20 June 2011

Summer solstice, the longest day, the shortest night. 21.06.2011

 Hello everyone!

Summer solstice is within us every year, we all know it and we all enjoy it, especially Juhannus. Here is facts about Finnish culture and the summer solstice.

Before 1316, the summer solstice was called Ukon juhla, after the Finnish god Ukko. In Karelian tradition, many bonfires were burned side by side, the biggest of which was called Ukko-kokko (the "bonfire of Ukko"). 
After the celebrations were Christianized, the holiday is known as juhannus after John the Baptist (Finnish: Johannes Kastaja). Since 1955, the holiday is always on a Saturday (between June 20 and June 26). Earlier it was always on June 24. A lot of the celebration of midsummer takes place on midsummer eve, when many workplaces are closed and shops have to close their doors at noon.

In the Finnish midsummer celebration, bonfires (Finnish kokko) are very common and are burnt at lakesides and by the sea. Often two young birch trees (koivu) are placed on either side of the front door to welcome visitors. Swedish-speaking Finns often celebrate by erecting a midsummer or maypole (Swedish midsommarstång, majstång). 

An important feature of the midsummer in Finland is the white night and the midnight sun. Because of Finland's location spanning around the Arctic circle the nights near the midsummer day are short or non-existent. This gives a great contrast to the darkness of the winter time. The weather varies between years, the highest temperature is on average about 20°C (Southern Finland).

Many Finns leave the cities for Midsummer and spend time in the countryside. Nowadays many spent a few days there, and some Finns (who don't travel abroad) take their whole vacation in cottage. Rituals include bonfires, cookout, sauna and spending time together. Heavy drinking is also associated with the Finnish midsummer. 

It's also common to start summer holidays on Midsummer day. For many families the Midsummer is the time when they move to the countryside to their summer cottage by the sea or lake. Midsummerday is also the Day of the Finnish Flag. The flag is hoisted at 6 pm on Midsummer eve and flown all night till 9 pm the following evening. Finnish Canadians in the New Finland district, Saskatchewan, Canada celebrate Juhannus.

Happy Juhannus to everyone!

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

credit: Wikipedia

17 June 2011


Links through space has reached 2000 views.
Astronomy is growing in our community and the people are interested. Thank you for your support and be assured we will keep on taking pictures of the night sky.

For the future Kustavi Astronomy Club here in Finland remains open for new projects and activities concerning Astronomy that is beneficial
for all. Every first Saturday of the month we continue with our open door observations, space related presentations and DVD shows.

So, welcome all of you who wants to learn astronomy and other that are just curious.

Tapani Isomäki, Risto Honkasalmi and Uolevi Leppäkoski
KTY toutatis Astronomy Club
Kustavi, Finland

16 June 2011

Total Eclipse of the Moon 15/16.06.2011 (Part 3)

Hi everyone!
Yesterday was the Total eclipse of the Moon and  we where very exited to experience this amazing occurrence.
But as we stood there the only thing we where starring at was the clouds...
By surprise at 00:36 just before the partial eclipse ended, we saw the most amazing Full Moon with a piece of it missing.

That is where every body shouted and clapped. Me I was preparing the cameras and the telescopes so that every one present at our Eclipse of the Moon party could see it through the telescopes.
Photos and observation lasted for 30 minutes and at the end, despite the clouds at the beginning, the people where very happy.
So all in all it was a great experience and I want to thank all the participants and say: "See you at the next Lunar eclipse!"

And here is the MOON CAKE that we made in honnor of the Total eclipse of the Moon 15-16.06.2011.


Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

15 June 2011

Total Eclipse of the Moon 15/16.06.2011 (Part 2)

Hi you astronomy lovers!
On the photo above you can see how the Eclipse will unfold itself in the landscape of Kustavi. (click on the photo to enlarge)
I went to the place where we are going to see the Eclipse tomorrow and simulated how it would look like.
At the same time it was a good practice to see where to put my camera and telescope for the best possible pictures.

So if you are near Kustavi come and join us for the Total Eclipse of the Moon of june 15-16 2011.  (just phone me at 045 121 0560)
 We expect to have a BBQ and even a cake in a form of the Moon with a orange-brownish color to fit the occasion :)

ps: If you cannot attend our Lunar Eclipse party, you can always go at this site ---> Astronomy live and look at it on the internet via other peoples telescopes.

Enjoy and clear skies!!!

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

10 June 2011

Total eclipse of the Moon on the 15/16.06.2011

Hello Stargazers!
This month we have the opportunity to watch the total eclipse of the Moon.
It is the first of two total lunar eclipses in 2011, the second occurring on December 10.

It is a relatively rare central eclipse where the moon passes in front of the center of the Earth’s shadow.
The last lunar eclipse closer to the center of the earth’s shadow was on July 16, 2000.
The next central total lunar eclipse will be on July 27, 2018.

The phenomenon starts at 20.23 Finnish time and goes until 2.02 am, but the total eclipse occures at 23.13.
The Moon is in the southern sky and is very low in the south of Finland. Not more then 6 degrees in the sky.
So if you want to see it, you have to go up and be sure there is no trees or building blocking the horizon.

Here is a link --->HERE where you can visualize the eclipse (U.T. time). Enjoy and clear skies.

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland