Whatever Weds. Conjunctions

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I’ve still got my head in the clouds or tilted upward toward the sky.  This week there is a 3 planet and Moon conjunction going on in the wee hours before dawn and I’ve been up to see it two of the three mornings it’s visible.

Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars are all lined up beside or above the Moon.

Here’s how it appeared in my frame on April 14th, 2020.  All three planets were rising behind the Last Quarter Moon.  I caught a shooting star and a couple of satellites in my image too.   They did look a bit bigger with my eyes but look smaller when photographed.

Moon Jupiter Saturn Mars Shooting Star

Here’s how it looked this morning with all three planets rising above the Waning Crescent Moon (44%).  Jupiter is the brightest planet above and to the right of Saturn which is above the Moon, and Mars is following behind.  It looks like I caught a satellite just left and lower than the Moon again this morning.

Jupiter Saturn Mars and the Moon Apr 15 2020

It’s supposed to start raining tomorrow and cloud up, but if by chance it’s clear tomorrow morning I’ll be up to photograph it.  Tomorrow is the last day to observe them when they’re lined up so nicely then Mars will begin marching further eastward and be pulling further away from the other planets.

 

If you’re up an hour before sunrise on the 16th look southwest or look for the rising moon you can see the conjunction with your eyes no special gear required. Mars will be above and slightly right of the Moon with Saturn and Jupiter above Mars.

By the time first light appears in the morning sky before 6AM for me- dim Saturn and Mars are lost in the light and only Jupiter still burns bright above the moon.

I hope you’re all having a good week, and your spirits are up and you’re busy and well!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 35mm| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 21.1.1

more to come…

UPDATE!  April 16, 2020 -It was clear this morning and the moon’s light shining in my bedroom window woke me up so I got up and photographed this line up too.  As you see Mars is moving further away from the other two planets. I won’t be getting up and photographing this one again this month. There are other things I have planned this month though. 😀

Waning Crescent Moon Mars Saturn Jupiter

Nikon D810| Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G| PS CC 21.1.1

more to come…

 

 

 

 

Whatever Weds. Looking up

Copyright © 2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The end of March and through yesterday has been for me, a time of looking up to the night sky.  Starting at the end of March I was looking up to see the Moon, Venus and the elusive star cluster called the Pleiades in conjunction.  This was a practice shot because the night I was hoping to see Venus and the Pleiades closer together on April 3rd we had rain and snow so the sky was too cloudy to see them.  That was a once-in-an-eight year event! I’m just glad I  practiced so I saw this conjunction.

Moon Venus Pleiades ConjunctionNikon D810| Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G|f/2.8|2.8s|ISO 400| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 21.0.3

Last night was the Supermoon. It appears just a bit larger than normal because the Moon comes the closest to Earth in its elliptic orbit called perigee.

We’ve been having light rain and snow and it was overcast all day but, we got lucky last night and the sky to the east was clear! I went down to the golf course with my next-door neighbor to photograph the Supermoon rise over the Pinenut Mountains.

Supermoon April 7 2020

Nikon D810| 24-120mm at 70mm|f/10|1/6s|ISO 250| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 21.0.3

Then I switched cameras and made an image of just the Moon.  Our moon looked more golden than pink, but the Belt of Venus wasn’t very deep in color around us either so…golden.

Supermoon April 7 2020

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon XF100-400mm LM OIS at 386mm| f/11| 1/100s| ISO 250| SunDisk Digital Film|PS CC 21.0.3

More things that are looking up is that we’ve had 8 people who had the Covid-19 virus move to the recovered side of life! There are still 17 active cases in our Quad county region. There have been no deaths yet. Knocking on wood that continues and that all move to the recovered column soon!

I hope you’re doing well and keeping busy.

I’ll leave you this thought today.

