Visible Planets September 2015 – Mercury and Venus

Planets

We’re still here, asking about the visible planets and which ones we might see.  Kam just loves the planets and is desperate for a telescope! We’re saving and have been for a while as I’d like to get a reasonable one.

Mercury

Mercury: NASA
Mercury: NASA

Mercury, closest planet to the Sun,  it orbits the Sun in 88 days.  So, a Mercury year is 88 Earth days long.

Now, a Mercury day is 176 Earth days long! It spins or rotates very slowly on its own axis.

NASA have had two ventures to explore Mercury.

One was in 1973/5, a NASA probe Mariner 10 gathered information about Venus and then Mercury.  Mariner 10 sent back images of Mercury’s surface and other scientific information.  It’s transmitter  was turned off on March 24 1975.  Scientists believe it still orbits the Sun.

Mercury
Mercury’s final image transmitted to Earth: NASA

Between 2004 and 2015, another NASA probe Messenger sent information about Venus and Mercury. It studied Mercury from 2011, sending 250,000 images and vast amounts of data. It orbited Mercury and verified Scientists beliefs that Mercury’s Polar regions contained ice deposits of water.
Messenger crashed on April 30 2015 at 1926 GMT.  Finally Mercury’s gravity brought it down to rest.

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Andromeda, Who Was She?

We have another character from Greek Mythology to investigate. How did this happen?

Pose practise
Posing, posing and more posing.

Well, we visited Enginuity, a hands on science exploration centre in Coalbrookdale, Shropshire. It is excellent for all ages and we highly recommend it.  First though, we visited the museum next door, The Museum of Iron.

I didn’t expect Kam to show any interest in it because it’s a series of displays and exhibits to show items made of Iron. Great for adults with an interest or children on a school research visit, but for a 4 year old.  Well, a surprise is always lovely.

A few things caught Kam’s eye, particularly a statue of Andromeda chained to a rock.
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Visible Planets August 2015 – Mars, Jupiter and Saturn

Planets

Planet spotting in July was non-existent for us.  We’ve had long evenings and planets out of view.  We did see a Blue Moon on July 30th which was pretty amazing.  We were camping in Devon and when the clouds cleared we saw the most beautiful Moon, then found out it was a Blue Moon.

Blue Moon, Devon U.K. - July 31 2015.
Blue Moon, Devon U.K. – July 31 2015.

Our visible planet notes are as much about learning a little bit about the them as watching out for them.  We hope you find them useful.

Here are links to our other visible planet posts:
Visible Planets September 2015 – Mercury and Venus
Visible Planets August 2015 – Mercury and Venus
Visible Planets

Or our planet poems:
Planet Venus or Planet Mercury

Mars

Mars: NASA
Mars:NASA

Mars has a red hue to it because iron oxides (rust) covers its surface.

Most of the time, Mars glows dimly in the night sky, except hen it is directly opposite the Sun, (opposition).  Mars is in opposition every two years.

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and is the second smallest in our solar system.

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Visible Planets August 2015 – Mercury and Venus

Planets

Here is our post about the visible planets: Visible Planets.

Here is our post for the other visible planets: Visible Planets August 2015 – Mars, Jupiter and Saturn

Mercury

Mercury: NASA
Mercury: NASA

Mercury has the honour of being the closest planet to the Sun.  It’s round the Sun takes 88 days.  So, a Mercury year is 88 Earth days long.

Now, a Mercury day is 176 Earth days long! It spins or rotates very slowly on its own axis.

Mercury passes over the Sun every 7 years.  This next happens on May 16th 2016.  I’ll order some of the special glasses early.  We never look at the Sun, Brian Cox says not to!

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A Blue Moon

image
Sunset – River of Lava

This weekend we have had a lovely time camping in Devon.

It was a last minute thing and we loved it. Especially for children, the campsite had a lovely play park and a large field to fly kites and run around.  Even though mum let go of the kite and had to rescue it from the farmer’s field next door – Kam didn’t though.

We went on the beach during the daytime and in the evening cooked dinner by the tent. Kam thoroughly enjoyed himself.
It did rain, the tent leaked a bit, but the sun did shine.  The sunset was glorious – it looked like a river of lava.  Luckily the rain did stop, the clouds disappeared and the most magnificent Moon appeared, it was huge and so bright it lit up the campsite.
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Visible Planets July 2015 – Mercury and Venus

PlanetsKam’s loving these posts about the planets.  We’re here again in July eager to find out which planets we can see.

Yesterday evening as a total bonus we saw Venus and Jupiter close together.  It’s been hard to spot the planets as it gets dark so much later.  But, Kam had a late night last night and I thought go for it, let’s see Venus and Jupiter.  He was over the moon, really  pleased and happily went to sleep afterwards!  We took a photo so overall we’re pleased.

Here is our post about the visible planets: Visible Planets.
Here is our post for the other visible planets: Visible Planets July 2015 – Mars, Jupiter and Saturn

Mercury

Mercury: NASA
Mercury: NASA

Mercury has the honour of being the closest planet to the Sun.  It’s round the Sun takes 88 days.  So, a Mercury year is 88 Earth days long.

Now, a Mercury day is 176 Earth days long! It spins or rotates very slowly on its own axis.

Mercury passes over the Sun every 7 years.  This next happens on May 16th 2016.  I’ll order some of the special glasses early.  We never look at the Sun, Brian Cox says not to!

Continue reading

Visible Planets July 2015 – Mars, Jupiter and Saturn

Planets

For us, the visible planets have been tough to follow throughout June.  It gets dark so much later.  which on one hand is great, more park time, but definitely not great for Kam’s planet spotting, past his bedtime I’m afraid.

We’ve revamped our planet information, so it’s fresh, as we’ve had a tendency to skip over it.  We hope you find it useful.

Here are links to our other visible planet posts:
Visible Planets July 2015 – Mercury and Venus
Visible Planets

Mars

Mars
Mars

Mars has a red hue to it because iron oxides (rust) covers its surface.

Most of the time, Mars glows dimly in the night sky, except when it is directly opposite the Sun, (opposition).  Mars is in opposition every two years.

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and is the second smallest in our solar system.

Continue reading