SPACE 2020! The Universe and (our home planet) EARTH

SPACE 2020! The Universe and (our home planet) EARTH 

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“Picture a bright blue ball just spinning, spinning free
Dizzy with eternity
Paint it with a skin of sky, brush in some clouds and sea
Call it home for you and me
A peaceful place, or so it looks from space
A closer look reveals the human race
Full of hope, full of grace, is the human face
But afraid we may lay our home to waste”
– Grateful Dead “Throwing Stones”

NOTE: CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL!

Meteor Showers

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January 3-4, Quadrantid meteor shower peak: A meteor shower January 1-5. The Quadrantids produce up to 40 shooting stars an hour at the peak; but in 2020, there may be up to 100 meteors an hour during the Jan. 3-4 peak. The first-quarter moon sets just after midnight, leaving dark skies for optimum viewing conditions.

April 22-23, Lyrid meteor shower peak: This meteor shower April 16-25. The Lyrids reliably produce 20 meteors an hour, sometimes with bright dust trails for several seconds. A relatively new moon will make for dark skies. Best viewing time is after midnight. The meteors radiate from the constellation Lyra but can be seen anywhere in the sky.

May 6-7, Eta Aquarid meteor shower peak: This meteor shower from April 19-May 28 produces up to 30 meteors an hour at its peak. Unfortunately, a supermoon will wash out all but the brightest meteors, though patience may be rewarded for those who seek out dark skies after midnight. The constellation Aquarius is the radiant point, but meteors are visible anywhere in the sky.

July 28-29, Delta Aquarid meteor shower peak: Produced by debris left behind by the Marsden and Kracht comets, this meteor shower produces about 20 meteors an hour July 12-Aug. 23. A second-quarter moon will wash out some of the faintest meteors. The meteors radiate from the constellation Aquarius but are visible anywhere in the sky.

August 12-13, Perseid meteor shower: If you can catch only one meteor shower in 2020, make it the Perseids, which produce up to 60 shooting stars an hour at the peak. The shower runs July 17-Aug. 24. A second-quarter moon will wash out some of the faintest meteors. The Perseids fly mainly after midnight and can be seen anywhere in the sky, though they radiate from the constellation Perseus.

October 7, Draconid meteor shower peak: The Draconids are a minor meteor shower with only about 10 shooting stars an hour; but occasionally, Draco the Dragon — the radiant point of the Draconids — breathes fire, and an outburst occurs. The shower runs October 6-10. Unlike other meteor showers, the peak viewing time is in the early evening hours. A second-quarter moon means viewing conditions should be good.

October 21-22, Orionid meteor shower peak: The Orionids run Oct 2-Nov. 7, and produce about 20 meteors an hour at the shower’s peak. Viewing is best after midnight, and a crescent moon will set before then. Produced by dust grains left behind by the comet Halley, the meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Orion but can be seen anywhere in the sky.

November 4-5, Taurid meteor shower peak: The Taurids are active for longer than any other meteor shower of the year Sept 7-Dec. 10. The Taurids produceonly about five to 10 meteors an hour. What makes this shooting star show unusual is that the meteors come from separate debris streams — dust grains left behind Asteroid 2004 TG10 and debris from Comet 2P Encke. A first-quarter moon at the shower’s peak may block out all but the brightest meteors. After midnight is the best time to look for meteors, which radiate from the constellation Taurus but can be seen anywhere in the sky.

November 17-18, Leonid meteor shower peak: This average shower, produced by dust grains from the comet Tempel-Tuttle, runs Nov. 6-30 and produces about 15 meteors an hour at its peak. It’s unpredictable, though, and produces hundreds of meteors an hour during cyclonic peaks, which occur about every 33 years. That last happened in 2001, so don’t expect a cyclonic flurry this time. The best time to watch for Leonids is after midnight, and the crescent moon will already have set, leaving dark skies. The meteors radiate from the constellation Leo but are visible anywhere in the sky.

December 13-14, Geminid meteor shower peak: The only thing the Perseids have over the Geminids is that they occur in the summer when it’s comfortable to be outside. The Geminids, which run Dec. 7-17 every year, are known to produce up to 120 multicolored meteors at their peak. Produced by debris left behind by the asteroid 3200 Phaethon, this shower is best viewed after midnight. A nearly new moon will make for excellent viewing conditions. The meteors radiate from the constellation Gemini but are visible anywhere in the sky.

