Transit of Mercury – 11/11/2019

Perspectives: Whenever Mercury passes slowly between the Earth and the sun, (a reletively rare event,) the small planet can be seen as a tiny dot, not visible without a light reducing filter and magnification.

                                Above: This is pretty much how the sun looks without a proper filter.                                               


Above –> The sun is about 93 million miles (150 mil. km) away from Earth, and Mercury 67 million miles (108 mil. km) away at this time. It is the tiny dot at the lower left just starting its apparent crossing, called a Transit!  What is unique in this image is the smokey jet plane contrail (exhaust) seen in front of the upper part of the sun …about seven miles away. 

 

Above –> 6 1/2 hours later, the transit is ending as the planet, at the 3:00 o’clock position to the right, moves past the sun’s disk. (ZOOM IN TO SEE THIS.)

Thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome and zoom in for a closer look. M:-)

Sudden Chill – Here and There

The lunar eclipse here along the New Jersey shore last night was stunning – but so was the windy and frigid weather following a dramatic arctic cold front, …making my camera and my fingers frozen.

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Above: Just prior to the eclipse, a maximum full moon.

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Above: Earth’s shadow covering half the moon

After I admitted defeat with the cameras, I went back outside with just my heavy gloves and binoculars, where the fully eclipsed moon, high above, was awesome, beautifully colorful and surrounded by the winter stars.

As the earth’s shadow is cast upon the lunar surface, its temperature drops hundreds of degrees. Here at our house, it seemed the temperature dropped just as much, from 50 degrees (F) at about noon yesterday to 7 (F) degrees this morning, with a wind chill of at least -11 degrees as shown below at 7:21 AM.

 

Thanks for viewing, and Comments are always welcome. M 🙂

 

50 Years Ago – Earth from the Moon

The crew of Apollo 8, on this very evening (Christmas Eve) exactly 50 years ago, were the first humans to orbit the moon and take the iconic photograph above as they looked back at Earth. It was one of the most emotional moments of my life, as we watched on television, mesmerized by a feat which is still hard to comprehend today.  For years I would have a 2 x 3-foot poster of this image above my desk at my place of work, and for the past 4 or 5 years, it has often been the banner of these WordPress posts.

William Anders, James Lovell, Frank Borman,

 

As usual, thanks for viewing.  Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays to all. M 🙂

A Northbound Adventure – Part Three

Today, Wednesday, we would continue the adventure from Roberval, arriving at what would be our ultimate destination, indicated below as “Route du Nord”

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The 185 mi (298 km) from Roberval would take us about 5 1/2 hours this day, compared to the 3h 22m indicated on the 2018 Google image, the route now …all pavement!)

In Part Two, I covered our initial 725 miles (1,167 km) non-stop drive over just under 22 hours from New Jersey to Roberval, Quebec Province, Canada. “Day Two” began at 9:45 AM August 31, 1966, in that lakeside town, driving North-West among more alpine lakes enjoying a smooth, well maintained paved road.

Within about 35 miles (56 km), however, we came across this worrisome signpost just inside another provincial park, (“Chibougamau Reserve”) indicating the end of the pavement. 😦

65 mph (104 km/hr.) was no longer practical on the gravel surface that stretched endlessly ahead. Stones occasionally pelted the sides of the car; and as this was lumber country, massive logging trucks would fly by enveloping us in choking clouds of dirt and dust.

It would be 115 miles (186 km) before reaching pavement again, at the junction of Rt. 58 West (now known as Rt. 113.)  After hours of gravel, the Sprite’s ride felt smoother than ever! Eight miles (13 km) later we would be in the last town while heading north in this part of the world, Chibougamau, serving a growing copper mining region, logging, and the Royal Canadian Air Force radar services.

Continuing, …the pavement ended again just past the town, as we once again were on the gravel road. Thirty minutes later we arrived at the barrier shown below. Its deterrent-rousing presence seemed to emphasize increasing aches and pains, emotional drain and weariness to us, not to mention the effects of dust inhalation and a worsening cold, on my part. We decided this would be our turn-around point as the road would end about 100 miles (161 km) further with limited or no amenities, and likely little change in scenery.

   3:25 PM, 8/31/66, 918 car miles (1477 km) – 632 miles (1017 km) as the crow flies.

The non-stop return trip would first take us over 200 miles (322 km) on an unprecedented, unexpected overnight challenge of gravel and poorly maintained, primitive dirt road before reaching dawn and the increase of population, north of Ottawa!

See the conclusion of  “A Northbound Adventure,” (Part Four) here.

Thanks for viewing, and comments are always welcome. Zoom-in or finger-stretch for a closer view of the maps and images. M 🙂

 

 

 

Outside Our Window as the Rain Fell Lightly

 “Cedar Waxwings” in a feeding frenzy, are seen thru the glass of our kitchen window today. Their colorful wing tips are remarkable, and they love berries… in this case from our Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus Virginian.)

From the rainy New Jersey Shore – thanks for viewing, click-on or finger-stretch for a closer look and comments are always welcome. M 🙂