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.
Nikon 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.
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.
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
I got up at 3 am again to drive up to the Marin Headlands to view the sunrise. I hoped there would be some fog rolling in. It was cloudy at home which was south of my destination.
While driving north the sky was getting clearer, and clearer. No clouds, and no fog, but there were stars! I took this image while waiting for the rest of the group to arrive. Venus is the brightest planet (low in the sky), and the constellation Corvus is the quadrilateral shape above and to the right of Golden Gate Bridge’s north tower.
8 of us got up at O’Dark Thirty to meet at Battery Spencer in the Marin Headlands to shoot the sunrise. Since it was clear, and cold without much chance of fog we opted to hike the mile down to Kirby Cove to be at the water’s edge to photograph the sunrise. Here’s an image I made just after arriving down at Kirby Cove. The tide was a little higher than I expected. A couple of waves got my feet wet a couple of times. Thankfully I wear waterproof boots.
Venus is the only thing bright enough to shine above the on coming dawn, and the cities lights.
After making several images down at the waters edge I decided to move up to the cliff just above me to capture the sun as it crested the skyline.
The clouds were just beginning to roll in from the north as the sun crested the skyline. Once the sun got above the city we decided to head up the mountain to have some breakfast with lots of hot coffee to warm up with.
Venus and Jupiter are pretty close together tonight: just 1.1º. Also visible with binoculars or a Telephoto lens are Jupiter’s Moons. Europa, Io, Ganymede, and Callisto.
Venus is the brightest low planet, and Jupiter is next brightest object diagonally above Venus. The little dots around
Jupiter are its Moons. Tomorrow they’re be even closer together, just 0.6º apart! If I’m lucky I’ll find a spot other than my yard without tree branches in the frame. 🙂 The best time to see this is after Dusk looking West.
Nikon Df| AF-S Nikkor 300mm| f4| 1.3s| ISO 1600| Tripod| Single Frame| Developed in Photoshop CS6| Cropped in about 50%
It’s Chinese New Year today and a new Conjunction! The New Moon, Mars, and Venus shine in the Western Sky tonight. If not for my friend Andy I probably wouldn’t have remembered this! Check him out here. Thank you Andy!!!
I wasn’t able to venture further than my front yard to photograph it so, here you have it. Mars is the teenie tiny red dot between the Moon and Venus.
For those interested… The Year of the Sheep:
Chinese: 羊 yáng
Sheep (goat, or ram) is among the animals that people like most. It is gentle and calm. Since ancient times, people have learned to use its fleece to make writing brushes and skin to keep warm. The white cute creature often reminds people of beautiful things.
Earthly Branch of Birth Year: wei
Wu Xing (The Five Elements): tu (earth)
Yin Yang: yin
Lucky Signs for Sheep:
Lucky Numbers: 3, 4, 9
Lucky Colors: green, red, purple
Lucky Flowers: carnation, primrose, Alice flower
Lucky Directions: east, southeast, south
Years of the Sheep
Nikon Df| AF-D Nikkor 80-200mm| Tripod| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film| Northern Hemisphere, USA
This Transit was a rare event. A once in a Lifetime event for those of us on the West Coast, USA. The next Transit of Venus happens in 2117. I doubt anyone alive today will see it. I didn’t want to miss this special day. I had work on Tues. the afternoon of the Transit. I knew I’d be missing First contact and the first 2.5 hours. No time-lapse for me since I wouldn’t be satisfied not having it from start to finish, but I wanted to see it and if the sky was clear get a photo or two.
The sky around my hometown was full of fluffy clouds all day. The forecast had called for clear skies, but kept changing as the weather kept proving them wrong each hour. Monday, a friend invited me to join him at NASA Ames. Tues. he emailed me updates about the sky condition. Just after 2PM he emailed, “the sky is “mostly clear”. I called my friend Dali and invited him to meet me at NASA Ames then quickly gathered my gear after work, and drove the 12+ miles to get there. I was thrilled to discover commute traffic was light heading north allowing me to drive 65mph the whole way up.
I met my friend Dali in the parking lot and together we found my friend John who stands 6’4″ a good head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd that gathered there to view the Transit.
I set up my tripod and camera/lens/solar filter and started taking photos of the Sun with Venus making its way across the Sun. On my photo above the large black spot is Venus, and the smaller black dots are Sunspots.
John and many other amateur astronomers had set up their telescopes and were allowing people to get a closer view of the Transit. He’s also a Nikon user like me. He kindly let me hook my camera up to his telescope to get a bigger photograph of Venus transiting the Sun. I’ll post that soon.
Thank you John for sharing your scope, and space with me yesterday it was fun, and send my thanks again to your daughter for the goodies. The coffee cake I sampled was delicious!
Thanks Dali and Andy for reminding me about this astronomical event. Jupiter, Venus, and the Moon lined up in a triangle to form a special conjunction on Feb. 25, 2012. We spent a lot of time online emailing each other about places we liked to shoot this. I kept looking at this area of the city and I asked the guys to look at it too. After the guys looked at it on TPE (The Photographer’s Ephemeris) they too liked it and we decided to shoot it here. Andy didn’t join us he decided to make some progress on his computer project so it was Dali, Phil, and I who shot here. It was fun, but cold!
The forecast called for a clear sky, but what we had were intermittent clouds, and a low fog bank. As soon as Venus dropped into the fog we called it a night. The Crescent Moon is in those clouds, but Jupiter and Venus are clearly visible.