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Posts Tagged ‘Astronomy’

Both the humans trembled– Merlin because he did not know what was coming, Ransom because he knew. And now it came. It was fiery, sharp, bright and ruthless, ready to kill, ready to die, outspeeding light: it was Charity, not as mortals imagine it, not even as it has been humanised for them since the Incarnation of the Word, but the translunary virtue, fallen upon them direct from the Third Heaven, unmitigated. They were blinded, scorched, deafened. They thought it would burn their bones. They could not bear that it should continue. They could not bear that it should cease. So Perelandra, triumphant among planets, whom men call Venus, came and was with them in the room.

C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength

Jumping from one commitment to another tonight, I struggled through Seattle traffic to try and reach a clear place to watch the heavens at 5:50 P.M. The sun was setting and the planet Venus would be burning brightly next to a crescent moon.

In both of the above shots, you can see a tiny dot to the upper right of the moon. That is Venus, our sister planet, the morning and evening star. Second from the sun, the closest planet to Earth, she spins the opposite direction and has a surface temperature around 863 degrees.

There are many amazing things to know about Venus.

As I hurried along to get to a more open place, I could hardly believe that I was witnessing this. An aircraft was heading right for Venus and the moon! I ran south and took this photo as it passed over Venus.

This aircraft skimmed the top of Venus and sailed like an arrow towards the moon. There was nothing else in the sky when this happened; this was phenomenal.

Wow!

Threading the moon…

That moment left me in awe. Of all of the places a flying machine could have been in this vast expanse of sky… I was blessed to witness that!

Luna on the left, Pelelandra on the right. What a night.

The color of the sky changed rapidly like an undulating octopus blending into a Kandinsky painting.

One must wonder if someone was standing on the moon waving at Venus.

What cosmological protoplasm is this? In several shots, Venus appeared as a burning sphere of citrine.

Good to see you, neighbors.

Que bella noche…

Venus and Mars are our next of kin: they are the two most Earth-like planets that we know about. They’re the only two other very Earth-like planets in our solar system, meaning they orbit close to the sun; they have rocky surfaces and thin atmospheres.

David Grinspoon

©2020 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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Above the tower — a lone, twice-sized moon.
On the cold river passing night-filled homes,
It scatters restless gold across the waves.
On mats, it shines richer than silken gauze.

Empty peaks, silence: among sparse stars,
Not yet flawed, it drifts. Pine and cinnamon
Spreading in my old garden . . . All light,
All ten thousand miles at once in its light!

Full Moon, Tu Fu

I love taking snapshots of the moon, especially through trees. Watching this full moon come up on the unseasonably hot first day of spring has been amazing. The trees provide theater, curtains, flirtatious framing.

Here in the Seattle area, not long after freezing temperatures, we experienced 78 degrees yesterday, our hottest winter day on record. Today was equally toasty, and perhaps the last of the dirty snow hiding in the corners of the yard finally melted.

Happy worm moon! Happy spring! חג פורים שמח

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14For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

Esther 4:14

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©2019 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.

-attributed to George Carlin

Sunday, January 20th, 2019 was a super moon (close to the earth), blood moon (lunar eclipse), and wolf moon, the first full moon of January. Here in the greater Seattle area we weren’t sure if we’d be able to see this phenomenon or not thanks to wide rafts of clouds that teased us all day.

When 7:30 rolled around, to our delight and amazement we could actually see a shadow beginning to crawl across the lower left quarter of the moon. This prompted numerous brave souls to bundle up like mountaineers and race to hilltops, docks, and fields to bask in the angry red glow that devoured our faithful satellite.

It was cold out and trying to figure out a new tripod in the dark on a platform rattled by others’ footsteps meant far more misses than hits. I changed locations late in the eclipse, braced against a cedar in near darkness, hoping for just that one photo that would make sitting in the 40-degree weather for two hours (and tripping over a large rock) worth it.

Upon closer examination, I didn’t take a bunch of great photos, but instead discovered curious faces and creatures among the attempts.

In this first photo, you can see a dollop of vanilla on top of the creeping orange sherbet, like a fiery Pac-Man closing his mouth in slow motion as he screams across the galaxy.

One of the first decent closeups as the moon disappears from the sky.

Another view of the great vanishing moon act.

I tried to get more of the orange back into the photo… I do think it’s smiling in that first photo (cheese!). Besides the happy clown face, you might also see a bearded man with sunglasses.

