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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #886914 02/21/15 05:32 AM
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I saw a sliver of a crescent Moon last night. I could also see the ghostly shape of the dark part of the Moon. This is called earthshine. Our planet also reflects sunlight and some of it is reflected to the Moon and then back to us again. Lovely effect.

Here is an exquisite picture of the new crescent Moon taken the other night in Antelope Valley, California. The enlargement of the Moon photo is even more splendid.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #886951 02/22/15 03:20 AM
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Hi Mona,

Thanks for this awesome picture - the earthshine is clearly visible ... I feel like a 'caveman' sometimes when I look up at the skies. How they must have wondered at it all without knowing what was actually happening - as I do now with explanations.

More pics please of anything skywise when you're ready! Ta. Smile now.

Cheers


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #886982 02/23/15 01:40 PM
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Lestie, glad you liked the Moon. Here's a more ambitious photo, and no one could just look up into the sky and see what's there. Of course, a good start would be to go to the European Southern Observatory in La Silla (Chile). Then you could see some of the world's clearest skies and far below, the Pan American Highway. But this picture is a composite, using a series of long exposure photos taken last month.

Taking center stage, glowing green, is Comet Lovejoy. Up and to the right is a well-known star cluster - you can read more about the Pleiades by clicking on the link. Further to the right, level with the comet, is the red California Nebula. It's a star-forming region, and hot young stars make the hydrogen gas glow red. To the left of the comet, there is a meteor streaking towards the horizon.

I have to admit my ignorance in the matter of the green sky - I don't know what causes it. The orange sky to the right is almost certainly low cloud reflecting the glow of earthly lights.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #886992 02/23/15 03:37 PM
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Hi Mona,

The picture is very interesting - I don't think I have seen as many stars in the sky as you can see in that photograph. Or maybe I did when I was a kid and we lived on a farm ... and maybe I have just forgotten?

My Dad used to talk to us about the seven sisters (he certainly didn't call them the Pleiades) And whenever, he would point out the southern cross and the big dipper. You would have thought I would have learnt more but somehow I didn't.

Anyway, it's not too late to do more reading and visiting our planetarium here in Johannesburg. Of course it is not Sutherland in the Cape or La Silla in Chile, but there is so much to see regardless.

Thanks for your articles!

Cheers now*


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Volcano - ash plume and lightning [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #889281 04/01/15 04:40 PM
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This is a combination of earthly sight and sky sight. It's the Colima Volcano in Mexico erupting on March 29, 2015. The photographer has caught the ash plume and lightning. Breath-taking.


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Re: Volcano - ash plume and lightning [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #889285 04/01/15 10:29 PM
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Mona, that is beautiful! Wow, what a picture!

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #889440 04/06/15 10:51 AM
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A problem with long exposures of the sky is fuzzy stars. Telescopes can be set to track objects so they lock onto them even as the Earth moves. This gives clear star images. Unless a camera is attached to a tracking device, you won't be able to get this clarity. *But* the problem can be turned into an asset, because the trails of the stars due to our motion can be very effective. In this photograph the long exposure has enhanced an aurora and created some splendid star trails.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #889447 04/06/15 01:06 PM
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Mona, that is great! What an awesome pic! Breathtaking. I need a telescope so I can get a glimpse. I used to have one but not anymore. frown

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #889451 04/06/15 02:15 PM
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Jana, a telescope would be fun, but if you have some decent binoculars you can see lots of interesting things. Personally, I can't be bothered with fussing around with a telescope - I like the portability of binoculars.

But the aurora with star trails is a camera thing anyhow. Optical aids don't add anything to aurorae. If you're lucky enough to see one, your best best friends are your eyes and maybe a digital camera. Your eyes follow the motion and of an active aurora and you may see it filling the whole sky. Fabulous. Except that you don't get much color except with the camera - this article explains why our eyes don't detect the color. And of course, star trails are only a long-exposure camera thing.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #889469 04/06/15 04:03 PM
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Yeah, it would be. I'll keep the binoculars in mind. I'll have to check them out. My dad and I used at the constellations with the telescope he brought home from grade school (he's a retired school teacher). We also used to shoot off rockets (he was the leader of the rocket club). Lots of fond memories.

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