This Friday, Dave and I will be presenting a planetarium show called
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Moon: Visit the Moon Without Leaving Your
I'm jazzed about this show. I think it'll be the most fun
planetarium show we've given so far.
We'll be showing a variety of lunarfeatures:
maria, craters, mountains, rilles, domes, catenae and more.
For each one, we'll discuss what the feature actually is and how it
was created, where to see good examples on the moon,
and -- the important part -- where you can go on Earth,
and specifically in the Western US,
to see a similar feature up close.
Plus: a short flyover of some of the major features using the
full-dome planetarium. Some features, like Tycho, the
Straight Wall, Reiner Gamma, plus lots of rilles, look really great
in the planetarium.
If you can't get to the moon yourself,
this is the next best thing!
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Moon:
7pm at the PEEC nature center. Admission is free.
Come find out how to explore the moon without leaving your home planet!
[ 18:06 Dec 10, 2019
More science/astro |
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Last week, a flock of western bluebirds suddenly became fascinated
with my two bluebird houses.
First I noticed a bluebird clinging to the outside of the downhill
bluebird house. He would poke his head in the hole briefly, a couple
of times, flutter to the top of the house, flutter back down to
cling outside the hole and stick his head in. He never actually
went in, and eventually lost interest and flew away.
Then a few minutes later, there were several bluebirds fluttering
around the birdhouse that's outside the upstairs bedroom. I counted
at least five individuals; I think they were all males.
(The photos here are of a different, mixed-gender flock.)
They were taking turns perching on top of the birdhouse, clinging to
the outside and poking their heads in the hole. They attracted a
junco, a robin and a flicker who apparently came to see what was so
interesting; eventually the big flicker was apparently too intimidating,
though she wasn't doing anything threatening, and all the bluebirds departed.
Neither of my birdhouses has ever had a bluebird breeding in it;
they've had ash-throated flycatchers and a juniper titmouse during
breeding season. Neither of them has been cleaned out since the last
breeding season; I've been meaning to do that but haven't gotten
around to it yet.
Are they looking for a place to shelter in cold weather? Or
scouting out sites to have an advantage in next year's breeding
season? Should I hurry to clean them out so they'll look more
appealing during the winter? I posted to the local birders' list,
but nobody seemed to know.
I'd love to have more bluebirds around;
they usually only visit briefly to bathe and drink.
Alas, they haven't been back, but I put the heated birdback out
a few days ago and it should be popular once the days get colder.
[ 20:39 Dec 06, 2019
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