Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Venus and Mercury on the Rise

 I think I saw Venus low in the West last night, around 6:35 pm. I wasn't looking for it, just bringing the car in, but it was bright enough to catch my eye, shining between the houses across the street. I had to watch it for a while to make sure it wasn't an airplane coming to Bonaire from Curacao. Mercury should be visible to Venus' upper left, but i didn't spot it. 

 Mercury will be getting higher in the sky each night until around Dec. 23, after which it will start descending again. (I'm thinking that around Dec. 23, we might be able to spot five planets in the sky at the same time. From West to East we'd see: Venus, Mercury, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars.) 

Also, Mercury, Venus and the Moon will make a nice small triangle on the evening of Dec. 24. I'm definitely hoping for clear skies that evening. Mercury will pass quite close to Venus on the evenings of December 29 and 30. Venus will continue to be visible in the evening sky until late July. Mercury will pop up to make another appearance near Venus at that time.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Starry Nights

 The weather has been funny lately here on Bonaire. Super clear one moment, pouring rain the next, Sahara dust etc. But we had a couple clear nights. I got up around 2am the other night to do some meteor observing. Saw a handful of nice ones. Saturday evening, I took pictures of the Lagoon and Trifid Nebulae from out at the TWR transmitter site. And I got back up around 4:30 to see Mars and Uranus close together in the Eastern sky. Uranus was positioned at about 8 o'clock compared to Mars. Monday morning, they'll be more or less side by side as seen on Bonaire. (If you are up around 40 degrees North latitude, Uranus would have been at about 10 o'clock compared to Mars, and probably a bit higher than that tomorrow.) Both planets fit nicely in the field of view of my 10x30 binoculars.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Moon and Venus

 A skinny Moon and Venus were side by side in the sky this morning.  They were in and out of the clouds but looked nice together.

Monday, July 04, 2022

June Showers Bring July Flowers

 The rain we had from the Tropical Depression that passed to the South of Bonaire last Wednesday has caused a few Kibrahacha trees to pop. A Tropical Wave passed to the North of Bonaire on Saturday which completely shut down the wind. That made for an awesome bike ride Saturday morning. The winds filled back in with a vengeance on Sunday, creating what our son and I used to call "the Nuke after the Lull," back when we were windsurfing regularly.


Thursday, June 23, 2022

June Planetary Parade

 Early to bed and early to rise people have an opportunity to see all the naked eye planets lined up in a row in the morning sky right now. It has been hazy and cloudy for more than a month here on Bonaire, but when i woke up at 5:20 this morning, i ran outside and was able to spot the planets through holes in the clouds, just not all at the same time. Mercury was low on the Eastern horizon, then came Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter was almost straight up and Saturn was somewhat to the West past vertical. I'd have to shoot a panorama to get all the planets in a picture. And i think that if I were to resize it to Facebook size, the planets would disappear. I went back out at 5:40 and could still spot the planets but the brighter sky made them not as impressive. Still didn't see all five planets at the same time though. Here is a Sky and Telescope article about the planet lineup. 


Wednesday, May 11, 2022

May 15 Lunar Eclipse

 If the very cloudy skies here on Bonaire ever clear up, we'll be treated to a Lunar Eclipse on Saturday night. Here on Bonaire the Umbral shadow will become visible starting at 10:28 pm. Totality starts at 11:29. Max eclipse is at 00:11:28. Totality ends at 00:54 and the partial phase ends at 01:55. If it is clear out, I'll probably watch it until mid-totality and then head to bed.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

This Month's Morning Moon and Planet Show

 It rained last night, but the skies were clear enough this morning that I could see Jupiter, Venus and the Moon close together in the East before my Koningsdag bike ride.


Friday, April 15, 2022

Four Morning Planets

 I saw the four morning planets at around 5:30 this morning. It has been pretty cloudy and hazy, but there was a brief window of opportunity. Venus is moving to the lower left, so the planes will be even more evenly spaced on Saturday, and maybe the best on Sunday.


Monday, April 04, 2022

Saturn and Mars together in the dawn sky.

 Saturn and Mars made a cute pair in the pre-dawn skies this morning. The are to the upper right of bright Venus in this image. Mars is to the upper right of Saturn.  I was fortunate to get a small window between the clouds and haze to see them.  Tuesday morning Mars will have dropped down to the lower right of Saturn. The two planets should be a little bit closer together as well.


Wednesday, March 30, 2022

More Planet Fun

 Here is what Saturn, Venus and Mars looked like this morning.  Mars and Venus are moving lower in the sky every morning, compared to Saturn and Jupiter.

Mars will pass very close to Saturn on the Morning of April 4 and 5.

And on Easter weekend, particularly on April 14-15, the  four planets will be equally spaced on a diagonal line.  From lower left to upper right, we'll see:  Jupiter, Venus, Mars and  Saturn.

It is really cool when, like now, the planets are obviously zooming around the sky, compared to the fixed stars.  In fact this type of action is what inspired the word Planet.

According to Merriam-Webster: The word Planet goes back to ancient Greek planÄ“t- (literally, "wanderer"), which is derived from planasthai, a Greek verb which means "to wander." The word was originally applied to any of seven visible celestial bodies which appeared to move independently of the fixed stars—the sun, the moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.


