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Log, Dec 12, 2008

11 people. We had an update on the progress of the Sky Theater. We are a little behind the original schedule because excessive rains have made moving trucks and construction gear in the yard slow because of deep mud. We had tentatively expected to open near the end of December but this has been pushed back to around Valentines Day. Actually, this may be an excellent fit because our opening will coincide with the 400-th year since Galileo first saw the Moons of Jupiter celebrations. We'll be getting a little extra publicity as well as some nice large NASA and Hubble pictures for decorations as part of this activity.

Last night was an unusually near pass of the Moon at absolutely Full Moon. I hope you had a chance to see it. The Moon's distance from the Earth (356566 km last night) was 49,837 km closer than its most recent "far" point (406403 km back in May) of this year. This means that the Moon [at 0.5585 degrees across] was about 1/7-th larger than it was in May. Added to this was the Moon at horizon effect which makes the Moon look huge near the horizon. It was also stunningly bright - essentially washing out any chance to view much else. But when Nature hands you a bunch of lemons - make lemonade. At least one little girl was thrilled to see the Moon up close and personal.

We had the telescope fitted out with our widest angle lens (just barely big enough to fit in the whole moon) with an adjustable Polaroid filter set at over 90% opaque. With it, the Moon was stunning without being just too bright for comfort.

-Les Coleman

Leslie Coleman
Author:
Leslie Coleman
Entry Date:
Dec 12, 2008
Published Under:
Leslie Coleman's Log
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