Tag Archives: Pluto

The Sad State Of New Hampshire Education.

by Anura Guruge



Not the end of the world, but it makes you think.

The above graphic tells it all.

My daughter found it hilarious in that she is NO stranger to astronomy — which is why she picked the elective, knowing that she can breeze through.

Yes, being my daughter she is, of course, atypical. Not too many teenagers that can claim that they have a book on Dwarf Planets with their name and eyes on the cover.

I have had ‘this’ discussions with Superintendents and principals before. You do not have to be a subject matter expert to teach a class in New Hampshire. But, when you get to Grade 11 — and stuff like planets and constellations is not that hard.

Funny this. I wrote that “Dwarf Planet” book when Devanee was taught, in 2010, that Pluto was a planet, when it had ceased to be so in 2006.

Never mind. Just makes you think.


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by Anura Guruge

2017 Perseids Meteor Shower, Over New England, As Usual Will Peak Around August 11 – 13.

by Anura Guruge


Perseids Meteor Shower over New Hampshire New England


The Perseids Meteor Shower happens each and every year, without fail, in ‘mid-August’. This is because at that time the Earth crosses the path of the repeatedly left behind debris from the periodic comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle — which orbits the Sun with a 133.28 year orbital period. It was discovered in 1862 BUT may have been orbiting the Sun long before that. It was last seen from Earth in 1992. The next time around be in 2126.

It is difficult to predict how good (i.e., spectacular) it will be in a given year. In 2016 they said it would be huge — but it didn’t quite live up to the billing though I did see a few. The weather might not cooperate this year — though it is a bit early to tell. Rain is predicted for August 11, though this could change. There will be some moon BUT that should not be an issue.

109P/Swift-Tuttle has an perihelion distance of 0.96 AU (i.e., just inside Earth’s orbit) and an aphelion of 51.2 AU — which takes it past Pluto.

The name of the Meteor Shower, i.e., Perseids, comes from the constellation Perseus — where the meteors appear to originate. See image above.


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by Anura Guruge

Percival Lowell, The ORIGINAL ‘Mr. Planet X’ & Pluto’s Godfather Was Born Today, 162-Years Ago; March 13, 1855.

by Anura Guruge


The Lowell Observatory, in Flagstaff, Arizona, from which Pluto was discovered was founded by Percival 14-years ahead of the discovery.

He was the original ‘Mr. Planet X‘ who was convinced that there was a 9th planet beyond Neptune.

He also believed that there had been Martians that dug an extensive network of canals on Mars — the Martian Canals!


Click the image to ENLARGE
and read here.coverjpg


As with the discoveries of Pluto and Uranus I talk about Percival Lowell, at length in my 2011 paperback & e-book Devanee’s Book of Dwarf Planets (which is definitely worth looking at (even if I say so myself)). 



pluto4


Map of the Martian canals.

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by Anura Guruge

Bright ‘Star’, In The South, Over New Hampshire, Late Nov./Early Dec. 2016 Is Venus — Mars Is Nearby Too.

by Anura Guruge


nightskydsfsf

Click to ENLARGE.


 

Base sky map, as ever, is from: neave.com/planetarium/


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by Anura Guruge

Moon, Mars, Venus & Saturn Over New Hampshire On Saturday & Sunday, November 5 & 6, 2016.

by Anura Guruge


nov5conjunction

Click to ENLARGE. Base map from: neave.com/planetarium/


Around 6:20 pm, should be best. Venus and Saturn will drop below New Hampshire tree line by 7:40.

Pluto is too small/dim to see naked eye!


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by Anura Guruge

Why I Despair So About The Schools Around Here.

by Anura Guruge


This was an actual sheet from Grade 5 ‘Science’ that
Teischan (10) brought home from Alton Central School (ACS),
Alton, New Hampshire this week.

I normally don’t say anything about ‘slip-ups’ other than maybe draw
Teischan’s attention to it … and say “this is not exactly right”.