And then it blew up. Not sure how this happened…

I seem to have the beginnings of an awesome retro album cover in this case.

Finally… luna as she is meant to be seen on this night.

And then some galactic colossus snatches the celestial basketball from the heavens for a slam dunk. Do you see the hand?

Am I staring at Mercury or the moon?

Here a dragon curls itself around the moon as if to claim the dim orb as its own.

Next a bearded giant heaves the moon upon his right shoulder and starts to carry it off.

You can see his profile clearly. My first reaction was “moon dude!”

Clicking onward, I inadvertently discovered these Pictish beasts. You might also see several faces including the moon’s exactly as he appears in Victorian nursery rhymes. Or Richard III’s.

Planet Vulcan??!

Aha, finally. I found the wolf. Do you see him howling? This was, after all, a wolf moon. It was about time.

The contrast of colors as the shadow slithered off the moon was even sharper through the trees.


WATT is happening here? It looks like I stumbled upon a cross between Jabba the Hutt, a pre-reveal Mr. Voltner in Scooby Doo, and Mothra. Don’t see it? Check out the rotated version in the second photo.

Perhaps I caught the luminous wings of an angel.

God must have had so much fun making all of this.

We won’t see another lunar eclipse until at least 2021. In the meantime, embrace the imperfect images that might turn up on your camera. Sometimes you can see far deeper into those than the photos you expected to get.

The possibilities are endless.

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©2019 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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Today on January 1st, 2018, we were blessed with one of the most beautiful full moons I’ve ever seen. I ran out onto the dock of Log Boom Park in Kenmore, Washington to try and capture the glory of the moonrise and light.

Looking down the dock to the south. This is at the northern end of Lake Washington, which divides Seattle and the Eastside.

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Phalacrocoracidae, commonly known as cormorants. There were also many ducks.

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The gargantuan full moon soars over the horizon.

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The color seemed unusual for this time of year, such a rich and buttery yellow-orange.

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And once again, the roosting birds, who seemed completely unfazed by the frigid temperature.

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And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been. -Rainer Maria Rilke

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©2018 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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Blood Moon 8-20-16

WOW. I was just coming home from the store and had to stop to take pictures of this gorgeous rising moon. I couldn’t quite get a steady shot, even balancing the camera on a fire hydrant, but you can see why I was in awe.

We aren’t due for another blood moon yet, but this looked more like one than some of the actual lunar eclipses we’ve had recently.

As I was taking photos, a woman walked by and asked if I’d seen the setting sun also. I hadn’t. She said that tonight it, too, was blood red. We wondered if it means something…

(Update: the news said  this was caused by fires on the Olympic Peninsula.)

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Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years… -Genesis 1:14

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©2016 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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From Slooh.com, Santascope Provides Live Coverage Of Santa Over The Full Moon On Christmas Eve:

Children around the world can capture some unique Christmas magic in a gift from Slooh.

…Slooh has a special Christmas treat for our viewers. The Full Moon will be high in the sky during Santa’s trip, and Slooh astronomers say they might be able to catch a glimpse of jolly Saint Nick and his sleigh, from our SantaScope, as they pass in front of the Full Moon.

This is the first time the Full Moon has fallen on Christmas since 1977, and Slooh will enable you to capture Santa and his flying reindeer in our StarShare camera, which will be made available to the public for free for this day. Kids will be given the chance to snap their own photo of Santa Claus flying across the Full Moon, before visions of sugar plums dance in their heads!

We’ll be capping off the night with a special appearance by the Christmas Comet at Midnight EDT. Many believe the biblical Star of Bethlehem may have actually been a comet streaking through the night sky, guiding the Wise Men on their journey to greet the baby Jesus.

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Dude, I was there.

Stonehedge 12-22-15

Well, a friend told me solstice was technically just before 10 Pacific time last night, and this is one letter off, but you should celebrate solstice for a full 24 hours, like a holiday, right?

Washington State actually has a Stonehenge at Maryhill near the Columbia Gorge. The Sam Hill built it nearly a century ago and is buried nearby. He intended it as a World War I memorial.

Maryhill Stonehenge

I did not have time to run to that Stonehenge at lunch, only Stonehedge.

Learn more about the dozen or so celestial events Stonehenge is tuned into and more of its amazing intricacies here.

