November 20 , 1999
2 and the Leonid Meteors
I vowed last year after only seeing a few Leonid meteors before fog set in, that this year would be different. So, Jo and I planned a trip to Arizona for a "vacation". This vacation including doing a little research and of course, finding a clear dry sky to view the Leonid meteor shower.
Our first stop was Biosphere 2 located not too far from Tucson, Arizona. Biosphere 2 was the name given to the man-made biosphere that was designed and funded by Space Biosphere Ventures to simulate Earth's (Biosphere 1) own biosphere within a closed system. The intent was to learn how we as humans could someday use an enclosed structure to provide a self-sustaining environment for space exploration.
The original team of scientists, sealed inside of Biosphere 2 were able to live for two years before they were removed from the enclosure. From this experience, scientists were able to learn how fragile the Earth's balance can be. Due to an out-of-control microbe feeding frenzy, scientists were forced to terminate the test. Although, the experiment was terminated due to an imbalance, Biosphere 2 has become a valuable research center for learning how increased carbon dioxide levels may someday effect all life on this planet.
Today, students from Columbia University are learning firsthand about the fragility of life-in-the-balance. Within Biosphere 2, numerous tests are being conducted in different biomes to determine how future climates may effect us all. The Biosphere contains a man-made ocean and tropical rainforest. The public is welcome to visit Biosphere 2, and you can find out more about it at the Biosphere web site.
After visiting the Biosphere, Jo and I headed up towards the Sedona area to do some hiking and viewing of the Leonid meteors. Although there was a meteor storm over Israel, there was none to report out in Arizona. We did see around 40 meteors per hour, but no storm. Our biggest bit of excitement was a burst of meteors that started to occur at 03:30 Mountain Time on November 18th. Between 03:30 and 04:00 we counted 65 meteors within the half hour period. Although it wasn't close to a storm, it was fun to watch.
It was good for both of us to get a way for a bit and we both got our exercise by hiking through the many trails in the area. Jo has pretty much recovered from her surgery and now I must go back to work starting November 22nd. Jo and I both thank you for your thoughts and prayers during Jo's recovery. They must have helped, because Jo is doing just great!
This year's house building adventure was an awesome experience and one I will never forget. During the winter months, I will be planning, designing and building various aspects of the house and will share them right here at Day Creek Journal as things progress. Jo and I will be driving up to Minnesota shortly to view the progress of the roof, and if all goes well, the roofers will have completed the task by the time we arrive. The last word from the roofers was that they got most of the roof up, before they ran out of steel. If the weather holds out, I hope to be showing you pictures of our completed roof by next week -- We shall see.