Old Moon rising

Image: Moonrise over Cleveland. Credit: Frank Shoemaker.
Old Moon Rising. Cleveland, Ohio’s downtown skyline with waning Crescent Moon rising. The moon was about 32.5 hours until new. Credit: Frank Shoemaker

This beautiful new shot of an “old” Moon rising was made by Cuyahoga Astronomical Association member Frank Shoemaker. The photographer writes, “I shot this image this morning [September 27] at 5:50.  The moon was about 32.5 hours until new. So far, this is the closest I’ve shot the moon to being new.”

The “new” phase is the end of the lunar cycle aging from Full, and fully-lit, to New and fully-dark; it’s also the beginning of the next cycle, thus New Moon.

“I shot it from the west end of Edgewater Park on the new pier down at the water. I used a Canon 7D Mark II with the 100-400 mm lens at about 260 mm. It’s a single exposure, 2 seconds at f/9, ISO 2000.” Shoemaker explained. “I processed the image through Topaz Labs DeNoise AI and finished it in Lightroom. I planned the shot with the Photographers Ephemeris app.”

 

It’s Happening August 21: Edgewater Eclipse Watch

The Cuyahoga Astronomical Association (CAA), in cooperation with Cleveland Metroparks, will host an Eclipse Watch event at Edgewater Park, on Cleveland’s western Lake Erie shore, from 12:30 to 4:00 PM, Monday, August 21. The event will be free and open to the public, no reservations required, to observe the day’s solar eclipse. In case of rain, the event will be canceled.

Image: Eclipse at Maximum - Edgewater Park, Ohio, August 21, 2017 - SkySafari 5 Simulation
Eclipse at Maximum – Edgewater Park, Ohio, August 21, 2017 – SkySafari 5 Simulation

The Edgewater Eclipse Watch will include:

  • Telescopes equipped to safely view the eclipse, tended by CAA members
  • Eclipse viewing glasses provided by AstroZap, one per group, please!)
  • Non-profit organizations, including Cleveland Metroparks, with family activities.
  • Additional activities to be announced!

The venue for the Edgewater Eclipse Watch will be at the west end of Edgewater Park’s lower level parking lot (see map below). Telescopes and other activities will be in the grassy area adjacent to the parking lot. Visitors may come and go as they please during the event.

Image: Here is where the Eclipse Watch will take place.
Here is where the Eclipse Watch will take place. Click to visit Google Maps for a more complete map and directions.
Image: Timing of Our Partial Solar Eclipse, August 21, 2017 - Via SkySafari 5
Timing of Our Partial Solar Eclipse, August 21, 2017 – Via SkySafari 5

Millions of people will enjoy this eclipse of the Sun, some portion of which will be visible from everywhere in the continental United States; it’s even been dubbed “The Great American Eclipse” and “The National Eclipse.” Locations along a relatively narrow strip of land stretching from Oregon and the Pacific Northwest to the Atlantic off South Carolina will enjoy the full glory of a total solar eclipse. Here in Northeastern Ohio, we will see a deep partial eclipse with, at its peak, the Sun reduced to a brilliant crescent in our early afternoon sky.

CRITICAL: Vision safety is a major concern: It is important to note: even during the maximum point of our partial eclipse it is not safe to look at the Sun without proper vision protection. According to a statement from NASA, “The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as ‘eclipse glasses’ or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun.Here’s a quick video about how to safely view the eclipse via WKYC and our own Jay Reynolds.

A solar eclipse takes place when our Moon comes between Sun and Earth casting its shadow on Earth’s surface. The illustration below shows how the depth of Moon’s shadow varies depending upon how much of Sun is covered. The small black dot indicates the area where all of the solar disk is covered and where a total solar eclipse is in progress; outside of that dot, a large shaded area shows where various levels of partial coverage — the partial eclipse — is visible.

Image: Diagram of the Solar Eclipse - Image Credit: NASA
Diagram of the Solar Eclipse – Image Credit: NASA

This video from NASA shows how eclipses work and why they don’t happen every month. Spoiler: Moon’s shadow “misses” the Earth most of the time…

NASA Technology Days coming to Cleveland

WASHINGTON — Business leaders, space enthusiasts, students and the public are invited to attend NASA Technology Days. The free, three-day public technology showcase will take place at the Cleveland Public Auditorium and Conference Center Nov. 28-30. Participants from industry, academia and the U.S. Government will discuss strategy development, partnerships and methods to foster technology transfer and innovation.

