Astronomy & Natural Wonders

Tributes to the beauty of the universe ...

Click any picture to navigate to the page of interest for more information about this tartan or its associated day.

Full Moons

Jan 10
Lunar "Wolf Moon" Eclipse (2020)

Designed by Carol A.L. Martin, this tartan was inspired by two full moons in 2009.

Norwegian Night

Jan 15
Winter Auroras

This tartan was inspired by the Aurora Borealis in the night sky, frequently seen in Norway. The colours used are: red, blue and white from the Norwegian flag; yellow, white and black are for the Aurora Borealis in the night sky (polar light). ​

Exploration of Titan

Mar 25
Titan Discovery Day

The colours in this tartan specifically represent the organic compounds and chemical processes studied on Saturn's moon Titan.

Aurora

Mar 31
Spring Aurora Watch

This tartan, by designer Carol A.L. Martin, exhibits the beautiful diverse hues of the northern lights.

Distant Galaxy

Apr 24
the Hubble Telescope Launch (1990)

This tartan, designed by Carol A.L. Martin, was inspired by the images seen through the Hubble telescope.

Infra-Red

May 2
Astronomy Day (Spring)

This tartan, by designer Carol A.L. Martin, was designed to illustrate the long wavelengths beyond visible light such as thermal radiation.

New Star

May 2
Astronomy Day (Spring)

This tartan, designed by Carol A.L. Martin, references the colours of the birthplace of new stars, huge, cold clouds of gas and dust, known as 'nebulas'.

Star Trails

May 2
Astronomy Day (Spring)

This tartan, designed by Carol A.L. Martin, illustrates the long-exposure photography of stars as they appear to move across the sky, leaving colourful trails.

Sunspots

May 2
Astronomy Day (Spring)

This tartan, designed by Carol A.L. Martin, explores the variation of colours exhibited by the active sun.

Milky Way

May 21
Milky Way Viewing Season

This tartan, designed by Carol A.L. Martin, represents a view of the Milky Way with the light bands showing the concentration of stars located in the direction of the galactic plane along with the dark regions in the Zone of Avoidance where the light is blocked by interstellar dust. The red lines represent the cosmological red shift, due to the expansion of the universe.

Umbra

May 26
Lunar Eclipse (2021)

Designed by Carol A.L. Martin, this tartan uses amongst shades of black, white, and gray, a special color called "eclipse"!

Lunar

Jul 20
Moon Landing

This tartan's colours emphasize the black, brown and grey from the lunar rock brought back to earth by the Apollo missions and the red for the rocket flame.

Moon and Airless Bodies

Jul 20
Moon Day

This tartan was designed to celebrate robotic and human science, exploration and outreach activities associated with the Moon or other airless bodies including asteroids, comets, Kuiper Belt Objects or other objects.

NASA Apollo 11 Moon Landing and Moon Walk

Jul 20
Apollo 11 Moon Walk Day

This tartan's colours emphasize the black, brown and grey from the lunar rock brought back to earth by the Apollo missions and the red for the rocket flame.

Comet

Jul 28
Comet Day (2061)

By designer Carol A.L. Martin, this tartans uses colours that represent a comet as it reaches perihelion in the night sky.

Twinkle

Aug 11
The Dog Days of Summer & Perseids

This tartan, by Carol A.L. Martin, represents a twinkling star in a dark night sky.

Dark Island (Black Moon)

Aug 18
Black Moon (2020)

The blackest of black tartans! Find out how the tartan pattern is created with a single colour!

Flare

Sep 2
The Carrington Event of 1859

This fiery tartan by designer Carol A.L. Martin, replicates the hot colors of the sun against the black of empty space.

Astrobiology

Sep 26
Astronomy Day (Fall)

The tartan colours were chosen specifically for the field of Astrobiology, the branch of biology concerned with the study of life on earth and in space.

Seek the Peak - Mount Washington Observatory

Sep 26
Astronomy Day (Fall)

Aurora Borealis

Sep 30
Fall Aurora Watch

This tartan, by designer Carol A.L. Martin, exhibits the beautiful diverse hues of the northern lights.

Harvest Moon

Oct 1
Harvest Moon

By designer Carol A.L. Martin, this tartan was inspired by the colours of a bright Harvest Moon in the autumn night.

Redwoods

Oct 2
Redwoods Day

By designer Carol A.L. Martin, this tartan was inspired by the colours of a bright Harvest Moon in the autumn night.

Sol

Oct 15
Indian Summer

By designer Carol A.L. Martin, this tartan reflects the muted yellows in autumn when the sun is low in the sky.

