Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Mars Occultation by The Full Moon


If you lived in North West Canada, Alaska, Northern Russia or Eastern Europe you would have been treated to a Lunar Occulatation of Mars December 23rd, that is when Mars slips behind the Moon. Here in Saskatoon we didn't get the Occultation but Mars did get close enough to the Full Moon to get both in the same field of view of my telescope. The cool image above was taken with my big scope and digital camera, Mars is the little unassuming red planet bottom left, not like some planets, not like Saturn, "Hi I'm Saturn, I'm the most beautiful planet in the universe, I have lots of moons and beautiful rings". Mars is more like , "Hi .... I'm Mars". Earlier in the evening I also got a cool wide angle image with my anamorphic widescreen palmcorder, I made a gif with reflecting water below the image. The wispy clouds over the Moon give it a haunting appearance. Hey by the way, the next time you get that Email hoax thing where it says that Mars is going to be the same size as the Moon, send them back the above image, note the size difference.



Free Image Hosting

The real neat thing is I had my scope and equipment on my front sidewalk in front of my house and people were going by asking what I was doing, when I explained about the occultation, how Mars was going to get very close to the Moon they all wanted a look and all were were amazed at how Mars and the Moon looked in a scope, a lot of wows and amazings were spoken by all, I gotta do more sidewalk astronomy, very fulfilling.

Got a couple of cool things for Christmas. My wife got me a Moroccan Iron Meteorite , it was found by nomads in the Sahara desert, meteorites are awesome, they've been flying around out in space for 4.5 billion years, to one day land on Earth to be held by me, if that isn't just the coolest thing I don't know what is.


My wife also did a painting of the Trifid Nebula complete with stars! It was really quite amazing the work that went into it, how many layers of paint, and that most of it was done with her fingers, not a brush, the stars were accomplished with a flicking of the brush.


33 comments:

DrowseyMonkey said...

Wow...that was a very full post...where do I begin? Well, first...lol @ Hi...I'm Mars.

And I'd like to be one of your neighbours...but you know...now they're always gonna want to play with your toys in the back yard!

As for your Christmas gifts...very cool! And your wife is very talented!!

Anonymous said...

Very cool meteorite, but it looks like a stony, which have flecks of iron and nickel, - and chondrules, which are among the most beautiful and awe-inspiring little spheres in the universe. Either way, very cool! Wait until you look at it under magnification!
Cheers,
Bob

Peter said...

Hi! Bob. Great image of the moon and mars. It reminds me of an eye in the sky.

As for people lining up to use your scope, you might have to consider selling tickets next time. Sorry, only joking!

All the best for 2008!
Regards Peter

Bob Johnson said...

Hi and thanks drowsey, Mars is cute and underappreciated lol, I didn't tell anyone about the observatory in the back yard, gotta have my space, yes very cool painting.

Bob Johnson said...

Wow thats right anonymous, it does have flecks or both iron and nickel.

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Peter , the tickets are being printed up as I post,lol, just kidding, my mother-in-law said it looked like an eye as well.

self taught artist said...

that first picture got a little wow out of me..it is bulbous and earth birth mothery.
i love that you had people looking through your telescope!
cool to see your wife's painting,love the colors!

self taught artist said...

that first picture got a little wow out of me..it is bulbous and earth birth mothery.
i love that you had people looking through your telescope!
cool to see your wife's painting,love the colors!

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Bob,

What a delightful post. I had no idea Mars was having an occultation by the full moon but I have been looking at it by eye. If only I lived on your block!!!

The meteorite is awesome and you have the most special wife in the world to paint the Trifid Nebula for you!!!

Very cool post and photos!!!

Hugs, JJ

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Paula, I think that image is one of my favs. It was cool to show stuff through the scope, and I love the colors on the painting too.

Bob Johnson said...

Hi and thanks JJ, I wish I lived in your area, bet your night sky is awesome.

Omega said...

hi Bob, amazing pix as always, some day i'll get a telescope too...it's on my life list :D your wife got you awesome presents - very thoughtfull and original!
the xmas thingy you downloaded is just a static image, i had no time to animate it...hehe...that's a good idea though, next time i'll make an animated one :)
merry xmas again and thanks for being my friend and sharing your great blog!

