Stars?

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No, this is a blurry picture of Venus, the Moon and Jupiter. Somewhere nearby was also Mars.

This was the view looking East from our house about 6am this morning.

You can’t see it but the sky was crystal clear and the planets and moon were twinkling behind the tree branches. My camera phone is good in low light levels but it has over exposed this. Add my hand shaking and it is not very clear. However it might make for an interesting painting.

There are various astronomy sites where you can find information about conjunctions if planets. I like the sky at night on the BBC. Also I have spaceweather.com on my mobile so I can see things like comets, auroras and near earth asteroids.

Our little solar system is tiny compared with the Galaxy and then the universe, but its quite an interesting place even so.

Blood moon

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Tonight there is a full lunar eclipse which is when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon and the earth casts its shadow on the moon.

As it progresses first there is shadow on one side of the moon. Gradually. Like a solar eclipse the curve of the Earth cuts into the Moon. As it progresses the white light from the sun is cut out by Earth’s shadow until only red light passes through Earth’s atmosphere and the Moon turns orangey red. Then the Moon starts to pull out of the shadow and gradually returns to normal

Tonight the moon is at its closest approach to earth so it is known as a super moon.

As a matter of interest I decided to try and draw what a flat earth would look like…. It would cast a flat shadow.. When it was fully eclipsed the moon would appear to be cut in half. Possibly by a red line? Other effects of a flat earth would be daylight all over the upper side then darkness all over the upper side as we tumbled through space. Also what is on the underside and is there a Trumpesque wall round the edge to keep the water in? I recently read an article about gravity. On a flat earth the people on the edge would be lying down as the gravity would be pulling everyone towards the centre of the disc……

Anyway enough rambling

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Ultima Thule

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Excuse the picture. I tried to draw what Ultima Thule looked like.

I just watched a programme called “the sky at night” a BBC programme about the Nasa New Horizons mission that flew past a tiny planetoid called Ultima Thule (pronounced Thooley) on 1st January 2019. This was the same probe that sent back beautiful photos of Pluto a couple of years ago. Ultima Thule is only 21 miles long and the probe showed that it is made up of two lumpy spheres of material stuck together at a neck. There is only one clearish photo so far but they also know that it probably is a red colour. The pictures they published have been brightened to show details but the thing is probably a dark red colour.

The probe was apparently travelling at around 15 kilometres a second so it sped past Ultima Thule and is now several hundred kilometres past it and travelling further into the Kuiper belt (a ring of debris spread in a flat layer around the outer edge of the solar system). New horizons is nuclear fueled because solar panels would not work in the darkness so far from the sun.

It will take two years to stream all the data thay have collected from the probe back to Earth. This is the furthest world we have ever seen close up.

I love informative programmes like the Sky at Night. Its been on TV since the 1960’s I think. I have learnt a lot about astronomy over the years from it.

 

New Blue

 

I have finally got back in the studio and started a new painting. It’s called Jupiter in Blue and will be part of an exhibition at Spode called “an Exhibition of Blue” from 1st February 2019.

The painting will be for sale so if anyone is interested in it please drop me a line!

The price will be ¬£300. Its 24×30 inches so its a decent size.

Better get on with it.

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1st layer done.

Morning

A blue bar of cerulean sky contrasts with sodium lighting as the sun creeps back up the sky. Of course it is the Earth turning on its axis that makes the sun appear to rise when it is actually us turning towards it.

The cloudy skies have prevented me seeing a fuzzy green comet which is in the sky somewhere above Orion, possibly near the constellation Gemini. I’ve tried looking out each night but the weather is too murky. I probably need to take the car out into the countryside to see it.

More cloud has blown across the sky so it’s actually got slightly darker. I heard a brief song from a bird about half an hour ago but the dawn chorus tends to be muted at this time of year. It improves in spring and early summer when the birds that inhabit the garden start to look for mates.

Listening to radio 4on the bbc and hearing news from around the world.

Life continues, partner is snoring. I might be soon. I think I will catch another 40 winks…

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Nebula

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The astronomy bug has truly bit, and painting pictures like this get my mind working. As I paint I feel happy and enthralled¬† It is like a drug to me. I get my fix out of painting. I can’t describe how I feel. Is it that thing called “flow”? The world goes on and I lose track of time.

Something pushes me to try harder to create or copy an image. The challenge of seeing it and trying to relay it on the canvas or computer. Some people can create photorealism. I’m not that good.. But I try.