Green Flash

Oct 25
Ghosts & Phantoms Night

Tartan design by Carol A.L. Martin

Blue Moon

Oct 31
Blue Moon (2020)

This tartan was inspired by the shadows cast on the snow by the full moon.

Planetary Transit

Nov 11
Planetary Transit of Mercury (2019)

Designed by Arpin Pierre for the last transit of Venus which occurred in June 2012.

Orion Nebula

Nov 26
Orion Nebula Day

The colours in this tartan represent the beautiful spectrum of light emitted from the Orion nebula, one of the most beautiful astronomical objects easily visible in the night sky.

Black Hole

Nov 27
Black Hole Friday

Designed by Carol A.L. Martin, this tartan is designed to reflect the fundamentals of our universe - galaxies, black holes and quasars.

Mars Exploration

Nov 28
Red Planet Day

The colours of this tartan include a red background depicting the surface of Mars; blue depicts the water-rich past of Mars and the presence of water, mainly as ice, on the planet today; the four green lines represent Mars, the fourth planet from the Sun.

Solar Eclipse

Dec 14
The Next Great Solar Eclipse (2020)

The solar eclipse tartan, by designer Carol A.L. Martin, was inspired by the partial solar eclipse of Jan. 4th, 2011, seen across Europe.

Dark Sky

Dec 21
The Winter Solstice

This tartan was designed by Dale Stevenson for the Dark Sky Observatory in Dalmellington using colours that reflect the night sky.

Moon Shadows

Dec 29
Full Moon (Cold Moon)

By designer Carol A.L. Martin, this tartan was inspired by the shadows of a full moon on a winter's night.

A Penumbral Eclipse

Jan 10
Lunar "Wolf Moon" Eclipse (2020)

The moon, framed by ashes from the Mount Sinabung volcano, penumbral eclipse from Karo in North Sumatra province on August 8, 2017

Aurora Borealis

Jan 15
Winter Auroras

Auroras are produced when the magnetosphere is sufficiently disturbed by the solar wind, which carries charged particles mainly in the form of electrons and protons, and precipitates them into the upper atmosphere (thermosphere/exosphere), where their energy is lost.

Titan's phases

Mar 25
Titan Discovery Day

Titan is the largest moon of Saturn. It is the only moon known to have a dense atmosphere, and the only object in space, other than Earth, where clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid has been found.

Aurora on the Isle of Lewis

Mar 31
Spring Aurora Watch

The aurora is caused by the interaction of solar wind - a stream of charged particles escaping the sun - and Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere.

Hubble Image

Apr 24
the Hubble Telescope Launch (1990)

A giant cluster of about 3000 stars called Westerlund 2. The cluster resides in a raucous stellar breeding ground known as Gum 29, located 20 000 light-years away in the constellation Carina - photo: NASA

Infra Red Photography

May 2
Astronomy Day (Spring)

Long wavelengths, such as infra-red or radio waves can make it through the Earth's atmosphere without significant obstacles. In fact, radio telescopes can observe even on cloudy days.

Serpens Cloud Core

May 2
Astronomy Day (Spring)

According to our best available estimates, stars having about 90 percent of the sun's mass are just now starting to die in the globulars. These stars are most probably around 15 billion years old, but they could conceivably be as young as 12 billion years or as old as 18 billion years.

Star trails

May 2
Astronomy Day (Spring)

Photography by Lincoln Harrison - There are two methods popular with star photographers – using one very long exposure (long enough to register some noticeable star movement; at least 30 minutes) OR taking many shorter exposures and stacking those images in a way that shows sequential movement.

Sunspots

May 2
Astronomy Day (Spring)

Sunspots tend to appear in cycles of 11 years and can sometimes erupt into powerful solar storms that shoot streams of charged particles into space, occasionally in the direction of Earth. Some solar storms can bombard Earth's magnetic field and disrupt power grids or knock out satellites in orbit!

The Milky Way

May 21
Milky Way Viewing Season

In western culture, the name "Milky Way" is derived from its appearance as a dim un-resolved "milky" glowing band arching across the night sky. The term is derived from the Hellenistic Greek for "milky circle." In Greek mythology, the Milky Way was supposedly made from the forceful suckling of Heracles, as Hera acted as a wet nurse.

The Earth's Umbra

May 26
Lunar Eclipse (2021)

This composite image uses successive pictures recorded during the eclipse from Athens, Greece to trace out a large part of the umbra's curved edge.

