Sunday, October 7, 2007

it ain't just birds

As you could tell from yesterday's post, in addition to my interests in birds & photography, I also consider myself a novice amateur astronomer. I say "novice" because I have not actively pursued this avocation for more than 30 years -- and so much has happened in the meanwhile that I very much feel like a beginner. That's OK though, since I'm having a lot of fun.
This morning an unusual event took place -- Saturn, the Moon, Regulus, and Venus came within 5 to 6 degrees of each other. (For another shot of this, take a look at my other blog.)
When I got up at about 5 a.m., I was sure that I wouldn't see anything -- thick clouds covered the sky -- not a star was in sight -- not even the moon. But when I checked again at 6, the clouds were beginning to part. The picture on my other blog was taken first (the moon looks full there since I overexposed in order to catch an image through the clouds and to emphasize the star & planets). I'm not sure if the contrast and resolution in the above picture will show them on your monitor -- if not, and if you are interested, let me know & I can e-mail a larger picture to you at higher resolution than gets posted on the blogs.
For more information about this heavenly occurrence, click here and you will get a more detailed description at the Sky and Telescope web site.