Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Houston, We Have A Couple Problems

While trying to plan the upcoming hike day I decided to start researching the specifics of where/when I might be able to see the moon from a specific latitude/longitude point.

We found out the hard way that it's not as easy as a google web search. The moon was supposed to be there... but we never found it.  You can read about that adventure in the Skyline Ridge report from Feb. 19, 2011.

How hard is it to find a moon?  Really.

Anyway, my web search brought me to Heavens-Above, which provides a nighttime map of the sky for any specific lat/long location (so they claim).

Based on their sky map, it looks like the moon won't be making any appearances until about 9:00pm that night.  Can you spot the moon on the S/E horizon?  Coincidently, it is located about where the '9' would be on a clock.

Honey, I'm going to be home late.

If it weren't for the cold (and all that extra effort and planning), I'd consider snow camping.

Now, if only I knew how accurately that web site accounts for the surrounding peaks.

Based on their sky maps, the moon looks pretty low on the horizon... low enough that I'm worried it may only be visible from Artist Point/Huntoon Ridge. From Heather Meadows it could very well be blocked by Panorama Dome, Artist Point Ridge and Table Mountain.

Here is the sky map for midnight.  Now can you find the moon?  (deleted bad joke about Uranus)
Any Astronomy Experts out there... feel free to weigh in on the subject matter and help me out.
Tomorrow night I'll probably break out the GPS and see if I can't answer my own question with it right here at home.

There are a couple other problems I'm dealing with as well.

First, what to do with myself during the day?  I'm contemplating doing a little exploring of a few local lowland hikes that I've been meaning to check out for some time.  They're all just dumpster dives for the most part - nothing too spectacular about them other than they're 'new to me'.  Chances are that I'll end up in snow since all the hilltops have been under snow continuously for at least a couple weeks now.

My third and final problem is that my new coat arrived.  That's not a problem, except that I ordered a Medium instead of a Large.  Rumor has it that this frequently occurs on/around people's birthdays.  Especially if they are in their early 40's.

The medium doesn't fit comfortably, so it's being returned.  Unbelievably, they still have the same style and color in the "L".  With a lot of luck it will be here for a day of testing on Saturday.

As always, let me know if you're up for some outdoor recreation on Saturday the 19th.  It's just around the corner and the forecast currently promises 'less rain and a fair amount of sun'.  Cheers!!

Happy Trails!


1 comment:

  1. Did you arrive at any conclusions?

    Looks like the weather tomorrow could be complicating as well.