Jun 27, 2011

Chills and Thrills

Congrats to the following:

My buddy, Nomar Knight, of Knight Chills released a short story for Kindle. Fountain of Death. US buyers can go HERE. Elsewhere, see Nomar's blog. Cool blog. Great dude.

N.R. Williams released a new short story, The Magic of Windlier Woods. Free from Smashwords and B&N. Go to her blog for links and how to help her out.

Coming out July 25th is Craving Perfect by Liz Fichera. Can preoder on Amazon.

Congrats to all of these great writers.

Summer Ross of My Inner Fairy is hosting a blogfest on July 18th. Inspiration Blogfest. Simple, easy and a great topic to get everyone's creativity charged up. Click on her blog name to sign up.

Was a great weekend up at the observatory. Friday night was crystal clear. Saturday started iffy and Cassiopeia stayed in clouds, but was otherwise pretty good. Both nights were cold. I wasn't sorry to have on two coats and sweaters, a scarf, a hat and hood, mittens, thermal socks, my winter boots and thermal underwear. Not sorry at all. Moon didn't rise until 2:00 a.m.. So, I got in a lot of fantastic viewing. The Milky Way had moved up on the horizon and spread out in all its glory. Saggitarius was up high enough to look at for the first time this season. Some of my favorite objects are in Saggitarius - the lagoon nebula and M24, which is a star cloud. It fills up the eyepiece with sparkly stars in the most spectacular way. I never tire of looking at it. Another favorite, because it's one of the first objects I learned, is M22. I have a picture of that off the camera piggybacked onto the 24" telescope. My camera is not up to the task of taking photos beyond the brightness of the Moon and the brighter planets.

We had good crowds. Lots of nice and interested people. Looked at the supernova in the Whirlpool galaxy again. It already seems dimmer. I'll be sad when it fades too dim to see.

The sunsets were spectacular both nights. Click on photos for a larger view.

This deer sauntered across the road then up the moutain.
Sunset Friday night.
Taken Saturday evening. Sun is still pretty high.

I was struck by the light off this cloud.

Clouds make for fantastic sunsets, but lousy astronomizing.
Fortunately, most of the clouds burned off and left us with
clear skies.
M22 - a globular cluster off the top of Saggitarius.
Globular clusters are millions of stars that revolve around
each other. I call them star old age homes, because they
are old stars.
So, there we have it -- releases by our bloggy friends, a blogfest and a recap of my weekend at the observatory. How was your weekend?

Tonight ... Monday, June 27 -- an asteroid will come within 7500 miles of the Earth. Can be viewed from southern latitudes. For more information see: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-197&rn=news.xml&rst=3049