This week in Things

I have routine event reminders in my home calendar, a remnant from the period that I actually had a calendar attached to the blog with nature-photography-related events thereon – only about half of those were carried over, and of those, most of them I don’t post about. But I retained the meteor shower data, so I can tell you that the Lyrids meteor shower is due to peak on the 21st and 22nd. ‘Peak’ is a vague thing, since they’ll be visible for many days before and after, and the actual activity can be wildly variable as well, just because that’s the nature of meteor showers. The moon will be setting in the early morning hours, leaving a dark window of a couple of hours before sunrise to make any attempts, which is when the meteors tend to be more visible anyway. Now, setting up time exposures and not capturing any satellites in the image is the real challenge anymore, but I would suggest the earlier the better, to reduce the number that can reflect the approaching sun (being at high altitudes, satellites can catch sunlight long before we see any evidence of it on Earth.) The Lyrids is near the constellation Vega, riding high to the east, so in more of a ‘dead spot’ between equatorial and polar orbit satellites, but in my experience, you might see meteors anywhere – they just tend to ‘originate’ near Vega. Whatever – give it a shot, if you have the sky conditions and can get out in the early morning.

April 22nd is Earth Day, so go eat some dirt. Or something. There are plenty of resources online with suggestions, but my own is simply to get out and enjoy nature (imagine that.) Due to The Girlfriend’s video conferencing schedule, I’ll probably be forced from the house anyway – I’ll definitely be away from the office. We’ll see what happens – I try not to make too definitive plans because the weather doesn’t like cooperating, or other things come up. It’s not like the 22nd will be the only day I get out this month.

And April 24th is the 31st anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope. In my area, it will make the briefest appearance not long after sunset, but wink out (from passing into Earth’s shadow) just after it rises above 12°, so there’s very little opportunity to see it on that date – Heaven’s Above and Stellarium can help you plot it for your area (generally, search on ‘HST’.) However, I have seen it at other times:

streak of Hubble Space Telescope passing against background stars
So that’ll keep you busy for a few days. Just tell your boss you need the whole week off – you know, as a Walkaboutian. I’ll back you up.

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