Friday, September 24, 2010

Skywatch Friday: Fall Has Fell

The various heavenly activities occurring over the last few days have made the night sky pretty interesting. Even so, I've only managed cheap shots with no tripod (I'm now thinking of setting it up and keeping it ready) that do a lousy job of capturing the conjunction of Jupiter and the Harvest Moon. Nonetheless, I had to try, and of the dozen or so shots I took, these are the best--this one from last night just as the moon was rising above the house and Jupiter peeked through the leaves (the same leaves I'll be raking in another week if the weather folk are correct).

I got it in the back yard--after standing in the middle of the street in front, risking my very life to try and get a cleaner view, to no avail.

This morning I looked out the upstairs window at about 6 am to see if the moon were still up, and since it was still well above the trees I took my time--made the bed, opened the shades--before going downstairs, grabbing the camera, and heading back out. By then, however, the clouds had started interfering, and this is what I got. Fuzzy and weird, but kind of interesting. It's pretty hard to tell that it's the moon, but again, no tripod.

And finally, a word about the House Clock. I actually remembered to shoot the last appearance of the rising sun in my dining room window on Wednesday morning, on the last day of summer. Some of you may remember that it first appears in that window on the first day of spring. I love this odd seasonal reminder, and it only took me about two years of living in the house to notice it. The almost indiscernible object in the lower half of the photo is my telescope, which languishes in that corner for most of the year.

Like my distant Celtic ancestors, I've always been conscious of phenological signs and celestial markers that point me through the year. So living in a house aimed in the right direction (facing east) and blessed with a serendipitous architectural feature suits me just fine.

I'm hoping to put the telescope to better use now that I've got a nifty app for the iPad, Star Walk, that tells me what's going on overhead. It really works, and its super cool. I need a more powerful (and digital) telescope to do any serious capturing of heavenly bodies, but that's something to look forward to.

Happy autumn, happy Friday, Folks.


jabblog said...

I like your moon photos. I like to see the moon framed by leaves - or bare branches as soon will be.
We're still intending to really get involved in astrophotography but our last effort ended in disaster and a very late night as we tried to dry out the camera. The Astrotrac has been repaired so we'll try again soon, this time without the garden sprinkler!

clairz said...

What an interesting post. I really like the part about the House Clock.

Oddly enough, there is a telescope standing around idly in my house, too. I find it very frustrating to use. One of these days I'll figure it out and apply what I learn at night out in the dark.

That's a lovely photo of the moon and Jupiter.

Penelope Notes said...

Beautiful photos! I can relate with standing in the middle of the road to capture a fleeting shot … even if it doesn’t work out sometimes. I, too, am inspired by light from moon and sun.

Lisa Wilson said...

It's still a cool photo! Thanks for visiting my blog!