But, this was BEYOND the pale.


teischanlbs10232016

Click to ENLARGE and hopefully stare at in HORROR.


There are so many things wrong with this at SO many levels.

First and foremost, EVERY SINGLE answer written down by my Teischan is wrong!

Yes, every SINGLE answer is WRONG.

And she gets a “SMILEY” face?

I wanted to cry.

No comments? No corrections?

That is what got my goat. EVERY SINGLE answer is wrong!


No it is NOT her multiplication.

She only got ONE of those wrong and it is so blatant that a semi-proficient 4th grader would see it.

So now we have ALL the ANSWERS are wrong PLUS one multiplication is wrong.


There is an asterisk (*) next to ‘Pluto‘. Can you see that?

What does that asterisk (*) pertain to?

The title says “What is your weight on each planet?

Well, ‘Pluto’ is NOT a planet though ACS has historically had issues coming to terms with that. See this … IF you are interest. But, I am willing to concede that that is probably what the asterisk (*) was meant to be.

But the second line says “Outer Space”. “Outer Space” is NOT a planet! There is NO asterisk (*) against it.


Yes, one of my many faults is that I am a terrible pedant. I put a lot of stock in accuracy.

I am sure that I have read that you should never give kids printed statements that are factually incorrect …

But that is minor in the scheme of this.

Yes, this upset me.

Yes, of course, I am fully aware that to err is human and erring is something that I do daily. But, I expect a little diligence from my teachers.

NO, I rarely criticize teachers. This is probably the first time in 5 years! Yes, I cut school administrators no slack, BUT I try not to criticize teachers.

But, this incident aggrieves me on another front. This science teacher is one of a triumvirate that unilaterally decided that ACS Grade 5 should not have ANY math or science homework. Just 4 days ago, I told them, to their face, that MAYBE they decided on that because that meant less things for them to MARK.

Well, I guess ‘MARKING’ is not their strong suit. I guess I should just SMILE. Draw a BIG SMILEY face.

And for the record. I teach. I have taught. My mother was a teacher. My father was a teacher. Two of my aunties were teachers. Our name, ‘Guruge’, literally means: ‘from the house of the teacher’. So I kind of know a little about this and definitely have skin in the game.


Let me again STRESS.

I would NOT have said ANYTHING about this sheet if there were ONLY three or four things wrong on it.

But when there are fourteen (14) mistakes on it I feel the need to vent.

P.S., Teischan has NO IDEA what ‘lb’ stands for!


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by Anura Guruge

2016 Annual Perseids Meteor Shower, August 11 – 12, Expected To Be BIG — 200/Meteors/Hour.

by Anura Guruge


Perseids on August 12, 2007 from NASA.


Perseids Meteor Shower over New Hampshire New England


The Perseids Meteor Shower happens each and every year, without fail, in ‘mid-August’. This is because at that time the Earth crosses the path of the repeatedly left behind debris from the periodic comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle — which orbits the Sun with a 133.28 year orbital period. It was discovered in 1862 BUT may have been orbiting the Sun long before that. It was last seen from Earth in 1992. The next time around be in 2126.

109P/Swift-Tuttle has an perihelion distance of 0.96 AU (i.e., just inside Earth’s orbit) and an aphelion of 51.2 AU — which takes it past Pluto.

The name of the Meteor Shower, i.e., Perseids, comes from the constellation Perseus — where the meteors appear to originate. See image above.


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by Anura Guruge

CNN & Others WRONG. There Is NO New Dwarf Planet, viz. 2015 RR245.

by Anura Guruge


Click here for the CNN original from July 12, 2016.

rr245

Click to ENLARGE and read snippet here. Use link above to access the original.


rr245orbit

Another view of 2015 RR245’s amazingly distant orbit around the Sun from my favorite JPL orbit tracker. You can see Pluto, Neptune, Uranus etc. — as dots — for reference. Click to ENLARGE. Copy and paste this link “http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=2015%20RR245;old=0;orb=1;cov=0;log=0;cad=0#orb” into FireFox (not Chrome). Does not work with Chrome!