December 21-22, Ursid meteor shower: This minor meteor shower runs Dec. 17-25 and produces around five to 10 meteors at the peak. Viewing conditions are best after midnight. The first-quarter moon sets just after midnight, so dark skies will enhance meteor viewing. The meteors come from the constellation Ursa Minor but can be seen anywhere in the sky.

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Full Moons, Supermoons, Lunar Events

January 10, full moon and penumbral lunar eclipse:
Native American tribes called the first full moon of the year the “Wolf Moon”. It is also called the “Old Moon” and the “Moon After Yule”. A penumbral lunar eclipse (when the moon passes through the Earth’s partial shadow, or penumbra) will occur on January 10 but won’t be visible in the United States.

February 9, full moon and Supermoon:
The first of four 2020 Supermoons (moons that appear to be larger and brighter when they get closest to Earth). Heavy snow fell at this time of year, so they called it either the “Snow Moon” or the “Hunger Moon” because hunting was difficult.

March 9, full moon and Supermoon:
The second of the four 2020 Supermoons. It heralds the approach of spring. Native American tribes called it the “Worm Moon” to mark the time of year earthworms began working their way out of the newly thawed ground. It’s also called the “Crow Moon”, the “Crust Moon”, the “Sap Moon, and the “Lenten Moon”.

April 8, full moon and Supermoon:
The third of the four 2020 Supermoons is called the “Pink Moon” because it’s the time of year when wild pink ground phlox reappeared. The first full moon after the spring equinox is also called the “Sprouting Grass Moon”, the “Growing Moon” and the “Egg Moon”. Some coastal Native American tribes called it the “Fish Moon” to mark the time of year when they swim upstream to spawn.

May 7, full moon and Supermoon:
The last of four consecutive Supermoons of 2020. Native American tribes called it the “Flower Moon”. It’s also called the “Corn Planting Moon” and the “Milk Moon”.

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Supermoon!

June 5, full moon:
Native American tribes called this the “Strawberry Moon” to signal the ripening of the sweet fruit. It is also called the “Rose Moon” and the “Honey Moon”.

July 5, full moon and penumbral lunar eclipse:
Native American tribes called it the “Buck Moon” because it’s when male deer begin growing antlers. It’s also called the “Thunder Moon” and the “Hay Moon”. And a penumbral lunar eclipse will be visible throughout most of North America and South America, the eastern Pacific Ocean and western Atlantic ocean. This type of eclipse happens when the moon passes through the Earth’s partial shadow, called a penumbra, and the moon darkens slightly.

August 3, full moon:
Native American tribes called it the “Sturgeon Moon” because the large fish found in the Great Lakes and other major lakes were easier to catch at this time of the year. It is also called the “Green Corn Moon” and the “Grain Moon”.

September 2, full moon:
Native American tribes called it the “Corn Moon” because it signaled the time to begin corn harvests.

October 1, full moon:
This year the October full moon is also a “Harvest Moon”. It always occurs closest to the September Equinox. Native American tribes called it the “Hunter’s Moon”, because it’s the time of year when the game was fat and ready to be hunted. It is also called the “Travel Moon” and the “Blood Moon”.

October 31, full moon and a “Blue Moon”:
There’s a “Blue Moon” (the second full moon in the same month) on Halloween in 2020.

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“Blue Moon you saw me standing alone, 
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own”

November 30, full moon and penumbral lunar eclipse:
It is called the “Beaver Moon” by Native American tribes who trapped and hunted beaver before the swamps and rivers froze. It’s also called the “Frosty Moon” and the “Hunter’s Moon”. November’s full moon occurs as it passes through the Earth’s partial shadow, or penumbra. During this type of eclipse the moon darkens slightly.

December 30, full moon:
Native Americans called it the “Cold Moon”. It’s also called the “Moon Before Yule” and the “Long Night’s Moon”.

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Equinoxes And Solstices

March 20, first day of Spring:
During the Vernal (Spring) Equinox, the sun shines directly on the equator and there are nearly equal amounts of day and night.

