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Monday, June 15, 2009

Serendipity

On the weekend we saw magnificent Saturn’s rings through a telescope at an observatory in the woods.It was so pretty,although it was a little small and I wished it was magnified a little more, it was still breathtaking. I also saw the Globular cluster which contains hundreds of thousands of stars. Globular cluster contain some of the first stars to be produced in the galaxy, how amazing is that??? Alpha Centauri the third brightest star in the night. Alpha Centauri to the naked eye appears as one star but through the telescope it is actually two stars .I also saw the keyhole nebula which is part of the Carina nebula. The keyhole nebula is small and is full of darker clouds of cold molecules and dust. This was a serendipitous find as we were not expecting to find an observatory, nor were we looking for one.
My partner and I were actually on our way to Springbrook Research Centre to check out the glow worms but came across the observatory in the dark and could not resist it. We also went to check out the glow worms,they glow as a result of a chemical reaction due to being oxygen intolerant. They use a simple but ancient chemical reaction to burn off their body waste that results in the oxygen being reduced back into pure water which is then flushed out of the glow worm's body, hence they glow. The scientist’s farm is also growing luminous green mushrooms, and unfortunately they only glow in December & January. He told us that in summer when the mushrooms are glowing the whole forest looks very pretty ,green and a single large specimen of this mushroom can produce sufficient light to enable reading a newspaper at night. He has also done studies on Bio luminescence to detect cancer growth. Amazing!!! Hope your weekend was good.

Globular clusters.

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Thank you for making me smile tonight.