Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Stars, Moons 'n Meteors

Our automaton system at TWR has been having trouble switching between the the Brazilsat Portuguese feed and the local TWR Bonaire Spanish programming. So I've been setting my alarm for 3am and 5am each day (night?) and turning on a radio to check up on it. This morning, it switched to Portuguese ok at 3am, but failed to switch back to Spanish at 5am. So I hopped in the car and triggered the changeover from the shortcut on the computer screen in the automation room. Its at times like this that I'm glad I live less than a mile from the office! 
Once I got home I checked out the skies. We've had lots of clouds and rain this month, but I could actually see some stars this morning. The almost full moon, Orion and Sirius were low in the West. The Big Dipper, Arcturus and Spica, with a super brilliant Jupiter nearby, were well placed in the East.  AND, the Southern Cross was visible in the South. Made it worth getting up early.
By the way, tonight is the final one of three Super Moons. Here on Bonaire, the Moon will rise at 6:09pm and the Sun will set at one minute later at 6:10. I hope the sky will be clear so we can see it. The Moon will be exactly full at 8:05pm, Bonaire time.
And, last but not least, the Geminid meteor shower peaks tonight. The full moon will interfere with meteor gazing, but the Geminids are often super slow and bright, so it just might be worth taking a look after 22:00 or so, even with the full Moon hanging out near Gemini.

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