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    The thin waxing crescent Moon shines with Venus on Friday the 15th. . .

    Friday, June 15
    As twilight fades after sunset, look very low in the west-northwest for the thin crescent Moon under Venus. Notice how Gemini (twins Castor and Pollux) are sliding lower below the western horizon each successive evening. Cancer is in between Gemini and Leo but faint and hard to see. Leo (the Lion) is the next visible constellation in the zodiac that will soon (next few weeks) begin it's decent into the western horizon at sunset. By then, Gemini will be rising out of the eastern horizon at sunrise in the morning. The Sun will have 'appeared' to have passed through Gemini. (360 degrees in a circle. 365 days in a year. Almost exactly one degree per day so one month (zodiac sign) equals 30 days (give or take).

    Sunday, June 17
    The crescent Moon, far upper left of Venus, shines near Regulus tonight.

    Thursday, June 21
    The June solstice arrives at 6:07 a.m. EDT, marking the start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and winter in the Southern Hemisphere. This is when the Sun is at its farthest north in the sky and begins its six-month return southward. It's the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, the shortest day in the Southern. If you have a good view of the west-northwest horizon (from mid-northern latitudes), mark precisely where the Sun sets. In a few days you should be able to detect that it's again starting to set a little south of that point.
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2018 edited
    So it is Venus that has been lighting up the evening sky!
    (Leo looks like a tri-bike with aero bars to me.)

    GTB, This one makes me think of Aries the Ram

    Google doodle representing Denmark in the World Cup.

    Gooooal! (Earlier today, Denmark 1 - Peru 0)
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeJun 17th 2018
    I'm not really following the World Cup, but we've already seen Argentina humbled by Iceland, Germany humbled by Mexico, and Brazil humbled by Switzerland. Could be interesting in the later rounds if this keeps up.
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2018 edited
    If your personal vehicle weighs more than you do, put it underground...
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeJun 22nd 2018 edited
    Why Little Vehicles Will Conquer the City

    This movement was previously squashed in USA & Canada by relegating a similar type of small vehicle (see Dynasty Electric Car) to 35 MPH and lower streets and then promptly raising the speed limits on most city streets to 40 MPH or more (thank you 85th percentile). So instead of funding infrastructure for more human scale vehicles, we continue to focus on enlarging, expanding and accelerating the proliferation of high speed asphalt speedways for vehicles that consume massive resources and destroy everything in their path. It will be interesting to see what barriers will be manufactured this time.
    death  barge
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2018
    China has decent EV's selling for $5000 a pop after massive subsidies. In some cases you can't even register a gasoline vehicle in some cities.

    General Motors will start selling a tiny electric car in China this week that will cost about $5,300 after national and local electric vehicle incentives, according to GM.

    The E100, which is Baojun's first electric car, is powered by a single 39-horsepower electric motor and has a top speed of 62 miles an hour. The E100 can drive about 96 miles on a fully charged battery, according to GM (GM).
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2018 edited
    If I could convert to 650B wheels and put a basket on the front, thought this would make a great little EV:

    The full Moon comes with a Saturn sidekick on Wednesday the 27th. As always, the Moon is drawn here three times its actual apparent size, and it's positioned for a skywatcher at latitude 40° north, 90° west: near the middle of North America.

    Saturday, June 23
    The bright "star" twirling about with the Moon tonight is Jupiter. Although they look rather close together, Jupiter is currently 1,800 times farther away — and it's 40 times larger in diameter. Jupiter (magnitude –2.4, in Libra) shines in the south in twilight and starts to decline in the southwest later in the evening. It's still 42 arcseconds in equatorial diameter.

    Wednesday, June 27
    Full Moon (exact at 8:53 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time). The Moon shines only a degree or two from Saturn this evening for North America. Companions they may seem to be, but Saturn is currently 3,400 times farther away. And it's 35 times wider in true diameter. Saturn (magnitude 0.0, just above the Sagittarius Teapot) glows low in the southeast in twilight. It stands highest in the south around 1 a.m. daylight-saving time, 34° to the upper right of much brighter Mars. Appearing so close to an exactly full Moon, Saturn of course must be very close to opposition! And indeed it is. Saturn was at opposition earlier today, around 9 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. By late evening, Saturday, June 30, the Moon and Mars are arisen together, low in the east-southeast.

    Mars, (a dramatic magnitude –1.9 in Capricornus), rises only about an hour after dark now. Watch for it to come up 34° lower left of Saturn. Mars is highest in the south, in best view for telescopes, just before the first light of dawn. Mars is having widespread dust storm! Dust has enveloped much of the planet (though reports of it being "global" are exaggerated), obscuring many major dark surface features and reducing contrast for many others. There are signs that the storm is losing strength, but poor visibility of much of the surface should persist for a long time.

    Mars is brightening on its way to an unusually close opposition at the end of July. It's now 19 or 20 arcseconds wide — bigger than right at most of its oppositions! — and gibbous. It will grow to 24.3 arcseconds for the week around its closest approach on the night of July 30–31.

