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"Moons, Planets, and Stars"
 

Moons, Planets, and Stars ...
My collection of the Earth's Moon, Jupiter's Moons, the major Planets, and various Stars and Constellations, all photographed with a "superzoom camera" or digiscoped with a point-and-shoot and my birding spotting scopes.



Moon Phases, etc.


The Moon ...
The Moon is located 238,857 miles from the Earth. The moon rotates at 10 miles per hour compared to the earth's rotation of 1,000 miles per hour. About 49 moons would fit inside the Earth.

The Phases of the Moon ...
  • New Moon ...
  • Waxing Crescent Moon ...
  • First Quarter Moon ("Half Moon") ...
  • Waxing Gibbous Moon ...
  • Full Moon ...
  • Waning Gibbous Moon ...
  • Third Quarter Moon ("Half Moon") ...
  • Waning Crescent Moon ...
  • and then the New Moon once again.

Full Moons ("Farmer's Almanac", 2015) ...
  • January ... "Wolf Moon" ... This name came into use among tribes when in mid-winter the wolves found hunting difficult and began howling around the edges of campsites. This moon has also been known as the "Old Moon" or the "Moon After Yule". Occasionally it is known as the "Snow Moon", although that name is used more with February.

  • February ... "Snow Moon" ... February usually has the heaviest snowfall of the winter season. This moon is also called the "Hunger Moon", since the harsh winter weather made hunting difficult.

  • March ... "Worm Moon" ... As spring arrives and the ground warms up, worms appear. This moon is also known as the "Crow Moon", "Crust Moon" (the snow crusts over), "Sap Moon", and "Lenton Moon", referring to the last full Moon of winter.

  • April ... "Pink Moon" ... THis name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this moon include "Full Sprouting Grass Moon" and "Egg Moon". It is also known as the "Fish Moon" when the Shad swim upstream to spawn.

  • May ... "Flower Moon" ... This moon is also known as the "Full Corn Planting Moon" or the "Milk Moon".

  • June ... "Strawberry Moon" ... Strawberries are picked during their short growing season in June. In Europe this moon is known as the "Rose Moon".

  • July ... "Buck Moon" ... July is normally the month when the new antlers of the buck deer begin to grow. This moon is also known as the "Full Hay Moon".

  • August ... "Sturgeon Moon" ... the easiest season to catch Sturgeon, also this moon is called the "Green Corn Moon" or the "Grain Moon".

  • September ... "Corn Moon" or "Harvest Moon" ... In two years out of three the "Harvest Moon" comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October.

  • October ... "Hunter's Moon", "Blood Moon", "Sanquine Moon" ... Every few years October's full moon is known as the "Harvest Moon".

  • November ... "Beaver Moon" ... November is the time to set the beaver traps before the swamps freeze. This moon is often referred to as the "Fosty Moon".

  • December ... "Cold Moon" or "Long Nights Moon" ... A cold month with very long nights. This moon is also known as the "Moon Before Yule".

"Blood Moon" ...
A full eclipse of the moon is known as a "Blood Moon". According to NASA ("ScienceCasts: A Tetrad of Lunar Eclipses", 2014), as the Earth blocks the light of the sun, the red glow of every sunset and sunrise circling the globe is cast upon the moon, turning the moon into a coppery red color.

"Blue Moon" ...
When a month has two full moons, the second full moon is called a "Blue Moon". Another definition of a blue moon is the third full moon in any season (quarter of year) containing 4 total full moons.

"Black Moon" ...
Occasionally the month of February has no full moons (with January or March having two) and it's New Moon is known as the "Black Moon".

"Cheshire Moon", "Wet Moon", and "Dry Moon" ...
A "Cheshire Moon" or "Wet Moon" is a lunar phase when the "horns" of the Waxing Crescent Moon point up at an angle, away from the horizon, so the moon takes on the appearance of a smile or a bowl. During the winter when the crescent lies nearly horizontal, it is a "Wet Moon" because the "bowl" can "hold water". During the summer, when the crescent moon is rising in an angled path and it's "horns" dip, it is known as a "Dry Moon" as the "bowl" allows the "water to drain out".


