Saturday, April 26, 2008

Conjunctions, Meteor shower and Martian Landing





Got a cool image a couple days after the peak of the Lyrid shower when the Moon hadn't risen yet, above, while I was watching the meteor it looked odd, when I got home did the processing noticed the reason, either 2 meteors side by side or one broke up cool, and, and there is a start of an aurora, bottom left corner, the green part.




Heads up, Sunday April 27th. wee hours of the morning you can see the Moon just passing under Jupiter, that's right another conjunction, how early, well it is closest to Jupiter as it rises, around 3:00 am, but it is still conjunctinely (word?) close at 5:30 am just before Sunrise. I'll be out early to get a pic.




May is a crazy cool month for sky watchers, people, starting right away May 1st, look to the west-northwest 45 minutes after Sunset to see another stunning Pleiades gathering, this time with Mercury. I had mentioned before about the Eta Aquarids occuring May 6th, my bad, they are actually May 5th. 4:00 am just before the Sun rises, look to the east southeast around 15 degrees above the horizon, you have a new moon, so the contrast will be better, giving you brighter meteors and the amount of meteors varies on a 12 year cycle, which will peak between 2008-2010, so they are expecting, even though it's low on the horizon around 30 an hour.



Mark your calendars, May 6th., again 45 minutes after Sunset for a beautiful gathering of a crescent Moon complete with earthshine, Mercury, the Pleiades and Aldebaran, the eye of Taurus the Bull with the Hyades star cluster, excellent photo op. Look to the east southeast 45 minutes after Sunset.




You may have noticed I added a countdown clock for the Martian landing of the Phoenix Mars Lander. The lander touches down on the Martian landscape May 25th. The lander will use parachutes and thruster rockets to slow it down from 12,000 MPH to just 5.4 MPH to hopefully have a soft touchdown. NASA has not had a successful power landing since the 70's, lets keep our fingers crossed.


The lander has been given a tentative landing spot called "the Green Valley" a spot they are hoping will have plenty of ice within digging range of it's digging robotic arm so it can gather samples to analyse whether it had ever been able to support microbial life.

I'll leave you now with a cool Lunar Halo animated gif taken about a month ago.




33 comments:

Sherer said...

Thanks for the post bob. I can't wait to see the Jupiter Moon Conjunction! And the Pleiades Mercy too. These kinds of things excite me more than is healthy for a human being.

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, thanks sherer, hope you got out to see the conjunction this morning, I got out and got some great images, the Moon was really red early, around 3:30am. just as it was rising.

AngelBaby said...

Bob,
You won't see me up that early in the morning so take lots of pictures just for me, OK? LOL!

Love and Blessings,
AngelBaby

Mr. Grudge said...

Hi Bob,

I am looking forward to the Mars landing with baited breath. Space exploration has always facinated me; and, that we can land a machine-and control its movements-on an alien world is astounding to say the least. I'll be sure to be sky watching throughout May as you've suggested here. Thanks Bob. -Mike.

Swubird said...

Bopb:

Cool shot of those two meteors tracking side by side. What a lucky grab for you.

The countdown clock looks great. I'll watching that baby.

I really hope the lander digs something interesting up from that Martian ice. The thought sends chills up my spine. I'd really like to see a small petri dish crowded with a bunch of little squiggly things swimming around in it. That would certainly blow some closed minds.

My calender is marked. Thanks.

Have a very nice evening.

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, AngelBaby, I'll be taking lots of pics, no problem there.\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Mike, it is amazing that they can land machines on other planets, hope everything goes well for the landing and good luck on the weather for the upcomining events.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks swubird, yes it would be quite an event if they actually found something in the water, NASA needs some good news like that to help further its exploration program and eventually human flight to Mars

Rose said...

What a cool image Bob. By the way, I love your knew theme.

Julie said...

Bob - you see this before?

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.
gov/apod/archivepix.html

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Rose thanks , glad you like the redo.\m/\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Julie, thanks for the link, one of my fav sites, \m/\m/\m/

Will said...

Thanks again for all the sky info you provide Bob. Only problem is so much of it happens in the middle of the night so I am glad you get up to take the photos! ;-)

kml said...

Will keep my fingers crossed for the Mars landing - 30 years is a long time - hope it makes it safely.

Ruth said...

Is the Green Valley sort of like Greenland, more ice than green?? Or maybe it's where the GREEN MEN live? "Yeah, over in the Green Valley, where the green men grow."

