Tag Archives: Morehead Planetarium

Marking Winter Solstice

Japanese Maple at UNC Arboretum (Dec 3, 2017)

December Solstice (Winter Solstice) Thursday, December 21, 2017 at 11:28 am. This day is 4 hours, 51 minutes shorter than on June Solstice.

The winter solstice indicates the shortest day and the longest night of the year in the Northern hemisphere and brings the first day of winter.

Maple -UNC Arboretum Dec 3, 2017

Tomorrow night residents will gather just after dark at Meadow Park in my neighborhood for Cosmos & Cocoa, a sky-watching event planned by some tireless volunteers on our social committee. While we sip hot chocolate, experts from Morehead Planetarium at UNC will provide a laser guided sky tour with star charts. They will also bring several telescopes so we can view far off stars and planets.

Speaking of Morehead Planetarium: On December 21, 1968 three astronauts who trained at the Morehead Planetarium were launched into space on NASA’s first manned mission to the moon. These men, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders, orbited the moon on Christmas Eve and showed us a new way to view the earth.

Happy Solstice!

The Earth and Moon, Dec. 24, 1968. Image Credit: NASA

Image Credit: NASA

November Time and Roses

Yellow rose at Morehead Planetarium rose garden

During a walk on the UNC campus yesterday we spent a few minutes in the rose garden at Morehead Planetarium and Science Center to enjoy some lovely and fragrant blooms. I have only a couple of roses in my own garden, so this rose garden, a well-known attraction in the area, is a great place to stop to see lovingly tended and perfectly formed flowers. I was not sure how the roses would look at this time of the year, but the garden always looks spectacular in time for graduation in May.

The roses are planted around a 36-foot diameter sundial with a 24-foot long (and 20-foot high) gnomon that casts the shadow for telling time. Around one edge of the bronze and marble sundial are the words, It is always morning somewhere in the world, while the other side reads Today is yesterday’s tomorrow.

Sundial at Morehead Planetarium

The roses were nice, but must remain nameless. Unfortunately I did not find labels to identify the varieties. (Click below for a gallery of larger images.)