Andromeda Galaxy - (M31) The sky is filled with not only stars but also massive groups of stars called galaxies. Our solar system in part of the Milky Way, a large spiral-shaped galaxy. In the Fall sky another large spiral galaxy - the Andromeda Galaxy can be seen by the naked eye on a dark night.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Thanksgiving Day - a traditional North American holiday to give thanks at the conclusion of the harvest season. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and on the second Monday of October in Canada.
First Thanksgiving - The earliest Thanksgiving events were held in the British Colonies, at present day Berkeley Plantation in Virginia in 1619, and at Plymouth in present day Massachusetts in 1621.
Posted by Wayne at 1:00 AM
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Aurora Borealis - (aka Northern Lights) - This phenomenon takes place throughout the year, but can only be observed against the night sky.
When the trapped magnetic field of the solar wind is favorably oriented it reconnects with that of the earth, and solar particles then enter the magnetosphere. Further magnetic reconnection accelerates the particles towards earth. The collisions in the atmosphere electronically excite atoms and molecules in the upper atmosphere. The excitation energy can be lost by light emission or collisions. Most aurorae are green and red emission from atomic oxygen. Molecular nitrogen and nitrogen ions produce some low level red and very high blue/violet aurorae.
Posted by Wayne at 10:35 AM
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Posted by Wayne at 8:53 AM
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Fall Fungi - Mushrooms are the fruit and seeds of fungi. Below the ground they have a branching web called a mycelium. A single mycelium can cover thousands of acres and be thousands of years old. These mycelium play a vital role in ecosystems for the decomposition of plant material. It contributes to the organic fraction of soil and its growth releases carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere.
Posted by Wayne at 10:19 AM
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Foxfire - the term for the bioluminescence created in the right conditions by a few species of fungi as they consume rotting wood. The luminescence is often attributed to members of the genus Armillaria, the Honey mushroom, though others are reported, and as many as 40 individual species have been identified.
Posted by Wayne at 9:04 AM
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Bobcat - (Lynx rufus) The most common wildcat in North America, the bobcat is named for its short, bobbed tail. They are medium-sized cats and are slightly smaller but similar in appearance to their cousin, the lynx. Their coats vary in color from shades of beige to brown fur with spotted or lined markings in dark brown or black.
Bobcats were once found throughout most of North America from northern Mexico to southern Canada. In the early to mid 1900s, bobcat populations in many Midwestern and eastern states of the United States were decimated due to the increased value of its fur. However, international laws began to protect the world's spotted cats in the 1970s, and populations have rebounded since then. Today, populations are stable in many northern states.
Posted by Wayne at 8:34 AM
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Noble Fir - (Abies procera) is a western North American fir, native to the Cascade Range and Coast Range mountains of extreme northwest California and western Oregon and Washington in the United States. It is a large evergreen tree typically up to 40-70 m tall and 2 m trunk diameter.
Posted by Wayne at 8:46 AM