June 22, first day of Summer:
Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere when the North Pole is directly over the Tropic of Cancer.

September 22, first day of Fall:
The Autumnal Equinox occurs when the sun shines directly on the equator and there are nearly equal amounts of day and night around the world.

December 21, first day of Winter:
Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere when the South Pole is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn.

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Planetary Events

February 10, Mercury at its greatest eastern elongation: The planet is 18.2 degrees from the sun, and will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky. See the planet low in the western sky just after sunset.
March 24, Mercury at its greatest western elongation: Mercury will be at its highest point above the eastern horizon just before sunrise.
March 24, Venus at its greatest eastern elongation: Venus will make its closest approach to the sun, and will be at its highest point above the western horizon after sunset.
June 4, Mercury at its greatest eastern elongation: Mercury will again be close to the sun. Look for it low in the western sky just after sunset.
July 14, Jupiter at opposition: Jupiter is a giant planet, and when it makes its closest approach to the Earth, its face is fully illuminated by the sun. Jupiter is never brighter than at this time of year, making it an ideal time to view and photograph the planet and its moons. You’ll be able to see Jupiter all night, and a medium-size telescope should be powerful enough to reveal some of the details in the planet’s cloud zone. The moons should be visible through a good pair of binoculars.
July 20, Saturn at opposition: See Saturn’s ring and a few of its brightest moons with a medium-size or larger telescope when the planet makes its closest approach to Earth and it will be fully illuminated by the sun.
July 22, Mercury at its greatest western elongation: Mercury will be at its highest point above the horizon in the eastern sky just before sunrise.
August 13, Venus at its greatest western elongation: Venus will be at its highest point above the eastern sky horizon just before sunrise.
September 11, Neptune at opposition: Neptune will be fully illuminated by the sun, and will be brighter than at any other time of the year. You’ll need a powerful telescope to see it as more than a tiny blue dot. It will be visible all night.
October 1, Mercury at its greatest eastern elongation: Mercury will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky. Look for the planet low in the western sky just after sunset.
October 13, Mars at opposition: Mars makes its closest approach to Earth, and it will be illuminated by the sun and the planet will be brighter than at any other time of the year and will be visible all night.
October 31, Uranus at opposition: Uranus will make its closest approach to Earth on Halloween, and it will be illuminated by the sun. Brighter than at any other night of the year, and will be visible all night. If you want to see it, you’ll need a powerful telescope.
November 10, Mercury at its greatest western elongation: Mercury’s last close appearance of the year. Look for it low in the eastern sky just before sunrise.
December 21, rare conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn: These two planets appear within 7 arc minutes of each other, known as a “Great Conjunction” (last happened in 2000). They’ll be so close they will appear as one bright planet. Look to the western sky just after sunset to view it.

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“We have not inherited the earth from our fathers, we are borrowing it from our children.” ~ Native American saying

NOTE: Ripped from patch.com and re-edited.
From Seaandsky.org, NASA.gov, Space.com and Earthsky.org

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Satellites to stars, NASA information, astronomy, the Sun and the planets!

NOTE: CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL!

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The Galaxy Song by Monty Python
Whenever life gets you down, Mrs. Brown,
And things seem hard or tough,
And people are stupid, obnoxious or daft,
And you feel that you’ve had quite eno-o-o-o-o-ough,
Just remember that you’re standing on a planet that’s evolving
And revolving at 900 miles an hour.
It’s orbiting at 19 miles a second, so it’s reckoned,
The sun that is the source of all our power.
Now the sun, and you and me, and all the stars that we can see,
Are moving at a million miles a day,
In the outer spiral arm, at 40, 000 miles an hour,
Of a galaxy we call the Milky Way.
Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars;
It’s a hundred thousand light-years side to side;
It bulges in the middle sixteen thousand light-years thick,
But out by us it’s just three thousand light-years wide.
We’re thirty thousand light-years from Galactic Central Point,
We go ’round every two hundred million years;
And our galaxy itself is one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe.

apolo

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Monty Python’s “Spamalot” and “A Midsummer Night” at the Hollywood Bowl

Monty Python’s “Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

Saturday night performance at the Hollywood Bowl on a beautiful, warm, summer night in August! And what a great show! The celebrity cast was awesome! It was so much fun!

