Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Mars and Venus at the potluck

This is Venus two nights ago. It's about 40% illuminated these days, and every day that passes it gets slimmer and taller. This was not the first crescent Venus I've seen, but the first I've seen in a telescope, or photographed at all.

I got to show it to a whole party of people who came to the roof in the cold; the telescope was a hit as usual.

This is Mars a few minutes later. Like Venus, it was photographed at a magnification of 90x. It's actually almost 99% illuminated, since it's at opposition. I'd hoped to get a photo that showed off some surface features, and there are only a few more days before Mars starts to fade and shrink noticeably. I did see some faint brown splotches across the top half of the disk -- which in this visually corrected photo means the bottom half. They were the first I'd ever seen. In the next few days I will try to get a photograph at 180x.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Luna's moon

The Moon, with Mars to its lower left, last night. This was an hour or two after they passed each other in a very close approach. Clouds have obscured their meeting each of the last few months, so I was very glad to catch this one. In the photo, the bodies are only about two degrees apart.

A few minutes earlier. Sometimes clouds produce beautiful effects around the moon, though few are as striking as this one.

Mars alone, in Luna's glow.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Planet and plane

An hour past sunset, two days ago. From our living room window.