Friday, July 31, 2015

Timelapse Video of the Sun from NASA

My dad alerted me to this awesome (in the original sense of the word) time lapse video of the Sun, made up of images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite.  The SDO celebrated its 5th anniversary this past February.
The video is made up from individual frames captured at 8 hour intervals, beginning in June 2010 and finishing February 8, 2015. The different colors represent the various wavelengths (sometimes blended, sometimes alone) in which SDO observes the sun.  You can go to YouTube and see it bigger.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Busy Day at CIEE

It was a full day, today, for the CIEE high school students here on Bonaire. They spent the morning snorkeling in the amazingly calm and clear waters on the reef at Sorobon. They tried their hand at windsurfing during the afternoon.

I caught up their tireless leaders, Cinde Wirth and Bud Gillan, (pictured on the stairs) and the full-of-energy students this evening at "1000 steps." Bud said that it wasn't easy to keep the kids
out of the water, but if one has abundant curiosity, there is always something to explore, even from the shore. There were a number of turtles hanging out in like one foot of water!

Mangazina di Rei

One of our son's friends from school recently stopped by the TWR office here on Bonaire.  After graduating from HAVO, our son, Richard, continued his studies in the USA while Izaïn Mercera went to the Netherlands.  Richard is working in New Jersey, in the USA, but Izaïn is back on Bonaire and involved with the Mangazina de Rei cultural park and learning center, located just east of Rincon.

Sandra and I last visited the Mangazina de Rei back in 2006.  It looks like lots has been happening since then.   Some things Izaïn mentioned include internships, leadership development and cultural education for local children and youth.  It sounds like many of the "ansianonan" are being given a great opportunity to pass on the cultural heritage and oral traditions of Bonaire to the next generations.

There is also lots going on for visitors to the island, including cultural discovery tours at 9, 10, 11, 2 and 3 o'clock Monday through Friday.  Work is also progressing on an all new exhibition about the history and heritage of Rincon, due to open in September.

If you are on the island right now, there is a Cultural Market at the Mangazina di Rei this Saturday from 8am to 1pm.  Entrance is free.  Besides great local foods and beverages, a highlight this month will be a presentation, at 10am, about traditional Bonaire architecture by one of the oldest local construction workers, Sr."Cola" St. Jago.  There are some wonderful examples of early Bonarian construction methods on the Mangazina de Rei grounds.  And last but not least, he local band, Kariño, will be performing from 11 to 1.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Moon and Planets

The Moon joined Venus and Jupiter tonight.  Venus is above the Moon.  Jupiter is to the lower right.  You can see the star Regulus to the upper right of Venus.

There is a comet out there too, between Jupiter and the horizon, but there was no chance of seeing it tonight.  I did catch it in an image shot from our driveway the other night.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Kibrahacha Surprise

I saw a few Kibrahacha trees in bloom yesterday on my afternoon bike ride.  The still looked good today too.  It was just a handful of trees in northern Sabadeco, and only small parts of each tree.  We're still waiting for a good heavy rain that will make all the trees pop.

 It turns out that I wasn't the only one checking out the trees.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Ostracod Party

Bud Gillan and the CIEE held an Ostracod watching session last night at the Oil Slick Leap dive site here on Bonaire. The group also encountered a swarm of Moon Jellies, and then got out of the water pronto when box jellies showed up.

This week is CIEE Bonaire's first ever session for High School students.

There were loads of people in the water, and I think everybody enjoyed themselves immensely. By the way, the 12th annual "Jelly Jamboree" is coming up Thursday night, downtown at Carl's.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Zooming In on our Intrepid Interns

I was recently experimenting with Photoshop and created a short video clip from a wide angle (40mm lens) shot of the TWR - Bonaire transmitter site.  This clip goes from a full frame view of the transmitter building and towers to an actual pixel sized crop of just Schylar (top) and Elizabeth (bottom) climbing the tower.

Now that I'm watching this video, especially the 720p version, I'm inspired to try the same thing on some wide field astro photos.  Like zooming from a wide angle shot of the Milky Way, all the way in to some specific feature like the "Coat Hanger" asterism, for example.  It has been very hazy and cloudy so far this summer, so this way i can recycle some of my old images.  :)

Venus and Jupiter Planet-gazing

    We held a planet gazing session at the TWR office/studios here on Bonaire on June 30, when Jupiter and Venus were super close together in the evening sky. The skies were pretty hazy and cloudy, but I think most people got at least a glimpse of the planetary pair.

    I set up a small scope in hopes of taking a few planet-pair pictures, but it ended up being too cloudy and hazy.

    Julius Wong Loi Sing brought a fun group from the Dutch Church downtown.  They supplied snacks, beverages and music.

Verlare Vacation

    Former TWR missionary Jim Verlare recently visited Bonaire while on vacation with his family.  During their stay on the island, they volunteered some of their time to paint a large section of the transmitter building roof with a special hi tech paint. (that was donated by other volunteers!)

    Jim and the "kids" were super thorough in power-washing the roof to prep. for the paint. That should really help this "guaranteed for 50 years" paint do its job.

    Maybe we should have a contest to see who can correctly guess how long this "50 year" paint will last in the sun, wind and salt here on Bonaire!

    Thanks Jim and family, for your contribution to the TWR ministry.