Moon and Jupiter

 Whoo whoo!  The clouds cleared up at just the right time for me to see Jupiter to the left of a very skinny Moon.  Unlike Mars and Saturn, Jupiter is bright enough that it is easy to spot in the pre-dawn sky.

In this picture, Jupiter is about one quarter of the way in from the left edge of the frame, and about the same height as the Moon.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Moon and Planets Update

 There was some haze this morning but i could see Mars, Venus, Saturn and the Moon quite easily. On Wednesday morning, a super skinny Moon will be much lower in the sky, and just to the right of Jupiter. I'll take a look but I'm not expecting clear skies that near the horizon. I haven't spotted Jupiter yet, but the Moon will help me know where to look.


Saturday, March 26, 2022

Moon and Planets on Monday the 28th

 The Moon, Mars, Venus and Saturn will be putting on a nice show for early birds on Monday morning. It was really cloudy here on Bonaire this morning but i got a quick sneak preview and snapped a test picture. Venus will be moving down towards Saturn on Sunday and then more on Monday. The Moon will be in the frame on Monday. I set the Stellarium software to Monday to preview the three planets and the Moon clumped together and then Jupiter way down by the horizon. (The moon will drop down to Jupiter on Wednesday morning)


Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Kibrahacha Trees

 The Kibrahacha trees on the hillsides East of Antriol are blooming like crazy. We did a quick loop out there after work this afternoon. I'll look to see if the trees up North are blooming if i am able to do a before work bike ride tomorrow morning.


Monday, February 28, 2022

Moon, Mercury and Saturn

 I got to see the Moon, Mercury and (finally) Saturn this morning. I went behind the TWR studios and shot across the salt pond looking East.


Sunday, February 27, 2022

Moon and Planets

Venus, Mars and the Moon were lined up in the pre-dawn sky Sunday morning. I took a close up picture from our back yard and then went to near 1000 steps to get a wide angle view. You'll probably need to view the images full size in order to spot Mars in between Venus and the Moon.


A little bit later Mercury popped out from behind the cloud bank.  It would have been easier to see had it popped out a bit earlier while the sky was darker. 

Brazilwood Trees

 The Brazilwood trees are blooming like crazy right now.  The other morning on my before work bike ride, I rode out on the lower dirt road north of Sabadeco, climbed the killer hills and then came back on the upper dirt road north of Sabadeco. There were flowering trees all along that route. It was great. I took a picture with my phone that shows the trees and a cruise ship pulling into the harbor. 


Later, Sandra and the dog and I drove back and got some pictures with an actual camera. The sequence of three pix is the same shot, but just cropped in more and more, until there is a surprise visible in the final 1 to 1 crop.


Rain and Rainbow




 Here are a couple pictures from Feb. 22.  There were some rain clouds dumping rain downtown.  The rain is still very heavy at times, but it typically doesn't rain everywhere at once.





At the TWR studios, the skies are clear but there is a rainbow shining over the new solar panel array.  You can also see the Moon at the upper left of the picture, as well as the North half of the new resort where Hotel Bonaire used to be.

Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Moon and Jupiter

 There is a nice skinny Moon to the left of Jupiter tonight.  It looked great, even before it was completely dark out.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Planets Panorama

I was hoping to get a picture of Venus, Mars and the Moon making a triangle in the Eastern sky this morning, but clouds hid the Moon. So i settled for a couple panorama running from Venus and Mars in the East to the Southern Cross in the South. I labeled on of the panos showing where Venus, Mars and the Southern Cross are located.


Sunday, January 16, 2022

Venus Is Baaaack!

It seems like only a week ago that I was observing Venus diving down towards the Western horizon each evening. (it was more like 2 weeks) You could have knocked me over with a feather yesterday morning when I headed East at 06:30 on my early morning bike ride and saw Venus blazing away in the Eastern sky. I snapped a couple pictures this morning.


Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Moon and Planets Show

 There was a very skinny Moon next to Mercury last night. (we didn't see it) Tonight the still skinny Moon will be to the left of Saturn, and on Wednesday, the getting fatter, crescent Moon will be to the left of Jupiter.

If it is clear enough tonight, I'm going to try to get a shot with both the comet and the moon in it. I'm not sure if it will work but it sounds like a good challenge.

Sunday, January 02, 2022

Leonard at the TX site - Full Frame

 Here is a full frame version of the comet picture I posted earlier today. You can see more tail than you can see on the previous full frame picture. I maxed out the comet contrast, so the next time I work on the image, I'll try to keep a little color in the towers and smooth out the sky.


Saturday, January 01, 2022

Leonard at the Transmitter Site

 While watching the end of the Rose Bowl game, I did a quick process job on one frame from my comet photo session at the TWR transmitter site tonight. I'll go through all the images later and see if I can come up with something print-worthy. I like this one because it provides a sense of scale. I'll put up a cropped image of just the comet, later, if it happens to show more detail than the one i posted a few days ago.


Venus is Bowing out of the Evening Sky

 Happy New Year! I was out at the transmitter site this evening to restart a computer and check out the comet. There were still quite a few nice fireworks up in the sky too. Venus is rapidly heading back to the horizon. I snapped a shot of Venus in between the clouds. It is blurry, but shows how Venus goes through phases much like the moon.