Sunday Reads: Favorite Books in 2019

A47A1F69-5B11-4CED-988B-847927477D51.JPG

By Cindy Chin, CEO CLC Advisors

This article first appeared on Medium. You can read the full list here: Read Here

As 2019 draws to a close and we are surrounded by friends and family, it is also a time for meaningful reflection and something to do whilst lounging on the proverbial family sofa. This is my last Sunday Reads for 2019 and this decade. Part of my planning process for a new year includes a selection list of books I’d like to read in 2020. There is already 25 books on my new “Books to Read” list for 2020, but before we go there here are my favorites from this past year in no particular order: https://bit.ly/2ZwCMG9

You may recognize a few of these names on the list. Follow them if you don’t already. Happy reading in 2020!

Space and Time for Play, a Conversation with a Mausonaut

This article first appeared on Medium. You can read the full article here: Read more.

This article is part of a series of articles on design thinking and thought leaders that transform into what we at CLC Advisorscall “i.e.,” the “idea economy.” Where ideas become and transform into widgets for those who choose to dare mighty things to build something bigger than themselves.We are the explorers of the universe.

I first met Mausonaut and his human person Holger Voss at the rocket launch of the Sentinel-2B satellite at the European Space Agency’s Operations Center. Recently, I flew to Berlin to attend a ESA SpaceTalk at the Siftung Planetarium Berlin to reunite with Mausonaut, Holger, and ESA’s Director General Jan Wörner. From there, our curiosity grew, adventures began, and so did the conversations with Mausonaut about imagination, exploration, and the curiosity it takes to make space (literally and figuratively) for creativity through play. We hope that you will enjoy reading this article with your families during this holiday season and wish you the happiest of holidays and best wishes for the new year and decade!

Full Moon Rise at Stonehenge

By Cindy Chin, CEO & Founder, CLC Advisors, LLC

On Sunday, 27 September, 2015, twenty-eight amateur and professional astronomers and photographers ranging from ages 5 to 65 descended upon the English countryside in Salisbury, UK, to the Stonehenge monument in Amesbury. The reason for this occasion that has been occurring for the past twelve years was to view the full moon rise amongst the stones.

Autumn Supermoon rise at Stonehenge. Salisbury, UK.

Since 2002, Pete Glastonbury has been organizing this special access event to view the full moon risings for the last 12 years. The first was a special commission for Stonehenge that included renowned archaeoastronomers Professor Gerald Hawkins, Professor Vance Tiede and Professor Hubert Allen. Fast-forward a dozen years and we have English Heritage’s steward Simon Banton as unofficial guide and new generations of astronomers.

Pete Glastonbury

This year wasn’t any regular autumn full moon rise, but a “super moon” coinciding with a blood full moon in combination with a total lunar eclipse later in the evening. This phenomenon has not occurred in more than 30 years, the last occurring in 1982, and the next one expected in 2033. The perigee full moon, when the moon is closest to the earth (approximately 31,000 miles closer), was fully visible rising from the stone circle of Stonehenge and our group of astronomers were ready with their cameras and tripods to capture the moment as the sun was seen setting directly behind them.

Sunset at Stonehenge Circle, 27 September, 2015

Lunar eclipses typically occur about twice a year when the Earth’s shadow blankets the moon from the sun. Modern-day scientists and astronomers can predict eclipses many centuries into the future and the stones at Stonehenge were constructed in a fashion that in ancient times communities were using their own methods to predict such occurrences. This fourth and final eclipse of a lunar tetrad was also called the “blood moon” as the moon appears in a reddish-orange brown during full lunar eclipse.

Supermoon rise at Stonehenge Circle

According to Simon Banton, a steward of English Heritage who led this group into the inner circle of the stones, the builders of Stonehenge were astonishing engineers. “Someone conceived the design of the structure as an architect. There are many hundreds of stone circles in Britain alone. Stonehenge was built with stones designed to fit into other stones. Two uprights and one across the top of the stones.”

Bluestones, polished & unfinished

English Heritage’s Steward Simon Banton holding a Bronze Age axe head. Stonehenge, Salisbury, United Kingdom.

The winter solstice sunset signifies the end of one cycle and the beginning of another cycle. The only unarguable alignment of Stonehenge in the way it was built in the direction facing the winter solstice with a progression in height: Two small, two medium, and one large, increasing in height. Entering the temple is most impressive is what’s facing, framing, or from the heel stone.

British-born American archaeoastronomer Gerald Hawkins first proposed that Stonehenge was an an ancient astronomical observatory that was used to predict the movements of the stars and sun. Using an early-model IBM 7090 computer, Hawkins entered the positions of the standing stones and other features of Stonehenge to model the movements and positions of the sun and moon using the positions of 56 holes as markers for the moon and sun to calculate the nodes of lunar orbit twice a day in a 28-day cycle.

One of the 56 Aubrey holes at Stonehenge.

With modern-day technology in archaeoastronomy, science is able to replicate and predict the accuracy of the stones at Stonehenge to measure the lunar orbits and seasons and their relevance even today. As space science outreach and retired teacher Chris Starr, 62, from Somerset said, “The experience of watching the moonrise was once in a lifetime, the sharing of a common experience from today, and what the ancients witnessed. Sharing a sense of wonder and a common thread. Stonehenge is an observatory built by some really smart ancestors. Even emerging from the plains of East Africa. It must have been quite a spectacle for our ancestors.”

Somerset’s Chris Starr at Stonehenge examining Bluestones.

Todd Howard, 40, another Stonehenge participant who was introduced to these outings through SpaceFest channels, pondered on the construction of Stonehenge. “It was built by intelligent people with astronomical awareness. Too many things that don’t line up to be a full observatory, but it had a huge social element to it,” as people traveled as far as Scotland to feast and celebrate the beginning of the new year.

Todd Howard

The furthest participant to travel was astrophotographer Jeanette Lamb, 52, who came all the way from Queensland, Australia, for the first time. She has entered local astronomy competitions and has been awarded prizes for her photographs of the night sky and stars. “I cried when the moon rose over the stones. The history and privilege of being allowed at Stonehenge to view the moon rise is amazing. When you live in a country where there is no astronomical society, online communities bring astronomers and space scientists together. The online community is making our world smaller.” Indeed it is.

Astrophotographer Jeanette Lamb. Photo credit: Amjad Zaidi.

For more on the documentary Pete Glastonbury and Silent Earth are currently filming, including the work of Professor Gerald Hawkins here.

This full article can also be found on Silent Earth’s website here.