Flintstone Stargazing

January 7, 2009

Bright Stuff on a Windy Night

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Mercury, Moon, Observation Journal, Planets, Venus — Tags: , , — Ed @ 9:22 pm

It’s been so rainy and cloudy that I haven’t had the scope out since the first of the year. Today the clouds pretty much went away and I set up the scope. Because of the brightness of the Moon and the light wind, I decided to get images of just bright stuff. The first item on my list was Mercury which is the higher of the two planets visible in the west just after sunset. Mercury through the scope looked like it was a quarter moon shape, though it was hard to tell through all of its wavering in the atmosphere. It really doesn’t show up that well in this image either, but it’s nice to bag it when I can.

Next up was Venus. Venus is clearly a half-moon now and will shortly start showing a crescent. It’s much more interesting in the scope than Mercury because it’s higher in the sky so it wavers less and it’s much larger so its shape is much clearer.

Finally I started imaging the Moon which is very bright this evening. While getting the images for this picture, the wind started blowing fiercely and I began to worry about the stability of my scope so as soon as I finished the image, I took everything down. Hopefully tomorrow will be clear as well, but a lot less windy.

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