Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sky shows

Between the autumn equinox, the harvest full moon and Jupiter appearing closer to the earth than in many years, it is an exciting time in the skies.

While in Yellowstone, we missed any chance to photograph Jupiter with the full moon. The first early morning of the full moon, as we left our camp spot to see if the wolves were out, Jupiter was still there, seemingly huge against the mountain but then dropped behind a ridge. As we drove to the location we expected to see wolves, a cloud blocked any chance of seeing Jupiter.

I did get though some of the most beautiful full moon photos I have yet to take. It was a combination of luck and conditions that led to them and I will be sharing them as I get photos sorted in between taking care of issues at the farm that were the result of being gone awhile.

Monday night, back at the farm, we went out into the garden, with a clear sky to the east, the telephoto and a tripod to see if we could capture Jupiter on film. It is still very impressive in the night sky and will be at least through September. We were surprised to actually be able to photograph Jupiter's four moons. [Jupiter]

It was simply amazing to watch it as I listened to the crickets as a reminder of space and nearness all at once-- big to tiny with one so close and the other so far. Out there, in the warm night air, the last of the summer garden around me, it  was impossible not to think about our earth's future, not to wonder what is happening today with our climate (warmer than usual here but the really unusual part is the high humidity with that warmth, like a greenhouse) especially since I had just caught the September 24th episode of Bill Maher (which I had missed being in Yellowstone) with Carl Sagan's wife in particular trying to strongly make the case for what is happening to our planet.

[Ann Druyan] articulately discussed climate change as Andrew Breitbart and another conservative (regular on Maher's show) argued the other side. Check it out on: [YouTube].  I just wish that when conservatives (loosely using that word) attack climate change science, they'd make concern for the dollar less of their argument. It always seems to be about the damage we might do to our economy but what if the scientists (95% of them and about all who are not on oil company payrolls) are right?

I have just been to such a beautiful example of the diversity and wonder of our planet. It's hard to accept it may not stay as it is but that is the reality of life. It is also part of what makes it so precious to protect as best we can for as long as we can. Maybe we can't but wouldn't we like to think we tried?

To fully see our photo of Jupiter and its four moons, click on the image to enlarge. The photo was shot with the Canon Image Stabilizer lens on a tripod at full extension of 250mm and then sharpened with Picasa to further bring out the moons. The time value was extended as far as it could be (1/15) without needing a remote (something on my want list.) 
 If you want to see Jupiter and haven't yet, check the night sky to the east as the sun goes down. It moves up through the sky and then will drop down in the west when the sun rises again.


Dion said...

I found the full moon coinciding with the Autumn Equinox to be exciting. Not to mention at the same time, Jupiter was doing a dance with Uranus. I find myself hanging out on the back patio lately. Enjoying the outdoors while I can.

This is cool!

Dion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dion said...

I'm having trouble posting the link correctly, Rain. For some reason www.blogger keeps inserting itself into my link.

Rain said...

Blogger or more accurately Google has 'improved' things and I have them second guessing my links also. Don't even ask what they have done to my ability to upload photos to the blog using Mozilla. Anyway see if this works. This is cool! the link should read http://www.starrynighteducation.com/skychart/

20th Century Woman said...

What an amazing photo! Your experience of hearing the crickets and looking at the moons of Jupiter at the same time really struck a chord with me. Lovely.

robin andrea said...

We have been going out each evening to watch Jupiter. It is thrilling to know we are seeing the largest planet in our part of the universe. Your photograph is truly spectacular. We tried without a tripod and got a shot with moons, but not like this.