By the light of the silvery moon

Did you see the new moon last night. I just stood and gazed it was so beautiful.

This I got this from Space Weather:

If you thought last night’s crescent Moon was super-beautiful, you were right. It was a crescent supermoon. Peter Lowenstein photographed the slender arc from Mutare, Zimbabwe:

The moon - Just a tiny crescent

Just a tiny crescent

The evening sky was perfectly clear and allowed a good view of the very young crescent supermoon,” says Lowenstein. “At first the thin crescent was difficult to locate above the sunset glare (first picture) but as the orange light faded and the sky turned turned lilac and then blue it became clearly visible to the north of Christmas Pass.:

The supermoon

The supermoon

What made the crescent “super”?  “Supermoons” are full Moons that are extra big and bright because they occur on the perigee side of the Moon’s elliptical orbit. Last night’s sky show was the same phenomenon, writ slender. The crescent Moon of April 27th occurred at perigee, making it as much as 14% wider and 30% brighter than other crescent Moons of the year.”

Now, if you are like me and don’t know your perigee from your apogee I offer the following diagram.

Perigee and apogee diagram

Perigee and apogee diagram

Got it?  “A”, apogee, away. I got it!

And if you want to sing by the light of ……..


Cincinnati’s Subway System …

Nearly 100 years ago, the residents of Cincinnati, Ohio had a dream: to ease downtown congestion by traveling on underground rail. Fortunately, the city already owned a major form of right-of-way in the area: The Erie Canal. In the early 1900s, the canal had fallen into disuse and became an open sewer. To alleviate health concerns and the traffic problems, the city of Cleveland planned to drain the waterway and build a subway system using the bed of the canal. The project was conceived in 1916 and would ultimately be stopped short after completing a total of 6 miles of infrastructure and 2.2 miles of underground tunnels.

Interstate 75 slices the city of Cincinnati in half like an orange. On one side is the city’s Catholic working class west, while the east side is favored by the wealthier academics and industrials holed up in enclaves with names like Indian Hill. On all sides are cars. Simple commutes from Cincinnati’s suburbs to downtown can take an hour or more. One hundred thousand cars and trucks a day clog both directions on I-75, many of them headed to towns elsewhere in Ohio.

But it was almost a different story. If just a few things had gone differently Cincinnati would today be a city of straphangers and bustling underground stations. The Cincinnati subway stations are still there. But if you’re still waiting for a train to come, you’ve been waiting for almost a century. To this day Cincinnati remains home to the largest unused subway system in the world, with over two miles of empty tunnels. Engineers who inspected the tunnels recently deemed them in “very good condition.” Today, the warren of underground tunnels appears flash-frozen in time, an underground Vesuvius where the clock stopped. Stations and platforms sit pristinely as if still waiting for passengers that’ll never come. Tracks disappear into the dark.


Ho GP-9 with rubber band or gear drive

There I was sitting on the loo perusing old Model Railroader mags and minding my own business when I came across this heading: “Ahearn offers versatile HO GP-9 with rubber band or gear drive”.

GP-9 with rubber band or gear drive

GP-9 with rubber band or gear drive

The rubber band version cost $12.95 and the gear driven $16.95!!!!

What a difference 60 years makes – the date of the mag was May 1957.

I must confess I have never seen a rubber band powered loco. Did I miss out I wonder?

Train, Train – a song by Blackfoot

I’m always on the lookout for train songs. A good one, my opinion, is when it let’s you believe you really are on board if you close your eyes.

This one was recommended by a gentleman visitor to the layout. The harmonica is awesome.

It can’t be just me who likes it – it’s received 6,392,510 views!!!!!!!

Well, train, train, take me on out of this town.

Train, train, Lord, take me on out of this town.

Well, that woman I’m in love with, Lord, she’s Memphis bound.”

March is the Month of the Worm Moon

The Worm Moon

The Worm Moon

I was in a bookstore in Eureka yesterday and was confounded by a conversation between two youngish young ladies talking about the Full Worm Moon. I know that the moon is made of cheese but does it also have worms?

It turned out that these two ladies were avid gardeners trying to use the knowledge of the Yurok Indians. From what they told me and what I have turned up it seems the March Moon is aptly named.

The Full Worm Moon – March.  As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Full Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night. The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation. To the settlers, it was also known as the Lenten Moon, and was considered to be the last full Moon of winter.

I’m off to hunt earthworms tomorrow!