Bison Quest Adventure Vacation Blog

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The Biggest and the Brightest November 26, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — bisonquest @ 8:13 pm

Craig:  Today we broke ground, literally, for our second Bison Quest cabin.  The upper few inches of the soil are now frozen and it required a pick to break a crack in the soil wide enough to get the tractor’s loader bucket below the frost line.  Once through the frozen soil, the tractor’s hydrolics did all the work.  This cabin will be 20×17 feet (our other cabin is 18×15 feet).  We had 1280 linear feet of logs delivered last week for the new cabin.

I worked late today until it was dark (about 6 PM), and when coming up from camp, Venus and Jupiter were a dazzling sight low in the southwest.  In our solar system these are the biggest (Jupiter) and brightest (Venus), and they are side by side.  If you have not seen this, it is worth a view.  Although the 2 planets appear close, Venus is to the left of the sun, maybe 50 million miles or so away, while Jupiter is way out behind the sun maybe 400 or 500 million miles away.  Venus is on the move and is changing position in relation to Jupiter each night.  Jupiter appears higher in the sky than Venus because its orbital plain is different than that of Venus.  A few years ago when Venus was a morning star, I did an experiment to see if Venus (about -2 magnitude) could be viewed with a telescope during the day.  To my surprise, I had no problem seeing Venus 3 hours after sunrise.  A few days ago I tried the same thing with Sirius, the brightest star in the northern hemisphere (about -1 magnitude), and it was faintly visible when the sun was illuminating Six Mile Mountain, but I don’t think Sirius would be visible in full sun light like Venus.  However, at night through the telescope, Sirius is a brilliant blue-white star.

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