Stonehenge

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©2015 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

 

 

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This is magnificent. The magic continues. I was astounded by the size of the moon as it came over the eastern horizon tonight.

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Supermoon: The Legend Continues. We are having unseasonably warm clear weather here, which isn’t helping our drought, but is providing utterly glorious views of the night sky.

If you’d like to know what you’re looking at here, this handy chart from Wikipedia provides the answers. Tycho and Copernicus are just two of the features that are perfectly visible to the naked eye tonight.

From Wikipedia. Click on the image to learn more.

From Wikipedia. Click on the image to learn more.

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The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor. -1 Corinthians 15:41

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©2015 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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You can watch the September 27th, 2015 blood supermoon live on Slooh.com now (5:00 PDT). You can find out where it’s visible and when to watch it at Space.com (which has all sorts of other tantalizing details as well).

Yes, the moon tonight is:

-The harvest moon: the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox.

-A super moon: the moon is at the closest point in its orbit to the earth– only  221,753 miles away.

-A blood moon: a total lunar eclipse is happening.

This is the fourth blood moon since last year, so the last of a tetrad. You might remember my April 2014 post The Blood Moon Tetrad explaining why this series of astronomical events could be so significant.

The Jewish holiday Sukkot (read its history and meaning here— happy 5776!) begins at sundown tonight, which is 6:57 P.M. here in Seattle. Moonrise is a few minutes before. It will be a full eclipse by 7:07 P.M., so the eclipse will be nearing its peak by the time we see the moon. Thankfully it’s been a beautiful warm day here and it’s unlikely clouds will obstruct our view of this event.

Many are intrigued that this rare astronomical event– the first blood supermoon in 33 years– is happening at the end of a shemitah, a seven-year economic cycle, at a time when both faith-based and secular experts are predicting a huge economic crash. Is it a sign? Should we be ready for a massive shift and for God’s hand in increasingly dark world affairs?

Is He trying to get our attention?

Regardless of what you believe– I do believe we should be paying attention to the heavens (Matthew 24, Luke 21) and asking ourselves what we really stand for– enjoy this phenomenal and gorgeous sight. Hopefully people are recovered enough from the Hawks 26-0 win over the Bears today to lift up their eyes and soak it all in.

The Cuillin from Elgol, Loch Scavaig, The Isle of Skye, Scotland by Scottish Landscape Artist Andy Peutherer

The Cuillin from Elgol, Loch Scavaig, The Isle of Skye, Scotland by Scottish Landscape Artist Andy Peutherer

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Update, 9/27/15: Here are some of the many shots of tonight’s supermoon I captured from the Seattle area. The moon was most difficult to photograph when it was red. I played with various settings, and while I didn’t get the series of jaw-dropping photos I wanted, this still provides a realistic walk through the phases of this lunar eclipse. I’m glad to have gotten to see the whole event when many places couldn’t.

It morphed from glaring angry red alien to jovial intergalactic Cheshire Cat to half-orange sherbet, half-vanilla ice cream to brown-tinged cookie somebody took a bite out of, then it became a brilliant beacon. During the eclipse the sky went from a passionate blue to reddish hues near the moon to a deep darkness and then a navy canopy studded with stars. We were blessed with cloudless weather and even saw a meteor. What an exhilarating experience!

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If you don’t have a set of finger lights for festive occasions like this or for when a headlamp or flashlight is just too much, you should. Note the completely full moon at the top. And check out this lantern that looks like the moon on Twisted Sifter. The most amazing home decor item I’ve seen in a while. It brings the wonder of a full moon indoors.

Same Moon

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©2015 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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Moon 8-26-15

Tonight I was taking pictures of the gorgeous rising moon glowing through an ethereal midnight blue canopy. I was trying out a different camera and was very pleased that I could simply zoom in on the moon and see such detail. What an improvement!

This weekend we have a supermoon, technically lunar perigee when the moon is closest to the earth. There are some wonderful details at Space.com. The Seattle Japanese Garden is hosting its enchanting annual Moon Viewing Festival (Otsukimi) Saturday night.

There is such a gravity to the moon’s presence nowadays, as if it’s signaling an unprecedented shift in the human condition. This reminds me not to trust the created, but the Creator, as He, transcending time and space, is our only unchanging hope.

I found the negative image soothing as well, like the first view of a new planet through a sea of light after a long journey…

Moon 8-26-15 2

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When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator. –Mahatma Gandhi

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©2015 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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