Volunteers unload cars during the December 9, 2022, Share Your Christmas Food Drive at the Carson Valley Inn in Minden benefiting the Carson Valley Community Food Closet. The Grocery Cupboard holds its annual open house on February 9th.
Photo by Kurt Hildebrand.
Carson Valley Community Food Closet will be hosting an open house on February 9 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. All are welcome to visit the facility for a tour of the warehouse and distribution center and enjoy light refreshments.
The annual community open house is an invitation to the public to see firsthand what CVCFC can achieve through the generosity of food donations, monetary donations, and volunteer hours. The non-profit CVCFC provides food supply assistance to people who are food insecure with support from individuals, businesses, grocers, service groups and churches, and their partnership with the Food Bank of Northern Nevada.
CVCFC volunteers perform a variety of duties, including greeting customers, setting up items, filling out food coupons, and picking up food donations. Anyone interested in volunteering with CVCFC is invited to attend one of their monthly orientations, held on site on the fourth Tuesday of each month from 10:30am to 11:30am. The next orientation will be on February 28th.
CVCFC is located at 1251 Waterloo Lane in Gardnerville; her phone number is 775-782-3711. For more information about the Food Closet’s services, programs, special events and support opportunities, visit www.thefoodcloset.org
Comet makes a pass near Earth
My sister is well acquainted with my penchant for night time observing and has been sending me updates on Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF), discovered last March by astronomers at the Zwicky Transient Facility at the Palomar Observatory in Southern California.
“The Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) is a public-private partnership aimed at a systemic study of the optical night sky” (ztf.caltech.edu). Every two days, the ZTF uses “an extremely wide field of view camera” attached to the Samuel Oschin telescope to scan the northern sky. Astronomers can use the collected data to observe and study space objects, both near (relatively speaking) and in the far reaches of space.
NASA defines comets as “…frozen remnants from the formation of the solar system, made up of dust, rock and ice. They range in width from a few to tens of kilometers, but as they orbit closer to the sun they heat up, spewing gases and dust into a glowing head that can be larger than a planet. This material forms a tail that stretches for millions of kilometers” (solarsystem.nasa.gov). A more comprehensive exploration of comets and a great gallery of comet images are available at NASA’s Solar System website.
Today marks the day when C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will reach its closest proximity to Earth at a distance of approximately 42 million kilometers. There is a chance the comet will be visible without binoculars or a telescope in the hours after sunset, but the light from the waxing moon could obscure visibility.
So far my efforts to see this green colored comet have not been successful, but that won’t stop me from trying again tonight. Although the forecast for Wednesday is for partly cloudy skies at the time of this writing, I still plan to go outside with binoculars and look north towards Ursa Major and Ursa Minor to see if I can catch a glimpse of the comet can catch. If the moon is too bright I’ll try again early Thursday morning sometime after moonset at 4:30am
A beautiful bloom
My father and stepmother sent my family a potted amaryllis at Christmas time. The container showed no sign of growth when it arrived and I wondered if the onion might have been frozen from the cold December temperatures.
However, soon after the holidays, a green stalk emerged from the ground and has been growing steadily ever since. Much to my delight, the amaryllis opened up in a fiery red spectacle just in time for Valentine’s Day.