Daily Archives: June 13, 2008

ASTRONOMY: Celebrate summer’s arrival


  You can celebrate summer’s arrival and learn more about the Sun on Saturday, June 21, with a visit to the Center for Environmental and Scientific Education in the Meadowlands.

   The event, which runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., features the center’s Laura Venner talking about NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) mission. Laura will bring out special solar viewing equipment for a hands-on experience.

   You’ll also learn about solar cycles, sun spots and the apparent motion of the Sun, and get a guided tour of the William McDowell Observatory, which opened earlier this year.

    Check-in at the Meadowlands Environment Center (the first building on the left) in the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission’s headquarters at DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst.

  The program will be held in the Astronomy Amphitheater in the Center for Environmental and Scientific Education, a short walk away.

   Participants will receive free space-weather posters, stickers, refrigerator magnets, and 3D cards and 3D glasses.

   Admission is $5; free to members of the Meadowlands Environment Center.  Pre-registration preferred, walk-ins welcome.  



HACKENSACK RIVER: Terrapins (video)

   This is a great time of year to keep an eye out for diamondback terrapins and other turtles.

   They have been laying eggs for a week or two now, and sunning themselves on the banks of the Hackensack River and nearby marshes at low tide.

   They also go up on land to lay their eggs — that’s how the first image in this 31-second video was captured.

 Diamondback terrapins are amazing reptiles — they are the only species that has adapted to living in brackish waters. They are a threatened species in New Jersey.

   If you want to see one, you have to be quiet — they are typically very skittish. In the video, you can see the terrapins scatter as the camera boat quietly and slowly approaches.

   You can also read more about terrapins here.