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EYES TO THE SKY: Equinox tomorrow. Nobel Laureate to address Northeast Astronomy Forum

Each year, the Passover holiday begins on the evening after the first full moon that follows the spring equinox and Easter begins on the first Sunday after the full moon that follows the Equinox.

March 19 – April 1, 2018

Where does the celestial equator intersect your horizon? No matter what your latitude is, it intersects your horizon at points due east and due west. Image courtesy EarthSky.org

Mount Washington — Spring begins tomorrow when the Sun crosses the celestial equator from the southern to the northern hemisphere; the precise moment is 12:15 p.m. EDT. Take part in the Vernal Equinox by observing sunrise due east at 6:56 a.m., sunset due west at 7:05 p.m. and the Sun at its highest point at midday, 1:05 p.m. EDT.

While the Sun’s heightening arc heralds the new season, a delicate crescent moon above the setting Sun this evening and, in the coming days, begins a new moon cycle. Find planet Venus below and to the right of the moon. With the aid of binoculars, it might be possible to see Mercury slightly above and to the right of the goddess planet today. Mercury is fast disappearing from the evening sky.

The waxing moon reaches full phase at 8:37am on Saturday the 31st. The second full moon of the month, it is the second Blue Moon of 2018. Each year, the Passover holiday begins on the evening after the first full moon that follows the spring equinox and Easter begins on the first Sunday after the full moon that follows the Equinox. This year, the two holidays are as close as possible on our calendars: Passover begins on March 31 and Easter on April 1.

Earth Hour, a worldwide movement for the protection of planet Earth, convenes for one hour a year: Wherever you are, all are invited to focus on shared reverence for the Earth and how to further efforts to care for our home planet. A call to action and sense of community is promoted by the simple act of, in unison, shutting off electric lights from 8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. this coming Saturday, the 24th. Please go to https://www.earthhour.org/ to learn more.

Nobel Prize laureate John Mather displays radio maps made by the COBE satellite. The satellite discovered variations in the universe’s background radiation, helping to refine the Big Bang theory. Photo: Roger Ressmeyer

Always a profoundly moving experience for this denizen of the cosmos, the annual Northeast Astronomy Forum, billed as the “World’s Largest Astronomy and Space Expo,” takes place April 21 and 22 at Rockland Community College in Suffern, New York. In advance of a detailed schedule, please see the illustrations, captions and Resources section to become acquainted with the work of NEAF’s headlined presenter, Nobel laureate John C. Mather, in addition to the rest of the line-up.

NEAF 2018 is April 21 & 22. Video introduction from last year’s NEAF:

Resources

NEAF program lead presenter, John Mather
http://www.achievement.org/achiever/john-c-mather-ph-d/
https://jwst.nasa.gov/meet-mather.html

Stephen Hawking obituary – https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/14/obituaries/stephen-hawking-dead.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

Opportunities to Participate

March 24, 8:30 – 9:30 p.m. EARTH HOUR – https://www.earthhour.org/

April 21 & 22 – Northeast Astronomy Forum, Suffern, NY – http://www.rocklandastronomy.com/neaf.html

April 19 & 20 – Northeast Astro-Imaging Conference, Suffern, NY – http://www.rocklandastronomy.com/neaf.html

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NATURE’S TURN: North America’s Eastern Phoebe — reliable tenant, engaging neighbor

Phoebes find the structures we build adaptable to their own need for shelter while raising young. In turn, our lives are enriched by observing their activities and hearing their “fee bee” vocalizations in our midst.

EYES TO THE SKY: Here, in the Milky Way galaxy, fireflies flash, barred owls hoot, Scorpion’s red heart beguiles

It is Summer Solstice time in Earth’s northern hemisphere. The Sun, the star at the center of our solar system, is with us most of our waking hours.

NATURE’S TURN: Town of Mount Washington’s ring of summits — two State Forest Reserves high on list of ‘Last Great Places’

The Mount Washington Forest Reserve Area is one of eight large Forest Reserves in the Commonwealth.

The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.