Friday, May 20, 2016

The Asteroid Belt


Enough with the astronauts for the moment, let's get back into space... and G-d knows that I need it!

This is a computer enhanced model of the asteroid belt as it circles between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars.

I am a novice to astronomy, but I love it and did, in fact, do some research for the Johnson Space Center Oral History Project in the summer of 2000.

But, when I look at history, in general, and when I look at modern Jewish history, in particular, the misery is just grinding.

But when I think about the field of astronomy and when I go to the Chabot Space Center, just up the hill from me, and look through those amazing scopes, it expands my heart.

This is Leah and she is the first:

From the website:
Chabot's historic 8" Alvan Clark refractor telescope is the original 1883 instrument donated by founder Anthony Chabot.

In 1883, Anthony Chabot, a successful hydraulic engineer and provider of water to the City of Oakland, agreed to fund an 8-inch telescope. Mr. Chabot subsequently funded the new observatory as well, which opened in downtown Oakland on November 24th of the same year.
Leah is a classic old telescope.

It is a refractor, which means that it is the kind that Galileo looked through.

He was not the first and he did not invent the instrument.

Ship captains had them before he did.

But he was the first, in any meaningful way, to point one toward the heavens.


  1. Mike,
    Look for Mars tomorrow night and the following night when it will be in opposition. Tomorrow night you will see it following the moon across the sky, because the moon is also in opposition. If you're looking east up toward the moon it will be to its (lower) right. And yes, it will appear bright and red. I'm hoping for clear skies.

    1. P.S. This is the closest it has been to earth in some years.

    2. Jeff, thanks for the tip!

      I'll check it tonight if it's not too cloudy.