The showcase will feature NASA-funded technologies available for transfer to the aerospace, advanced-energy, automotive, innovative manufacturing and human-health industries. The venue will provide opportunities for networking, business development and forging new relationships, including dialogue with NASA technology program leadership.

NASA officials will discuss the agency’s upcoming technology initiatives, technology transfer and strategic partnerships. NASA centers also will provide exhibits and information on how businesses can partner with the agency for technology development, transfer and innovation. Attendees also can learn about leading technologies contributing to American economic growth and innovation.

NASA Technology Days is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, visit:

http://www.aiaa.org/nasatechdays

Drizzle then delight: The 2012 Transit of Venus

Photo: Transit of Venus by Matt Fraduto
Venus begins its transit. Photo by Matt Franduto.

June 5 began cloudy, even rainy in places…the worst possible conditions for a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event: the transit of Venus! Since most recent transit took place in 2004 and the next will not be seen until the year 2117, it was today or never for everyone who had an interest.

Photo: Transit of Venus by Joe Hamlin
Second contact during the transit of Venus, by Joe Hamlin.

As it turned out, however, barely in time for the 6:04 PM EDT start of the transit, skies began to brighten, then clear! Thousands across the North Coast region were treated to excellent views of Earth’s would-be solar system twin in silhouette against the boiling surface of our nearest star.

A special celebration was staged at Edgewater Beach State Park and was the largest event of its kind in the area. Based upon controlled distribution of free solar viewer cards, event coordinator Jay Reynolds estimated as many as 8,000 people may have attended. Smaller public and private observing sessions took place around Northeastern Ohio including Black River Astronomical Society in Lorain, the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center in Bay Village, Hiram College in Hiram, and the Aurora Astronomical Society in Streetsboro.

Photo: Transit of Venus by James Guilford
Transit of Venus 2012 with sunspots and photosphere granulation visible. Photo by James Guilford.

Members of the Cuyahoga Astronomical Association, the Cleveland Astronomical Society, and others provided a good number and selection of telescopes, sharing their views of the transit with the public. Equipment ranged from the newest computerized models to beautiful, brass instruments likely a century in age — telescopes, unlike people, can survive to see more than just a couple of Venusian transits.

WKYC TV-3 staffer Ryan Haidet shot and posted a good number of still photographs of the Edgewater event. To see them individually or as a slide show, Click Here!

WEWS TV-5 Meteorologist Jason Nicolas wrote an article describing his impressions and how the crowd reacted to the “magical moment” in time defined by the transit of Venus. To read the article, Click Here.

Photo: Sunset over Lake Erie by Christopher Christe
Sunset ended viewing of the transit but a star party took place after dark. Photo by Christopher Christe.

Catch the transit in Cleveland

Photo: Transit of Venus 2004 - Credit: SOHO
The 2004 Venus transit as seen by the Solar and Helospheric Observatory (SOHO). SOHO/EIT/ESA/NASA

Observers on the North Coast are well-positioned to see the last transit of Venus in our lifetimes on Tuesday, June 5, 2012. The event is rare, indeed, with the next transit taking place in the year 2117 — and then not visible from Northeastern Ohio!

The Cuyahoga Astronomical Association, with several other astronomical and educational organizations, will host a major event celebrating the 2012 transit of Venus. The public is invited to Cleveland’s Edgewater State Park where telescopes will be set up, exhibitor booths and hands-on demonstrations operated, and solar viewing glasses made available. Observing of the transit begins just after 6:00 and ends with sunset, the transit still in progress. As darkness falls, the telescopes will turn toward other objects: the Moon, Mars, Saturn, even the International Space Station will put in an appearance! The lakefront event ends at 11:00 PM.

The transit begins at about 6:04 PM EDT, when Venus appears to straddle the solar limb and is then visible until the Sun sets, having progressed halfway across the solar disk. In times past, transits of Venus were significant to astronomers as a means to accurately determine the size of the solar system. Astronomers from around the world embarked on expeditions to make observations from widely-separated locations. Today the rare alignment demonstrates how astronomers can detect planets orbiting distant stars using the transit method. For much more information on the 2012 transit of Venus, visit TransitOfVenus.org.

For a schedule of events and location information, see the PDF located here, courtesy of Cleveland State University. In case the weather is bad or you just can’t make it, view the transit via Webcast: Click Here for Webcast Information or visit the Space Camera site: Click here for Slooh.com.