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.

Monday, January 13, 2020

The Moon, Mars and Antares will be putting on a show for all you early birds this coming weekend.

Red Mars and red-ish Antares will be getting closer and closer together, and then the Moon joins the show on Sunday and Monday mornings.
You should be able to see the changing positions of Mars and Antares each morning by Friday for sure.

Here is a link to an animation that I saw on