Lunar Occultation of Aldebaran

Yours is the light by which my spirit is born: my sun, my moon and all my stars. -E.E. Cummings

My favorite image of Aldebaran being occulted by the moon. This was before it happened, but I love how you feel as if you are flying over the moon. Very reminiscent of the Apollo 11 moon landing. I feel like Neil, Buzz and Aldrin looking out over the moon.

Apollo 11 flying over the moon before landing

You Spin Me Right Round

Star Trails with Polaris, the North Star centered.  Another happy accident. It was my first attempt at star trails, made with my Canon G16. I had taken it out in the front yard, which faces north, and let it loose. When I checked the image out, I was floored to see that I had centered Polaris.

For those who don’t know, Polaris is not a very bright star.  It is the 46th brightest star in the entire night sky! During outreach programs, I always ask about Polaris, and most of the time I hear comments about it being the brightest star in the sky.  Polaris, (Alpha Ursae Minoris) also called  the North Star or Pole Star, is the brightest star in the constellation of Ursa Minor. The constellation is also known by its asterism, the “Little Dipper”.  It is very close to the north celestial pole, making it the current northern “Pole Star”.  Polaris is part of a triple star system. Polaris A, Polaris B and Polaris Ab.

To locate Polaris, all you have to do is to find the Big Dipper pointer stars Dubhe and Merak. These two stars outline the outer part of the Big Dipper’s bowl. Simply draw a line from Merak through Dubhe, and go about 5 times the Merak/Dubhe distance to Polaris.

Photo courtesy of Saint John Astronomy Club

Saint Johns Astronomy Club website has a wonderful article on Star hopping,

Lunar Occultation of Venus

First contact of the Moon occulting Venus

Do you know how difficult it is to find a sliver of the moon on a bright sunny day? I’m really surprised I saw this, much less imaged it. These were taken at the eyepiece with my Canon Rebel DSLR.

Occultations by the moon, are common, especially Aldebaran. Unfortunately, very few are seen in the continental United States.

Karma

This is what I get for being a good parent. One of my first long exposure images of the sky with my G16. My teenage son was with me and I told him to go dance around with a glow light in front of the camera. I don’t think I need to explain what he was drawing. Needless to say, it’s a happy accident because we laughed and laughed when we saw it and there’s nothing quite like hard laughter with your child.  In the end, I did manage to get a cool image of long exposure light, but the one above, will always remain a favorite.

 

 

Oh Moon Moon

This was the first AND last lunar eclipse I imaged, special thanks to the weather. It always seems to be cloudy during astronomical events.

Taken with my G16, this was one of the first images I ever did with it. Little did I know that the secret of lunar photography was lens size. (300mm+) I now have a 300-500mm lens for my DSLR for lunar shots. Now, I am desperately waiting for the next lunar eclipse that happens on a clear night. unfortunately, it’s going to be a long wait. January 21, 2019. It better be clear.

More information on when lunar eclipses are and where you can see them, can be found on NASA’s website.