Lunar Walk

Jul 20
Moon Landing

Panorama created from photos taken on the fourth crewed Moon mission, Apollo 15, which landed in August of 1971

Craters on the Moon

Jul 20
Moon Day

Many features of the moon are named after famous individuals. Amongst others, several craters of the moon are named after Scottish scientists, including John Napier, and James Clerk Maxwell.

Moon Landing, July 21, 1969

Jul 20
Apollo 11 Moon Walk Day

Astronaut Neil Armstrong on the moon's surface

Comet Hale-Bopp, 1997

Jul 28
Comet Day (2061)

As a comet gets closer to the Sun, some of its frozen gases sublimate creating a coma – a bright envelope of atmosphere that surrounds a comet. These gases can reflect sunlight which is visible in the form of two tails. The ion tail – a collection of charged particles pushed away by the solar wind – will begin to glow with a blue tint.

Starry Night

Aug 11
The Dog Days of Summer & Perseids

The Dog Days of summer, generally reckoned to begin July 3rd and ending August 11th, coinciding with the rising of the Dog Star, Sirius, in the constellation Canis Major.

Almost a New Moon

Aug 18
Black Moon (2020)

The term black moon refers to an additional new moon that appears in a month or in a season. It may also refer to the absence of a full moon or of a new moon in a month.

Solar Flare

Sep 2
The Carrington Event of 1859

Massive solar flares are sometimes accompanied by coronal mass ejections which can trigger geomagnetic storms that have been known to disable satellites and knock out terrestrial electric power grids for extended periods of time.

Earth-bound and Extra-Terrestrial Life

Sep 26
Astronomy Day (Fall)

Astrobiology is a branch of biology concerned with the origins, early evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. Astrobiology considers the question of whether extraterrestrial life exists, and how humans can detect it if it does.

Sep 26
Astronomy Day (Fall)

Aurora on the Isle of Lewis

Sep 30
Fall Aurora Watch

The aurora is caused by the interaction of solar wind - a stream of charged particles escaping the sun - and Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere.

Wheat in the Night

Oct 1
Harvest Moon

Harvest Moons often appear larger and more colourful than other moons of the year, aided by the tilt of the earth and reflections from the atmosphere.

Oct 2
Redwoods Day

Harvest Moons often appear larger and more colourful than other moons of the year, aided by the tilt of the earth and reflections from the atmosphere.

Indian Summer Hudson River

Oct 15
Indian Summer

“Indian summer” is a phrase most North Americans use to describe an unseasonably warm and sunny patch of weather during autumn.

Green Flash

Oct 25
Ghosts & Phantoms Night

Green flashes and green rays are rare optical phenomena that occur shortly after sunset or before sunrise, usually observed from a low altitude where there is an unobstructed view of the horizon, such as on the ocean.

Blue Moon Shadows

Oct 31
Blue Moon (2020)

Astronomically, a "blue moon" is an additional full moon that appears in a subdivision of a year: either the third of four full moons in a season, or a second full moon in a month of the common calendar, depending on the astronomical or the current common definition.

2016 Transit of Mercury

Nov 11
Planetary Transit of Mercury (2019)

As seen from Earth, Mercury appears to cross the disk of the sun — an event known as a transit — only about 13 times per century.

Orion Nebula

Nov 26
Orion Nebula Day

The nebula is easily seen within the belt of the constellation of Orion the hunter. The brilliant reddish color of the nebula. That comes from ionized hydrogen gas, which emits a characteristic red emission line when electrons fall back down in the orbitals of hydrogen atoms.

Black Hole

Nov 27
Black Hole Friday

Recent experiments have detected multiple instances of gravitational waves, predicted more than a century ago by Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

Mars

Nov 28
Red Planet Day

The first attempt by the United States to land on Mars was originally planned for July 4, 1976, the United States Bicentennial, but imaging of the primary landing site showed it was too rough for a safe landing. The landing was delayed until a safer site was found, and took place instead on July 20, the seventh anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

Partial Solar Eclipse

Dec 14
The Next Great Solar Eclipse (2020)

The great solar of eclipse of 2017, resulted in the moon's penumbral shadow yielding a partial eclipse visible from a large region covering most of North America.

SDSO

Dec 21
The Winter Solstice

In astrophysics and physical cosmology, Olbers' paradox, also known as the "dark night sky paradox," is the argument that the darkness of the night sky conflicts with the assumption of an infinite and eternal static universe.

Moon Shadows

Dec 29
Full Moon (Cold Moon)

The Cold Moon is also known as the Long Night's Moon and the Moon before Yule.

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