Planets

Venus Jupiter Conjunction

Jupiter and Venus Smile!

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No, they are not UFO’s. No, they are not meteors, nor comets, and I’m pretty sure your horoscope isn’t going to spell doom because of those “bright things in the sky”. Even though we’re a few days early from the closest point, Jupiter and Venus continue to near their conjunction before they start to “appear moving further away”. And lucky me: between the snow flurries and otherwise crazy weather we’ve been having I was able to sneak in a picture through the trees on my Phone. A gentle More >

Wonderful sunset from 36k feet...

Venus, Jupiter and the Moon. Oh, and Mercury and Uranus can come too.

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This is a month of exciting celestial body motion. Right now in the early evening, if you look to the west after dusk, you’ll see two bright star looking things. Those are Venus (the lower, brighter one) and Jupiter. If you’re lucky enough with a good view of the horizon, as the sun goes down, you’ll be able to spot Mercury in the mix. Uranus is close in apparent distance to Mercury, but it’s so low and still too bright to see unaided.

Fast forward another week – around the dreaded (think: More >

M45, The Moon, Jupiter

Conjunction Function

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While the rest of the United States basks in a record setting heatwave, here in Woodinville, WA we are just coming out of a week long rain stretch into what was supposed to be some clear skies. And clear they were – right up until I had set up my equipment. So, after five hours of dysfunctional imaging spoiled by large wafting masses of dihydrogen monoxide, I decided to go ultra short focal length with the Canon Rebel XSI to see if I could capture some of mom nature’s beauty on a wider, less More >

Saturn, f/8 AT10RCF, StarShoot Pro v2!

Royal Wedding Rings… From Space!

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With all of the recent excitement around the Royal Wedding for Catherine and William, it seems some far-out gifts are in order. Hundreds of years ago, the kings and queens of the land would provide funding for astronomers, hoping to have the name of the next exciting object named in their honor. Today of course, they mostly beg for funding, as recently seen with the SETI shutdown.

Back on April 23, the last clear sky day we had (though tonight is looking great!), I picked up a few additional More >

Planets and the Ecliptic

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While at lunch today, a coworker asked “What is that bright star at dusk?” Why, Venus of course! It was suggested that Venus only appears in the morning, which of course is not true, but it’s interesting to hear occasionally.

Another fun question was “How can you tell if it’s a planet?” It is true that the planets don’t generally flicker as much as stars (though this is more a function of the atmosphere than their planet-ness). Another way you can get an idea is whether they follow the More >

Pluto, M24, M18

Fun With Pluto!

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Washington is a gorgeous state. Lush mountains covered with trees that dance in the breeze, aquatic life filled rivers and lakes, and of course, the radiant geological wonders of St. Helens and Mt. Rainier. Clean air and tasty tap water don’t hurt either — but all these fabulous things come with one unfortunate consequence: clouds. Lots of them. So, while it is certainly fun to read about astronomy – or maybe watch a show, the other day I had another idea. I think of it as a “Where’s More >

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