Full Moon and Summer Solstice on 6/20

From The Sky This Week: The Moon waxes in the evening sky this week, passing through the summer constellations along the southern reaches of the ecliptic. Full Moon occurs on the 20th at 7:02 am Eastern Daylight Time. June’s Full Moon is popularly known as the Strawberry Moon, Rose Moon, Mead Moon, and Honey Moon. Each of these names not only indicates something indicative of the month’s flora, they also refer to the warm tone that the Moon can take on a warm June evening due to her southerly declination. Look for the Moon a few degrees north of the bright star Spica on the evening of the 14th. On the 16th and 17th she accompanies ruddy Mars across the sky, and on the 18th she passes just over two degrees north of yellow-hued Saturn.

The summer solstice falls on the 20th at 6:34 pm EDT. At this time the center of the Sun’s disc stands directly over the Tropic of Cancer north of the Hawai’ian Islands. While astronomers consider this to be the first day of summer, many traditional calendars observe it as “Midsummer’s Day”, commemorating the year’s longest day. Here in Washington Old Sol is above the horizon for 14 hours 54 minutes. Add in the times of morning and evening twilight and the duration of astronomical darkness amounts to a paltry 5 hours 8 minutes. The farther north you go, the less the duration of night becomes. Cities such as Paris and London never experience total darkness at this time of the year, and places north of the Arctic Circle see the Sun above the horizon for a full 24 hours. The Sun appears to hover near the Tropic of Cancer for a week or so around the time of the solstice, and most of us probably won’t notice the changing times of sunrise and sunset until well into July.

http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/tours-events/sky-this-week/the-sky-this-week-2016-june-14-21

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Goodbye to Night: 80 Percent of Humanity Lives Under Light Polluted Skies – Discover

Goodbye to Night: 80 Percent of Humanity Lives Under Light Polluted Skies By Carl Engelking | June 10, 2016 12:59 pm

The beauty of the night sky is rapidly fading, and an update to the first global light pollution map, created 15 years ago, makes that painfully clear.

The new atlas revealed that more than 80 percent of the world lives under light-polluted skies – that rises to 99 percent of the population in the United States and Europe. One-third of humanity can no longer see the Milky Way. As the new map shows, the night sky is slowly retreating to the glow of artificial light.

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Virtual imagery of Chimney Rock, a Chaco outlier in southern Colorado

Laser-based technology uncovers new archaeological details
By Mary Shinn Herald staff writer, Durango Herald

Their work is part of Project Map, an effort to model ancient and historic monuments across the state. Chimney Rock is one of their first projects because of its archaeological ties to Chaco Canyon National Historic Park, and for decades researchers from CU Boulder have worked at the site, which was mainly inhabited between 925 and 1125.

“This is one of the most important national monuments of the Chacoan culture in the state of Colorado,” Gutierrez said.

original article

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BLM acquires ancient pueblo site south of Santa Fe | Albuquerque Journal

By Mark Oswald / Journal Staff Writer
Friday, April 15th, 2016 at 6:38pm

From http://www.abqjournal.com/758088/news/blm-acquires-ancient-pueblo-site-south-of-santa-fe.html

SANTA FE – The federal Bureau of Land Management is purchasing the 365-acre site of an ancient pueblo in the Galisteo Basin south of Santa Fe.

The BLM will use $1.5 million from Land and Water Conservation Fund to buy the Burnt Corn Pueblo site, located east of the village of Galisteo and near the well-known Petroglyph Hill, a mesa topped with thousands of pieces of rock art that is owned by Santa Fe County.

“With this purchase, the entire Burnt Corn Pueblo will be protected for future generations,” said a news release from the members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation. U.S. Sen. Tom Udall said the purchase will open up new land for visitors interested in the Galisteo Basin’s numerous Native American and Spanish ruins, but no details on plans for public access were available Friday.

Petroglyph Hill was acquired by the county from the huge Thornton Ranch several years ago. Information on the seller of the Burnt Corn Pueblo area was not available.

U.S. Rep Ben Ray Luján said the new acquisition also will help with creation of “a long distance regional trail network” in the area. The news release said Land and Water Conservation money “will be used to promote preservation and open up access to more than 2,000 acres” in the Galisteo Basin.

The pueblo site on a ridge gets its name from burnt corn found across its landscape. Experts say it was occupied briefly between 1200 and 1300 and had eight room blocks and a larger plaza pueblo, and it burned — presumably with corn drying on drying on roofs — about the time its occupants left, raising questions about whether the village caught fire or was attacked. The high pueblo site is described as providing spectacular views of the surrounding basin.

