Tag Archives: National Geographic

T-2 Years? The Anticipated Fizzle-Out Of The Iridium Flares – Do Not Take Them For Granted!

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

The following thoroughly depressing link was sent off – with a specific mention of the possibly extra-short future of the Iridium Flares many of us enjoy observing at night – by Kopernik member (and celebrity volunteer! – featured in a great article last month readable at pressconnects.com) George Normandin earlier this year. We’ve potentially lost 7 months already from the possible countdown with this approximate-ish late post to the CNYO site (my bad).

Iridium satellite #6 (upper) and its replacement, #51, flaring 6 seconds apart in a 21.4-second exposure. The bright object on the right is Jupiter. Arcturus is the bright star at about the 7 o’clock position. Spica is just out of view in the lower right. The satellites were moving left to right. Image by Jud McCranie.

For the record, the bbc.com article title was a little less dramatic than the also excellent nationalgeographic.com and spaceflightnow.com articles about the same.

From the article at bbc.com:

One thing the new [Iridium NEXT satellites] satellites will not be capable of doing, however, is producing Iridium “flares”. These are the flashes in the sky that result when sunlight glints off the antennas of the old spacecraft.

The new satellites do not have the same configuration, so once the original constellation is de-orbited the flashes will cease.

“I’m afraid those who’ve been tracking that phenomenon over the past 20 years have another year or two to see it,” Mr Desch told BBC News.

“As someone who’s seen a couple myself, you can imagine what a thrill it is to be the CEO of a company like this and watch your satellite go overhead. But we weren’t going to spend money just to make angular shiny things on our satellites, so that phenomenon will go away – but it’s been fun.”

For the full article: www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38613275

Iridium Flares are very easy to find once you know where – and when – to look. Predictions for your locale are easy to obtain from www.heavens-above.com/IridiumFlares.aspx.

Maine Astronomy Retreat – Email Announcement And Update From The Organizers

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

The following email came across the internets yesterday announcing updates to the Maine Astronomy Retreat, yet another excellent Star Party placed reasonably close to Central New York. For those interested, check out the email and embedded links for more information.

We are reaching out to inform you of an update about the Maine Astronomy Retreat at Medomak Retreat Center in Washington, Maine – a vacation for you and your telescope!

2015july16_Ringler1

We are pleased to announce that Babak A. Tafreshi has been added to our team of instructors. Tafreshi is the founder of The World at Night or TWAN program and a photographer for the National Geographic image collection, specialized in nightscape imaging, connecting the Earth and sky, bridging art and science. He is also a science journalist and astronomy communicator. He is a board member of Astronomers without Borders and a contributing photographer for Sky & Telescope. You can explore his photography in the links listed below:

* Personal website: http://dreamview.net
* The World at Night: http://twanight.org/tafreshi
* National Geographic: http://natgeocreative.com/photography/tafreshi
* Timelapse Motions: https://vimeo.com/btafreshi/videos

We would love if you would pass on this information to your group members or include it in your newsletter and calendar of events.

Please see our website, http://www.astronomyretreat.com, for more details, and to register. If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at 1-866-MEDOMAK.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

David Brunner
Director, Medomak
Summer Camp for Families & Retreat Center for Adults
www.medomakcamp.com
www.medomakretreatcenter.com

Chasing Ice – A James Balog Documentary At The Palace Theatre On Earth Day, April 22

The following announcement for a special documentary screening came over the TACNY listserve recently. Regardless of your views of the origins of climate change, the ongoing change to the atmosphere means increasing unpredictability for amateur astronomers practicing their craft. Along with the movie screening, a climate panel is being held featuring Dave Eichorn, one of the most reliable meteorologists ever to interpret weather patterns in CNY.

Chasing Ice

“One of the Most Beautiful Films of the Year.” Huffington Post


On Monday, April 22, Earth Day, 7:00 p.m., GreeningUSA will bring Chasing Ice (www.chasingice.com), a 75 minute documentary by James Balog, National Geographic photographer, to The Palace Theatre, 2384 James St (google map below).


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Immediately following the film a Climate Impacts and Actions in CNY panel presentation will explore the documentary’s environmental implications from a local perspective. The panel will consist of Dave Eichorn, syracuse.com meteorologist; Chris Carrick, Energy Program Manager for the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board; and Yvonne Rothenberg, Founder of the CNY chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby. Moderating the panel will be Chris Bolt, WAER news and public affairs director.

The film follows nature photographer James Balog as he documents melting glaciers in Alaska, Iceland, Greenland and Montana. Using time-lapse cameras, his videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Called the Extreme Ice Survey, Balog sets up still cameras that have been programmed to take a picture, once every hour, for three years, of the same glacier, from a fixed spot.

The scale of the glaciers, and the almost hallucinogenic clarity of the images, make the resulting footage, based on three years’ shooting, most impressive. One piece of ice we see breaking off is said to be the size of lower Manhattan.

The visuals are riveting, and they drive home the point that the film makes in voice over narration by Balog, interviews with glaciologists and climate scientists and occasional charts and graphs: Ice is melting at an alarmingly unglacial pace.

Chasing Ice has won 23 awards at film festivals around the world, including: The Environmental Media Association’s 22nd Annual BEST DOCUMENTARY AWARD.

“This is the climate change film we’ve been waiting for.” Caroline Libresco, Sundance Senior Programmer


“Stunning… Timely…. A solitary quest with global implications.” – Neil Genzlinger, NYT

Panel Presenters:

Dave Eichorn: Changes in Climate, Changes in Variability
Dave will address climate change from a meteorological perspective. How changes in the Arctic affect our climate, in particular the increased variability in our weather and the impact on CNY.

Currently Meteorologist for Syracuse.com, Dave was chief meterologist for WSYR for 20 years and has a M.S. degree in Environmental Science from SUNY ESF. While working on his master’s degree, he developed climate science courses for SUNY ESF under a NASA grant.

Chris Carrick – Climate Solutions in CNY
Chris will speak on regional efforts within Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, and Oswego Counties geared at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fostering the adoption of clean energy technologies.

Chris manages the Energy Program at the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board, a public agency. Chris is the founder and director of the Central New York Climate Change Innovation Program. C2IP provides financial and technical assistance to local municipalities to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Yvonne T. Rothenberg – Creating the Political Will for a Stable Climate
Why would a person leave a relaxed, comfortable retirement life style to take on the hard work of organizing and coordinating climate lobby groups first in Syracuse and than other cities in upstate N.Y. Yvonne will share why she felt compelled to organize for the Citizens Climate Lobby.

The Citizens Climate Lobby, www.citizensclimatelobby.org is a national non-partisan organization whose goal is to create the political will for a sustainable climate and to teach individuals how to exercise their political power.

Ticket prices: (suggested donations) At the door: Adults – $10, Seniors & Students – $5, Children 12 and under – Free. Advance sale tickets Adults only $7. For advance sale tickets go to www.greeningusa.org/chasing-ice/

Free parking in rear of Palace Theatre.

Green and energy related organizations will be staffing display tables in the lobby prior to and after the event.

For information on how to help sponsor this event contact Sam Gordon, 422.8276 ext.204, sgordon@cnyrpdb.org or Peter Wirth, 476-3396, pwirth2@verizon.net