Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Another Nice Bike Ride

Another Nice Bike Ride

Time ........ 3:43 h:mm
Distance .... 68 Km
Avg Speed ... 18 kph
Max Speed ... 60 kph
Avg HR ...... 111 bpm
Max HR ...... ~130 bpm

This is the same route I took last week except I was not surprised by the two detours and just took them.

I forgot to bring a snack but when I checked my backpack I found half of a PBJ from last week ... I looked at through the plastic bag and thought; "Wow it still looks good!"  I turned it over and saw this wonderful rainbow of mould!  I thought, "Dang!  If color indicates different species then there are at least three different kinds of mould there!"

I skipped eating it and pushed on.  By the time I got back the temperature had climbed to over 90F (I left the house at 8:15 am and got back just a little after noon.  Next time I am going to leave at 6:30AM!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Sub Solar Point Tomorrow At 6:34pm EDT

Happy Midsummer's Eve 

This means midsummer's day will arrive tomorrow. To be precise at 6:36PM EDT the Summer Solstice will occur. 

At that point in time the 'Subsolar-Point' will reach its most northern latitude. The subsolar point it the location on the earth where the sun is directly overhead.  This point travels around the earth once every 24 hours and travels is located between the tropic of cancer and the tropic of capricorn latitude lines depending on where the earth is in its orbit about the sun.

These latitude lines are determined by the the tilt of the axis of the earth with respect to the plane of its orbit about the sun. 

The name of this latitude line in the northern hemisphere is "The Tropic of Cancer". At the location of the 'Subsolar-Point' tomorrow at 6:36PM EDT it will be precisely LOCAL SOLAR NOON

All this happens because the tilt of the earth's axis of rotation does not change as the earth orbits the sun.  This means that the earth is tilted toward the sun parts of the year and tilted away from the sun other parts of the year.  When the north pole is maximally tilted toward the sun then the subsolar point reaches it most northern latitude.

This year the location of this most northern subsolar point in time and place will be near where the tropic of cancer crosses the Hawaiian Island Chain. 

To figure out exactly where this is all you need to do is add the number of degrees minutes and seconds of the time of the solstice to some know longitude. 

The Solstice this year will be at 22:34 UTC 20 June 2016 - so at 10:34 in the evening at the prime meridian the subsolar point will reach the tropic of cancer. That means 10 hours 34 minutes to the west of Greenwich England on the tropic of cancer the most northern subsolar point will occur (and mid summer will have arrived!) 

To sort out what the actual latitude and longitude is we note that the latitude is pretty easy; 23.5 degrees: The exact same number as the inclination of the axis of rotation of the earth to its orbital plane about the sun. 

The longitude is also easy since all you need to do is convert 10 hours and 34 minutes to degrees of longitude. The entire planet has 360 degrees of longitude. The planet also rotates on its axis every 24 hours. So divide 360 by 24 and you get 15. This means that the subsolar point moves 15 degrees of longitude every single hour. 

So what is the longitude of 10 hours and 34 minutes? Well 10 times 15 gives 150 so that is longitude 150 degrees west. And the 34 minutes of clock time: That comes out to be 34 minutes of longitude as since there are 60 minutes of longitude in every degree of longitude. 

So at 23 degrees 30 minutes north latitude and 150 degrees and 34 minutes west longitude at local solar noon the apparent location of the sun will be directly overhead and that is the most northern point local solar noon it will reach all year! 

You can plug into Google Earth/Maps these two numbers and see where that is.  Here is a URL you can click: (23°30'00.0"N 150°34'00.0"W).  So, you should do this tomorrow at the time of the solstice.

Here is a Google Earth .KMZ file you can use and some screen shots.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Nice 70 Kilometer Bike Ride

A Nice 70 Kilometer Bike Ride

69.2 km --- total distance
18.1 kph -- average speed
74.0 kph -- max speed 
3:48 hh:mm - total time

That 74 kph was coasting down Sawmill Road between Lead Mne and Six Forks - And that amounts to only 46 mph.

I traveled down Old Lead Mine to Lead Mine then to Sawmill.  I turned on Longstreet at the top of the hill and traveled to the start of 'Mine Creek Greenway'

I traveled 'Mine Creek Greenway' to Shelly Lake then on down Lead Mine Creek to where it intersects with Crabtree Creek.

Then I headed down 'Crabtree Creek' greenway all the way to the end at Anderson Point Park.  I encountered two construction detours.  One at the intersection of 'Crabtree Creek' greenway and I440 and the other at the greenway and Capital Blvd.

