Monday, November 3, 2008

Venus Moon Gathering And Rovers / Phoenix Updates

I suck at titles what can I say. There has been some great picture opportunities for my "Find And Photograph The Daytime Crescent Moon Contest". Again email your image to me and I will post it on my site. First place wins 50 pairs of Hanna Montana/Miley Cyrus 3D glasses, second place a DVD of "In The Shadow Of The Moon". Closing date is today November 3rd, or before my next post, this Thursday.

Tonight the Moon and Jupiter come within 3 degrees of each other in the South part of the sky just after Sunset. What's 3 degrees you may ask, well the Moon is a half a degree wide, so they will be within 6 Moon widths, another great photo opportunity.

The image below shows what the Moon, Venus and Jupiter gathering looked like Saturday just after Sunset, tonight the Moon will be right beside Jupiter.

Good luck to all the contestants which at this time is one, and it's a nighttime crescent Moon, getting more lax with the rules to get people to submit their images, first it was , "Daytime Crescent Moon", then "Nighttime Crescent Moon", then "Moon", then "A Link To A Moon Picture I Found While Surfing The Net", to "I Think This Is A Moon Image I Found While Shopping For Furniture Online Contest".

Well the little rover guys are both doing well, surviving another winter. Opportunity is on her way to the huge crater Endeavour, about 7 miles away, doesn't sound that far away but when you only travel 110 yards a day it takes 2 years to get there, but Opportunity will be doing lots of science on the way there. Spirit is up and running and doing science and image taking, of course she has dust on her solar panels from the dust storms that have been happening in her area, poor Spirit again, the troubled child of the two with a broke wheel and all.

Phoenix on the other hand, not so much, with the coming of winter, - 140 degree c temperatures, and fewer and fewer hours of Sunlight reaching her solar panels has created a low power fault putting the Phoenix into safe mode. Anybody that has a computer knows what safe mode is, I call it suck mode, can't do anything. The Phoenix team have shut down all they can on the Phoenix in hopes of the lander building up enough energy to be able to squeeze out all the science they can before the lander freezes over for good.

I'll leave you now with an animated crescent Moon I took on my outing Saturday night.


Max said...

Hello Lord of the Astropics!

Here's to a brand new week *raising my bottle of water*!

I like your titles, to start with!
These Moon and Jupiter photos are great, Bob; however, my favourite one is the bright crescent moon photo (the background is superb, prunish like)!

I would like to wish good luck to all the participants in your awesome contest!! May the best picture win! I can't wait to see them.

-140ยบ C, Yikesssss! I have a question: when you say "freezes over for good" do you mean that it will stop working for good? And if yes, will they send another to replace Phoenix? (yes, you are also my Astronewspaper and AstroEncyclopedia lol).

Oh, you made an animated image of my favourite moon pic: what a spoil me too much, Bob lol :)! It's gorgeous!

I wish you a fantastic week, mate!


Ruth said...

Good luck to your contestant! :crow:

No really, I hope you get more. I love how you expanded the contest.

I am happy to report that our hot tub is repaired, which means we will again be out at night looking at the sky. I'm so happy! I don't want to freeze the way you do.

CJ Harley said...

I love the first image, Bob. It rained on Halloween here so I couldn't see the moon and venus together, and it is cloudy today so I doubt I'll be able to see Jupiter.

Good luck with your contest!

kml said...

Hi Bob - My husband and I were walking back from a hunting expedition in the woods towards Sat. evening and we caught a glimpse of that crescent moon - it was beautiful. He mentioned the planet to right of it, and I piped up with "That's Venus". He was quite impressed. Many thanks to you!!

Genie said...

I've been looking up at the sky several times a day every day since you announced your daytime crescent moon contest. It's honestly just too intimidating to submit anything to you!

I've been hating the trees for the last few nights as I have tried to watch the setting crescent moon alongside Jupiter in sky. I can barely see the event for the trees though. I've intended every night to come back in and check Sky View Cafe to see if it's indeed Jupiter or not--glad to know I had guessed correctly--but I always forget to check.

Thankfully, no matter that the trees obscure my horizon, I can get a better view from your blog anyway!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks max, the crescent Moon is one of my favs too, and I'm glad you like the title, I struggle with them all the time,lol.

I'm afraid so max, because it is so far north it will probably literally freeze all over and with it's delicate equipment it will most likely not be able to continue past this winter.

There are some plans to send other rover types, but the earliest wouldn't be till 2011, see link below.

And max.. you have a great week too!!\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Ruth, not a whole lot of photographers are into the Moon like me I guess. That's great about the Hot Tub, I know a few people who like to gaze at the stars in them, such a great way to view the heavens.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks cj harley, glad you like the pics. I am going to miss the Jupiter Lunar gathering as well, raining right now.

I have been extremely fortunate lately with the weather, so I can't complain if I miss the odd gathering.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Wow Kathy, that is so awesome that you were able to name Venus, glad to be of assistance, you just never know when this stuff is going to come in handy.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, genie, apparently everyone else feels the same way,lol, hey I'm not even going to post a pic, I mean unless no one else does, go for it anyways genie, you do good work.

I have trees in my backyard too, that's why I always have to go a ways out of town.

Jupiter will be at a decent height to night in the south with a beautiful crescent Moon, good opportunity for you. \m/\m/

Swubird said...


