Observational Astronomy / Uncategorized

Are you kidding me?

So – I took today off of work for two reasons. One – it’s my daughter’s 23rd  birthday and I wanted to spend the day with her. And second -I needed to dot that analemma.  (Yes in that order!) I’ve spent the last nine months working on the Analemma program, diligently observing and marking the length of the shadow of the sun. My figure 8 is nearly complete.

Today was a must have on the chart because this observation is used in some of the calculations. So yesterday we get snowstorm Brianna! We’re talking white out conditions and wind gusting up to 40 miles per hour. Schools close, buses don’t run, no tow trucks venture out.

This was not the first time the weather hasn’t cooperated with an observing session. Wisconsin weather has a habit of doing that, but no worries, tomorrow’s another day – um, maybe I should check the forecast!

On the up side – I got some Christmas shopping done and had a great day with my daughter!



  1. Hi Amy,

    I live in Phoenix, so the weather is quite a bit more cooperative. I just finished the Analemma project (certificate #3) and I made up a set of slides that clarify what the A.L. really means by those activity descriptions. I plan to present them to my local astronomy club. I’m willing to send you a pdf of the 13 slides. Send me an email if you’re interested.

    By the way, there is talk of reducing the 100 observations requirement down to 50 but it’s not official yet and the coordinator is against that move.

    Alex in Phoenix

  2. So, how is it going Amy. It looks like you may have been on it a year now–Did you get your 100 observations? The Astronomy League President told me he thought it had been changed from 100 to 50, but when I told him it still said 100 on the web site, then he said what he remembered was the discussion. So, I guess it is 100.

    It is certainly harder than I thought. I was trying to use a mirror projected on the ceiling and marking it with little round stickers, but after being out of town for 3 weeks, finding some of my stickers had fallen to the floor (darn gravity!), and perhaps warping of how the mirror is affixed (the room gets cold on non-sunny days, so the window sill is almost as freezing in as it is out.

    Would you send my email to Alex–I’d be interested in his take on this project. I am rethinking my “box”. I also need to find a place where I’ll be at more often than not at noon. However, more than a week out of town sure makes 100 hard to hit, if you have more clouds on average than some places. I guess we in MO are halfway between WI and AZ.


    1. Hi Denise – I’ve finished all my observations and have most of the required activities complete. I’m completely stumped on calculating the eccentricity of the earth’s orbit. I’ll have to take another look at Alex’s presentation. Thank you for commenting! We really appreciate your feedback! Thanks for reading! I’ll forward your email to Alex.
      Thanks again,


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