    Mars, now brighter than Sirius and a distinctive fiery hue, climbs above the tree line in the southeastern sky on June 10th. The planet rises late — around 11:00 PM local time in late-June — and is best observed in early dawn when it stands due south on the meridian.
    (image by Bob King)

    Next month, July 2018, the full moon will appear next to a very bright red Mars as it reaches opposition. For viewers in Africa and the Middle East, there will be a total lunar eclipse. How cool would it be to see the very bright full moon, eclipsed to a reddish hue by the earth's shadow for an hour, with a very bright Mars right next to it? Wow! It will be out of view for North America but there will be some cool images and streaming video to follow. Stay tuned.

    You can follow these three planets, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars, across the sky from west to east, one after the other. They are all relatively bright, each being so close to opposition. Be opportunistic when riding your bike and look skyward each clear night. Maybe find a hidden place with very little light pollution or a grassy park on which to lay back on. You never know if or when the June gloom will roll in and obscure your viewing. Watch as the Moon moves eastward through the zodiac night to night, passing these obviously bright planets as it does so. Let's hope for clear skies!
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2018 edited
    "I am a believer in that portion of the Declaration of American Independence in which it is set forth, as among self-evident truths, "that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Hence, I am an abolitionist."
    - William Lloyd Garrison.

    On July 4th 1854, the Anti-Slavery Society met in a small grove in Framingham, Massachusetts to protest the hypocrisy of celebrating America’s independence while participating in the practice of American Slavery. After a series of passionate speeches from noted abolitionists including Sojourner Truth and Henry David Thoreau, William Lloyd Garrison, burned a copy of the U.S. Constitution and galvanized the abolitionist movement.

    Today, our fight is against the revolving door of the criminal justice system approximately 76.6% of all released prisoners will be rearrested within 5 years of their release. Such recidivism often contributes to crime, mass incarceration, homelessness and generational poverty.

    We seek to do more than just make quality products. We want to make a difference.

    By the Fall of 2018, we will move into our new facility where we plan to hire, train, certify and provide living wage employment to more than two dozen people, including the formerly incarcerated. There, we will begin to design, build, and repair a fleet of handcrafted electric bicycles, here in America.

    Your purchases will help us to achieve that goal.

    It’s our heritage as abolitionists.

    The 1854 Cycling Company. Freedom & Power.

    On Saturday evening the 14th, try to catch the thin crescent Moon above Mercury very low in bright twilight. Binoculars help.

    Mercury (about magnitude +0.2) is visible in bright twilight very low in the west-northwest, about 16° lower right of Venus. Catch Mercury in the narrow time window between when the sky is still too bright and when Mercury sinks too low and sets.

    Venus (magnitude –4.1, in Leo) shines brightly in the west during twilight, a trace lower every day. In a telescope Venus is a gibbous disk 17 arcseconds tall and 67% sunlit.

    Jupiter (magnitude –2.3, in Libra) shines in the south-southwest in twilight and declines in the southwest later in the evening. This week it shrinks from 41 to 40 arcseconds wide.

    Saturn (magnitude +0.1, just above the Sagittarius Teapot) glows in the southeast in twilight and higher in the south by midnight. It's 34° to the upper right of much brighter Mars.

    Mars is the "star" planet of the summer! It's now a dramatic, Jupiter-bright magnitude –2.4, reddish, rising in southern Capricornus in late twilight. Mars is highest in the south, in best telescopic view, in the two hours before the first light of dawn. It's 22 arcseconds in diameter, on its way to 24.3 arcseconds around its closest approach on the night of July 30-31. (see image above: June 25, 2018)

    Watch for dramatic pairings of the Moon's slender waxing crescent with Mercury in early evening on July 14th and with Venus on the 15th.
    Sky & Telescope / Leah Tiscione

    Crescent Moon and Venus Will Bedazzle on Sunday

    Alan MacRobert July 10, 2018

    Hanging dramatically in the west during evening on Sunday, July 15th, will be a bright “star” and crescent: Venus and the Moon. The cosmic couple will be quite the eye-catcher if your sky is clear. Look for them due west as twilight fades. The best viewing will probably be from about 40 to 60 minutes after your local sunset time. Hunt for them too early, and the sky will still be too bright to display them well. Look too late, and they’ll be sinking very low on their way to setting.

    How close together the Moon and Venus will actually appear depends on where you are. Seen at dusk in the Eastern time zone, they’ll appear separated by about 2° — twice the width of your finger held at arm’s length.

    Inside the sunlit crescent, you might notice the rest of the Moon glowing dimly. What you’re seeing is called earthshine. It’s caused by the nearly full Earth in the Moon’s sky lighting up the nighttime lunar landscape – the same way the full Moon illuminates nighttime lanscapes on Earth. If you have a telescope, this is a fine time to get it out. In addition to features on the Moon, it will show that Venus has a tiny, dazzling gibbous disk — demonstrating that this planet has Moon-like phases of its own.

    Thursday, July 12
    New Moon (exact at 7:48 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time).
    Watch for very high tides around 9:00 PM and then the following very low tides around 4:30 AM the next morning. Almost the biggest of the year!

    Compass Photo Contest: Vote for Your Favorite!
    July 10, 2018

    If you have a dark enough sky, the Milky Way now forms a magnificent arch high across the eastern heavens after nightfall is complete. It runs all the way from below Cassiopeia in the north-northeast, up and across Cygnus and the Summer Triangle in the east, and down to the south behind Saturn and the spout of the Sagittarius Teapot.