Thursday, February 11, 2010

Astronomy in the rain

Thinking about tomorrow's Hometown Aquarium shootout, I was starting to feel like a fish in a fishbowl.  The rest of the country has been getting socked in by snow but Charleston has been getting rain.  Constant rain.  

So I went outside to see if the rain was heavy enough that fish might be swimming in it.  I thought I saw  a school of droplet skimmers racing away from a hungry lightening fish and shot off one quick shot.  I didn't take time to focus or anything for fear the rain would destroy my camera.  The risks we are willing to take the for the Friday Shootout!

Dang! No fish!  But the camera was intact.

But something struck me as I was looking at the droplets, or what I thought were droplets.  Lately I've been turning green with envy at Harold's new lens and his shots of stars in the sky.  Amazingly enough, I realized that I could spot the Little Dipper constellation in the upper right hand corner of my rain picture -- or maybe it was a star picture. 

Ursa Minor
(Latin for "Little Dippy Bear" or "Bear holding water dipper"

And since I am a student of the night sky, I knew that if Ursa Minor was in the upper right hand corner, then Ursa Major (Latin for "Big Mama Bear holding larger dipper" could not be seen because it would have been further to the east near the constellation Goldilockus Canae (Latin for "Blond Girl with dog" or "Blond Girl that Orion thinks looks like a dog" -- the scholars are still debating on this one).  However, I had accidentally captured a part of the rainsky to the west where, looking very carefully, I could find Ursa Bagmanus (Latin for "Lock up your daughters").   See below.

I love astronomy!  Particularly now that I realize you don't even need the sky to be clear but you can do it just as well in the rain. 


PS:  I'm sorry I confused people about tomorrow's shootout -- Aquariums!  I mentioned Plazas but tried to highlight NEXT week so it wouldn't be confused with THIS week but I've been known to do the wrong theme before.  

I think I have it straight, however.  This week is Aquariums, which is actually due tomorrow so by Saturday Aquariums will be last week and Plazas will be this week then, but not now.  Unless you don't read this until Saturday in which case you should ignore what I just said because Plazas will, by then, already be this week and next week will be the one year anniversary -- meaning last year, not next year -- and we can pick our favorite topic to repeat.  I think I'll pick the one I did ten weeks ago if I can only figure out what week that was by the time I start doing it.  

All I know for sure is that the post I've got scheduled after this one is Aquariums. 


  1. I think you've got it right now. But maybe not. I guess we'll just tune in tomorrow and we'll see.

  2. Love the hands on hips stance of Ursa Bagmanus!

    Funny that the sky wasn't covered with clouds when raining ... great shots.

  3. Thank goodness that is straightened out. The sky and the theme for FSO. Of course I am good at not moving my mouth when I talk to you all I have to do is move my brain waves to get to your brain waves. Who do you think taught my son ventriloquism?

  4. *sheesh* alluva soddin da kunfuooshun iz gun.



  5. paterns of nature just repeat and repeat - love this post.

  6. see, that's why we all keep coming back.

  7. You have done it again...made me laugh, smile, repeat

  8. You'll sort it out. I am fully confident. Meanwhile, thanks for the laugh. (Boy, you can't get anything by that Bonnie, can you?)

  9. Okay, what's up with the creature from the black lagoon, Big Dipper?

  10. Great post. Astronomy rocks! Thanks for mentioning my post as well :)