Monday, June 22, 2009

Sunset Solstices
This panorama consists of three separate images from the VMNH Weatherbug webcam stitched together using Microsoft Digital Image Suite. The leftmost image was taken at sunset on the 2008 winter solstice, December 21, 2008 at 5:07 pm. The image on the right was taken just before sunset on 2009 summer solstice, June 21, 2009 at 8:34 pm. What this shows is the distance from the southernmost sunset to the northernmost sunset for our latitude (36.68 degrees north). Over the next 179 days, the sunset will make its way southward again until it reaches the same spot it was last year and will "stop" (solstice is Latin for "sun stand still") and begin its journey northward. This apparent motion of the sun is caused by a combination of the tilt of the earth's axis (about 23.5 degrees) and the earth's revolution around the sun. Click on the image to enlarge.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

March 8 Sunset

Near sunset (7:18 pm) from the VMNH Weatherbug webcam.

PHOTOS: 7 Major "Missing Links" Since Darwin

For the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth (February 12, 2009), National Geographic News asked leading scientists for their picks of the most important fossils that show evolution in action—seven of which are presented here, starting with this "fishapod."

read more | digg story

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Yesterday, Cub Scouts from Midlothian came to the museum for a sleepover and to earn their geology badge. After searching for minerals and fossils, we went outside and erupted a soda powered volcano. The scouts ended the evening in the Great Hall watching the movie "Night at the Museum."

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Virginia Jewel: The Smith River

"Fisheries biologists conduct a fish sampling survey on the scenic Smith River using electrofishing equipment that momentarily stuns the fish. The fish are quickly weighed, measured and released back to the water. The Philpott Dam, constructed in the 1950s, changed many characteristics of the river. The large trophy brown trout that once thrived in the cool tail waters below the dam are fewer today, and biologists like Scott Smith are working to best manage this river both for its native species and as a recreational trout fishing destination. This sampling effort is part of a multi-year study monitoring the numbers, sizes, and growth rates of fish in the river as they relate to environmental conditions and operation of the dam."
Clip length: 02:35

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Uranium Mining In Virginia

Here are links to various sources of information aimed at illuminating the issues and players around uranium mining in Virginia. I have purposefully tried to include links regardless of political affiliation. The goal of this entry is to raise awareness and to promote informed discussion. Please add reactions, comments, or suggestions for other links.