Bob Johnson said...

Hi and thanks Lady Omega! I was waiting for him to dance around and play the instrument,lol.

kml said...

Your wife did an amazing job on the painting, Bob. It has so much detail - hard to believe she created with just her fingers - she is very talented!

Hope you have a Happy New Year!!

Bob Johnson said...

Hi and thanks Kathy, Happy New Year to you as well!

The Uneasy Supplicant said...

How in the heck did she get a hold of a Moroccon meteorite? And I agree with Peter, maybe start selling tickets next time people start to line up in front of your place. :-)
Your wife certainly has talent .... and patience to complete a painting like that. Well done. You should take a closeup of it and post it.
As always Bob, excellent post. Excellent shots.
~JD

Bob Johnson said...

Hi and Thanks JD, we bought a bunch of things including the meteorite through www.thehungersite.com, when you purchase something from the site, they fund cups of food for hungry people all over the world.

Swubird said...

Great shot of the Moon and Mars. I looked for it down here in California, but I just go to bed too early. I love your shots, and I love that ripple effect. Will that work for larger pictures?

Oswegan said...

Cool shots of the moon and mars.

~Oswegan

Bob Johnson said...

Hi and thanks swubird. It will work for up to a 3000k animated image, the animation size itself seems to be a function of which hosting site you go with, IMG spot gives you bigger animations but their file size is limited to 700k, Free Image Hosting gives you 3000k file size but a smaller animated image, all my animations are over 700k so I have to go with Free Image Hosting, so I get the small size animation.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks oswegan!

Bill said...

Wow thats cool Bob. Every time I try to talk to people where I live about astronomy and show them where mars is they laugh at me and call me weird.

Bob Johnson said...

Lol,hi Bill, I still got some funny looks from passing by motorists, must have looked pretty funny, my scope almost looks like a cannon, and it was pointed low to get the occultation.

Will said...

Hi Bob! How does someone tell if the "stone" they come across is a meteorite? As they say on that website, unless it happens to land when you are watching, they might go unnoticed. I have heard that ice fields are great to find them on as they stand out. I also read recently about a guy in Kansas that
drags a metal detector behind a tractor to find them.

If I had come across that stone, I probably would have skipped it across the nearest pond. I bet that 99.99999% of all that have fallen to earth in the time of humans have gone unfound.

-Will

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Will, thats right a lot high % don't get found, the poles are another good place to find them, they stand out on the white snow. The only way to be sure it is a meteorite is to take it to your local University, they will do tests on it for mineral content and various other tests. They are heavier then the same size rock on Earth, mines very heavy, and they respond to a magnet because of their high iron content, but most importantly, if your wife gets it for you for a Christmas present and she says it is a meteorite, then it is,lol.

Two Feathers said...

Hi Bob. I just love cool rocks, and the one you got for christmas is really really cool! As for the Mars pic... nice shot! Ditto as to what everyone else had to say.

Looks like I'm going to have to subscribe to your feed. Seems like I'm always dropping by 2 or 3 posts later and then there's so much to catch up on!

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Shirley, thanks for dropping by again, Happy New Year!!

Aura said...

Just wanted to wish you a Happy New Year and continued online success for 08'

Keep it up Bob!

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Aura, thanks and Happy New year to you as well!

Vic, the Cariboo Ponderer said...

Fabulous photos as usual. We couldn't see Mars from here it was too cloudy although the moon was visible through them. Best wishes for the new year.

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Vic, thanks!, it was kind of cloudy here too, got a couple of breaks before they came back for good.

Anna said...

Hey Bob that is cool - Sidewalk Astronomy Tours by Bob, lol, but kidding aside that is cool. Hey if you want come to my subdivision with scope like that and aim at the stop sign at which no body, and no body ever stops, lol. I was going to do that once with my camera, lol, just to see the reaction, and that would really help for the drivers to find their breaks finally, lol. As I commented before, beautiful moon reflection, and you made me laugh about the Mars hoax, it is true, lol. To conclude, your wife is good with painting, the painting is actually cool. I guess I will probably blog with you next year, so have a good 2008. Anna :)

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Anna, thanks for all your compliments and all your hard work you put into your blog!! All the best for 2008!!