Upside down Moon

Stand on the North of the Earth and look at the full moon. It seems to be one way up. Stand in the Southern Hemisphere and it will be the other way up. Basically one view is 🙃 upside down compared with the other. In fact if you are near the equator the view will be at right angles to the normal view. I think some people see the moon as a boat crossing the sky when it is waining. ie a young or old moon. When you only live in one Hemisphere you dont realise that other people can have a different perspective. Trying to put yourself in there position can change the way you look at life. I’d love to go south of the equator and see the Southern Cross and the greater and lesser Magellanic clouds (small galaxies near our milky way galaxy) which are not visible in the North.

Little Earth painting

A couple of years ago I painted this picture of Earth. I was trying to get the shading right so the clouds sit above the surface was difficult. This is North America, Canada and part of Mexico and the Caribbean.

I hope the cloud shapes work and you can see the weather patterns. I wonder if anyone would be interested in paintings of worlds. It’s something I’m interested in. I’ve painted pictures of Jupiter and other astronomical images. I don’t use an airbrush for painting so it’s quite hard to get the granularity and softness of space and planets.

A mobile…

How our vision changes. This was a mobile of the solar system I bought several years ago. Before the further exploration of the planets and based on images from the Voyager probes that happened in the 70’s and 80’s. I added the Space Shuttle model later. Now the James Webb telescope has been launched to take photos in the infra-red of the earliest ages of the universe. It will replace the Hubble Space telescope which took amazing photos of our solar system as well as galaxies and nebulae. It’s greatest image was the hubble deep feild that was a photo of a small, empty looking piece of sky, which turned out to be full of images of some of the earliest ever galaxies. I love astronomy. I might not know facts and figures, but I love space.

There’s a comet out there…

Somewhere at sunset a comet called Leonard is heading in towards the sun. It has two tails and is near Venus in the night sky. The tails are quite long and have become more visible. One is a tail of cometary gases heading away from the sun, and the other is an ion tail which curves due to the sun’s magnetic field. I love astronomy and the information is what I remember from watching TV shows. The trouble is it’s foggy here now! I think it will have disappeared by the time our weather improves.

For more (and much better) information go to Spaceweather.com it’s full of interesting information about the sun’s coronal Mass ejections, X Ray flares, Cosmic Radiation and Near Earth Objects (chunks of rock, asteroids, meteors, that are near the earth and flying past us), sunspots and its magnetic field. There are also videos and photos of the sun’s activity. Worth a look.

Nebula

I’m looking at some photos of my old paintings, I realise I’ve got a lot of inspirations, including astronomy. This was a painting I did of a Nebula. I tried to be as accurate as I could. Clearly it’s impossible to be exact, and positioning of the stars is approximately done. I don’t remember which Nebula photo I looked at. It was probably in the Sky at Night magazine which I sometimes use for inspiration. I’m no expert, I think I’m more interested in the visual representation rather than the celestial mechanics and chemistry of the different gases.

Would you go into space?

Mosaic at the BCB

With the advent of space travel becoming available for space tourists I wonder if its something I would go for.

The cost is exorbitant, in the millions, and the risks must be considered. Also the ones that are going are either very rich or famous. I don’t begrudge them doing it, but I hope this doesn’t turn into a new thing to do on their ‘bucket list’. Maybe instead of going into space for ten minutes they could donate that money to pay for covid vaccines in poor countries, or support working towards cutting pollution or reducing global warming.

Instead of selfish joy rides these space tourists should be more considerate. Me? If I could afford it I would stay with my feet firmly on the ground!

Jodrell bank

I was pleased to find this picture of the Jodrell Bank Observatory in my Facebook memories recently. I think it’s from about 2012.

Jodrell Bank radio telescope was built on the Cheshire plain in the 1950’s near Holmes Chapel. It was built there because it was far enough away from the radio noise given out by big cities like Manchester and Liverpool.

The radio telescope is a large dish shaped telescope, supported by a massive superstructure. Part of it was made from two gun turrets from world war two battleships that act as the pivots for it. The dish can rotate around its axis and from horizontal to vertical so it can scan most of the northern hemisphere.

It’s worth a visit for the day (covid safely). There is an arboretum, the radio telescope, a discovery centre and other interesting exhibits. Check their website for details at https://www.jodrellbank.net