Astronomy Night Activities



Venus Square to Mars. Venus, the goddess of love, harmony and beauty is fighting with her lover Mars over their very different point of views. Venus is in Scorpio and wants deep commitment and honesty. Mars is in playful Leo and likes to play, seduce and tempt the goddess. Men are from Mars and women are from Venus and they are often very different if their perspectives, needs and desires. I always thought that book from John Gray was genius in playing on the deep archetypes we all have in us. Makemake, like Pluto, shows a red hue in the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The near-infrared spectrum is marked by the existence of the broad methane absorption bands--and methane has also been observed on Pluto. Spectral analysis of Makemake's surface shows that its methane must be present in the form of large grains that are at least one centimeter in size. In addition to methane, there appears to be large quantities of ethane and tholins as well as smaller quantities of ethylene, acetylene, and high-mass alkanes (like propane)--most likely formed as a result of the photolysis of methane by solar radiation. The tholins are thought to be the source of the red color of the visible spectrum. Even though there is some evidence for the existence of nitrogen ice on Makemake's frozen surface, at least combined with other ices, it is probably not close to the same abundance of nitrogen seen on Pluto and on Triton. Triton is a large moon of the planet Neptune that sports a retrograde orbit indicating that it is a captured object. Many astronomers think that Triton is a wandering refugee from the Kuiper Belt that was captured by the gravity of its large, gaseous planet. It is possible that eventually the doomed Triton will plunge into the immense, deep blue world that it has circled for so long as an adopted member of its family. Nitrogen accounts for more than 98 percent of the crust of both Pluto and Triton. The relative lack of nitrogen ice on Makemake hints that its supply of nitrogen has somehow been depleted over the age of our Solar System. Being a bible believing Christian I also have another view about space travel. It is hard to believe that every Christian may not agree with me. Until the cost of getting to the moon is more affordable if ever, I think the money could be spent more effectively right here on earth and we could be satisfied with singing the official state song of Vermont which is Moonlight in Vermont.