"Blue Moons"

"In recent years, people have been using the name Blue Moon for the second of two full moons in a single calendar month. An older definition of Blue Moon is that it's the third of four full moons in a single season. Someday, you might see a actual blue-colored moon. The term once in a blue moon used to mean something rare. Now that the rules for naming Blue Moons include several different possibilities, Blue Moons are pretty common! ...

Very rarely, a monthly Blue Moon (second of two full moons in one calendar month) and a seasonal Blue Moon (third of four full moons in one season) can occur in the same calendar year. But for this to happen you need 13 full moons in one calendar year AND 13 full moons between successive December solstices. This will next happen in the year 2048, when a monthly Blue Moon falls on January 31, and a seasonal Blue Moon on August 23."


Source:    "EarthSky.org" website, 2015.


Image, 2015, Full Moon, click to enlarge
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Full Moon, Vancouver, Washington, July 30, 2015, 10:47 p.m., PDT. Image shot with Nikon P600.


The "official" full moon is at 3:43 a.m., PDT, July 31st, making this image taken at 10:47 on July 30th, only 5 hours away from "official" full.
Image, 2015, Full Moon, click to enlarge
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"Blue" Full Moon, Vancouver, Washington, July 30, 2015, 10:47 p.m., PDT. Image shot with Nikon P600, with blue filter on.


Blue filter. The July 31st full moon is considered a "Blue Moon", however the "official" full moon is at 3:43 a.m., PDT, only 5 hours after this image. The first full moon in July was on July 2nd.


Crescent Moons


August 5, 2016 ... with Jupiter ...

Image, 2016, Crescent Moon, click to enlarge
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Two-day old Waxing Moon and Jupiter, Vancouver, Washington, August 6, 2016. Nikon P900.
Image, 2016, Crescent Moon, click to enlarge
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Two-day old Waxing Moon, Vancouver, Washington, August 6, 2016. Nikon P900.


June 19, 2015, Crescent Moon ...
Friday, June 19.
"A waxing crescent Moon hangs low in the west after sunset this evening. It appears some 7° below Venus, while Jupiter stands the same distance to Venus' upper left. Naked eyes will show you our satellite's 13-percent-lit disk; you'll need a telescope to spy Venus' fatter crescent, which is 42 percent illuminated. Although Jupiter is only the third-brightest member of this trio, no other object elsewhere in the night sky rivals it."

Source:    "Astronomy.com" website, 2015.

Image, 2015, Crescent Moon, click to enlarge
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Crescent Moon, Canby, Oregon, June 19, 2015. View looking over livestock building, Clackamas County Fairgrounds. Venus and Jupiter not visible yet. Then clouds came in. Image shot with Nikon P600.


April 20, 2015, "Cheshire Moon" ...
"April 19, 2015 – you’ll want an unobstructed horizon in the direction of sunset, to maximize your chances of catching the young waxing crescent moon – and possibly the fading red planet Mars. The new moon was yesterday, April 18, so expect to see a whisker-thin lunar crescent low in the west after sunset – that is, if your evening twilight sky is clear. Binoculars may come in handy for the moon – and Mars. If you do see the ghostly smile of the whisker-thin crescent moon, it will be beautiful!"

Source:    "EarthSky.org" website, 2015.

Image, 2015, Crescent Moon, click to enlarge
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Two-day old grinning "Cheshire Moon", Vancouver, Washington, April 20, 2015. Image shot with Nikon P600.


Half Moons


Image, 2015, 1st Quarter Moon, click to enlarge
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1st Quarter Moon, July 23, 2015, 9:25 p.m. PDT. Image taken with Nikon P600.


The "official" first quarter moon happened at 9:05 p.m., PDT, on July 23, 2015.


Full Moons


Image, 2008, Full Moon, click to enlarge
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Full Moon, September 13, 2008. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Ridgefield, Washington.


