Welcome to Danny’s Blog!

by Dr. Danny R. Faulkner on July 15, 2013

Welcome to my blog! This is something new for me, so I’ll be learning as I go.

I want to use my blog to keep you informed about what’s going on in astronomy and astronomy-related events at the Creation Museum. For instance, I’m pleased to announce that my first planetarium show, Fires in the Sky, premiered at the museum on July 1. It’s about sun-grazing comets—more particularly Comet ISON, which astronomers expect will put on a wonderful but brief show in early December. Fires in the Sky also discusses the history of our understanding of comets, and how comets have short lifetimes—far less than the billions of years normally thought to be the age of the solar system. Of course, this isn’t a problem if the solar system is young. The behavior of comets is difficult to predict, and they frequently surprise us. As we get closer to December, stay tuned here to receive updates on what to expect from Comet ISON.

Many of you already are aware of the Stargazer’s Nights at Johnson Observatory at the Creation Museum. This is a program where you may view some grand things in the heavens that God has blessed us with. For instance, in recent months we’ve been treated to fine views of Saturn and its rings. Recently we began offering Sun Spotting, a daytime activity at the observatory. We use two telescopes for this. On one telescope we place a filter to produce a white-light image so that we can see sunspots. On the other telescope we use an H-alpha filter to see prominences—loop-like structures that extend off the solar surface into space. We frequently offer Sun Spotting after lunch on busy days, so check the schedule. Sun Spotting is weather permitting, so if the weather is bad, we normally cancel by 10:00 AM.

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