Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Lunar Halo and Mars, Moon Conjunction



Out on my back deck getting some images of the Mars , Moon conjunction last Friday night when I noticed that a lunar halo was starting to form, try to take a picture from my backyard, no go, with all the city lights there wasn't enough contrast, decided to get out of town, literally, not sarcastically, and get the pic. These things come and go real quickly so I run through the house with my camera and tripod telling my wife gotta go , take pictures. Ever since I got the Canon 40D I've been doing a lot of this up and leaving on such short notice, so my wife is used to it.

Get to my site, setup the tripod and camera, get the pics. Lots going on in the night sky, there was Mars conjuncting with the Moon, the Pleiades, Orion out in full force and to top it all off the lunar halo. Quite an awesome sight, maybe even enough to impress my wife.





About a month ago I was driving my wife to work when I noticed Venus shining brightly in the east sky, burning through some light clouds, very impressive indeed, pointed this out to my wife, she said cool. That's what I'm talking about, may not know how to fix a car, or build an addition to a house, but I know where Venus is. We were stopped at a red light when I noticed out of the corner of my eye Venus starting to move, now don't get me wrong planets move, just not that fast and certainly not back into the direction from which they just came. Thinking to myself, please don't be a plane, please don't be a plane, please don't be a plane, crap it's a plane, then I'm thinking, please don't let her notice, please don't let her notice, please don't let her notice, then "Hey that's not Venus, it's a plane", credibility down the tubes, but now with this impressive sight, throw around words like Lunar halo, gotta impress. Get home, tell my wife about the Lunar halo, she says, "You're making this up", I say no, come out and take a look, thinking to myself, still be there, still be there, still be there, it was, she was impressed, everything is right again with the universe. Sorry about the grainy images, blogger wouldn't let me download anything more than 268k, I think one image is like 68k, the originals are fabulous, really.



A couple things to watch out for coming up in April are an occultation/conjunction of the Moon and the Pleiades April 8th., will be very cool as the Moon will be in a crescent phase and showing off it's earthshine, good viewing and photo op. On April 21st. the Lyrid meteor shower takes place, expect around 15 an hour, the Moon will be almost full which will take away some of the shower's bite, but hey, still a meteor shower none the less, and worth a view. Tonight you can see the Moon and Saturn conjuncting , Saturn will be just above the Moon. I will continue to update you on these and other events happening in the night sky on future posts.


Leave you now with my latest Sunset animation, taken a couple nights ago.





40 comments:

priyank said...

Ha ha Bob, the Venus story was funny. But I'm sure you have impressed her enough already;) cheers
Priyank

Susanne49 said...

She is hard to impress, your wife...LOL..I liked your story and your interesting photos.

The Fool said...

Wow Bob, I am imnpressed, both with your dedication and the nice pic. Also I am disapointed that I didn't see the lunar-martian meeting myself. Thanks for the picture though.

The Fool

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks for the visit priyank, glad you liked the story.

Bob Johnson said...

Hey thanks Susanne, glad you liked the story and photos.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks the fool, too bad you missed the conjunction, lots of others coming up , tonight Saturn and the Moon.

kml said...

I'm sure your wife is quite impressed, Bob, with all that hi-tech equipment you use! Great story!

Will said...

Nice shots Bob. I am not sure I see Mars in the first photo, though. What am I looking for? At least I see the moon and the halo! Are all moon halos from ice crystals high in the sky like I have been told?

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Kathy, glad you liked the story.

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Will, Mars kind of got lost in the glare of the Moon with my resolution down to a small amount, having trouble with blogger downloading the higher res images.

That's right the halo is formed with the refraction of the Moonlight off the ice crystals in the cirrus clouds.

Oswegan said...

It is like reading a newspaper for the stars when I come here. Coming soon to a sky near you . . .

AngelBaby said...

Bob,
I love the part about Venus being a plane! That sounds just like something I would do!
I love the picture. That sunset is absolutely beautiful.

Love and Blessings,
AngelBaby

zunnur said...

The pictures in your blog must be invaluable to you as I realized that it is not an easy job to capture those images at the right spot and at the right time, and of course with effort and knowledge.

Ruth said...

What I like about your blog is you show us the sky and also the universe of life. What a great story. That moon with Mars is quite something!

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, hey oswegan, that's a good way of describing the blog.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks AngelBaby, glad you like the story and Sunset, Sunset's one of my favs.

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Zunnur, they are all special to me, all have a story to tell, just glad I am able to share them, one of the reasons I started the blog.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Ruth, the Mars/ Moon pic is cool, looks like they're just hanging out together, like a couple friends,love it, they get along so well those two.

Sherer said...

That was great.... I will admit I have made the mistake before- Trying to impress someone with knowledge of the planets then finding it to be an airplane. The Saturn moon conjuntion was clouded, and I couldn't see a thing... Next time....

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

LOL on the plane. It's good to know I'm not the only human out there. :D

Great shots!!! You always amaze me. :D

Hugs, JJ

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

Stunning sunset, and love how the ripple effect works with it!

The Supplicant said...

Love the shots Bob! Well done as usual. I see you live with a camera permanently attached to your body as well. Being a military photographer for 26 years ingrained that feature into my profile as well ... but instead of running out for emergencies I am now ever so vigilant for that lucky shot. I drives my fiance nuts. I'll have her stop the car on a moments notice if I see the "perfect" shot. LOL I can relate with your sudden departures in the night.
I will definitely keep in mind the Lyrid meteor shower on April 21st.
Kudo Bob ... another great post! And BTW
Happy Easter my friend to you and your family.
~JD

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks sherer, Venus by the way that day after looking at some charts it so happens it was just below the heavy cloud cover just below the plane,lol.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JJ, yeah, live and learn, gonna have to start checking more charts befor I leave the house.

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Julie, thanks for dropping by, I love Sunsets so much and I found out about the animation gif program and been using it eversince.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JD, just back February 10 it was our 29 Anniversary, on the way to our night out I noticed a couple of the biggest sundogs ever, but resisted the temptation to turn around and get the camera,lol. Good luck with the meteor shower and happy Easter to you and yours as well.

shirley said...

LOL...
You've got me chuckling and smiling!
Thank you so much.

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, thanks Shirley!

Moonshadow said...

Bob, I just got a Canon 40D! Now I just need to learn how to use it. What do I need to do to get good sky shots?

Bob Johnson said...

Hi moonshadow, thanks for dropping by. First and foremost If you are talking Sunsets and Sunrises, I always use a tripod, I know it's a hassle, but I find I get the best results for me that way. I always use the landscape mode, it gives you vibrant colors and it adjusts the camera settings for max depth of field, that is close up is in focus as well as far away things, like the Sun and I bought a cable release so no jaring by pushing the taking the pic button.

Night pics are a diferent ball game, I always use the manual mode, tripod is no option and neither is the cable release.

To start with point your camera at a constellation, like Orion, use the wide angle lense, set your ISO for 1600, shutter speed 30secs, that is the max you can go without star trails, take the pic and look at the results, should be decent.

A couple of points, you can use the live view, which helps you for focusing, when imaging the Moon I always do and also the mag feature, magnify the Moon 10x and then focus using the live view, it works well, take the pic. When it is almost full, I use ISO 400, exposure time 1/80 sec, I'm always adjusting like a mad man on the fly, those are the settings that worked well for me on a few shots.

There is lots of other stuff I have figured out just by trial and error, you can email me if you like. It is a great camera, makes taking pics a pleasure.

Lynda Lehmann said...

Bob, what amazes me is the range of your knowledge and your enthusiasm. Your wife SHOULD be impressed (as long as you don't run out of the house, smack in the middle of dinner, lol...)

Your blog header is beautiful. My favorite colors. And your page is looking great!

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Lynda thanks for the kind remarks, it is hard not to be ethusiastic about such a hobby, and passing this knowledge on to others is what it's all about. Haven't left during supper yet but at lots of other odd times,lol.

Swubird said...

Bob:

Absolutely your greatest post ever. Love the shot of Mars and the moon. And I love the story. Very funny. You're a natural comedy writer. Next your wife will ask where that big lake is that always shows up under your sunsets. Well? What will you tell her?

Keep up the good work.

Happy stargazing my friend.

Hope said...

Hey! Bob I love how much you shared about your love and your knowledge of th heavens and your family.

Bob Johnson said...

Hey thanks alot swubird, lol about the water , just have to say we have a lake outside of town,lol

Bob Johnson said...

Hi and thanks Hope, why I started the blog was to share what I know, so people would appreciate the night sky.

Drowsey Monkey said...

Wow...you've made lots of changes since I was here last! very cool! I have to say tho ... your background kinda takes away from your photos...I'm just being picky I know. I love these smileys! :D :-D

By the way, I love your wife, LOL.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks for dropping by drowsey, glad you like the site, try out my little guys ,love this one, \m/ .

The background I may change yet, I see what you mean, takes the focus away from my other images time for another guy, :oops: :oops: :oops:

I thought you might like her, you two are about the same personality type,:greenalien: lol lol lol

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Guess who's up! LOL We had a snowstorm today and the wind still is gusting. Dropping by to wave hello.



Hugs, JJ

Livingsword said...

Hi Bob;

I wanted to say again how cool your place looks with your new look. I will also whisper to you that since the changes I seem to be having trouble loading your blog…I am guessing that about 30-40% the images are not loading properly (I count 12 in the articles alone), I have experienced this with two different browsers. I thought maybe it would be ok if the next time I started the computer, it may knock some memory around but after trying this over the past week or so it has not worked well…. Maybe it is just my system…


I laughed when you said the part about getting out of town literally not sarcastically! LOL I don’t blame you we have flowers and blossoms, singing birds all over the place here….LOL

Have you considered buying the property your site is at as you did with your Moon real estate?

Very cool images, was your wife impressed?? Let me read on….

You saw Venus and pointed her out to your wife? Brave man…. LOL

My house repairs are rather limited, I did install a toilet the other day, and I did change my wife’s cars wipers….that was actually quite a struggle!!!

Venus was in a red light district?

(Hey I write as I go along I don’t cheat by reading ahead…)

LOL LOL

It is often hardest to impress those closest top you… When I first met my wife she was not a Christian, I told her all about the Bible and theology. She seemed to doubt my credibility; however she was impressed that my life was changing. Then she met other Christians that told her exactly what I had to her and she then thought…”Livingsword knows his stuff” (this is my edited version of events!!! LOL)

Perhaps you could expand into aircrafts here so that pointing out planes will fit in??? :)

We never post our highest quality images to our blogs, they aren’t quite the same on the blogs then but they are still good, and I we always appreciate your images, even Chocolate Girl comes running to have a look when I say “you should see the photo Bob has posted”…So I may be the one writing but we both do look….

Thanks for the up and coming update Bob, nice to have a peek into your personal life…

:greenalien: :S