Thanks to you I caught both shows last night on national Geographic. Can you believe those rovers? Still going strong after all this time. I remember reading Squyers' book. It was very interesting. If you don't mind reading something after the fact, his book is all about the troubles they had in developing Spirit and Opportunity. I may have mentioned this to you last year.

I have a question for you. Every time I see all the meteors streaking through the night sky, and every time I read about meteor showers on your blog, it makes me wonder about something. With the atmosphere on Mars being so thin, wouldn't the planet be constantly bombarded with meteors - just like the earth - only on Mars more of them would hit the ground? In fact, if they were to point the Rover cameras toward the Martian sky during the night, wouldn't they be able to record some fantastic meteor trails?

Happy stargazing.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Bob, I sent you an afternoon moon entry!!! WOOT!!! Did you receive it?

Super post!!! Is that Jupiter I am seeing above the moon in the night sky?

Always am intrigued with the rover news. They are AMAZING!!!

Love your images!!! You sure inspire us. :D

If the first contestant wants to arm wrestle me, tell him or her to come to my blog. :D

Hugs, JJ

Bob Johnson said...

Hey swubird, so glad you caught the shows, never had them in Canada yet, I got some screeners from NGC for the post, so at least I got to see them that way. No I never read the book by Squires, I will pick it up, thanks.

Now as for the meteorites, funny you should mention that, Opportunity found and imaged a meteorite on Mars back in 2005, link below.

I'm thinking the reason we don't see any meteor showers on Mars is because of the long exposures required to capture them. To capture meteors you need long exposures, their cameras probably aren't configured that way.

Also Mars atmosphere isn't as thick, therefore less ionization which produces the meteor trails, but they are thinking that the rovers have seen more meteorites then they have imaged, oh and plus the dust storms could cover a lot of them up, great questions.\m/\m/

Genie said...

I just emailed you my moon, Bob! Hope I'm not too late. My gmail email often ends up in people's spam folder for some reason so I wanted to alert you.

Bring it on JJ!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JJ,and yes that is Jupiter above the Moon in the night sky.

JJ I just looked, wow, awesome shot with the trees and all, very artistic and original.

Lol about the arm wrestling, I'll send Roger over,lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Wow, genie, head over to JJ's blog I think she wants to arm wrestle with you,lol, another great shot, and bonus you got a plane in it, how did you manage that? did you wait for the right time? very cool, thanks for the entry.\m/\m/

Roger said...

Awesome shots Bob!

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

WOOT that you received the photo, Bob. Glad you enjoyed it. :D

Send Roger over. :D

Hugs, JJ

Bob Johnson said...

Woo Hoo Roger, great shot, thanks for the entry.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, JJ it was great thanks, I'll send Roger over,lol.\m/\m/

Anna said...

Bob, crap your moon photos are the best, lol. Why are your complaining about the title, its great! At least you are telling the truth, lol. I missed all my crescent moons, but there will be more moons in the future. And just before I go, Bob you are funny. Anna :)

Anna said...

...just back to pick up my free subscription to comments, lol. Anna :)

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Anna,glad you like the title, not very inventive, but it gets the point across,lol.

Too bad about you not getting a photo in, maybe next time, hey what is the free subscription to comment you talked about, can I get one too, I like free stuff,lol.\m/\m/

Tim said...

Great photos, thanks for that.

It's a shame that Phoenix is finally laying down to rest. I really enjoyed the mission, not least of all because of innovative use of Twitter.

IndianPie said...

Fantastic pics !

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Tim thanks, I've heard a lot about twitter but haven't really been involved at all in it, I should though, thanks for dropping by.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks indianpie, appreciate the feedback.

Max said...

Hey Bob!

You are welcome, buddy :)!

Thanks for the link: I will read it closely! What a shame!!

Thanks, Bob :D!


Sherer said...

Bob, Great pics of the Cresent moon! I really like those ones that make it look red. Its kinda spooky.

What is your e-mail address to send our contest photos? Unforunately, its been cloudy every day since about the 28th i believe when I took my photo. I wanted to get less moon - but you know.

Bob Johnson said...

Hy max, no problem, and too bad for sure about the little Phoenix, but who knows, we all know what Phoenix means.

Bob Johnson said...

Hi and thanks Jesse, great about your pic, send to\m/\m/

virtual voyage said...

lol Bob - I kept looking out for a crescent moon, but we've had strange fogs here.... though I've probably got one on file somewhere from SLR days...

Susanne49 said...

Very nice photos Bob!!

Sorry that I wasn't visiting to much the last three time. We are preparing our big travel trip across America, starting in January 2009. I'll let you know about. :)

Bob Johnson said...

Hey VV send it in, get a free post and a pair of 3D glasses, hey a fog Moon would be soooo cool.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Susanne no worries, just remember to take lots of pics, what an adventure to say the least!!\m/\m/

Peter said...

Hi! You may suck at titles but your photography is out of this world. I think I've said that before! Not very original I must admit, but well meant and an honest opinion!

Now, three of your shots look as if the moon is in the middle of an atom bomb cloud. I'm seeing things again, aren't I. Time for my medication!

Take Care,

Rose DesRochers said...

50 pairs of Hanna Montana/Miley Cyrus 3D glasses? I have to ask! Where on earth did you get 50 pairs of Hanna Montana/Miley Cyrus 3D glasses.

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Rose, I actually have quite a few hundred, left over from a promo we did at the mall.\/\m/