Lewis and Clark and a Lunar Eclipse

On January 15, 1805, while at Fort Mandan, North Dakota , Lewis and Clark witnessed a total eclipse of the moon.

"... between 12 & 3 oClock this morning we had a total eclips of the moon, a part of the observations necessary for our purpose in this eclips we got which is at 12h 57m 54s     Total Darkness of the moon     @ 1 44 00     End of total Darkness of This moon     @ 2 39 10     End of the eclips— ..." [Clark, January 15, 1805]


Lunar and Solar Eclipses

Because of the straight alignment needed of the Sun, Earth, and Moon, lunar and solar eclipses come in pairs. A lunar eclipse always takes place two weeks before or after a solar eclipse. For example, the beautiful September 27, 2015 Lunar Eclipse in conjunction with a Supermoon was preceded on September 13th by a partial Solar Eclipse.


Lunar Eclipse "Tetrad", 2014-2015

NASA describes the 2014-2015 lunar "tetrad" to be "series of 4 consecutive total eclipses occurring at approximately six month intervals." The first total eclipse was April 15, 2014, followed by one on October 8, 2014, one on April 4, 2015 (early hours of April 5th for us in the Pacific Northwest), and the last on September 27 (for us in the Pacific Northwest) and 28, 2015.

April 15, 2014 ...
First of the four total eclipses ("tetrad") visible in the Pacific Northwest in 2014 and 2015. Overcast evening with clouds coming in. We never saw totality nor the red color because of the clouds. Of special interest was the star Spica.

Image, 2014, Lunar Eclipse, click to enlarge
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Before, Lunar Eclipse, Vancouver, Washington, April 15, 2014, just after midnight. Image shot with Sony HX100v.
Image, 2014, Lunar Eclipse, click to enlarge
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Before, with Spica, Lunar Eclipse, Vancouver, Washington, April 15, 2014, just after midnight. Image shot with Sony HX100v.
Image, 2014, Lunar Eclipse, click to enlarge
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Almost total, Lunar Eclipse, Vancouver, Washington, April 15, 2014, just after midnight. Image shot with Sony HX100v.

Clouds came in right before eclipse went total.


October 8, 2014 ...
Second of the four total eclipses ("tetrad"). Beautiful views of the "blood moon". Of special note, the planet Uranus was within one degree of the moon.

Image, 2014, Lunar Eclipse, click to enlarge
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Total Lunar Eclipse, Vancouver, Washington, October 8, 2014, with planet Uranus (lower left) and star _____ (lower right). Note blue-green tinge of the planet Uranus. Image shot with Panasonic Lumix FZ200.
Image, 2014, Lunar Eclipse, click to enlarge
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Total Lunar Eclipse, Vancouver, Washington, October 8, 2014, with the planet Uranus. Note blue-green tinge of the planet. Image shot with Panasonic Lumix FZ200.


April 5, 2015 ...
April 5, 2015, was the third of the four total eclipses NASA describes as a 2014-2015 "tetrad". Totality was at 5:00 a.m. with overcast and clouds. No views.

September 28, 2015 ... Lunar Eclipse and the Supermoon !!!!
The fourth lunar eclipse of the "tetrad" provided fantastic views of the eclipse in conjuntion with a Supermoon !!! ... Here in the Pacific Northwest, this eclipse began shortly after moonrise making visibility difficult in the eastern haze. The Eclipse lasted over one hour allowing the moon to rise and providing great views. In the Portland area moonrise was at 6:55 p.m., PDT, and totally began at 7:11 p.m. Maximum coverage at 7:47 p.m. Totally lasted for 1 hour and 12 minutes with the moon moving out of the earth's shadow at 8:23 p.m., PDT.

"... the proverbial stars only align for this event once every few decades, making this phenomenon much rarer than a supermoon or a lunar eclipse separately. The last supermoon/lunar eclipse combination occurred in 1982 and the next won’t happen until 2033."

Source:    "Nasa.gov" website, 2015.

