Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sky Gazing Part 2

All right...Back out tonight, gazing up at the full Moon and Jupiter, with the little blue blur that is Uranus. I could not stand it - I went and got my camera...which is a fairly nice digital Cannon Zoom...but nothing spectacular per se. So my first shot was just a regular picture, no zoom, of the Moon and Jupiter....
The moon is in the extreme upper right hand corner.

The little blur in the extreme lower left hand corner is Jupiter (and Uranus...but the camera wasn't up to catching that. *sigh*)

The next shot is a zoom at maximum setting of the moon...fairly nice for a basic camera to pull off....

So, next I zoomed in on Jupiter - and the camera promptly had the equivalent of a mechanical nervous zoomed in, tried to focus. Lost the focus...backed up...tried to focus. Didn't know it could DO that...So I patiently let it widget and zoom...and finally hit the button before it lost the little blur up there again. That was this shot:

Fuzzy, but its there...thats Jupiter!

I then lay down flat on my back, camera at maximum zoom, arm braced on the bumper of my car, held my breath - seriously - and waited for the camera to settle one last time out on it's extreme focus. And that's what the last shot here is - Jupiter, seen through the lens of my very ordinary little camera, doing the best it could do.

It simply could not pick up the faint bluish blur of Uranus. The focus was too diffuse by then. But having watched the two planets in the sky for days now, I can clearly see both of them, particularly early in the evening when they have been at their brightest.

So not too shabby for a basic little camera, with no bells and whistles, no tripod and no telescope. What a lovely evening...I doubt I shall see these two giants of the heavens again like this in my life time, so I will continue to observe their journey across the sky as long as they are visible.

What grace has been given to me - I am blessed!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Seen With the Naked Eye, Tonight!

I have been watching the approach of a very bright object in the sky for a number of days now and of course, it is Jupiter...closest it's been to the earth in 47 years. However, whats been bugging me to death is that there has been this faint blur of an object with it. (Note: this is with the Mark 1 eyeball - I don't have access to a telescope.) One of Jupiter's moons maybe? Or maybe I need my eyes checked? Found out I am not losing either my mind, or my eyesight, or imagining things! There really is a secondary object there - its Uranus, also a gas giant, and now visible (and please can the inevitable jokes - I am really excited about the astronomy here!!) at it's closest conjunction with Jupiter! I really am seeing it! Ok, I'm a nerd, but this is great!
Happy sky gazing everyone!

Oh, and the picture of Jupiter here is taken from the Hubble and the visible object with it here is one of the famous four moons - Ganymede!

And this is a shot of Uranus with the extreme side ways axial tilt it has - it also has rings like Saturn, but they are not visible here.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11, 2001 - 2010 Nine years.

Amidst the politics and hate and propaganda and rhetoric that are being flung everywhere today, let us remember the lives that were lost, and the lives that were saved and the heroes and sheroes of all races and faiths of that fateful day 9 years ago...
Let us remember.....and be better than hate.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Over due update, that some of you have heard...Back to School at Last!....

Finally, finally, finally!
Am back in school, as a graduate student now, going for my masters in Marriage and Family Therapy! This took some doing this time.... I graduated Converse with a 3.58 which meant I could apply straight for grad school at Converse for the MFT program. the process of applying, I had to submit transcripts. The system applied my Limestone grades from 26 freaking years ago and in doing so, dropped my GPA to below a 3.0. Which meant I had to take the MAT or the GRE to apply to Grad school. Appeal to drop this requirement denied by the Dean. MAT available date was July 28th. Hence I was sidelined all summer. (Grumpily, I might add...)
So I took the MAT (Miller Analogy Test) and THEN we were in a OMG horse race to see if they would get the scores to the school in time before the graduate school committee met Aug. 12th to review applications. Much stress, chewing of fingernails, and many phone calls. (not to mention I had NO clue how I did on the test - its not the kind of test you study for and I walked out feeling like my brains had turned to oatmeal...) So the day before the committee met, I called the school yet again and of course my scores weren't there. *headdeskthud* The lovely lady on the other end of the phone asked me if I had gotten my copy of the scores yet, and I said, no, I hadn't - she gave me the fax number for her office and told me to go check my mail one more time - if the scores were in on my end, fax them to her and she would see that my advisor got them in time for the meeting. Off to the post office I ran! And the scores had arrived...I faxed them right then and there!
My advisor called me the day after the meeting and told me I had gotten in, and when could I meet with her! YAY! A few more bated breath moments waiting on financial aid to go through at the last minute - and you know, it's not like this last minute crap was me procrastinating! Arrgh! - and finally, I was in, signed up for classes!
Two further points of note - when I got my admittance letter, I saw that they had managed to jerk my chain one last time by admitting me "provisionally under academic probation due to my low GPA..." which means I have to maintain above a B+ my first 12 semester hours etc etc. CRAP! I'm not worried about my grades - I am perfectly capable of a 4.0 in this program! Its just the insult to injury thing, ya know? The other interesting thing is my MAT score - I scored a 93 on the bloody thing - 2 points shy of qualifying for Mensa!!!! 0.0 Who knew? I was shocked! One of my teachers said I ought to go back and try again, but I don't think so...I could just see me bombing it next time because of nerves! Besides they want me to pay for the Mensa membership, and I need the money for cheese sandwiches, ya know? But it was still cool to score that high! I had no idea!
I am taking Family Systems 1, Child Psychopathology, Ethics and DSMIV-TR for my first semester....more about that as I get into them! Boy, am I glad to be back on campus!
Will update as life goes on!