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News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  • Looking Up: Favorite times under the sky

  • What are some of your favorite memories of the heavens above? Perhaps it is your first look at the craters of the Moon or the rings of Saturn through a small telescope, or when grandpa pointed out the Big Dipper when you were young.
    SHARE YOUR FAVORITE MEMORIES AT news@neagle.com or @TheNewsEagle1.
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  •   What are some of your favorite memories of the heavens above? Perhaps it is your first look at the craters of the Moon or the rings of Saturn through a small telescope, or when grandpa pointed out the Big Dipper when you were young.
          If you would like to share some of your favorite moments under the sky, you may send them to me for the next column, at news@neagle.com. Please include your name and town or general area where you love.
    Here are some favorite times I have had under the sky:
    • DAYLIGHT DIMMED- In May 1994 there was a very deep, partial solar eclipse. The Moon did not fully cover the Sun, leaving at maximum a very thin, extended solar crescent. With nearly 95% of the Sun covered, the bright sunlight on the landscape dimmed, making the view everywhere like looking through non-colored sunglasses.  Hundreds of crescent images of the Sun were cast on the grass, under a leafy tree.
    • BRIGHT MILKY WAY- Rarely do we think of the Milky Way Band as "bright" but so it was one night from the mounatins in Haiti, on a mission trip. It was so dark and starry, the Milky Way cast a faint light on the ground.
    • SKY ON FIRE - Magnificent displays of Northern Lights are rarely seen from Pennsylvania. Two of the best I’ve ever seen were both in the 1970’s. Emanating from the north and spread over the sky were white rays, green and red, folding curtains, and pulsating arcs.
    • THERE GOES ECHO- I was about four years old when Mom took me to the backyard and showed me the Echo Satellite moving across the starry sky. This was one of America’s first orbiting satellites.
    • COMET TALES-  Rarely do comets get so bright the public takes notice. Comet Hyakutake, in 1996, sported a bright head and a very long tail, stretching across a quarter of the northern sky. Then in 1998, Comet Hale-Bopp flowed with a long, curving tail in the western sky.
    • CRIME DRAMA- Almost like bullet holes, the planet Jupiter was temporarily pockmarked with black spots in the summer of 1994, after a comet broke up approaching the planet and smashed into Jupiter’s clouds. The spots were easily seen in only a small telescope. A sobering thought, one was thankful the comet came no where near Earth!
    • TORRENTIAL SHOWER- It was well worth venturing outside at 3 a.m., November 17, 2001. A very rare surge of the Leonid Meteor Shower was raining hundreds of blazing meteors across the sky every hour, many being brilliant and leaving lingering gray trails.
    • BRICK RED - One particularly notable lunar eclipse left the full Moon darkened in a deep red shade, evoking the Red Planet Mars.
    Page 2 of 2 -       It’s easy to go on and on. Tracing and recognizing a constellation for the first time can be memorable, as well as looking again a year later and finding the constellation has returned. Being surprised by a totally unexpected meteor, seeing the Milky Way Band under a dark sky or remembering the joy of sharing what you found out with your spouse, your child or grandchild or a friend, makes more precious times.
    Full Moon is on May 14.
    Keep looking up!
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