Image, 2015, Lunar Eclipse and the Supermoon, click to enlarge
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Street scene, Lunar Eclipse and the Supermoon !!! ... Vancouver, Washington, September 27, 2015, 7:42 p.m., PDT. Image shot with Nikon P600.
Image, 2015, Lunar Eclipse and the Supermoon, click to enlarge
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Street scene, Lunar Eclipse and the Supermoon !!! ... Vancouver, Washington, September 27, 2015, 7:59 p.m., PDT. Image shot with Nikon P600.
Image, 2015, Lunar Eclipse and the Supermoon, click to enlarge
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Street scene, Lunar Eclipse and the Supermoon !!! ... Vancouver, Washington, September 27, 2015, 8:00 p.m., PDT. Image shot with Nikon P600.
Image, 2015, Lunar Eclipse and the Supermoon, click to enlarge
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Lunar Eclipse and the Supermoon !!! ... Vancouver, Washington, September 27, 2015, 8:22 p.m., PDT. Image shot with Nikon P600.
Image, 2015, Lunar Eclipse and the Supermoon, click to enlarge
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Lunar Eclipse and the Supermoon !!! ... Vancouver, Washington, September 27, 2015, 8:29 p.m., PDT. Image shot with Nikon P600.


Lunar Eclipse, 2008

A total lunar eclipse occurred on the evening of Wednesday, February 20, and morning of Thursday, February 21, 2008. It was visible in the eastern evening sky on February 20 for all of North and South America, and on February 21 in the predawn western sky from most of Africa and Europe. Visible nearby was the planet Saturn (lower left) and the star Regulus (top). The February 20/21 total lunar eclipse was the first of the two lunar eclipses in 2008, with the second, the August 16, 2008 event being partial.

February 20, 2008 ...

Image, 2008, Eclipse, click to enlarge
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Before, Total eclipse of the moon, Vancouver, Washington, February 20, 2008. Image shot with Canon S5.
Image, 2008, Eclipse, click to enlarge
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Total eclipse of the moon, Vancouver, Washington, February 20, 2008. Image shot with Sony H5 with 1.6 "doubler".
Image, 2008, Eclipse, click to enlarge
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Closeup, Total eclipse of the moon, Vancouver, Washington, February 20, 2008. Image shot with Sony H5 with 1.6 "doubler".
Image, 2008, Eclipse, click to enlarge
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Saturn, Regulus, and the total eclipse of the moon, Vancouver, Washington, February 20, 2008. Image shot with Sony H5 with 1.6 "doubler".
Image, 2008, Eclipse, click to enlarge
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After, Total eclipse of the moon, Vancouver, Washington, February 20, 2008. Image shot with Sony H5 with 1.6 "doubler".
Image, 2008, Eclipse, click to enlarge
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After, Total eclipse of the moon, Vancouver, Washington, February 20, 2008. Image shot with Canon S5.


"Supermoon" Triad, 2014

The summer of 2014 is the summer of the Supermoons !!!!!!

According to NASA --- "If you thought one supermoon was bright, how about three….? The full Moons of summer 2014—July 12th, August 10th, and Sept. 9th--will all be supermoons.

The scientific term for the phenomenon is "perigee moon." Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon's orbit. The Moon follows an elliptical path around Earth with one side ("perigee") about 50,000 km closer than the other ("apogee"). Full Moons that occur on the perigee side of the Moon's orbit seem extra big and bright.

This coincidence happens three times in 2014. On July 12th and Sept 9th the Moon becomes full on the same day as perigee. On August 10th it becomes full during the same hour as perigee—arguably making it an extra-super Moon."


July 12, 2014 ...
First of the three 2014 "supermoons". Missed it.

August 10, 2014 ...
Second of the three 2014 "supermoons". This moon is the "superest" of the "Supermoons" with the full moon being the closest to earth it will be this year. The full moon of August 10th was a meer 221,765 miles from the earth.

Image, 2014, Supermoon, click to enlarge
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"Supermoon", Vancouver, Washington, August 10, 2014 Image shot with Panasonic Lumix FZ200.


September 9, 2014 ...
September 9th is the third of the three 2014 "supermoons".

