I figure I won't be alone in here, I'm sure there are more who did S.E.T.I. and things like that over the years - maybe even still do.
Are you a sky watcher? Night Sky fan? I was just looking at what there is to see this month considering I missed the moon last night due to cloudy skies. Anyone else a fan or have other resources they like to use for this?
Space nerd? Yes, I am.
I also ran the CETI/SETI search program on my PC, with all those spare 50MHz cycles. Not sure whatever good that did. Carl Sagan is definitely a role model.
I have a copy of the National Geographics "star map", AKA "Heavens." This version was put out in 1970, which may be the one I had: https://www.natgeomaps.com/hm-1970-heavens . I benefited from Russia's Sputnik launch, where the US poured money into science education, research, and development (Star Trek not withstanding).
One ASUG/Sapphire conference coincided with a space shuttle launch, and I joined colleagues out on the Orlando convention center deck to try to glimpse. And I toured the space center with a couple techie buddies one conference year.
I occasionally compile and run POM.c (or potm.c) on a new machine to make sure it's got the right math libraries. Originally shared on Usenet, I believe.
* Phase of the Moon. Calculates the current phase of the moon.
* Based on routines from `Practical Astronomy with Your Calculator',
* by Duffett-Smith. Comments give the section from the book that
* particular piece of code was adapted from.
* -- Keith E. Brandt VIII 1984
The Moon is Full
The newspapers had astronomy columns, once upon a time. Now, not so much, but I did clip this.
I read once the best moon photos are not at full, but at half, as the shadows are more distinct.
Lastly, I'm an astronomy merit badge counselor. The youth typically know more than I do. But I was able to see the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn with my telescope.
Did You ever think about how comes that the moon is tide locked relative to earth? I know it has something to do with gravity and the masses involved. But this is as much superficial as flowers, bees and procreation.
Of course we could just search the internet for it, but that's not fun. Do we have enough brains to figure it out ourselves?
In space almost everything rotates, right? Something about initial speed, distraction by heavier/other objects and impulse preservation upon aggregation.
If we start simple, let's take a moment in the middle of the moon lifetime. Moon rotates around earth and moon rotates around itself. The chances that one rotation around itself correlates exactly with one roundtrip around the heavier rotation partner is close to zero. Remember: We are in a 3 dimensional world and all the possible factors involved. The moon is littered with impact craters. Each one played it's part. Of course everything regarding the masses involved.
With my limited knowledge I would guess: The moon's mass is not evenly distributed. It's mostly stone. Stone can have different density. And with that simply the heaviest part of the moon hangs down to earth. It had millions of cycles that this small effect altered the initial rotation around itself. Picturing throwing some floatable fruit into water. First it moves erratically. But in time remains in the same fixed position. Probably with the heaviest part downward.
Had a discussion about tide lock just recently. Mercury, for instance is not yet tide locked. But if you have a look how long a mercury day and a year is... Not much of a difference.
Keep on dreaming...
Interesting thought, feels like a plausible explanation (density, etc) might be beyond my current understandings though.
I've been working on refactoring an old python program and just trying to understand conversions of equatorial readings to AltAz readings and the sidereal motion of the planet itself is tough as it is.
Anyone else chase eclipses? We journeyed to North Carolina and Tennessee for a total solar in 2017. My imagery was fair, not worth sharing, but the experience was unforgettable. One gentleman came prepared to put on a show for the crowd using minimalist gear such as a cardboard box. Incredible views, including visible sunspots.