Tag Archives: space

Venus | The Iowa View

Venus continues to appear as a thinner crescent each night. Thin clouds dimmed the view at 6:36 last evening.

100 ISO @1/250s

100 ISO @1/250s


Smithsonian | Udvar-Hazy Center

by Jim and Melanie

When we get a chance, we enjoy visiting the National Mall in Washington, DC. Over time we’ve experienced many of the museums and monuments. The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum is one we have visited several times. It is full of thousands of artifacts documenting the history of aviation and space exploration. Did you know about their companion facility the Udvar-Hazy Center? It is located near Dulles airport west of the DC area in Chantilly, VA. It consists of two hangars with some iconic space and aviation exhibits. We finally got to visit and urge you to do the same if you have an interest in aviation and space.


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Lord of the Rings – ♄

The planets Earth and Saturn are currently aligned in the same general direction from the Sun. April 28th was the date of the most direct alignment called opposition. Saturn was in the opposite direction of the Sun as viewed from Earth. Saturn rises in the east each evening at about the same time the Sun sets. By late evening it is positioned high and is a pleasing sight in a telescope.

I am fortunate to have an account with the University of Iowa’s Robotic Telescope called Rigel. It is located at the Winer Observatory near Sonoita in southern AZ. The children of the Rigel director were in my physics classes years ago. He kindly gives me the account for my use. On the night of May 4, the Rigel telescope obtained this image for me of the planet Saturn.

How cool is that? I got to use a telescope over a thousand miles away to get this image. What if I could use a spacecraft actually orbiting Saturn to see images up close and in great detail? I would want to see some of the fine structure details of the rings. Galileo called the rings ‘ears’ when he first saw them in 1610.

Let’s go see them.