““Bad stuff does happen sometimes, always remember that but remember that you have to move on somehow. You just pick your head up and stare at something beautiful like the sky or the ocean and you move the hell on.”
― James Patterson, Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas

more to come…

 

 

 

 

 

Whatever Wednesday: Reach for the Stars

Copyright ©2019 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I met some girl-friends in Lee Vining this past week-end for a long weekend of camping and photography.

One of the things we wanted to do was some night photography. With the Moon rising in the wee hours of the morning we had several hours of the dark sky to work with.

After sunset which wasn’t too colorful, we went searching for a neat foreground to accompany a Milky Way image. We found this wonderful dead tree on a country road. We had a lot of fun shooting it and admiring the stars is always so peaceful.

If you look closely you’ll see I managed to capture several shooting stars in this frame.

The bright object above the tree is Jupiter.

Reach for the Stars

I have quite a few images to share in future posts from this week-end that include Wild Mustangs, a Ghost town at night, and some landscapes.

I hope you’re all having a great week!

Single Frame| Nikon D810| Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G@2.8|IS0 3200|20s| Manual Priority| Tripod

more to come…

 

 

Wordless Wednesday 35/52 Portal to the Stars

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Nikon Df| Nikkor 20mm f/1.8g@ f/2.5| 20s| ISO 2000| SanDisk Digital Film

PS CC 2017

more to come…

Totality-Lunar Eclipse October 8, 2014

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Totality Lunar Eclipse October 8, 2014

Plus two stars!  Slightly cropped in.

Nikon D700| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f4 + 14eII= 420mm| Lexar Professional Digital film

I’m off to look for Fall Color in the Eastern Sierras so, it will be quiet here for several days. Be well, and safe everyone!

More to come…

Iridium Flare

Copyright 2013 Deborah M Zajac. All Rights Reserved

Iridium Flare?I took this photo last month when I was shooting in Fremont Peak State Park with several Night Sky Photographers. This is one of the set-up/ test shots I took before starting my star trail sequence. After uploading the frames I was going through them and discovered I may have caught an Iridium Flare. Iridium Flare is the sun reflecting off communication satellites orbiting in space. ” The Iridium communication satellites have a peculiar shape with three polished door-sized antennas, 120° apart and at 40° angles with the main bus. The forward antenna faces the direction the satellite is traveling. Occasionally, an antenna reflects sunlight directly down at Earth, creating a predictable and quickly moving illuminated spot on the surface below of about 10 km diameter. To an observer this looks like a bright flash, or flare in the sky, with a duration of a few seconds.

Ranging up to -8 magnitude (rarely to a brilliant -9.5), some of the flares are so bright that they can be seen in the daytime; but they are most impressive at night. This flashing has caused some annoyance to astronomers, as the flares occasionally disturb observations and can damage sensitive equipment.

When not flaring, the satellites are often visible crossing the night sky at a typical magnitude of 6, similar to a dim star.” ~Wikipedia

I realize the flare is hard to see in this photo so I’ve zoomed in on it and cropped it out to enable one to see it better. It has the classic shape of Iridium Flare. I took this photo on May 11, 2013 at 9:06pm PDT.

Close of FlareI need to check out the site that has predictions to see if this could be Iridium Flare.  I think the site is called Heaven’s Above.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 16mm Fisheye lens

Update: After checking the Heaven’s Above site to see if there was an Iridium Flare predicted on the date and time I took this photo I found there was a predicted flare on May 10, 2013 at 19:31 h.  in the same place in the sky as this flare. I’m confused. Nothing was listed for May 11th. The site says all times are local. Do I need to factor in Daylight Savings time? I wondered if it could another satellite?  Searching the sites FAQ’s I found this.

Q. While I was out waiting for a flare or other satellite to appear, I saw another flare which wasn’t in the predictions. What could it have been?
A. This was probably a flare from a failed Iridium satellite. Several satellites have failed in orbit, and are not in the nominal orbit and/or attitude. However, they can still produce flares just like the operational ones. The difference is, that we can’t predict when they will happen.