Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hey Diddle Diddle, The Moon Jumps Over The Bull

Once again, Bob Johnson at Blackholes and Astrostuff clued me in to a way cool celestial event. Tonight the moon was due for a conjunction and even an occultation with/of the Pleiades. Woot! Thank you, Bob! I'd be oblivious without you! I don't know if there was an occultation or not, I don't know the Pleiades well enough to know if some of them were eclipsed by the moon as it, um, conjuncted with them. Bob will know. Check his blog soon, if he had no clouds he'll have blogged the heck out of this event.

And, unless I am mistaken, I got it! And I might be mistaken. I'm hoping Bob comments here and says, "Oh, yes, Genie, that's the Pleiades there next to the moon. You got it."

Hey, Dad, look what I did! Cool, huh? Too bad you can't see it in Leander. Oh, well, at least you have take-out.

I loved EarthSky.Org's description of this event, "The Moon Jumps Over The Bull." You can read all about that play on an old nursery rhyme at EarthSky.Org. To really see the stars of the Pleiades, you should enlarge these images by clicking on them. Otherwise, well, they aren't so impressive.

YOU try picking a favorite one or two! I couldn't, not considering how excited I was to have caught a group of stars AND the moon together in one shot! Well, in 175 shots, that is to say. I am amazed that my camera could see the Pleiades at all next to the bright bright moon. I couldn't even see them near the moon through my nocs tonight. Once again, my camera's new tele-converter lens surprised me by not being able to focus on the stars at full zoom. Perhaps I should try it out of town where the stars are much brighter--maybe the lens will have an easier time with them then.

Since I couldn't pick just one or two, I decided to put a bunch of them in a slideshow. These are unedited. I hope, providing you even care to, that you can see them well enough.

You can fast forward through the slideshow by clicking the far right button underneath it. Just click to see the next image without having to wait for the widget to take you through it.

My conjunction pix are viewable on the CNN iReport page.


Bob Johnson said...

WAY TO GO Genie, great shots and congratulations to you for making CNN, and thanks for the mention!! it was cloudy all night and through to the morning, I tried, even stayed up till the Moon would have set at 3:30 am,lol, again good shots, and heads up, March 2nd for another Moon/Pleiades conjunction.

Kim and Victoria said...

You're always fun to read Genie! (double entendre?)
Love the Earthshine over Brackettville pic on the left. Very cool.
Yurt trip is next week. Will be nice to get out of town!

Genie said...

Thanks Bob!

Hey, man, I HAD to mention you! I'm a follower, you're the astro-leader!

I can't believe you had clouds, no!!!!!! So unfair.

Genie said...

Thank you Victoria. Dang, here I thought you'd already done gone and Yurted. The trip can't come too soon, I'm sure. You must escape the inversion!

Patsi said...

Unbelievable single shot of the moon and the slide show is awesome !

You must be loving your new lens. Great results.
The BEST I've seen yet !

Can I have your autograph now that you're famous?
Congrats for making exciting !

Do you have a laymans version of whats happening with the stars and moon? Had to define pleiads,lunar perigees and apogees. So many terms that confused me. :(

Love your stuff even if I don't understand all of it.


Genie said...

Hi Patsi, THANK YOU!

I don't understand my stuff either! Bob Johnson will say, "If you look in this direction about this time there will be this thing and you should try to experience it." And so I try. I have no idea what's going on, really. His explanations often go over my head despite the fact that he DOES use layman's terms!

The Pleiades is just a cluster of stars that forms part of the Taurus constellation. It's a faint grouping in the night sky but if you have a telescope or some nocs, it's quite lovely.

Perigee and Apogee are astronomy terms. Perigee means closest to Earth. Apogee means farthest from Earth. I'm not sure but I think the terms can also apply to flying objects like planes and satellites. Apogee, at least, for sure has non-astronomical meanings--it can mean the highest or most distant point, the climax, of most any object. As I understand it.

Getting on CNN iReports is no great feat. Anybody who has some photos and even the slightest story to tell can file an iReport. You just upload your stuff and there it stays unless someone files a complaint on it and then CNN looks at it to see if it's kosher or not.

Roger said...

Awesome photo captures!! WoW!! I went through so many settings trying to get it right and a 101 shots the hard thing was I was shooting straight up lol my neck is sore. "Your photos RocK"!

Genie said...

Thanks Roger! I took 175 shots myself. I'm grateful for the articulating screen on my camera, I didn't have to look straight up. But my neck was still sore. I don't know how Bob does it. It was around 50 degrees out and my knees got so cold that I finally had to go in because my legs were stiff and sore. Bob's a machine!

You have much more restraint than me sharing only the one photo. Of course it was a really GOOD photo. Maybe if I'd just had ONE that I was really proud of I'd have spared everyone looking at so many of the others.

Roger said...

I'm glad you shared a bunch of Photo's I would have but was in a hurry. I love lots of examples :D

Genie said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Roger!

Michelle said...

Come get your award. :-)