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – A Beautiful and Warm Summer Night!

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

Picnic on the bench:

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl – No ham, jam or spam. (there was bacon)

On the Menu: steak & bacon sandwich, potato chips, celery, carrots, cucumber, dill pickle, pineapple juice, Heineken, and chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

NOTE: Our bench seats were in section K2, which is high up and way off to one side. The wood benches are really uncomfortable, even with seat cushions. I prefer the Box Seats!

FINGER OF SHAME! This couple insisted on using bench space for their bag! And when asked if they would make more room, they refused and copped an attitude! This is a picture of their shame after being TOTAL A**HOLES in a fun place!

Look at their facial expression and body language!

FINGER OF SHAME

FINGER OF SHAME! – They know they’re being Total A**holes!

Well the show must go on! And the a*ssholes were ignored.

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl - Sunset!

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – Sunset!

It was great from the opening national anthem, when the orchestra began with “Hail Brittania” before being interrupted and playing the Star Spangled Banner, to the “England” introduction by Eric Idle as The Historian, and the opening number celebrating Finland with the Fish Slapping Dance!

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

The Historian: “I SAID ENGLAND!”

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – “What happens in Camelot, stays in Camelot!”

Loosely based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail there were great bits from the film: “He must be a king”, debating the airspeed of the European swallow, taunting by the French, “large tracts of land” and storming the castle, the Trojan Rabbit, the Ballad of Sir Robin, the Knights who say Nee, Tim the Enchanter, the Vorpal Bunny and of course Camelot!

Warwick Davis gave a fantastic performance as Patsy, King Arthur’s squire complete with coconut shells and amazing facial expressions! He is such a gifted actor.

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

Tom Deckman was hilarious as Not Dead Fred, Prince Herbert and the French Guard. Merle Dandridge was dazzling as the Lady of the Lake and her musical numbers were mesmerizing!

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

Kevin Chamberlin, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Rick Holmes and Christian Slater were just terrific as Arthur’s Knights (and the many other minor roles they alternately played). And Craig Robinson was a very entertaining King Arthur, smiling and “tap dancing” his way through the whole thing.

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – King Arthur & his Knights on a Quest for the Holy Grail

There were wonderfully entertaining musical numbers with inspired dance and fun choreography. And a number of jokes were tailored to the Hollywood Bowl audience including a jab at “overpriced dinner in the Pool Circle” and a little “Uptown Funk”.

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – “The Ballad of Sir Robin” on the big video screen

Wonderful performances by the entire cast! You could tell they were having a great time performing. I was really impressed by how great they all were!

And big kudos to the Hollywood Bowl for their live video on the big screens, as well as the costumes, sets, sound, lighting and projections which really make the musical productions special.

Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

The Grand Finale with the entire cast and chorus was an audience sing along to Eric Idle’s

“Always Look On The Bright Side of Life”

Some things in life are bad…They can really make you mad.
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you’re chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble, give a whistle,
And this’ll help things turn out for the best……….
And, always look on the bright side of life…(Whistle)

Always look on the light side of life…(Whistle)

If life seems jolly rotten, there’s something you’ve forgotten!
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing!
When you’re feeling in the dumps don’t be silly chumps,
Just purse your lips and whistle, that’s the thing.
And…always look on the bright side of life! (Whistle)

Come on. Always look on the right side of life! (Whistle)

For life is quite absurd and death’s the final word.
You must always face the curtain with a bow.
Forget about your sin, give the audience a grin!
Enjoy it! It’s your last chance anyhow.

So always look on the bright side of death. (Whistle) 

Just before you draw your terminal breath. (Whistle)

Life’s a piece of shit, when you look at it.
Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true.
You’ll see its all a show, keep ’em laughin’ as you go,
Just remember that the last laugh is on you!

And…Always look on the bright side of life…(Whistle) Always look on the right side of life…

I mean – what have you got to lose? You know, you come from nothin’.

You’re going back to nothing. What have you lost? Nothing.

Always look on the right side of life…

Nothing will come from nothing ya know what they say?
Cheer up ya old bugga c’mon give us a grin! There ya go, see!

