Tales From the Trail
|This is a drop bag. (Photo: Courtsey of Hannah Moderow)|
Serum Run Star Gazing
Two veterinarians will be available along the trail of the Serum Run. I will tell you much more about our vets during the trip, but in the mean time I thought I would share an email sent by Dr. Jerry Vanek, DVM. He may be a vet by profession, but this man clearly loves watching the stars!
You don’t have to be mushing a dog team to be able to see the stars. I challenge you to look up to the sky on clear nights while we are on the last two weeks of February. The sky is one place that is shared by people all over the world. I’ll be looking up there, too.
Dr. Vanek writes:
Those of you with an eye toward the sky may be interested to know what celestial shows await us on the Serum Run.
Venus will be our evening "star" for the entire trip, setting later each night and in front of us as we head west. By Nome, it will be setting around midnight and not really an "evening" star anymore.
Saturn will be rising in the east as Venus is setting. Thus, Saturn will be out all night for the entire trip. It will be up in the constellation, Leo.
The new moon (no moon) will be on the Saturday night we're in Nenana. Thus, we should start to see the first crescent moon ("God's fingernail") setting in the west on Sunday or Monday nights. The moon will be waxing (growing bigger and higher) each night until it rises as a full moon behind us in the east on March 3. It should still be fairly bright as it wanes even a week later in Nome.
At the start of the Run, the crescent moon will be setting near Venus and toward the end, the full moon will be rising with Saturn. So, we should see some beautiful evenings.
Also, we will depart on Chinese New Year's Day [February 18]. And, Ash Wednesday is the 21st of February, which means Tuesday will be Mardi Gras. We can toss purple beaded necklaces to anyone we see along the way.
Happy star gazing,
Hannah Moderow is a musher and writer for Scholastic News Online.