Saturday, August 01, 2009

Swing Shift & Star Gazing

This week I switched up the routine a little bit by working the swing shift. It was also a departure from the norm in that I was doing a job that has nothing to do with my normal job. I was working in a support role for the shipboard work that is happening on the carrier Abraham Lincoln which is at the shipyard right now. This was really fun for me because I've been wanting to get some experience working on the ship. The office I was in was on the hangar deck of the carrier and even after working out there for a week I still think it's awesome to see the ship as I'm walking out to it.

The other thing I like about swing shift is that I get done with work when the stars are out. Usually I have to be in bed by this time so I can get to work on time. So I decided to scout a little and I found this great place near my house to see some stars. It's the parking lot at Island Lake. The county park commission was nice enough to not put lights in the parking lot so the darkness is pretty profound.

I want to get a telescope but before that I need to orient myself to the night sky so I can actually point it at something interesting. During this week I have been able to identify several constellations and a galaxy. I've seen Andromeda, Pegasus, Perseus, Cassiopeia, Cygnus, Aquila, and Lyra. Inside Andromeda I saw a well known galaxy called M31. Through binoculars it looks like a large fuzzy star. Stars in Cygnus, Aquila, and Lyra form what is know as the Summer Cross. Here at about 47 degrees latitude it's almost directly overhead at midnight.

Anyway it's fun to look at stars. Soon I can buy myself a cool telescope and actually have a good look at that galaxy.


At 10:28 PM, Blogger Chelsea said...

I'm glad you get such a kick out of stargazing! That was a fascination of mine when I was younger. However, I never went and got educated about what I was looking at! Good job hot stuff!

At 5:22 AM, Blogger Miriam said...

I thought you did have a telescope.

At 9:49 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Nope, I made one for school last year but I didn't keep it. I'm in no real hurry to get one. I'll know my way around the sky by the time I have one, though.

At 3:41 AM, Blogger Miriam said...

I just checked out "A Connecticut Yankee in King arthur's Court" to bring on our trip! Hope I enjoy it as much as you did :)


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