Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!



Happy New Year!

As usual, it's been an amazing year, but I wish you the best year ever in 2011!

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To start off the new year with a bang, we (planet earth) will experience a solar eclipse on the 4th of January. But wait, there's more!

The Eclipse will happen at the same time as one of the best meteor showers of the year! And as if that were not enough, Jupiter and Uranus will be in conjunction at about the same time.

Unfortunately, we won't be able to see even the partial eclipse on Tuesday morning (that's the best anybody's going to get). But it will happen, and it's extra exciting with all the other stuff that's happening up there.

If you have an iPad, there's a program (I think it's called Star Walk) that will let you hold your iPad up to the sky and label each star for you. I have an Android-based phone, and there's a program I have on the phone called Google Sky Map that will let me hold my phone up to the sky, and will label things so I can find them. This came in handy within the last two weeks to help me find the totally eclipsed moon when it was almost, but not quite, invisible in the sky. Once I was able to find it, I could see it, but it was so dark and so faint that I might not have found it on my own. It will also help find the constellation that the meteor shower will be coming from.

Holly pointed out to me something I hadn't realized. That is that if you point your phone down (in the Northern hemisphere), you can see the Southern sky on it! I haven't been able to test the iPad program extensively, but the Google one is awe inspiring! Oh, and the Google one is free, if you have the hardware to run it (any Android powered phone)!

Happy sky viewing!

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I've been enjoying the Doctor Who marathon on BBC in America all today. It's going to continue through tomorrow, too, so you can see the new year in with the Doctor!

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