The detour at Capital Blvd required that I travel down Yonkers Road to Raleigh Road to get around 'The Swamp'.  They are putting something right straight through the swamp.  I joined up with the greenway where it crosses Raleigh Blvd and traveled on down to the WakeMed area and Glenburnie Drive.

The greenway from Glenburnie Drive to Anderson Point is beautiful, modern, wide and just nice.

I had my 'Lunch-PBJ' at Anderson Point Park.  This reminded me of the ride back n 2004 where every day was PBJs for lunch.

Instead of fooling with all the construction detours I headed up 'The Neuse River Trail' to Fall of the Neuse Dam.  I left the greenway at the new 'Falls of the Neuse' bridge and slugged up the hill on Falls of the Neuse Road and then onto Strickland Road.

The nice part of this part of the ride from the Neuse River back to home was I did not have to ride on the road very much but instead stuck to the sidewalk which lasted all the way to the Raven Ridge Intersection.

I did leave the sidewalk until Honeycutt Road where they started up again.  It was then sidewalks all the way back to Forum Drive on Six Forks Road.  

Here is a google maps URL that shows all the turns and such and is all set up for following the bike trails:

Here is the 'embedded' map:

A nice bike ride.  Here are some pictures from the ride.  Here is a URL to all the pictures so you can 'swipe' through them:

Had to exit to Yonkers Rd then on to Raleigh Blvd to get back in touch with the trail.

Looks like the trail will be open again in July.

The end of Crabtree Creek Trail

Blow up of the map

The Map - Hiking, Cycling, Dog Walking, NO Horse Riding, and NO Motorcycles.

Crabtree Creek Trail T's into Neuse River Trail.

Mile 17.5 of the trail - Go left to the dam and right to Clayton.

Nice Bird Houses.

This is a nice park.


The Rider.

Now this is handy, tools and a bike pump.

The Tool Set.

The Pump

That URL is:
I wonder if they have 'chat' where they can walk you through a bike repair at one of their stations?
Here is the URL for this set of stuff:

Repair Station

Milburnie Dam

Only a few miles from the dam.

Rest Stop a few miles from the dam.

Average HR = 114
Max HR = 141
Woah!  Those are big numbers, (for me).

Nike - BURN, since I only have HR data then this essentially echos that.

Saturday, June 11, 2016



What does the word "Humongous" mean?  It means large, it means enormous.

When we look at the night sky we see stars.  If it is a very dark night and we are far away from light pollution then we can see the 'Milky-Way' (our home galaxy) and we can see 'more-stars'.

When the full moon is high in the night sky it appears to be a small disk.  

The amount of sky any astronomical object uses up is measured in arc-degrees and arc-seconds. The entire sky or celestial sphere is 360 arc-degrees in circumference when you consider the entire sky from pole to pole and all the way around the planet.  

This means at night from any one spot on the planet at any particular instant you can only see one half of the sky (the other half is on the other side of the planet, called the 'daylight-sky').  The planet rotates so during the night more than 1/2 of the entire sky will be visible during the night as stars set and stars rise. 

So, back to the full moon.  The full moon uses up a square of sky equal to 31 arc-minutes or about 1/2 a degree on a side.  The sun takes about the same amount of space in the sky which is why, during a total solar eclipse, the moon can 'blot-out' the sun.

Using telescopes we can magnify the part of the sky we point the telescope toward and see distant objects appear bigger.

Since the invention of time-lapse photography things have become much more interesting.  For daylight photography we can watch a flower bloom, or we can watch clouds develop and sweep over the landscape.  There are lots of very cool videos of the night sky using time lapse photography.

There is another extremely cool us of time-lapse-photography and that is the ability to keep a telescope pointed at the same place in the sky and keep it moving to correct for the rotation of the earth so that patch of sky is always centered in the view.  Then instead of taking a video all the light collected from the telescope is collected on a single frame.  The result is that dim objects in the night sky can be made visible.  The Hubble Space Telescope works this way and we see wonderful pictures.  

When magnification is not used much we can now use telescopes to see dim objects in the sky and that are not magnified very much to just collect all the light from some patch of sky and see what shows up.

The Astronomy Picture of the Day for today 11 June 2016 looks at a patch of sky that would hold a 4x4 grid each grid element being the size of the full moon.  The galaxies in the picture are over 20 times further away than the Andromeda galaxy, the closest galaxy to the milky-way.  If the same patch of sky had the Andromeda galaxy in it would fill almost all the patch.

When you look at the night sky think of the full moon and how much space it would be taken up if you arranged 16 full moons in a 4x4 square.  Then think what you would see if you collect all the light from that patch of sky to reveal the very dim objects in the patch.

The picture you would get is today's APOD: