Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Venus, Mercury and The Crescent Moon Conjunction



Got a cool shot this morning of the 5% crescent Moon and Venus, Mercury unfortunately was washed out by the glare of the rising Sun. The oddest thing happened to me as I was taking one of my images, this wild white and gray rabbit goes whizzing by me about 10 yards in front of me, went looking for it after the long exposure shot, but he was long gone.





I love these kind of conjunctions, don't need any equipment to see them , everybody can enjoy them, pretty cool to see a crescent Moon and Venus during daytime, the scene was almost surrealistic with a fine early morning mist adding to the photo op. Mercury would have been in between the Crescent Moon and Venus. Some more conjunctions coming up are, The evening of March 14, a gathering of the Moon, Mars and an open star cluster M35 will occur for all of Canada. The Moon and Mars will meet up again April 11th, if you live in Labrador and Northern Quebec you will see Mars partly covered by the Moon, should be very cool. The evening of April 8th. if you live in North America look to the west during twilight to get an awesome view of the Moon illuminated with Earthshine sitting beside and covering some of the stars of the Pleiades, very cool. Finally April 27th. look to the South East early morning to see the Moon passing just under Jupiter a beautiful morning star at that time in Sagittarius.


An awesome image of an avalanche happening on Mars was taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). An image of ice, rock and dust falling from a cliff over 2,300 ft high in the Martian Northern Polar region was captured February 19th. and released March 3rd. Scientists are saying it is great to see something so dynamic happening on Mars, a lot of what they see on Mars hasn't changed for millions of years. No one is really sure what caused the avalanche, some figure it is the result of the changing seasons happening on Mars right now. Regardless of the cause it is a good example how the Martian surface can change very fast. What scientists learn from this could give them a better understanding of the water cycle on Mars. It might interest you to know that over 2,400 images were released March 3rd, including the image below of a blue crescent Earth and Moon taken as well by the Orbiter.



I'll leave you now with a beautiful Sunrise I captured the other day, showing a Solar pillar and some Sun dogs.




40 comments:

self taught artist said...

gorgeous sunrise solar pillar

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Heavens, I think I'm seeing UFOs. :D Beautiful photos, Bob. Thanks for showing the Mars avalanche. I had no idea the planet had avalanches.

Love the sunrise photos and can add Solar Pillar to my vocabulary. :D

Great post!!!

Hugs, JJ

joderebe said...

I've been warning you all along about watching out for strange critters. How do you know it wasn't maybe a vampire rabbit? It disappeared too quickly. I heard somewhere that they come out in the early wee mornings looking for prey, especially like astro photographers.
Beautiful shots Bob. I really like the aesthetics of your first morning shot. Nice soft colors, very ethereal.
~JD

Anna said...

Bob I bet it was almost surrealistic or it was, and the rabbit, wow, I got skunk once, lol. I read about the avalanche happening on Mars, it is cool to pick up stuff like that. So while leaving to read your next post, I want to say again your gifs are the best. Anna :)

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Paula, thanks.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JJ, the avalanche was too cool, glad you like the Sunrise pic.

Bob Johnson said...

Lol JD, vampire rabbit, come to think of it it did disappear very quickly, should think of taking pepper spray with me next time.

Swubird said...

Bob:

After enlarging the images I could definitely see both the crescent moon and the Venus. Super. Also, those were amazing pictures of the earth and moon. Those pictures are so clear that it makes you wonder what earth orbiting satellites can see.

The Martian avalanche on Mars is spectacular. Just amazing that the Orbiter caught it in action. And, as always, you sure get some fabulous sunrises up there at the North Pole :)

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Anna, I think I'd rather have a rabbit, even vampire rabbit over skunk, well maybe not vampire rabbit, just rabbit,lol.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks swubird from the North Pole,lol. I was surprised too about the image that the Mars orbiter was able to capture from Mars, can only imagine what the spy satellites are capable of.

Anna said...

Bob, I will share a little secret with you, you may already know, but if you catch the skunk and hold him in your hands he will not spray you. Skunks need both back legs on the ground to charge, lol. But yes stay with the rabbit, the v rabbit be like a Chucky the doll for me, lol. Anna :)

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, Anna, good to know about skunk

so to sum up

1, rabbit chase to get pic
2, vampire rabbit, leave alone
3, skunk, chase if you can grab it and hold in your arms. then take pic.

Anna said...

Bob, lol, good one. Take care, Anna :)

Roger said...

Damn good stuff Bob ya did once again!!

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, Anna, well just so we know.

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Roger , thanks.

Peter said...

Hi! Before I had a closer look at the image of the avalanche, I thought it was a picture taken somewhere here on earth. It sure looks like a coastal site with a beach, crashing waves and the mountains to the right.

For them to be able to get that event image from Mars is totally flukey. Persistence does pay off however and good on 'em!

Thanks again for sharing another great post.

Take Care!
Peter

Will said...

Hi Bob - I am finally back from under the workload of transferring my site to the new host. Still some work to clean up some links in old posts, but most everything else is back and running. Now I even have a few minutes to see what I have been missing on my reading list the past week and 1/2!

I viewed the full size image of your sunrise. Really nice shot! I may have said this before, but that is some really flat country you have there!

-Will

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Peter, it was pretty lucky of them to get the avalanche for sure.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Will, what do you mean flat? there are a couple of bushes and a tree,lol.

Max said...

Hey Bob,

Please allow me to start by the end:
crescent earth and moon - marvellous photo...since I am such an ignorant concerning astronomy, I would never think that earth could also be looked at like the moon (from another planet or position in the Universe). Can you imagine that from many many years from now our descendants will be the ones looking at the earth like that? Amazing...

The sunrise is beautiful too...it is the promise of new beginnings :)!

MRO's image is incredible! An avalanche happening on planet Mars...
Bob, I must say that it is a real pleasure to visit your blog, remember when I told you that I would learn a lot from you? I was right...thank you for sharing your most valuable knowledge with us *bowing*!

The conjunction is very interesting too, although I cannot see the 5% crescent moon (is it just me?)...

I have friends who are astrologists and they would have many things to say about this conjunction I am sure lol...I love listening to them talking about how much it influences people who are born under it...

Have a blessed weekend, my friend! And by the way, I will add your link to my "Awesome friends" roll :D!

Cheers

Kathleen Barca said...

Wow, what great pictures. I had no idea that there are avalaches on Mars. Thanks for sharing that one.

I have something for you on my site.

Love and Blessings,
AngelBaby

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Max, the image of the Earth and the Moon from Mars is very remarkable,and to also get a picture of a Mars avalanche released the same day makes it even more remarkable, hopefully one day our children's children will be viewing the same sight from an outpost on Mars.

Max if you click on my images of the Crescent Moon and Venus you will see the crescent Moon more clearly.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks AngelBaby and thanks for thinking of me again and again.

shirley said...

The avalanche is so cool. Do you think they'll ever figure out what caused it? Could it be those pesky martians acting up? Love the sunrise... too funny about the vampire rabit... as always, interesting and informative to visit here.

Max-e said...

Missed the conjunction as it was cloudy over here.
I find the picture of the avalance on mars awesome. Talk about flying over at the right time. I always thing of Mars as being a bit like the moon - no activity to spak of. Guess I was wrong

Rose said...

Gorgeous photo Bob.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Shirley, they may never know 100% what caused the avalanche, mostly because we are millions of miles away, I like your theory about the pesky martians acting up,lol

Bob Johnson said...

Hi max-e, too bad you missed the conjuction, lots of others coming up though, hopefully you'll have better weather.

That's what it was, the orbiter was in the right place at the right time, the avalanche does show Mars to be more of a dynamic planet then we thought.

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Rose, thanks.

nina said...

Great photos! Especially that last reflected sunset!
Really enjoy your site.
Nina at Nature Remains

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Nina, thanks, glad you like the photos!

Sherer said...

Beautiful pictures bob, I really like the crescent moon and venus shot. Have you been able to get any good Saturn pics while its rings are still tilted toward us slightly?

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks sherer, haven't been able to get a real good detailed pic of Saturn, hopefully this spring when it warms up.

Oswegan said...

Those shots are all pretty sweet. I like the cresent moon and the planets, I'm always amazed when different planets are visible with the naked eye.

Livingsword said...

Hi Bob;

Very pretty images the Moon almost looks like it is the product of a quick slash of ink.

Have you seen Wallace and Gromit in The Curse of the Were Rabbit? Beware the rabbit….

One of the big things that make sky watching interesting is understanding what you are seeing, thanks to you the enjoyment is increased Bob. When you know its Venus it changes how you see this image.

Is M35 similar to MI5?

I always prefer open star clusters to the closed ones, they are more inviting.

Whenever I read of the Pleiades I think of this Scripture speaking of God:

He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.
- - Job 9:9

Great tips to make it easy to keep an eye out for sky tours, thanks Bob.

Very cool images from Mars of the avalanche. I am waiting to see if somebody blames it on Earths climate change… :)

I guess that when they are so intent on trying to find life on Mars (or at least that it existed at some time) that when something there actually moves it is even more exciting.

Interesting shot of the Earth and Moon.

Wow another great Sunrise!!!!!! Nice thing about Sun dogs is you don’t have to walk them….

Another Excellent Bob article.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks oswegan, me too, love conjunctions as well.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks livingsword, that is a great way of describing the crescent Moon in the images.

Exactly, the more you know about the sky, the more you can appreciate what you are looking at, you do look at it differently.

M15 is a very tight but bright glob cluster in the constellation Pegasus, M35 is like you said an open star cluster in the constellation Gemini. You know, I have come to love the open ones more as well, you don't need a telescope to really appreciate the bigger open clusters. But my favorite deep sky objects through a telescope will always be globular star clusters, I wish you could view them through a good scope, they are magnificent, literally 1,000's of tiny pin point stars, eye candy.

Beautiful scripture livingsword, shows God made these things.

The best thing about these conjunctions is they can be viewed without any equipment.

Thats right things don't usually move on Mars, avalanches are exciting, something moving.

Lol about the Sundogs.

Livingsword said...

Bob, my friend I enjoy your passion for “Astrostuff”….

You made me smile as you presume my knowledge to be greater than it is, when I said MI5 the “I” was the letter “I” but the font makes it look like the numeral 1 (one). So I was referring to the UK secret service as a joke LOL LOL (Or maybe you knew that and the joke is on me? LOL)

Either way an excellent use of the phrase “eye candy”!

The avalanche image is striking and spectacular.

Keep up the great work it is much appreciated.

Bob Johnson said...

Lol livingsword, jokes on me, I actually thought you meant M15, mostly because you compared open and closed clusters, M35 open, M15 closed,lol. M15 is a beautiful globular cluster, usually one of the first items an amateur astronomer looks for besides M13, the greatest globular cluster in the Northern Hemisphere, just FYI,lol.