Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Eventful Weekend

Besides all of the things we normally have to do on the weekends (play with Lilli, clean the house, water the garden, feed Lilli (and ourselves), wonder where all the time went, etc.), we had some unique and exciting activities this last weekend. Let's start out with Lillian's NICU graduate party on Saturday. Every year there is a party to celebrate all of the lives that the staff at the Provo IHC NICU have helped to preserve.

It's been over ten months since Lillian was born [1] and we're so glad she's here. The party was at a park near the hospital. We saw a few of the doctors and nurses we knew from the NICU as well as some of the other parents and their NICU graduates. Lillian got to look at the helicopter they use to transport babies who don't live near hospitals that are adequately equipped to deal with extremely preterm infants. She also visited several booths where she won a rubber ducky, a bendy alien toy, a ring pop, some stickers, and popcorn. She could've had cotton candy, too, but she's too young for it and neither Leann and I wanted to eat it for her. Her favorite booth had a blow-up swimming pool full of pine shavings. She had to dig around until she found a piece of candy, which she could keep (in her case the ring pop). But she didn't care about the candy—she just went wild about the wood shavings. When we made her stop, she was severely disappointed. For dinner the organizers provided us with Blackjack pizza and ice cream sandwiches.

Earlier on Saturday we went to AstroFest, which was being held in the Eyring Science Center on BYU campus. We went to get these nifty solar viewing glasses. But they also let us look through a telescope with a special filter on it so we could look for flares (I couldn't find any). There was also a telescope for looking at sunspots, but by that time Lilli had had enough, so we took her home for a nap. Too bad, since she missed out on getting to make paper airplanes and foam rockets. Oh, well.

On Sunday we checked out the solar eclipse.[2] I snapped some pictures through the solar viewing glasses and they turned out about as well as could be expected.[3] This one shows the eclipse about half an hour after it started.

Here it is near totality. There were some clouds in the sky that made it hard to see at this point—at least with the solar viewing glasses on. Without the solar viewing glasses the sun was still too bright to look at. In fact, at the exact moment of totality, the sun looked so dim through the solar viewing glasses that the photographs I took were too faint to be worth posting. Since it was so hard to see (due to the clouds) we're glad we didn't drive down to Cedar City to see the total eclipse.

Even though the sun itself didn't look any dimmer (much less like there was something blocking it most of the way) it was noticeably darker here on Earth.[4]

And there she goes. These were taken about half an hour after the totality. (The photo on the right is an exception to what happened in the next batch of pictures.)

I tried photographing the eclipse with some of the other settings on my camera, but most of them turned out blurry. Here are some of the more interesting blurs.


[1] See my post Unexpected Delivery.

[2] Here are some eclipse calculator predictions for the city of Provo: http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/provo. There is a search bar so that you can find eclipse date and times for your own city.

[3] I'd need a more sophisticated camera to take pictures like these, these, this, these, these, these, these, these, these, etc.

[4] For information about how solar eclipses have altered the course of human history, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar eclipse#Historical eclipses. Some have speculated that the reason there was darkness during the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was because of a solar eclipse. However, this is impossible since Christ was crucified during the Passover and the Passover is during the full moon (which means the moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun). Solar eclipses can only ever occur during a new moon (when the moon is between the Earth and the sun).

No comments:

Post a Comment