Partial eclipse

Two years ago we had a partial eclipse (about 85% to 90%) of the sun. This meant that the moons shadow cut into the Sun’s disc but didn’t completely cover it.

I knew that if you make a hole in a peice of card and then hold the card infront if a plain white or pale surface you can project the image of the sun onto the wall. This is better than trying to use solar goggles which are not always safe to use. YOU MUST NEVER LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN. You could be Blinded. Even if you use sun glasses you are in danger, sun glasses do not cut out the full spectra of the sun and your eyes can be burned. You must not look at the sun! The second two photos were to show the suns image  cast on the wall.

Anyway after that strong warning I will continue… .

When the sun shone onto the card a small image of it was  projected behind the card. This is called a pinhole projection. Then as the moon glided across the sun a little bite appeared to cut into the sun. Gradually it increased. In this case the sun was passing across the face of the sun in one direction but because the projection was upside down the moon appeared to bite in to the right hand lower side but it was actually passing left to upper left.

As the moon crept across the face of the sun I noticed the shadows got less strong. Then I saw the shadow of my weeping fig on the wall. Amazingly all the leaves combined to cast lots of curved moon shadows onto the wall. I went outside and noticed the same thing was happening where the light was coming through the tree leaves. I’ve seen this phenomenon photographed and described on astronomy programmes.

Finally I took a shot of the light vshining through the trees. Carefully not looking at the sun and ensuring the camera lens was not pointed directly at the sun.

Life is interesting  I hope you get the chance to see an eclipse.

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Just add owl

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About 9 years ago I had an hour at our local wildlife sanctuary as a treat for my birthday. One of the highlights was the chance to fly this owl. Unfortunately I can’t remember what species it was, but it was a magnificent bird.

The sanctuary takes in birds and animals that have been in private hands and then the owner has not been able to look after it, either because the bird or animal got too big or was too expensive to look after. I just love how flexible it was, turning its head round on its shoulders. I think we will have to visit again soon. 

Addicted to blogging!

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I started blogging in January 2018. I’d never really written before. I’d done things in a little newsletter years ago and I’d tried to write a children’s book which I called the swimming dragon about a dragon wanting to get back to its family in South America. But I’ve never had that published and I spent hours over it. I even painted illustrations  But it never went anywhere because I was too nervous. It’s stuck on a floppy disc and on my old computer somewhere .

So I wasn’t expecting to get into this. It’s been a revelation to me. I know I’m only skimming the surface of blogging but I find myself more and more involved, to the detriment sometimes of painting which is what I intended this blog to be about.

I find myself enjoying writing short stories, sometimes with a little twist in the tale. Other times trying to write poems. I think about science and other subjects. I have stopped watching as much TV. I go out more so I can post photos of places. Most disturbing is that I no longer look at Facebook and Instagram as much.

Life is interesting, whether or not I shall continue at this pace I don’t know. But I’m enjoying things at the moment.

Megha’s world Tuesday writing prompt “light”

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I wrote this poem in response to the prompt “light”. I am not sure how to do ping backs so I will put a link of it on Megha’s page. I am not sure if I’m doing it right. Anyway here is the poem:

Photons, floating through space

At breakneck speed.

Tinier than

The tiniest seed…

Particles or waves

Does anyone know?

It took scientists like Einstein

To try and show

That light is a constant

But only in space

In air it actually

Slows its pace

(slightly)

It pings and zings

It refracts and glows

Holograms shimmer

Insubstantial as mist.

Light is strengthened

and made to Lase

A coherent beam

That can burn and amaze

Light is part of the greatest equation

E=MC2 bright burst

radiation.

Ultima Thule

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Excuse the picture. I tried to draw what Ultima Thule looked like.

I just watched a programme called “the sky at night” a BBC programme about the Nasa New Horizons mission that flew past a tiny planetoid called Ultima Thule (pronounced Thooley) on 1st January 2019. This was the same probe that sent back beautiful photos of Pluto a couple of years ago. Ultima Thule is only 21 miles long and the probe showed that it is made up of two lumpy spheres of material stuck together at a neck. There is only one clearish photo so far but they also know that it probably is a red colour. The pictures they published have been brightened to show details but the thing is probably a dark red colour.

The probe was apparently travelling at around 15 kilometres a second so it sped past Ultima Thule and is now several hundred kilometres past it and travelling further into the Kuiper belt (a ring of debris spread in a flat layer around the outer edge of the solar system). New horizons is nuclear fueled because solar panels would not work in the darkness so far from the sun.

It will take two years to stream all the data thay have collected from the probe back to Earth. This is the furthest world we have ever seen close up.

I love informative programmes like the Sky at Night. Its been on TV since the 1960’s I think. I have learnt a lot about astronomy over the years from it.

 

Dalek 2013

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I just found this old photo from 2013. We were on the churnet valley light railway for a fun day out and when we got to Froghall Station at the far end we found a Dalek trundling up and down the platform!

It was surreal. I’ve been watching Dr Who on and off since it first started in the 1960’s. It’s a British Sci fi series about a time lord that travels through time and space in a TARDIS (time and relative dimensions in space). One of the doctors arch enemies were the daleks. Now the doctor has regenerated. ( the part has changed over the years, with different actors playing the part). The part is now being played by Jodie Whittaker, and despite concerns she would not be any good I think she’s excellent.

This new years eve Dr Who was a favourite. The Daleks (or at least one) returned. It seems we will have to wait a year till the next series. I wish it was sooner, I need a tardis!

 

Homebrew

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Er, that’s a big head on that lager?

Well it is home brewed. ..

Oh how did you do that?

I bought a cask that says brew 8 pints in three days.

How??

Just add water…..

So now I’m sitting trying to drink the brew. It fermented for 48 hours and then had to sit in the fridge for 24 to kill off the yeast. But I don’t think it did, although it is less sweet now than it was when we tapped it 4 hours ago.

Result? Yes it’s OK if you like to drink 3/4 froth and 1/4 lager beer.

The pack cost £10 which is about £1.12p a pint? Also it’s about 4% alcoholic so it’s not bad.

My partner enjoyed making it and as its potable I would say its a qualified success, just a bit too lively!