Sorry.

Thanks for the great info, as always. And here's wishing you CLEAR skies, as always.

Livingsword said...

Hi Bob;

You know Bob I have to say you also have interesting power poles in your area! They actually look quite cool in your images! I also like the way it points out how you can enjoy these “space thingies” without being 100km from civilization….

Honestly did you have to include your having to go “wee”? LOL

I now made conjunctinely a word in my Word dictionary, I suggest everybody else do the same thing and since English is so pliable we can get it official recognition…

Should we also apply for “frak”? Check this out my man…..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-Hw9PqdBOo

I am going to have to shuffle my social plans since the day of the Eta Aquarids has changed; what to do? Tea with our Queen that lives in another country or tea with Eta? I wonder if she will star gaze with me? 30 an hour is quite a few asteroids, cool!

I got so scared for a moment there when you said “Taurus” I used to own a Ford Taurus and yesterday saw three of them in their default position broken down on the side of the highway….

I noticed the countdown timer and actually you have increased my interest in the event with it, mission accomplished! Thanks Bbo….

The “Green Valley” like digging for little green men, ok sure they mean a different green but…

The other day I was with my little nephew in the playground and we were using one of those diggers you sit in and then pivot moving the dirt, we had a great time, I just kept thinking if only this thing had wheels, kind of like how I feel about the lander….

Hopefully none of those plans to go to planets and moons will bring back soil that is a hazard to our environment….

Another magnificent gif Bob….still the standard in astroblogging….

Bob Johnson said...

No Problem Will, love this stuff, even enough to get up at 3:30am,lol, took some awesome shots of the Moon Jupiter conjunction 3:30am Sunday, red Moon again, surreal looking.\m/\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Kathy, it will be quite an accomplishement, hope everything goes well for the lander.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

lol, too funny Ruth, liking it green valley because of the little green men,lol, maybe , no they probably know a lot more about the inhabitants then we do.:greenalien:
\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Oh livingsword as usual you crack me up, and that's why I do it, have the power pole in the middle, see anybody can watch these events, even from the city,lol.

I found the wee part,lol. I will check out the video later, fracking thanks,lol, spell check never said anything about conjunctinely, so maybe,lol.

I love countdown timers, they remind me, which is good because my memory is not what it used to be,lol\m/.

So true about the lander, lets just hope the digger gets the job done without wheels, the rovers were such a cool idea weren't they?
\m/

Stay tuned for something cool, got a real cool shot of a breaking up fireball, right place, right time, right equipment.\m/\m/

Drowsey Monkey said...

Cool Bob! I'm gonna try to catch that on May 6th. I look forward to your photos :)

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Drowsey, looking for snow May 1st but clear on the 5th and
6th, should get some dark skies. maybe some shots.\m/\m/

Roger said...

May 6th, I will mark it. I think I can get some shots now that I have the shutter speed figured on my camera. Thanks man!!

Bob Johnson said...

Cool Roger, good luck with the weather, another factor you'll have to take into account now,lol\m/\m/

Peter said...

Hi! The Martians are landing where during a meteor shower? I hope you're not doing an Orson Welles on us. All jokes aside I do hope NASA does well with the landing.

Regards,
Peter

Bob Johnson said...

Lol Peter, so do I.\m/\m/

Marvin the Martian said...

Yes indeed, May 25th will be the day that NASA (ahem) "loses" another lander. Sigh. I do wish they would quit sending them... so many of their components are not recyclable after we shoot them down. But perhaps I can get my great-uncle to save me a piece as a paperweight for when I get back home. ;-)

Bob Johnson said...

lol marvin the martian, get him to drop me off a piece the next time your guys are through, I'll give him a mention on my blog,lol.
:greenalien: \m/\m/

Franx said...

Hei Bob in which place this moment happened? And when...You have sense of humor and enjoy your time to refocus your life

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Franx always good to see you here.:D :-D \m/\m/

Anna said...

I guess Bob, I missed lot of good stuff happening in the sky this passed month, and probably will miss some in May, so I am concluding you should not go anywhere under any circumstances, I will spear you the upcoming vacation, lol, since you can bring some good stuff from BC skies, lol, after all this, I am just kidding. Anna :)

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, thanks Anna, soo good to see you back, I do hope to get some real good shots in Kelowna. \m/\m/

Tokyo escort said...

Fine post. Thanks the author. I will