Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

February 21, 2006 > Travel back in time...twice

Travel back in time...twice

by Michael Swartz

Every year, the staff at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont prepares for their seasonal transition from winter to spring. This time is crucial for them as well as all those involved with agricultural awareness. Planting and seasons are linked; the timing for the sowing seeds is related to the Sun and the return of spring. Ardenwood Farm is a working historical farm so a visit is a journey into living, breathing history.

Interpretive staff member Eric Nicholas will host "The Solar Event," a program that will give visitors a look at something that, while always present during the day, is difficult to see without the aid of special viewing devices and filters. These filters are important because looking at the Sun directly will damage your eyes. This exciting event promises a look at sunspots and solar flares as well as an opportunity to learn important facts about the earth's greatest benefactor.

The Sun, our nearest stellar neighbor, resides at a distance of 93 million miles from Earth. Looking at the Sun is actually looking into the past. Considering the distance between the Earth and the Sun, when we look at our local star (with the proper equipment), we are actually looking a little over eight minutes into the past. That's right. The light you see has traveled for eight minutes to get to the planet, so if you come out next Sunday you will be able to travel back in time twice in one day!

Plants, animals, farmers and our life-sustaining Earth, all owe their very existence to this neighborhood star. It is theorized that everything in our solar system is the result of the birth of the Sun. Air stirred by radiation expelled in the solar wind affects oceanic currents and climates are governed by the Earth's relationship to the Sun.

Ardenwood is now gearing up for the change of seasons. Fields are being turned, seeds gathered and planting is about to begin, leading to a plentiful harvest. The park invites all to come by and enjoy the warmth and glimpse the majesty of our vital neighborhood star.

The Solar Event
Sunday, Feb. 26
3 to 4 p.m.
Ardenwood Historical Farm
34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont
(510) 796-0663

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