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BLM Defers on Fracking Leases near Chaco Canyon | Archaeology Southwest

BLM Defers on Fracking Leases near Chaco Canyon | Archaeology Southwest

BLM Defers on Fracking Leases near Chaco Canyon
Yesterday, the Bureau of Land Management deferred for the third time the sale of three oil and gas lease parcels and approximately 2,122 acres of federal mineral estate on Navajo allotment lands in the Greater Chaco region. A broad coalition of local and regional watchdog groups submitted comments opposing the lease sale for fracking near Chaco Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The comments focused in part on the agency’s woefully insufficient management plan for the region, which treats the Greater Chaco’s communities and landscapes as a sacrifice zone. BLM’s deferral of these leases, for the third time, illustrates the need for the agency to complete its ongoing resource management plan amendment before continuing to lease and authorize the development of any additional public lands for oil and gas. http://bit.ly/1LSSdPZ – Pagosa Daily Post

BLM Defers on Fracking Leases near Chaco Canyon | Archaeology Southwest

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An experiment in privatizing public land fails after 14 years — High Country News

An experiment in privatizing public land fails after 14 years — High Country News Tom Ribe Opinion Feb. 12, 2015 Web Exclusive

It is no secret that some state legislators in the West want to boot federal land management agencies from their states. They argue that agencies like the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service cost too much and are too detached from local values, and that states could make money by running our vast open spaces like a privately owned business.

The Cato Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based libertarian think tank, is of that opinion and has developed models to replace federal agencies with private interests. What many people don’t know is that Congress implemented one of the Cato Institute’s ideas in 2000, on the 89,000-acre Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico. For some critics of the federal government, this was the experiment in land management that would signal the end of the BLM and Forest Service in the West.

The Cato experiment in New Mexico, however, failed, chewed up by the friction between monetizing the “services” that landscapes provide — recreation, timber, grass, wildlife — and fulfilling citizens’ expectations for public access and protecting natural resources. For example, New Mexicans had very little tolerance for paying high fees to visit public property that had already been paid for using federal Land and Water Conservation Fund dollars.

An experiment in privatizing public land fails after 14 years — High Country News

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The Vernal Equinox 3/20, then the Crow Moon 3/23

In Mountain DST, the vernal equinox is 10:30pm 3/19.

The Sky This Week, 2016 March 15 – 23 — Naval Oceanography Portal

The vernal equinox occurs on the 20th at 12:30 am EDT. This is the moment when the Sun’s ecliptic longitude reaches zero degrees. For many ancient cultures this moment marked the beginning of a new year ….

Full Moon, which occurs on the 23rd at 8:01 am Eastern Daylight Time. The Full Moon of March is popularly known as the Worm Moon, Crow Moon, Sap Moon, or Lenten Moon.

The Sky This Week, 2016 March 15 – 23 — Naval Oceanography Portal

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New Mexico tops U.S. in World Heritage sites | Albuquerque Journal

 

New Mexico tops U.S. in World Heritage sites | Albuquerque Journal

By Dan Herrera / Editorial Page Editor
Sunday, March 13th, 2016 at 12:05am

There are many reasons New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment. Its abundance of UNESCO World Heritage sites is one of them.

It is one very prestigious list on which our state’s No. 1 ranking is a good thing….

There are 1,031 World Heritage sites around the world, including such bucket-list places as the pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and Machu Picchu in Peru. All three of those places are still on my big-wish list.

If you want to see the complete list, go to whc.unesco.org/en/list .

There are 23 World Hertiage sites in the United States. You’ve probably been to some of them. …

[E]nchanting New Mexico has three – more World Heritage sites than any other U.S. state. They are Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Taos Pueblo and Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

If three’s not impressive enough, a fourth New Mexico site is under consideration for inclusion – White Sands National Monument. …

Of course, each site has its own website with complete information about how to get there and what you’ll find:

• Carlsbad Caverns National Park: www.nps.gov/cave

• Chaco Culture National Historical Park: www.nps.gov/chcu

• Taos Pueblo: www.taospueblo.com

• White Sands National Monument: www.nps.gov/whsa

New Mexico tops U.S. in World Heritage sites | Albuquerque Journal

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February’s Full Moon is popularly known as the Snow Moon or Hunger Moon

The Sky This Week, 2016 February 16 – 23 — Naval Oceanography Portal

The Moon waxes through her gibbous phases this week, with Full Moon occurring on the 22nd at 1:20 pm Eastern Standard Time. February’s Full Moon is popularly known as the Snow Moon or Hunger Moon, indicative of the harsh weather that often accommodates the year’s shortest month. Look for the Moon near the bright star Regulus on the evenings of the 21st and 22nd. On the 23rd she cozies up to bright Jupiter, with less than two degrees of space between them.

