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Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Today we went to my alma mater – Harvey Mudd College to check out the Transit of Venus.   HMC was holding a special event for alumni.  The Transit of Venus is a once every 100+ year event where Venus crosses between the Earth and the Sun.  The next one will be 2117.

Check out my cool photo!  I shot this on my Canon 7D at f/16, ISO100, 1/80 at 135mm (with a tripod and a solar filter).

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Everyone also got some cool solar viewing glasses.

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Here we are outside of Galileo hall.

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We then went on a mini-tour of the campus.  The girls decided to pretend lecture at Galileo Hall.

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This weekend we went to Encinitas to see a rare ocean phenomena known as bioluminescence caused by a red tide.

By day, a red tide is unsightly and uninviting, with water the color of coffee. But at night, during this unusual phenomenon caused by a plankton bloom, the waves are a brilliant, almost neon blue. This wonderfully surreal scene has played out almost nightly along San Diego beaches for the last few weeks.

Here are a couple of cool pictures of what we saw.  The waves were coming about every 30 seconds and we spent almost two hours watching.


Here is a picture of Anjali and the kids (and Lizzy).

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Yesterday the Irvine fire in Santiago Canyon came dangerously close to our house. The Fire Department was doing mandatory evacuations and we had to leave at about 10pm.

The fire jumped over the 261 Freeway and came down the hill to Jamboree Road. This is less than 100 yards from our house.

This first picture is in the late afternoon before it jumped the 261 Freeway. You can see the reddish flames in the background.

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This next picture is from our back yard at about 9:30pm. The wind was blowing left to right (in the picture) and there were very large embers blowing across our yard.

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We went to Binny’s house and the kids and Anjali spent the night there. I returned back at about 1AM as the raging fire was over. By morning, the fire had died down and we were able to return to our house. The kids were a little scared but everyone is doing well.

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Lunar Eclipse

Last night, we stayed up and watched the full lunar eclipse from our back yard. It happened between 2am and 4am Pacific Time and was entirely visible from our balcony.

Here is a link on what that is: http://starryskies.com/The_sky/events/lunar-2003/eclipse1.html

The pictures at the site are better but this is the real thing!

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This week we went to the La Brea Tar Pits. La Brea is one of the world’s most famous fossil localities, recognized for having the largest and most diverse assemblage of extinct Ice Age plants and animals in the world. Visitors can learn about Los Angeles as it was between 10,000 and 40,000 years ago, during the last Ice Age, when animals such as saber-toothed cats and mammoths roamed the Los Angeles Basin.

Enough of the commercial. Here are some pictures from our visit.

This first one is one of the active tar pits. You can see the methane gas bubbling up thru the water.

The reason there are so many fossils is that the animals used to try to drink the water and would get stuck in the tar and die.

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