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.

 

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.

Anyone seen a dalek?

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A couple of years ago we saw a Dalek on a station (I think it was Froghall) in the Staffordshire moorlands. Memory fades, but I know I had a short video of it perambulating backwards and forwards along the platform. I remember looking for who was running it. The original ones on TV in the sci-fi series Doctor Who, were moved by people inside the Daleks, pedalling them along.

This one was being moved by a remote control I think. I saw a man with a radio controller in his hand. Later we went to look at a model Tardis in the station itself. Tardis stands for Time and relative dimensions in space. Anyone who is a Doctor Who fan would know that.

It’s not often that you bump into an iconic 1960’s TV character in real life.

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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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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?

 

 

 

 

Be the moon…

Turn yourself into the moon! With a toilet roll. My friends in Australia are doing this. Third one I added some dots for stars and sprayed black around the third on in a sketcher app.

Funny how you can create things so simply. I found the most difficult thing was to line it up, I took a few photos and on a lot of them I could see the blue paintwork in our bathroom. Plus it’s exposing my face to the world! Don’t laugh too much!

Digital galaxy

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Another one of my digital drawings on sketchfu. Probably drawn in 2013 before the site closed down. A lot of this is done by using opacity and transparency. There were about seven sizes of pens on the website and a large colour palette and a colour picker and erasers that I think had a varied transparency.

When you do something like this you have to build up from a basic background, layering details, adding more and smaller detail as I go along.

Observation is important. I can excuse slight mistakes, but I try and be as accurate as possible.

I’m interested in astronomy so being able to draw from beautiful images is a real pleasure. I think this either came from a stock image, or somewhere like NASA or ESA, but it’s so long ago…

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In other news..

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Digital illustration of a comet. Didn’t want to use someone else’s copyright photo. This is just to give an impression of its colour….

I get alerts from Spaceweather.com about all sorts of astronomical events. I got this alert about a comet this morning. As we are in ‘interesting times’ I thought I would let you know.

Here is a short excerpt with the link:
COMET ATLAS IS BRIGHTENING FASTER THAN EXPECTED: Get ready for a wild ride. Comet ATLAS (C2019 Y4) is plunging toward the sun and, if it doesn’t fly apart first, it could become one of the brightest comets in years. Amateur astronomers are already getting fantastic images as the comet brightens even faster than expected. Visit Spaceweather.com for the full story.

I don’t think the link will work from here, but it’s an easy address to find.

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Thinking about the universe and all that..

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‘space’, digital drawing’

I was sitting thinking about dark matter and dark energy today as you do. I’m not sure exactly what they are, but scientists are trying to find out.

To explain, normal matter only takes up a small percentage of the amount of matter in the universe. The rest could be ‘dark matter’ which cannot be measured by normal scientific measures. Also there is dark energy. A type of energy that is repulsive. The universe is expanding and this dark energy is apparently speeding that process up.

Then I thought about the idea that there may be more than one universe. The multiverse. In some theories each decision we make could create a new universe. But we can only see the one we are in? My mind started to boggle. Maybe the dark matter could be from the universes we can’t see, and the dark energy from the creation of each new universe’s.

This is the trouble with speculation, I don’t know whether any of this makes any sense. But I like thinking, and if it takes my mind off the world at the moment, then maybe it’s a good thing.