The Sky This Week, 2016 February 16 – 23 — Naval Oceanography Portal

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Arroyo Hondo Pueblo Project

Arroyo Hondo Pueblo Project examines several attempts at establishing communities at site over the centuries

By Jackie Jadrnak / Journal North Reporter
Friday, February 5th, 2016 at 12:05am

From a settlement of about 100 rooms begun around the year 1300, the Arroyo Hondo Pueblo turned into a boom town of some 1,000 rooms and 10 plazas by 1330. But then, by 1345, it was abandoned.

People returned around 1370, building a more modest settlement of about 250 rooms on the remains of the earlier town, Schwartz said, but then disappeared again around 1425.

The boom and bust was not unusual for area settlements then….

Unlike many pueblo ruins found in the Santa Fe area, those at Arroyo Hondo haven’t been claimed as ancestral dwellings of any of the current Pueblo peoples, Schwartz said.

Learn more
Go to the new website arroyohondo.org for a treasure trove of information about the Arroyo Hondo Pueblo near Santa Fe, its excavation work and scientific findings.

http://www.abqjournal.com/718879/news/arroyo-hondo-pueblo-project-examines-several-attempts-at-establishing-communities-at-site-over-the-centuries.html?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_term=Autofeed

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Video shows only known U.S. jaguar roaming Arizona mountains threatened by open pit mine

By Astrid Galvan / Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016 at 1:35pm
Updated: Thursday, February 4th, 2016 at 12:10am

TUCSON — The only known wild jaguar in the United States is seen roaming around a creek and other parts of a mountain range in southern Arizona in the first publicly released video of the giant cat.

“El Jefe” — Spanish for “the boss” — has been living in the Santa Rita Mountains about 25 miles south of downtown Tucson for over three years, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.

El Jefe is about 7 years old and is one of only four or five jaguars that have been spotted in the U.S. in the last 20 years. He’s the only documented wild jaguar in the country.

“A lot of people have no idea that we have jaguars in the United States or that they belong here,” said Randy Serraglio of the Tucson-based environmental group. “In bringing this video, we hope to inspire people to care about these animals and support protection for their homes.”

Conservationists say El Jefe’s habitat is threatened by a proposed open-pit copper mine in the mountains. The proposed Rosemont Mine has been in the works for several years but is tied up in the permitting phase.

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10 parks and monuments for Black History Month | Wilderness.org

10 parks and monuments for Black History Month | Wilderness.org

Buffalo Soldiers in Yosemite National Park, 1899.

Yosemite Research Library

Black History Month is a time to remember and honor the many groups and individuals who contributed to the success and achievements of this country as well as to advancement for African Americans as a people.

These historical spots host incredible evidence of the achievements, struggles and lives of African Americans during the history of the continent. The monuments also testify to the role of our National Park Service and other land agencies in preserving important pieces of our nation’s story and cultural heritage.

10 parks and monuments for Black History Month | Wilderness.org

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Public access to NM’s Sabinoso Wilderness almost there – ABQJournal Online

Public access to NM’s Sabinoso Wilderness almost there – ABQJournal Online

SANTA FE, N.M. — Public access to New Mexico’s 16,000-acre Sabinoso Wilderness – entirely “landlocked” by private land – moved closer to reality today on news the nonprofit Wilderness Land Trust bought adjacent property that could soon allow hikers, hunters, backpackers and others access to it.

The purchase of the 4,176-acre Rimrock Rose property, made possible by a $3.1 million contribution from the Wyss Foundation, could allow public access to the Sabinoso by summer.

“We’ve been working on creating access to the Sabinoso Wilderness since it was proposed for designation,” said Reid Haughey, president of The Wilderness Land Trust. “To the best of our knowledge, Sabinoso is the only wilderness area among the 762 wilderness areas within the National Wilderness Preservation System that does not have public access.”

The Sabinoso Wilderness, created by Congress in 2009, is a rugged back-country area east of Las Vegas, N.M., that is home to mule deer, bobcats, gray foxes and a wide range of plant and animal species that are home to the high plains. The headwaters of the Canadian River runs through the Rimrock Rose property and Canyon Largo.

“We are proud to be able to help local leaders and The Wilderness Land Trust as they expand access for fishing, hunting, hiking, and recreation in New Mexico’s prized backcountry,” said Molly McUsic, President of the Wyss Foundation.

Public access to NM’s Sabinoso Wilderness almost there – ABQJournal Online

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The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness. — John Muir 1838-1914