Thursday, February 20, 2020

Moon and Planets - Feb. 20

There were lots of clouds this morning, but I got a few chances to see Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon.

I didn't see the stars of Sagittarius with my naked eye, but they were visible when I was focusing in Live View and in the picture.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Moon and Planets - Feb. 18-20

The Moon and planets are going to be worth looking at this week. On Tuesday morning (Feb. 18) the Moon is quite near Mars. In fact, for places to west of Bonaire, the Moon will pass right in front of Mars while it is still dark out.

If I were to have my telescope out here on Bonaire, which I probably won't, I could probably see the Moon blot out Mars from 09:10 to 09:13 Tuesday morning. Mars would then emerge from the shadowed side of the Moon about an hour later. The timing will most likely be different in other places. 

On Wednesday morning, the Moon will be near Jupiter.

On Thursday morning, the Moon will be near Saturn. If you use the Moon to nail down the location of these three planets this week, you'll be able to follow their progress across the sky all through the spring and summer.

It was cloudy here on Bonaire this morning. I'm hoping for at least one clear morning on Tue, Wed. or Thur. this week!

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Green Flash Season

January and February are green flash season here on Bonaire. During one January, back during the last millennium, when we were living on the seaside, we saw a green flash 17 evenings in a row.

The green flash has been putting on a good show this year too. Here is a brief video clip from last night. I thought that I had the camera on manual video mode, but it turns out that it wasn't. So the first part is a bit underexposed and the last part is a bit over exposed. But one can see a good bit of green none the less.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Venus and Neptune Conjunction

The Moon and Venus were a beautiful sight in the western sky this evening. It would have made an awesome picture with the right foreground. I reluctantly gave it a pass. 
BECAUSE Venus and Neptune were in conjunction this evening. Neptune was a bit to the lower right of Venus, think 5 o'clock if you are in the States. 
Of course, at magnitude 7.9, Neptune is 60,000 times dimmer than -4.1 magnitude Venus! I just barely barely detected Neptune with averted vision in 20x80 binoculars set up on a solid parallelogram mount. Neptune was considerably easier to spot last summer when Bud Gillan and I saw it low in the east from Red Slave.
I think the sky wasn't quite as clear tonight, and the glare from Venus wasn't helping. I was too lazy to set up a telescope and was glad to get a glimpse in the binoculars.
But, Neptune is easy to see in an image I made with my trusty Nikon P1000 camera. Venus is in the middle. The mag 4.2 star Phi Aquarii is above Venus, and Neptune is below Venus. Phi Aquarii was very easy to spot in the binoculars. :)
The other picture is the moon, also shot with the P1000.


Sunday, January 26, 2020

Starry Starry Saturday Night

The skies were really clear and dark last night. It was the kind of that I would head down south to see the LMC.  But since I got a good picture of that a few years ago, I ventured to a friend's kunuku part way between Kralenkijk and Rincon and looked at the northern and eastern skies.

The views were gorgeous. Here are a few pictures I shot with an 85mm lens. One shows the Pleiades and the California nebula. One shows Cassiopeia, the M shape. And one shows Auriga.

I labeled some of the clusters and nebulae that one can observe with binoculars or a telescope.

You'll want to view them at full size.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Super Skinny Moon

Jan 25.  Sandra and I saw a super skinny teeny tiny Moon tonight. Mercury was to the Moon's lower right and just barely fit within the same binocular field of view as the Moon.

After we located them in the binoculars, we also located them with the naked eye.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Moon, Mars, Antares

It was clear Sunday morning at 6am and we saw the Moon, Mars and Antares.

On Monday morning, the Moon will move down by Mars and Antares.