On Wedding Anniversaries, Midsummer, and the Shire

Today is Audrey and my wedding anniversary! Yea, us!

It is also Midsummer, the Summer Solstice, for those that mark such things, and

By Shire Reckoning: it should be noted that today is:

  • Sterday, Midyear’s Day
  • On this day in 1419 SR, the wedding of King Elessar and Arwen.
  • On this day in 1420 SR, Frodo resigns the office of Mayor, and Will Whitfoot is restored.
  • On this day in 1482 SR, the death of Mistress Rose, the wife of Master Samwise Gamgee.

Solstice at Newgrange

Happy Yule, Y’all
via APOD: 2008 December 20.

Solstice at Newgrange 

Solstice at Newgrange

“Tomorrow’s solstice marks the southernmost point of the Sun’s annual motion through planet Earth’s sky and the astronomical beginning of winter in the north. In celebration of the northern winter solstice and the International Year of Astronomy 2009, you can watch a live webcast of the the solstice sunrise from the megalithic tomb of Newgrange, in County Meath, Ireland. Newgrange dates to 5,000 years ago, much older than Stonehenge, but also with accurate alignments to the solstice Sun. In this view from within the burial mound’s inner chamber, the first rays of the solstice sunrise are passing through a box constructed above the entrance and shine down an 18 meter long tunnel to illuminate the floor at the foot of a decorated stone. The actual stone itself would have been directly illuminated by the solstice Sun 5,000 years ago. The long time exposure also captures the ghostly figure of a more modern astronomer in motion. To watch the live webcast follow the indicated link below. The webcast is planned to go live at 0830 coordinated Universal Time (for example, at 3:30am Eastern Time in the US) tomorrow, Sunday, the 21st.”

Thank you, Eliot.

Mars Phoenix Lander at 23:53:52 (UT) 4:53 p.m. (PDT)

Today is the day for the Mars Phoenix Lander to land on Mars. These details are from Phil’s Bad Astronomy Blog.

The Mars Phoenix Lander will be touching down on the surface of Mars on Sunday at 23:53:52 Universal Time (4:53 p.m. Pacific time). Of course, there will be lots of action leading up to that moment.

You can get live info from a few different sources.

For online video and such, your best bet is NASA TV. If you have it, The Science Channel is covering it live on TV. And if you want live blogging action, Emily’s your destination. She has a nice schedule on her blog of the whole thing. She’s also been doing some great blogging on the pre-landing press conferences, so she has all the info you want. And if you’re in the Tucson area, the Lunar and Planetary Institute Lab has a ton of stuff going on for the whole family.

[update:] Today’s APOD is all about Phoenix on Mars with lots of details, including NASA’s animation of the landing sequence.