. There were news stories, images, and streaming webcams covering it. It was hyped as a big deal. For some of us, it was.
Well, here we go again. There is another even bigger Supermoon this month on August 10. It will be the biggest perigee full-moon of 2014.
Mark your calendar. Watch for it in an evening sky near you.
Science @ NASA
PS: There is yet another coming in September. You will have another chance if your skies are cloudy.
We recently visited Oklahoma where our son is a pilot in training with the Air Force. On one of the days, we drove to Oklahoma City to visit the National Memorial to the 168 victims of the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building. The bombing took place on April 19, 1995. The glass-fronted building formerly stood nine stories tall, faced north and aligned with NW 5th Street. Just before 9:00 that morning, a rental truck was parked by the bomber directly in front. He set a fuse and departed for safety and his getaway car parked nearby. At 9:02 the blast tore a gaping hole in the front of the building, killing 168 adults and children. Through a series of fortuitous events, he was arrested within two hours along I-35 north of the city for having no license plates. Evidence led to his conviction…
East-west roads are even numbered. North-south roads are odd numbered. The even-odd scheme applies to the general route of the roads and allows for some deviation in places. The one and two digit numbers start small in the south and west. They progress larger for the roads toward the north and east. Here…
Seedy Bunch stopped the big yellow school bus in front of our farm house. I was excited to join five of my older siblings as they boarded. It was my first day of school.
We arrived at East Railroad School first. It was a mile east of town where some of my siblings were going to get off. I had to get off alone and join a bunch of kids I had never seen before. This school thing was not starting out the way I expected. I cried. I cried for a week.
I must have gotten over the trauma with no harm done. As it turned out, I became a school teacher myself. As a teacher, I felt those pangs associated with the start of school each of my 38 years.
East Railroad School looked very much like this fine example. We found this one on a recent hike celebrating our anniversary. It had been moved from its original location to this park site for preservation.