Image, 2014, Supermoon, click to enlarge
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"Supermoon Scenic", Vancouver, Washington, September 8, 2014 Image shot with Panasonic Lumix FZ200.


International Space Station

Image, 2016, click to enlarge
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International Space Station, Vancouver, Washington, August 12, 2016, 10:08 p.m. PDT. ISS magnitutde 3.3, 83degrees. Sony HX300, 10 seconds, f5.6, ISO-80, image lightened on computer.


Stars and Constellations

  • Big Dipper (Ursa Major) ...
  • Cassiopeia ...
  • Cepheus ...
  • Little Dipper (Ursa Minor) ...
  • Orion ...


Image, 2016, click to enlarge
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Big Dipper (Ursa Major), Vancouver, Washington, August 27, 2016, 9:10 p.m. PDT. Sony HX100v.
Image, 2016, click to enlarge
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Cassiopeia, Vancouver, Washington, August 27, 2016, 9:25 p.m. PDT. Sony HX100v.
Image, 2016, click to enlarge
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Cassiopeia, Vancouver, Washington, August 12, 2016, 1:00 a.m. PDT. Sony HX100v.
Image, 2016, click to enlarge
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Cepheus, Vancouver, Washington, August 11, 2016, 10:30 p.m. PDT. Sony HX100v.
Image, 2016, click to enlarge
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Little Dipper (Ursa Minor), Vancouver, Washington, August 11, 2016, 10:35 p.m. PDT. Sony HX100v.
Image, 2017, click to enlarge
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Orion, Vancouver, Washington, January 23, 2017, 9:21 p.m. PST. Sony HX100v.


Planets
Venus


December 6, 2016 ... Lineup of the Moon, Mars, and Venus

Tuesday, December 6.
"In late twilight, the Moon, Mars, and Venus form a long diagonal line in the south to southwest. Well below the Moon twinkles Fomalhaut."

Source:    "skyandtelescope.com" website, 2016.

Image, 2016, Moon, Mars, and Venus, click to enlarge
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Lineup of the Moon, Mars, and Venus, December 6, 2016, approximately 6:00 p.m. PST. Image shot with Nikon P600.

Mars was red/orange in "real life", which unfortunately the camera did not pick up, and, although bleeding out in the image, the Moon was less than one day away from 1/4 phase.


June 30 and July 1, 2015 ... Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter

Tuesday, June 30.
"On June 30 and July 1, 2015, look for the sky’s brightest and second-brightest planets to stage their closest conjunction until August, 2016. Venus and Jupiter will be less than one-half degree apart. That’s less than the moon’s diameter on our sky’s dome."

Source:    "Earthsky.org" website, 2015.

Image, 2015, Venus and Jupiter, click to enlarge
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Venus and Jupiter, June 30, 2015, 10:40 p.m. PDT. Image shot with Nikon P600.

Jupiter's moons, left to right: Ganymede, Europa, Io, and Callisto, ("skyandtelescope.com" website, 2015).
Image, 2015, Venus and Jupiter, click to enlarge
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Looking west, Venus and Jupiter, July 1, 2015, 10:10 p.m. PDT. Image shot with Nikon P600.
Image, 2015, Venus and Jupiter, click to enlarge
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Venus and Jupiter, July 1, 2015, 10:27 p.m. PDT. Image shot with Nikon P600.

Jupiter's moons, left to right: Europa, Ganymede, and Io, ("skyandtelescope.com" website, 2015).


Mars


July 4, 2016 ...

Image, 2016, click to enlarge
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Mars, Vancouver, Washington, July 4, 2016. Nikon P600, ISO-1600, f5.6, 0.77 seconds.


Jupiter


July 1, 2015 ... Lunar Eclipse of Jupiter's moon "Callisto"

Image, 2015, Venus and Jupiter, click to enlarge
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Jupiter and it's four visible moons, July 1, 2015, 10:06, PDT. Image shot with Nikon P600.

