Tag Archives: Astronomy

Moonrise

As I went out the door to take out the trash tonight, the full moon was rising beautifully in the east.

full moon

I grabbed my camera and tripod, and this was the best shot I got. I can’t help but think how much better it would have been with a longer lens. Hmmm… I wonder what my tax refund will be this year?

NASA Images

Buzz Aldrin on the Moon

I recently discovered a wonderful website for anyone interested in astronomy and space: NASA Images.

In addition to the huge collection of images and multimedia of the universe, our solar system, the Earth, aeronautics and astronauts, it’s also got a nice time line from the late 1950’s until the present day.

High resolution versions of the images are available for download.

Nothing like the Sun

Did you see the lunar eclipse last night? I stepped out of my place about every 15 minutes or so to watch the show. When I was out there I wondered how many other people throughout the ages watched the moon darken with awe, as I was doing. Watching the Earth’s shadow slowly make its way across the lunar surface, I could understand how ancient peoples might start freaking out during such an event. I was also reminded of “Sister Moon,” the title song from Sting’s excellent album, …Nothing Like The Sun (who actually lifted that line from Shakespeare’s My Mistress’ Eyes sonnet).

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the Sun.
My hunger for her explains everything I’ve done.
To howl at the moon the whole night through,
And they really don’t care if I do.
I’d go out of my mind, but for you.

I didn’t have enough ambition to mess around with my camera and tripod during last night’s -5 F temperatures, but you can see images of the eclipse from SpaceWeather.com.

Milestones

Tomorrow I will have worked at the Oak Creek Public Library for fourteen years. When I first started at Oak Creek I figured I would probably be there for five, maybe seven years. Fourteen years have past and I wonder where the time went. As Groucho Marx once said, “Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.”

In other news, today the planet Mars is the closest it’s been to the Earth in 60,000 years. Head outside tonight and take a look.

Dark skies at night

The cold, crisp air and the dusting of snow on the ground really made it feel like winter to me today. One thing I like about winter — the night skies are a lot more clear which makes stargazing a little easier. I’ve noticed the sky is a little darker outside my condo compared to where I used to live (I’m a little farther away from the city lights of Milwaukee). Last night when I got home about 9pm I looked up and saw the the Pleiades star cluster. That’s a constellation I don’t ever remember being able to see from my home before.

Check out the International Dark-Sky Association to learn more about light pollution and keeping our night skies dark.