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.

Moon behind tree

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At least that’s what this is based on. The moon was setting behind the hill above our kitchen window. I could not see it as I’m too short. My hubby got me a stool to stand on so I could see the moon and the tree. I took a fuzzy photo, the quality of it was poor even though I tried to zoom in on the subject, the branches of the tree have a white glow around them but you can’t see the face of the moon.

So, a bit disappointed, but then I decided to play with the image. I ended up with this mozaic of images, including the wall and roof of the neighbours house…..

I like noticing things…

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For instance, this is the just after full moon. Its in the same place in the sky as it was over the last few days, but not at the same time! I know the Earth and Moon orbit each other, and the moon is tidally locked with us. Which means it has one side always facing towards us. But as I say its in about the same place, but each day its a bit later, so after 5 days it’s moved from being there at 2am to 6am…..

Think about it. The Earth rotates in 24 hours, if the Moon is coming up later each day it must be going round the Earth at a certain speed. I don’t have the mathematic skill to work that out but if it takes 6 days to move 4 hours then if you multiply 4×6 you get 24 (hours) for it to end up in the same place so if you multiply 5(days)x6 you get 30, which is approximately a month to get to the same place in the sky and appear again at 2am. The Moon waxes and wanes while doing this. From that you can tell approximately where the sun is in relationship to us. If the half moon, and all the other phases are facing one way before full moon, the Sun is on the lighter side of the Moon. If its curved the other way as the moon starts to go away from full, then it’s on the other side. You can guess when the sun will rise from this, the smaller the area of brightness the more to the side of the Earth the sun must be. I can’t work out whether the sun would be rising sooner or later depending on its phase. I can see in my mind that if you were looking at both Earth and Moon from space they would be lit from the same direction, but sometimes you see the Moon in daylight, so I don’t know how that works. I think I would need to start drawing very long thin triangles, based on say a quarter of a centimeter on one side and 93 centimeters on the other two to work something out (based on the ratio of distances from the Earth to the Moon and the Earth to the Sun – .5:93…this is just scaling down the siz. I’m thinking in miles because I don’t know the distances in kilometers…. Its all got a bit complicated….

I remember once watching the moon every day for a week from the top of the hill, each day it got closer to the setting sun, till finally there was almost an eclipse. Somewhere on Earth there must have been an eclipse in the following day or so, but we missed it because the sun had already set.