Everyone had enough of the Monsoon, already? If you don't live in Phoenix, you might not understand this question. But for those of us who do live here, I think we are all waiting for the dry, golden days of Autumn.
I know I am!
Speaking of Autumn, the Equinox is just around the corner. The days are already
getting noticeably shorter, and after the 23rd, nighttime will be longer than daytime.
Some of our best stargazing nights are just around the corner, too, when the Monsoon clouds clear out. The average day of the end of the Monsoon is September 13.
Speaking of STARGAZING, it is not too early to start thinking about bookings for this Winter and Spring of 2016. We will get very busy then.
We are entering our 20th year of professional astronomy events in the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas, having entertained and enlightened literally tens of thousands of people!
Along those lines, I have placed below a fantastic image of the Earth, taken from the other side of the Moon (yes), along with a short explanation.
Our feature GeoStory in this issue concerns those strangely-shaped orange rocks in Papago Park -- something every Phoenician should know about.
This issue of our newsletter is bringing along more new design features, and over time you will notice the transition in both these messages and our website.
And, in case you don't want to go through any of the other material in this newsletter, here is a link to a randomly chosen page (by me) from my website.
THE BEST DAYS ARE AHEAD!
Image above of GemLand's Sky Jewels Stargazing Event.
Our World 4 U: On the Far Side of the Moon.
Look, and look again!
The video above is a real view of the Earth, and the Far Side of the Moon, taken from about a million miles (1.6 million km) away.
There are five points, in and near Earth's orbit around the Sun, which are kind of "gravity wells". In each of these spots, an object, whether natural (e.g. asteroids) or man-made, can just sort of "hang out".
This is because, in these cases, Earth's gravity and the Sun's gravity cancel out. They are called "Lagrange points", and the one where this picture was taken from is called "L1".
In this spot, NASA has placed a satellite named DSCOVR, which, when fully operational next month, will send back live, streaming imagery of the fully lit side of Earth.
You will be able to log on to their website and see some of this imagery. For now, they have released the above video, taken on July 16.
Occasionally, our Moon passes directly between Earth and the Sun, and this is what you are seeing here.
Note how dark the Moon seems. That is because its surface, surprisingly, on the average, has about the same reflectivity as an asphalt highway. This amazes a lot of people, because it looks so bright in the nighttime sky.
And that is because its brightness is the combined result of zillions of reflections, of sunlight, off the soil particles on its surface. Earth's brightness is actually much greater, as you can see.
Our Moon keeps the same side facing us, all of the time. No one even knew what the Far Side looked like until 1959, when the USSR sent a probe looping around it.
What you are seeing here is the "Far Side", or "Back Side", or "Other Side" of the Moon. There is no such thing as the "Dark Side", as during its orbit around Earth, ALL of its surface gets lit up, for some time, in its roughly 29 day period.
The "Dark Side" exists only in the minds, and collections, of "Pink Floyd" fans!
You can read more about it here.
Image above courtesy of NASA.
Feature GeoStory: " Full Tilt "
You'll probably not know why, unless you read this.
Read the whole story (archived)....
Forget all the holes. They are the least interesting things about these rocks in Papago Park.
You can also download and print any of our other GeoStories about Arizona and the Southwest for FREE....
Discover the Superstition Mountains:
Simply open GemLand's Map of the Superstition Mountains, and click on any name in color for scenic views and geological explanations.
You can explore an interactive map similar to our other very popular maps.
FREE MAP of the Geology of the Phoenix area:
Easy to read and understand, this page-sized map can be carried in your car, used
for school reports, or consulted to simply discover how those mountains down the street
Or you can discover
the fascinating GeoHistory of the Valley of the Sun in one of our most popular sections....
Event and Meeting Planners please take note:
We have unique, intelligent, and entertaining programs to offer to your clients
guests. There is no other tour like our "Rocks & Ruins"
adventure. Two separate programs are available.
For those moonlit evening dinners and parties, we have also added a Lunar
Program to our Sky Jewels repertoire. This is only possible for part of each month,
though, depending on the phase of the moon. Schedule your event(s) around the dates below.
All times and dates are MST (= UTC-07).
Astrology (Vedic) Today, September 10, 2015:
Sun is in Leo
Moon is in Cancer
Mercury is in Virgo
Venus is in Cancer
Mars is in Cancer
Jupiter is in Leo
Saturn is in Scorpius
Rahu is in Virgo
Ketu is in Pisces
Where are you?
Find out here.
Upcoming Best Lunar Viewing dates:
September 17 - September 30
October 17 - October 29
November 15 - November 28
December 15 - December 27
Celestial Events to watch for:
SATURN visible - into October
Full Harvest Moon - Sept 27
AUTUMNAL EQUINOX - September 23, 1:20 am MST
Full Hunters Moon - October 27
Full Beaver Moon - November 25
WINTER SOLSTICE - December 21, 9:48 pm MST
Full Cold Moon - December 25
And please remember, evenings for stargazing get taken up very
rapidly in season, even months in advance, so booking early is recommended!
Please contact us for
scheduling or for more information....
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Besides the subjects of this month's newsletter, GemLand also features:
� Some of the Phoenix area's amazing rock gardens and museums (you have to see
some of these!)
� Architecture utilizing rocks
� Hollywood Movies featuring rocks
� Recommended books
� Links to other websites that
� Geological definitions
� And even local prehistory and archaeology!
There are hundreds of pages, in English and Spanish, featuring over 150 views around
the Valley of the Sun, and Sedona, and you can send any of them to your friends as E-Postcards
If this newsletter displays strangely, and some colors are hard to see, it may be because you are using web-based email,
such as AOL, Hotmail, Gmail, or Yahoo, and it is not possible for us to override their settings.
Please try using your regular email client instead (e.g. Office or Office Express).
We are members of:
American Institute of
This newsletter and all images, except where otherwise noted:
� 2015 by Richard Allen.
All rights reserved.
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