Led by Eugien, a professor of UC Berkeley- Astronomy Department, I was very delighted to join a student group to visit Lick Observatory in 9-23-2012. That night through the telescope, we had seen : Moon crater, Neptune and its moon Titan, M15 globular cluster, NGC7009(Saturn Nebular), Aquila binary star (?) and T lyrae (the red color star). Lick Observatory is located on 4200′ Mt. Hamilton in the Diablo Range, east of San Jose, California. Largest among its nine research-grade telescopes is the Shane 3-meter Reflector, active since 1960. The 3-meter is in operation every clear night of the year, used by many different astronomers from within the UC system for a variety of projects ranging from observations of our solar system to distant galaxies. UC astronomers, using the telescopes on Mt. Hamilton have contributed to virtually every area of optical and infrared astronomy.
James Lick – patron of Lick Observatory (1796 ~1876) In 1887 James Lick’s body was buried under the future site of the telescope, with a brass tablet bearing the inscription “Here lies the body of James Lick. In 1888, Lick Observatory was completed and given to the University of California as the Lick Astronomical Department. The Observatory was the first permanently staffed mountain top observatory in the world and housed the largest refracting telescope in the world at that time. Finally, the body of James Lick lies beneath the refractor telescope he funded, and his will stipulates that fresh flowers be on his grave — always.
Tonight (8/31/2012), about 10 pm, I open my house door just to check if we have a clear night sky. Amazingly, I saw a beautiful bright bluish full moon bathing inside the clouds . At that moment, I felt tonight’s moon was very unique “cool & amazingly beautiful”. It was very much different from the full moon that I used to see all the time. Somehow, I was stunned/touched by the scene and had a pulse that I want to catch that moment. Immediately, I went upstairs to look for my camera. I did take some photos. But, I have to admit, the taken scenes were not as beautiful as the one that I just saw few minutes ago. I was puzzled and wondered why tonight’s moon was so unique ??? Then I start google searching and found out : tonight’ moosn is really a special one . People called it “BLUE MOON” night .
Friday, Aug 31 / 2012
Full Moon (exact at 9:58 a.m. EDT). It is a “blue Moon ! The term refers to the second full Moon in a calendar month. Blue Moons come once every 2.7 years on average. The next is on July 31, 2015.
(The image is form “Sky & Telescope” Sep 2012 issue. It is the closest one to what I observed in 8/12/2012. Countless tracers were sketched in the dark sky glass.)
After attending a friend’s wedding Saturday( in 8/11/2012), I stayed all night until Sunday (8/12/2012) 3:30am for the 2012 Perseid Meteor Shower. I did see 6 very bright shooting stars, But, while feeling a little bit disappointed (from the information I gathered, I expected to see 100 stars/hr), I decided to use google sky map (HTC android) & my ipod Apps (Safari Sky) to look for the famous M31 galaxy. With the help from both Android & ipod APPS, I recognized several constellations near the Perseid Meteor shower area. I stared at those constellation, and suddenly, I thought something wrong with my glasses, I saw many many (countless) scattering straight traces ( light & faint but recognizable) among the constellations ( similar to the physics experiment: radiation pass cloud chamber and create the traces). ) I did not believe what I saw. So I took off my eye glasses and put it back again. But, I still saw them. I kept telling myself it must be my imagination. Today, I found some photos taken by photographer (from internet). Then , I know what I saw was real, it is the amazing Perseid Meteor Shower tracers. I was very luck to see this phenomena. The street light was quite bright. But, at the right time and the right place (look up the sky and in front of my house), I was able to see this spectacular phenomena. About that time, Jupiter and the crescent moon were slowly climbing up. I did not wait for Venus to come up. It is already 3:30am and I was tired and decide to go to bed. Anyway, I am very glad to see this 2012 Perseid Meteor Shower. While living on earth, I think this is a very interesting astronomical event. Worth to know and observe !!!
This blog site is dedicated to my beloved familes , friends , colleague or any one whom I may / may not personally meet. Together we will share our thoughts & life experiences. May we all have a joyful life journey !