Jupiter's moons, left to right: Europa, Ganymede, Io, and Callisto, ("skyandtelescope.com" website, 2015).
Image, 2015, Venus and Jupiter, click to enlarge
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Jupiter and three of it's four visible moons, July 1, 2015, 10:26 p.m. PDT. Image shot with Nikon P600.

Jupiter's moons, left to right: Europa, Ganymede, and Io. Callisto was eclipsed by Jupiter's shadow at 10:18 p.m. PDT, and then re-appeared at 2:58 a.m. PDT, on July 2, 2015. ("skyandtelescope.com" website, 2015).
Image, 2015, Jupiter, click to enlarge
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Lunar Eclipse of "Callisto", July 1, 2015, 10:06 and 10:26 p.m. PDT. Image shot with Nikon P600.

Jupiter's moons, left to right: Europa, Ganymede, Io, and Callisto. Callisto was eclipsed by Jupiter's shadow at 10:18 p.m. PDT, and then re-appeared at 2:58 a.m. PDT, on July 2, 2015. ("skyandtelescope.com" website, 2015).


June 30 and July 5, 2015 ...

Image, 2015, Venus and Jupiter, click to enlarge
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Jupiter and it's four visible moons, June 30, 2015, 10:40 p.m. PDT. Image shot with Nikon P600, 0.77sec, f5.6, ISO-1600.

Jupiter's moons, left to right: Ganymede, Europa, Io, and Callisto, ("skyandtelescope.com" website, 2015).
Image, 2015, Venus and Jupiter, click to enlarge
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Jupiter and it's four visible moons, July 5, 2015. Image shot with Nikon P600, 0.5sec, f5.6, -0.3, ISO-1600.

Jupiter's moons, left to right: Callisto, Europa, Ganymede, and Io, ("skyandtelescope.com" website, 2015).


Saturn


July 5, 2016 ...

Image, 2016, Saturn, click to enlarge
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Saturn, July 5, 2016, 10:42 p.m. PDT. DIGISCOPED, Canon G9.


July 26 and 27, 2015 ...

Image, 2015, Saturn, click to enlarge
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Saturn, July 26, 2015, 10:06 p.m. PDT. DIGISCOPED, 66mm spotting scope zoomed to 60x with Canon G9 held to eyepiece, 1/20th, f2.8, ISO-1600, image reduced to 66% via computer.
Image, 2015, Saturn, click to enlarge
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Saturn, July 27, 2015, 10:05 p.m. PDT. DIGISCOPED, 77mm spotting scope zoomed to 60x with Canon G9 held to eyepiece, 1/40th, f2.8, ISO-1600, image at 100%.


Uranus


October 8, 2014 ...
Beautiful views of the "blood moon" with the planet Uranus was within one degree of the moon.

Image, 2014, Lunar Eclipse, click to enlarge
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Total Lunar Eclipse, Vancouver, Washington, October 8, 2014, with planet Uranus (lower left) and star _____ (lower right). Note blue-green tinge of the planet Uranus. Image shot with Panasonic Lumix FZ200.
Image, 2014, Lunar Eclipse, click to enlarge
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Total Lunar Eclipse, Vancouver, Washington, October 8, 2014, with the planet Uranus. Note blue-green tinge of the planet. Image shot with Panasonic Lumix FZ200.


1979 Solar Eclipse and 1986 Haley's Comet

On February 26, 1979, I had the pleasure of seeing a total solar eclipse. We had driven to the Enumclaw area and parked near a hill off the freeway. In the Spring 1986 Gene and I went to Hawaii to see Haley's Comet where it rained nearly the entire three weeks and the comet had lost its tail. The following are scans of the frame photographs from my wall. Original images are on 35mm slide film.

Image, 1979, Solar Eclipse, click to enlarge
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Total Solar Eclipse of the Sun, Enumclaw area, February 26, 1979. Image is scan from picture on wall. Original taken with 35mm slide film.
Image, 1979, Haley's Comet, click to enlarge
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Haley's Comet (tailless, bluish on left) as seen from Hawai'i, Spring 1986. Image is scan from picture on wall. Original taken with 35mm slide film.





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