Binoculars

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Want to see the stars? You don’t need an expensive telescope. Maybe just a pair of binoculars (you can get monocular too). You just have to get them set up so you can see images clearly. You can use them to look at the moon, where you will be able to see more of the craters and mare (seas). These are not actually filled with water, but flattened areas amongst the craters. There is the sea of tranquility where Apollo 11 landed for instance. Other things that binoculars make visible include some galaxies and comet Neowise which is gradually fading as it moves away from the sun. It is visible above the western horizon below the star Arcturus (follow the stars of the big dipper handle down till you get to a bright star, then look about halfway between it and the horizon. It is an idea to look in a dark sky area, and allow your eyes to become adapted to the dark for about twenty minutes to allow the pupils of your eyes to open fully.

It’s been cloudy here so I haven’t seen it!

Playing with paint

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Oh I do like playing with paint. For example this is a little canvas I’m working on, it’s a WIP, (work in progress). I was thinking of adding some patterns and decorations to it. Maybe in the sky. Some stars, a comet, maybe a pattern in the glass. I haven’t decided yet. It’s another acrylic on canvas. I was trying to make more of a stylised character out of it.

Better get on and do some more work on things.

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The moon tonight

Two images taken with the phone on my camera tonight. I took both on the manual setting on the camera as the auto choice was over exposing it. I altered the exposure so that the sky appears darker and the moon is more defined. I didn’t know how to do it. I just clicked on the tools and messed about with it. (This was the last time I took a photo of the moon and I haven’t altered the settings since).

I also had to zoom in x 5 to get a big enough image to see the moon. Then I cropped it to enlarge it. In all of that I was expecting some camera shake but its not too bad. I leant my elbow on a large glass jar on the kitchen cupboard to try and make my image steadier and I also held my breath.

 

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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Solstice

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As the year waxes and wanes,

as time passes,

light rises and falls.

Life comes and goes,

hearing bird song, then silence.

Summer solstice,

the world is warm,

but days will shrink and shrivel.

Winter solstice,

the promise of warmth,

locked in ice,

day lengthens, nights slowly shrink.

North and South

seasons, polar opposites.

Hot in one hemisphere,

cold in the other.

Unless, near the equator,  

seasons are less obvious, 

No frozen wastes here.

World floating in space,

around Sol, the Sun, our star,

Earth tipped at an angle,

anchored by moon,

held in mutual gravity

Eternal?

 

 

 

 

My moon

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Yes it’s a blurry shot of the moon. But it’s the best I’ve taken with my phone. I don’t have a good zoom on it so it only magnifies x5. You know when you look at the moon you can see a small amount of detail, you can see the shape of the moon depending on what phase it is in. This was a bit more than a three  quarter moon. When I looked through a small pair of binoculars I could see craters and mare (areas of flat land that were thought to be seas in the past). But through my phone camera on automatic exposure it was just one brilliant blob. I didn’t know what to do. I tried the manual exposure option that reduced the brightness, but the exposure was still not revealing the shape. So I decided to play with the settings, I don’t know what I did, but I adjusted things and I managed to get the image above. I cropped the picture to enlarge it. This is the result. Boring? Yes possibly, but I was pleased.

My day ran out

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Night came out and I didn’t notice, busy doing things, running out of time. Moon and stars are up and shifting sideways, sliding like quick silver across the sky. Two minutes to midnight, almost bedtime. Maybe I’ll sleep tonight. Its January but its too warm. Finding it hard to sleep without throwing the bedding off me. When I’m feeling like this I don’t want the heating on.

Still it’s good to rest. Wake up before dawn. Sleep might come. Day is done.

Annular Eclipse

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There was an eclipse today in some parts of the world. Not here though. This was an annular eclipse, where the moon doesn’t fully cover the sun and leaves a ring of sun shining behind the moon.

So why does this happen. In normal eclipses the moon appears to be the same size as the sun so its completely covered. That is because the moon is something like 40 times smaller than the sun, but also 40 times closer to us. So they have the same apparent size in the sky. But with an annular eclipse the Sun can be slightly closer or the moon slightly father away. Why? Because the Earth rotates round the Sun in an ellipse, which is an oval with two focal points. The sun sits on one focus, but the Earth orbits around both. That means sometimes it is further away from the sun and sometimes closer Then it also means the moon is further away from the sun or slightly closer to it. The moon rotates round the earth in the same way in an elliptical orbit. So sometimes it is closer to, and sometimes further away. If you add the two positions up further to the sun and further away from the earth you get an annular eclipse.

I can’t explain it more clearly. It is most difficult to think your way through how it works but I hope this makes sense.