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – Finale sing along “Always Look On The Bright Side of Life”

Everyone knows the words! Whistle and sing along! A good time was had by all! The full Blue Moon was shining brightly overhead as the large crowd exited the Bowl at 10:30pm. It was packed and we were on the far side, so I sat and waited for the audience to disperse a little and then cut through the seats directly to the exit. I went right when I should have gone left and ended up half-stepping down the hill with the crowd to the escalator and made it back to the car in about 15 minutes.

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – Full Blue Moon over the departing audience

It was warm and humid all night, so by the time we got back to our parking space I was really looking forward to going home and taking a shower. (and yes, my shower was really refreshing later after midnight…)

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

They stacked parked the cars (unnecessarily) for this performance, so it required a little maneuvering to exit the lot. Traffic is always tough after a full house, but we were able to get back to the freeway and headed home in a reasonable amount of time without too much trouble. A wonderful evening, a nice picnic and a great show. Huzzah!


And the week before we went to

“A Midsummer Night” at the Hollywood Bowl

Tuesday night and we had great Box Seats with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra playing Mendelssohn on a warm summer night in July!

Hollywood Bowl

Hollywood Bowl – Midsummer Night’s Dream with Dudamel & the Los Angeles Philharmonic

Terrible traffic on the 101 freeway from the San Fernando Valley to Hollywood. The price of Parking at the Hollywood Bowl has increased $2 this year from $18 to $20 per car.

TIP: GO EARLY! Traffic is always unpredictable, but you can bet it will take at least 20 minutes to get past the light coming off the 101 freeway at Cahuenga and Highland. Provide extra travel time for walking uphill, bag check, ticket turn stalls, refreshments, restrooms and managing your picnic dinner.

NOTE: It is really bad form to arrive 5 minutes AFTER the performance begins and then start your meal! Finish eating before the Star Spangled Banner (snacks and beverages are acceptable during, but avoid any packaging that makes noise. Wait for intermission if you need to have that dessert! And please don’t set up your picnic blanket in front of the restrooms (seriously, they were sitting on the concrete in front of the restroom doors!).

Midsummer Night's Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

Midsummer Night's Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

Dinner in the Box Seats is great because they provide removable folding tables, trash service and if you choose, expensive catered food delivered directly to your Box.

We ordered from Amer’s Mediterranean restaurant in Encino and picked up our “to go” food on the way. They recently changed ownership again, and the menu changed too. We also packed in our own beverages (advisable at events when they’re permitted) and also brought dessert and ice. The only refreshments we bought were a couple bad cups of coffee at intermission.

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl - Middle Eastern food: the wrong order!

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl – Middle Eastern: the wrong order!

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl - Cheesecake for dessert!

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl – Cheesecake for dessert!

On the Menu: Middle eastern food, it was supposed to be an “Amer’s Special” shwarma meat with hummus, tabouli, rice, falafel and pita bread. They screwed up the order. I hate beets. They gave us a “mixed grill” with chicken and ground beef kebabs. And they forgot the rice and falafel. At least there was good cheesecake for dessert.

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Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

The first act was Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor with an exceptional performance by Gil Shaham on violin. The second act was “Midsummer Night’s Dream” accompanied by dramatic Shakespearean readings by Bryce Dallas Howard, and guest vocal performances by Deanna Breiwick and Jennifer Holloway with the Women of Los Angeles Master Chorale. It was beautiful.

Hollywood Bowl

Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

The lighting and inspired projections enhanced the wonderful musical performance. The first act was better than the second, and I thought it was a little weird to hear the wedding march played as a classical piece in concert. There was also a lot of noticeable cricket noise during the quiet parts of the show, which I found distracting during the second act.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show! What’s not to like about Tuesday night at the Bowl with Dudamel and the LA Phil? It was a real good time.

Our box was positioned close to the exit, so we were out of there fast. We quickly traveled the long walk to the car and made a fast getaway from the parking lot and onto the 101 freeway home.

The Hollywood Bowl is a great venue! And once you know the “procedure” and tricks to traffic, parking and picnicking it’s a very pleasant experience. I’m looking forward to seeing more shows at the Bowl this summer.

Hollywood Bowl - Parking Lot after the show

Hollywood Bowl – Parking Lot after the show

All Photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel (except the Cast Press Photos)

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