Saturday, February 6, 2016

A heavenly trio

A picture never does the real thing justice...
I find that especially so for the pictures that I take.

Regardless of that, I wanted to share this mornings pre-dawn sky.
Seeing it in person it was stunning.

This morning about 6am local time the waning moon created a
right triangle with Venus and Mercury.

Venus is the brighter star to the right of the moon, and Mecury is below and to the right
of the moon.

The crescent moon was partially illuminated by "earthshine" - the reflection of the suns light
off of the earth, much as the full moon illuminates earth at night.

Viewed from the moon the earth would appear "full" right now as the cyles are reversed.
The earth appears "full" from the moon when the moon is "new" or unseen from earth,
and vise versa.

I subscribe to a daily email newsletter that keeps me up to date on the current
celestial happenings (and cuts down on my sleep time).

This month you have an opportunity to get up about an hour and a half before sunrise
and see 5 planets all neatly aligned in an arch along the elliptic plane - the path that they and
the sun take across our sky.

Grab a cup of Joe and enjoy the morning sky.


  1. I was fortunate enough to be up and taking Chili out early a couple of mornings recently and was able to see this celestial line up of the five planets. Such a beautiful sight to behold. The moon was located between Mars and Jupiter along the plane on the mornings I was out, making it even more spectacular. Love your photos!

    1. Nice pics. We r on a plane in LA waiting to take off to Costa rica. Will send pics soon

  2. WOW WOW WOW! That is really interesting. I need to sign up for that email as well. Great blog post Greg, you always do a beautiful job. Hug the kids and Kate for me. Bimini

  3. WOW!!! Awesome pics. I'll try to get up early, but that's a task!! I'm not much of a morning person.

  4. Always worth the effort to see nature's finest! Thanks for an interesting report!


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