Saturday, July 14, 2018

Moon, Planets and Milky Way

The super skinny Moon will be right next to Mercury tonight, at least as seen from Bonaire. (if the skies are clear) Mercury is to the left of the Moon. Venus shines up above the Mercury-Moon pair. The Moon will move up closer to Venus by Sunday night, July 15.
 
Here is a Milky Way panorama I shot last week after the rains cleared the dust out of the skies for a day or two.  Not sure how it will look downsized here.  The original file would print about four feet wide at 300 dots per inch. If I ever shoot this again, I'll try getting closer to the huts so they don't end up so teeny tiny in the image.
 
That's Mars coming up to the right of the red light on the horizon.  The red light at the top of a radar tower.  The Southern Cross is at the far right.  The Northern Cross is at the far left.
 

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Kibrahacha Trees 2018

I shot a zillion Kibrahacha tree photos over the last two days. I haven't even inspected them all yet. Here in no particular order, is a short selection of images so far.







Thursday, July 05, 2018

Vesta Update

We had 1.75 inches of rain on Sunday, the first real good rain in months. It may have washed some of the Sahara dust out of the sky because the sky was pretty clear Monday night, at least in the South where we wanted to see the Milky Way.


We were able to see, from west to east: Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars.

Here is a shot showing where the asteroid Vesta has moved to.  It is a much wider shot than the one I posted a week or so ago.

Kibrahachas Are on the Way

Following the big rains on Sunday, we've been eagerly anticipating the blooming of the Kibrahacha trees.

There is a lot of yellow on the hills of Sabadeco and the ones east of Antriol. I haven't been up north but hopefully those trees will all bloom too. I think tomorrow will be awesome.

Right now the flowers haven't quite popped yet.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Vesta July 2

We had 1.75 inches of rain on Sunday, the first real good rain in months. It may have washed some of the Sahara dust out of the sky because the sky was pretty clear Monday night, at least in the South where we wanted to see the Milky Way. Most of the rest of the sky was murky.  I never did see the North star for example.

But we were able to see, from west to east: Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars.

Here is a shot of the summer Milky Way showing where the asteroid Vesta has moved to. That is a cloud at the top left.  This is a much wider shot than the one I posted a week or so ago.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Another look at Vesta from June 18

Here is a wider view of the Milky Way, were the asteroid Vesta was hanging out last Monday. I labeled a bunch of the cool things that we were looking at with the binoculars.


I also drew a red line to about where Vesta should be tonight


Oops - That bright blob labeled Jupiter is really Saturn!



The Pipe Nebula is a dark nebula created by foreground dust that is obscuring the background stars. If you look at this whole image upside down, like you would be seeing it in Australia, you'll see that the pipe forms the head of the Kiwi figure.



I use the pipe nebula to gauge how clear the sky is. If I can make out the pipe shape with my naked eye, the "seeing" is as good as it gets here.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Asteroid Vesta

The second largest asteroid, Vesta, is "close" to the Earth right now, as it orbits the Sun. Kind of like Mars will be at the end of July. They say that it can just barely be detected with the naked eye right now. Well, the sky was clear last Monday, so we zoomed out to a dark site to see what we could see. 
 
The moonlight was interfering until it set around 23:30. Then the clouds swarmed in. So we didn't get to see Vesta with the naked eye. We observed it in binoculars though. I snapped a couple pictures with the zoom lens at about 200mm. You'll need to click on the thumbnails to see much of anything in these images. 
 
The darker picture is a 58 second long exposure and shows fainter stars than we could see in the binoculars. The lighter picture is 96 seconds long and is starting to show the Milky Way star clouds. By now, Vesta will have moved towards the upper right side of the frame. If we ever get a cloud free night, I'll want to check it out again.
 
Oh, and that clump of stars to the upper left of Vesta is M23.

 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Mini Moon

 
The moon was "new" yesterday afternoon, so I was curious to see if I could see a moon sliver tonight. There was quite a bit of haze, but no clouds, and I was able to spot it. The Moon is a little easier to see in the photos than it was with the naked eye.