Friday, June 27, 2008

Occultations, Conjunctions and Phoenix Lander

Took some images of the gathering of Saturn, Regulus and Mars, Mars will continue drawing closer to Saturn till July 10 when it will start to pull away. If you are interested there will be another very cool conjunction this coming June 30, mind you it will be at 3:00 am EDT, when the Moon rises in the east, it and the Pleiades will once again be in conjunction, in fact if you live out in Eastern Canada you will see the Crescent Moon complete with earthshine occulting, or covering some of the Pleiades stars, what a photo op. They are calling for clear skies here so even though in Western Canada the Moon rises after the occultation I will be getting pics of the conjunction for my next post.

For my Fathers Day present my youngest daughter took me to the latest Indiana Jones movie, a great movie and a great time, me and my youngest have very similar tastes, both like the same type of movies, video games, believe that aliens had something to do with the building of the pyramids, and like to make up words, my oldest daughter and Wife have basically disowned us.

Wife " The Smiths are coming over tonight, you can talk about your space stuff but keep anything to do with aliens out, understood?"

Me " nyup"

Wife "what"

Me "hmm"

Wife "Bob"

Anyways I said all that to bring up something cool, at the very beginning of the show, I forget if it is part of a logo for the production company or the first scene, a huge image of a Moon/ Pleiades conjunction appears, how awesome was that, so if you go see the movie you can point that out to who ever you are with, or if by yourself, the person sitting next to you, they will appreciate it.

More good news on the Phoenix Lander front, after analyzing a sample of the Martian soil in one of the lander's wet labs, (a wet lab is an area where they mix water brought from Earth with the Martian soil so as to be able to do chemistry and test the soil for salts, acidity and other goodies) have found it to be similar to the dry valleys in Antarctica and has all the necessary ingredients to support life, although they have yet to find any water in the samples they are still hopeful that in later digs they will be able to get some of that ice water into their labs.

I'll leave you now with an animated 85% of Full Moon taken June 13th through some clouds.


Drowsey Monkey said...

Ohhh...the clouds in front of the moon make it look so cool.

LOL @ your wife, I like her!

So simple. "Bob" That says it all, LOL

Marvin the Martian said...

Yes, I heard that info about Phoenix. Perhaps terraforming isn't so far off in Mars' future!

1st Lady said...

I was just thinking it would be fabulous to stand under the stars with you and actually have constellations pointed out to me. My real name is actually Latin for Star, and nothing is more peaceful to me than disappearing into a starry sky.

kml said...

Sounds like you had a great Father's Day! And I bet your wife and oldest wouldn't trade you for anything in the world!

Anonymous said...

ALiens and pyramids? OK Bob... :-)

Sounds like you had a great father's My kids forgot about it...come to think about it so did I LOL.
I'll remember your pointers for the movie when I get a chance to see it.

And as for the Phoenix and the soil being suitable for farming...totally interesting. It would be even more interesting if they found some bacteria while testing.

Take care Bob.

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, thanks drowsey, the Moon image turned out real cool, looks great bigger. \m/ \m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hey marvin, being from Mars you'd probably know, no magnetic field and low gravity means any co2 we produce would just be ripped away by the solar wind, having said that there are always domes, or caves, I'd prefer the domes,lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hey 1st lady, that would be cool. You are so right about it being peaceful, time feels like it's standing still for you.

Bob Johnson said...

It was a great time Kathy, most of the times they wouldn't,lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, JD, hey we watched a show about aliens and the pyramids together some time ago and it sounded real convincing,lol, there is still hope about finding bacteria, they still have another 3 wet tests planned for the mission, we will see.:greenalien:

Roger said...

Sorry I am late Bob, been judging photo contest and BTW awesome photos as always my man. I have a question, you have probably mention this but do you use a smith-casegrain scope I am interested in a good telephoto lens, for my wildlife shots I have been hearing bad reviews on mirror scopes as a extension on a SLR for day time shooting, what say you Bob?

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Roger, to answer your first question yes I have a Meade LX200r schmidt cassegrain scope, it has a combination of mirrors and lenses, as far as using it to attach your camera, they are by far and away the best type of scope to do this with. I caught some great shots doing this , just got a shot of the Sun, with the proper filter of course doing this the other day, you can also use scopes with just mirrors, the reflector type scopes and get some decent shots as well.

Once you attach your camera to the scope with the proper attachments, it is called Prime Focus, don't use any camera lenses, you use the telescope focal length to magnify the image, now as far as daytime shooting the problem is the reflector type scopes generally invert and reverse the image, so you'd get an upside down reverse animal, not cool, the reason for this is to make the image right way up and not reverse they would have to put more mirrors or lenses in the light path, which for astronomy sucks because it reduces the overall light getting to the eyepiece and in astronomy you want all the light you can get.