2015 RR245 (which known as a temporary designation (and indicates WHEN in 2015 it was discovered)) is indeed small, i.e., less than 1/3rd the size of Pluto, and amazingly far away. BUT that does NOT automatically make it into a Dwarf Planet.

CoverJPGI do know a fair amount about Dwarf Planets. I have written a book about them.

As of today, July 13, 2016, there are but five (5), and only five (5), dwarf planets. They are: Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake and Eris. Period. Full stop. Just 5. Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake and Eris.

CNN cannot designate a Solar System body a Dwarf Planet.

Neither can any astronomer.

For that matter neither can NASA or its European equivalent, ESA!

That a Solar System body is a Dwarf Planet can ONLY be designated by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). That is it.

Until the IAU says it is a Dwarf it is NOT a dwarf. Simple as that.

The last time the IAU designated a Solar System body a Dwarf was on September 17, 2008. See below. That was Haumea. They have kept their ‘powder dry’ since then!

So nobody but nobody can jump the gun.

Until the IAU says so, 2015 RR245 is NOT a Dwarf Planet.

Got that?


dwarfplanets111111aaadsad

Click to ENLARGE and read here. From MY book. Click on cover image above.


dwarfplanetsdistancessasafdafd

Click to ENLARGE and read here. From MY book. Click on cover image above.


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by Anura Guruge

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn & Jupiter Over New Hampshire, Wednesday, January 27, 2016.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.

From “Neave Planetarium“.

jan272016ast1
jan272016ast2


A rather rare treat. 5 major planets, in conjunction — in nearly a straight line (clearly illustrating the nearly flat orbital plane, the ‘ecliptic’) — across the morning sky, Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter (in that order, left to right, South to Southwest).

Pluto is right below Mercury but not visible to the naked eye. The Moon, fairly full and bright, will be just to the right of Jupiter.

Trees will again be a problem for us in New Hampshire. Mercury could be in the tree line.

The planets are RISING from the South. Mercury, the last to rise, only comes over the horizon (but definitely in the trees) at 5:47 am Eastern. That is why I am suggesting around 6:30 am.

They keep on rising, BUT so does the Sun! Sunrise around 7:15. That will end the show.


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by Anura Guruge

The Asteroid Named After David Bowie, 342843 Davidbowie.

by Anura Guruge


davidbowieasteroidwiki

From Wikipedia. Click to ENLARGE and read here. Use link below to access Wikipedia original.

Click here to to access Wikipedia original.


davidbowieasteroid

Click to ENLARGE and enjoy. From ‘JPL Small-Body Database Browser’ (at ssd.jpl.nasa.gov).


It is a Main-Belt Asteroid and as such is always outside the orbit of Mars.

The 342843 is a sequence number, in that it is the 342,843rd confirmed ‘Minor Planet’ to have been discovered, Ceres (now a Dwarf Planet) having the honor of being the 1st, i.e., 1 Ceres. Pluto now that it is a dwarf is numbered 134340.

The name is optional and is initially put forward by the discoverer of the asteroid.

As of today 701,660 ‘Minor Planets’ have been catalogued as having been discovered. 19,712 of them, just a mere 2%, are named. Here is the list. So to have an asteroid named after you is, of course, special, BUT not that exclusive.

The ‘Beatles’ collectively and individually have asteroids named after them, viz. 8749 Beatles, 4147 Lennon, 4148 McCartney, 4149 Harrison & 4150 Starr. Some of the others include Carlos Santana, Frank Zappa, Eric Clapton, Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Mike Oldfield, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Bee Gees, Buddy Holly etc. etc. Here is a list.

So David, as is due, has been honored as a ‘spaceman’. 


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by Anura Guruge