Sun and Moon

#30daysketchbookchallenge, Day 23 drawing. Sun and Moon in an eclipse. I couldn’t get the black dark enough and the colours bright enough so I used Instagram filters on it….

I’ve seen a couple of eclipses in the UK. They were only partial eclipses but by looking in a bowl of water, and also the dark reflective paint on my car I managed to see something. Also the phenomenon of curved moon shapes of light caused by light from the partially eclipsed sun shining through vegitation.

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY EVEN IN AN ECLIPSE. IF YOU ARE USING FILTER GLASSES MAKE SURE THEY ARE NOT FAKE. IF YOU LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN YOU CAN BE BLINDED!

Geminid Meteor Shower

Tried to draw a meteor shower…

I tried to view the shower a few years ago. We drove miles, but we’re stuck under a cloud base that was miles across. I gave up after forty miles. Tonight it’s the same, cloud everywhere. But if you get the chance try and see it for yourself!

The Geminid meteor shower is tonight. (morning of 14th December 2020). I looked up the information on Wikipedia I’m afraid as I don’t know enough about them:

The Geminids are a prolific meteor shower caused by the object 3200 Phaethon,[4] which is thought to be a Palladian asteroid[5] with a “rock comet” orbit.[6] This would make the Geminids, together with the Quadrantids, the only major meteor showers not originating from a comet. The meteors from this shower are slow moving, can be seen in December and usually peak around December 6–14, with the date of highest intensity being the morning of December 14. The shower is thought to be intensifying every year and recent showers have seen 120–160 meteors per hour under optimal conditions, generally around 02:00 to 03:00 local time. Geminids were first observed in 1862,[1] much more recently than other showers such as the Perseids (36 AD) and Leonids (902 AD).

Grand conjunction

My impression of Jupiter and Saturn

Every so often Jupiter and Saturn appear close to each other in the sky. That’s because Jupiter, which is the closer of the two to the Sun, goes round the Sun about twice as fast as Saturn. This month they will be in grand conjunction on the 14th of December 2020. They will be within about 1° of arc of each other. Jupiters four galilean moons (the four that Galileo discovered through his teliscope) will be visible too. The Moon will not be visible. So if you look South West on the night of the 14th you might just see the conjunction if the sky is clear. This is one of the best since 1262? Enjoy. For details have a look at websites like Spaceweather.com

Gemini

I’m into Astronomy not Astrology, but I do like the symbols that are used, I just tried this out as an idea to symbolise the Gemini ♊ twins. I wanted to capture the feeling of identical and non identical at the same time. I did consider different skin tones and eye colours. This is also female, but I could have drawn male instead. Drawn in ArtRage oils and Sketch apps, it is again an example of digital drawing. I might put it through a few filters and see what results.

Aurora

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The sun is starting to wake up after Solar Minimum. Apparently there was a coronal mass ejection from the sun yesterday. This means that a twisted magnetic line of energy had broken and exploded with plasma coming out of the Sun. The energy can fly out in any direction but sometimes the CME heads towards Earth, then the magnetic feild around the Earth shields us. Except at the poles. Its like when you put iron filings on a bar magnet. You can see the magnetic field lines and the way the iron filings follow them. The magnetic lines dip down towards the magnetic poles. This is what happens at the North and South poles of Earth. The energy from the sun is channelled towards the poles and excites the gasses in the atmosphere. I think Nitrogen glows green and Oxygen pink? I’m not sure.

Anyway there has been a CME from the Sun and the chance is there might be some Auroral displays in the next few days.

Perseids

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From Spaceweather.com

PERSEID METEOR ALERT: Earth is entering a stream of debris from giant comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, source of the annual Perseid meteor shower. Although the display is not expected to peak until August 11-13, sky watchers are already seeing some of the most beautiful fireballs of the year. Plan your Perseid watch with sky maps and observing tips on today’s edition of of Spaceweather.com.

I hope we have clear skies in the UK.

Comet Neowise

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I have not seen it. It keeps being to cloudy. But I just read this at Spaceweather.com so I tried to draw it.

COMET NEOWISE APPROACHES EARTH: Tomorrow night might be your best chance to see Comet NEOWISE for the next 6,800 years. On July 23rd, the comet makes its closest approach to Earth. The fading comet is still visible to the naked eye from dark-sky sites and an easy target for photographers everywhere. Get the full story at Spaceweather.com .

There is then the Persid meteor shower in August. Around the 15th? That might be a good show. Meteor showers are caused by the dust thrown off from comets as they get close to the sun. It’s called out gassing when cometary ice is heated by sunshine and boils off into space taking dust with it. A comets tail is made up of two different parts, the dust tail and an ion tail which is made up of ionised gas. The comets tail always points away from the sun because it is blown by the solar wind.

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Noctilucent clouds.

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High up in the atmosphere, close to space, Noctilucent clouds start to appear in the summer months. They glow an almost electric blue and are caused by sunlight reflecting off gas particles from meteors that have broken and burned up as they strike the earth’s atmosphere at high speeds. Over the last few years these clouds have become more common and scientists are investigating why.

I see information about these and other atmospheric and astronomical phenomena at Spaceweather.com a fascinating Web page.

Are the stars out?

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In the sky I see stars, not many, the major constellations, ursa major, ursa minor, casseopea. Its hard to make out because the clouds are flitting by. And despite lockdown, the street lights still deaden them.

I’ve only ever felt the greatness and infinity of space when we were out in the countryside. Seeing the milky way galaxy made me feel so tiny. Like I could fall off the surface of the earth, into a whirlpool of stars. Seeing that band of stardust overhead can be overwhelming.

Dark skies, where the town and city light does not reflect back. Where you can lie down on the ground and see shooting stars flying overhead. I may have seen satellites or the ISS but I wouldn’t be sure. We have seen comets…

The sky is there to observe. Look if you can, and learn.

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Setting moon….

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From my (short) perspective, he moon was already set, but my hubby, who is a lot taller could still see it. So I held my phone up high, took it off auto onto manual, so it wasn’t overexposed, and took a few snaps. This was the best of the bunch.

Moon set. You can tell the sun is north west of it because of the sunlight light reflected on the moons surface.

Some bright stars in the sky tonight. Mercury and Venus have already set. One bright star overhead but can’t identify it. I had a quick look at what’s visible in tonight’s sky, but I think most of the other planets are rising in the morning.

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