Hope this helps a little, in short don't use telescopes for daytime shooting for the above reasons, any further questions you can email me if you like. \m/\m/

Swubird said...


So we have another thing in common. My youngest daughter and I went to see Indiana Jones ago! Amazing.

Still no definitive proof of water on Mars. Dang. All this deduction and inference is okay, but I was hoping for something more concrete. And if they haven't found it by now, I'm not all that sure they will. After all, isn't the Phoenix practically sitting right in a mud hole? If they can't find water there, then where else? Deeper? It seems that the Mars chemistry is getting weirder and weirder.

Great post as always.

Happy stragazing.

Don said...

Funny commentary between you and the Missus. Love your photography and your musings. I think something funky did happen with those pyramids, and also the lighthouse of Alexandria.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks swubird, hope you liked the movie, as far as the lander they claimed to have found water by it's disappearance at least, they still have a couple months, but I too was expecting a little more, we'll have to see in the next few wet tests.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Don, and thanks for the info on the tower, looks like they found it underwater and there are tours to go and see it, that would be cool.\m/\m/

Roger said...

Thanks Bob that answered my question! I just cant dance my way around from buying a super expensive telephoto lens for I want to do.

I been looking at the Sigma 600mm "wow" what a price tag lol! But worth every cent.

Doing some research, I found that a 300mm Cannon with a 2x adapter well work good as well, for a fraction of the sigma.

Ahhhhh but I want that Sigma (drat)!

Thank you Bob, you do very impressive photo capturers with your schmidt cassegrain scope. Keep up the good work!

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Roger I have a 75-300 mm Canon ultrasonic which works pretty good, I have been thinking of getting a 2x extender as well, if you get one let me know how it works, you are right about the price, crazy what glass can cost.\m/\m/

AngelBaby said...

My favorite part of this is about the aliens I would love to talk about the aliens building the pyramids. I love stuff like that!

I do like the picture too, clouds and the moon, perfect.

now back to the aliens LOL!

Love and Blessings,

Rose DesRochers said...

Sopundfs like a wonderful Father's Day Bob. My son just went to see Indiana Jones.

Max said...

Hey Bob!

I find your relationship with your younger daughter so cute! I am not a parent yet but it must be awesome to have a kid taking after us, eh? :)

LOL LOL LOL LOL your wife rocks! LOL...but I must say that your replies are great LOL LOL *nodding*! So, you are that kind of man who throws alien convo at dinner time...I can imagine that LOL!

Phoenix lander's findings are getting more and more interesting!! Who would think that Mars would have similar soil to the dry valleys in Antarctica? This is huge, isn't it?
I wonder when they will actually find ice, water...some sort of life. But what I am really interested in is bacteriae: is it deadly to us?

Now, do you think that they have invented a better aircraft to take humans to Mars? Cause it is damn far...

Ah, Bob, your post me laugh and excited with the news :D! Thanks!

Have a wonderful week ahead!


Bob Johnson said...

Lol, another alien person, cool, thanks angelbaby.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Was a great gift Rose, your son will like it a lot.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, max, she is very similar to me, used to call her baby bob,lol.

max I like to talk of those things but I do hold back, don't want to seem too crazy,lol.

They are working right now on bigger and better rockets to get us there, called the Constellation Program, if you like you could read about it below.

You have a great week too max, nice that it is going to be short.\m/\m/

Ruth said...

Gorgeous GIF.

You are so funny. And rats, already saw it, won't see it again, so I won't be looking for that.


Max said...


"Baby Bob" - oooh that is so cute :D!

LOL indeed, most people seem to tend to find people who believe in Aliens to be a bit crazy; but I have no issues with it; and you know what? I also think that there is more out there than we think...

Thanks for the link, I will read it after typing this message :D!

Thanks, my friend! Will it be a bank holiday there, this week?


Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Ruth, I will be buying the movie when it comes out, I'll be seeing it again and again,lol.\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hey max, lets put it this way, I believe there are other lifeforms out there, there has to be, why else all the billions and billions of galaxies.\m/\m/.

Yes there is the first of July holiday up here, Canada's birthday.\m/\m/

Anonymous said...

Wow. Just found your blog through Red Hot Blogs of the Day. What a fantastic layout! I love the background, the banner at the top, the graphics, etc. Nicely done!

Max said...


You are right! (I just love that emoticon you used lol)

Happy Holiday to you then :D!
And Happy birthday to Canada!!!!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks airtightnoodle, I love your name.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hey thanks max.\m/\m/

rv dealers said...

I think you celebrated father's day with lot of excitement. Great

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks rv dealers, it was a great time.\m/

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