Sunday, September 14, 2014

Weekend Adventures: Lick Observatory

During school this week Kyla was learning about M for moon and Keanan's science topic was the stars and planets (I love how they lined up so well this week!).  We made balloon rockets, a mobile of the solar system, watched cool videos of meteoroids and the moon, and of course read lots of library books on the topics.
Our solar system mobile
To top off the week, we went to the Lick Observatory today  up in the hills above San Jose.   The road up there was insane!  Tradition says there are 365 turns - and I believe it.  It was a good thing I was driving or I would have been car sick. The view of the valley and hills up there was beautiful once we got to the top, but even cooler than that was what we saw inside.  The Observatory is very old, built in 1876, and at the time that the 36 inch diameter Lick Telescope was built, it was the largest in the world!  We were able to take a tour into the dome where the telescope is housed and learn about the history.  It was on this telescope that the 5th moon of Jupiter was discovered!!  We also got to go under the platform where James Lick is buried - a little weird to see a tomb under a giant telescope.
Can you see some of the crazy road?
view from the top
The Lick Telescope
Zac's panoramic shot - the thing is huge!
On the Lick Observatory grounds there about 10 other telescopes including the 120 inch diameter Shane reflector.  We got to see this one too, but not in as much detail as the Lick refractor.  God's creation is so amazing, and we are such a small part of it!
The Shane Reflector is behind us

Other things happening this weekend included ballet class for Kyla, soccer pictures for Keanan, installing shelves in the garage to organize it - freeing up the other half for Josh to live in (instead of in the living room!), Kyla and I planting a strawberry patch and a kumquat tree, and Keanan and Zac taking apart some very small gears in the lab at his work.  Whew!  Lots of fun!
shelves and organization!
Josh's new room
Working in the lab
Kyla and Mommy's Strawberry Patch
Kumquats!
Have a great week!

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