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 Our "Solar System" flower beds
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 Sunday, July 23 2006 @ 05:00 pm EDT (Read 1561 times)  
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Registered: 06/19/03
Posts: 461

Thank goodness the weather changed a little this weekend. Friday's cool front dropped the high temperatures to a reasonable 88-90 degrees and I took advantage of that to gather materials and put together a small form for the concrete border around the first flower bed, the "Mercury Bed".

These flower beds are something I dreamed up last year in the springtime. I was thinking about the scale of our solar system, and I had the idea to build a small scale model of our inner solar system. I devised a scale of measurements using a 14" diameter Sun which will be mounted on the side of the trailer. On this scale, Mercury will be a tiny object the size of the head of a pin, only 1.3mm in diameter, and would be approximately 47 feet from the 14" Sun. That'll be our Mercury Bed.

Margaret Brogley, AOAS's resident gardening expert, really liked my idea to place flower beds on the property, and she'll be deciding what flowers will be best to depict the barren grey color of the 1st rock from the Sun. That'll be an added bit of meaning for these flowerbeds, to have them reflect the overall color of the individual planets with the flowers we'll use....grey and white for the Mercury Bed, yellow and orange for the Venus Bed at 88 feet from the 14" Sun, then every color we can come up with for the Earth Bed reflecting the myriad colorful life found on the 3rd rock at a distance of 122 feet from the Sun mounted on the trailer's side. It should make a very interesting addition to what we already have here on the hill.

But it will all start with the Mercury Bed, the one I built the first form for. Sometime in the next few days, I'll get around to trying and place the form where it needs to be, leveled as much as possible, and ready to pour concrete into. The concrete will go down about 12" below ground, and the form will allow for the border to be about 6" above the edge. Plenty of room for a border against Bermuda grass that Margaret assures me WILL try to invade the beds, and sufficient to mow and weed-eat around after it's done. The eventual placement of small engraved plaques showing the sizes of the three inner planets compared to the 14" Sun will complete the project.

Give us another year, and we'll have everything here in pretty good working order. The scopes will finally ALL be utilized, the buildings all freshly painted nice and white as all observatories are, and then there'll be the colorful flowers in the solar system beds, and crepe myrtle bushes (already planted) bordering the road and possibly azaleas around the two roll-off roof buildings, bathroom, and caretaker's quarters for some extra aesthetic beautification.

It'll be something when it reaches that point, and that'll mean it's time for Coleman Observatory to have another proper re-Dedication Ceremony in our new location here on this hill, 8 mi. NW of Van Buren. Everyone will be invited, and few will leave not being impressed by what a group of dedicated amateur astronomers can do, given 5 years of hard work.

Bob Moody
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Anonymous: TexasJagsFan
 Monday, July 31 2006 @ 03:10 am EDT  

Looking forward to our next work day. Come on people, come and help. It's not really that hot outside. If you think it's hot, try living in Houston for 4 years. Then you still think thats bad, go to New Orleans for a vacation. Trust me, it ain't hot or muggy outside.

Back to the point, I can't wait to get everything completed. Maybe as part of the ceremony, maybe we can hold a regional star party to fully utilize our capabilites.

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