Friday, February 13, 2009

Sky Watch Friday #19: Missed it by That Much!


"Waxing Crescent"
Raleigh, NC - December 2008 (Click to embiggen)

Sky Watch Friday

"Heavenly Bodies - Venus & Jupiter"
Raleigh, NC - December 2008 (Click to embiggen)

Sky Watch Friday

This pair of shots has a sad story behind it. On December 12 2, 2008 we had the rare opportunity of seeing the moon accompanied by Venus and Jupiter all in close enough proximity to get them all in one family photo. I noted this celestial oddity at the time, but had an appointment to get to and as a consequence I didn't have a chance to get the shot that night.
I didn't worry too much, since I knew that there were several clear nights in the forecast and I would certainly have the opportunity on the following night.
Correction: I misread the date on my photo when I wrote this post. These shots were taken December 2, not December 12. December 12 was the full moon that I thought was going to give me the illumination I needed for my night shot of Yates Mill. Which it didn't. So both nights turned out to be frustrating, but for different reasons. (Thanks Lew!)
Had I known then what I know now I would have postponed the appointment or taken the shot before leaving for it. Because by the following night the moon's orbit had carried it far enough away from the planets that once a shot containing all three of them was framed, the planets were too small to be visible. This configuration will come again, but not in my lifetime. These three objects occupy an area this small only once every 50-odd years, so by the time they get together again even my children will be too old to take the shot. And in any case, I won't be around to see it if they get it.
But with the help of the longest lens I have, I was able to get a shot of the planets by themselves that has enough resolution to be able to tell which is which. It's not the shot I wanted, but it's cool. And of course, the moon is always good camera fodder.Violence Unsilenced
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35 comments:

Dewdrop said...

Your crescent shot is striking!

Oh no! I missed it too, without even realizing how truly rare it is! It was gorgeous. I stopped, but didn't have my tripod, so I didn't bother attempting it. sigh.

bobbie said...

I love a crescent moon. This photo is really super!

Tranquility said...

I had NO IDEA such an event was taking place. What a sad dissapointment.

I've been playing around with moon shots lately and it just amazes me how much detail can be captured by the camera - even from such a distance!

Susan said...

I saw it, too, but didn't get a shot of it either. I also thought I would be able to do it the next night. It's bothered me ever since. I'm taking it as a reminder to grab every opportunity when it comes. Nice shots of them separately, though. :)

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Oh dear me! I missed it too.

Louise said...

I'm sad you missed the shot because these are so terrific.

Sylvia K said...

Fabulous shots! Really breathtaking! Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend!

Guy D said...

Awesome shots as always, I love these.

Have a great weekend!
Guy
Regina In Pictures

Photo Cache said...

I missed it too. Not that I have any plans of capturing it; I don't have gear sophisticated enough to shoot at that event.

That crescent moon is so vibrantly captured.

Long weekend for you?

Daryl said...

no really. i hate you. soooo jealous of the moon ... one of these days I gotta schlep out the old 35MM with the BIG honkin' lens

Ishtar said...

You may have missed the perfect photo opportunity but you told the story beautiful! I would never have known had I not come to check on your skies tonight. Warm greetings from Africa!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I saw that, too! And it was so neat. Sorry you didn't get the capture, but that moon shot is the bee's knees, Mojo! WOW!

XO,

Sheila :-)

Rottlady of the Ozarks said...

I got to see and take photos that night, but none of my shots were as nice as these! Thanks for sharing them.

Mary said...

Wow, those are WAY COOL shots!

RuneK said...

Really super moon shot :o)

VALKYRIEN said...

The shot of the moon is gorgeous! Sad to hear you missed the shot of them together - I did also beause of a cloudy sky. So I didn't see it at all! :(

Lene said...

It is hard to imagine that they really are so big. Seems so small from down here :) Amazing post :)

Pagan Sphinx said...

I saw with my eyes but my dinky camera would never have been able to capture it. One day I'll get a real camera.

I love the crescent. It is absolutely my favorite phase.

You know what the Stones song, right? You can't always get...yeah, that one. :-)

ramblingwoods.com said...

Oh..I am sorry that you missed..the moon shot is amazing and I like the other shots..but I understand that it isn't what you had wanted..Michelle

Janie said...

Beautiful shots. (Sorry you didn't get the one you wanted) I think I see the man in the moon in the crescent. You must have a great lens to get so much detail. Good shots of the planets also.

Patricia said...

"fly me to the moon..." :)
beautiful photos! I heard about the Moon, Venus and Jupiter but didn't see them as you did! thanks for sharing!
Have a happy weekend!
My blog

Tricia said...

Now, THAT is an Out-Of-This-World shot if I ever saw one!!! Phenomenal!!!

Lew said...

Great shot of the crescent moon! I did get a Dec 12 shot of the moon, but not with the planets.

napaboaniya said...

Gorgeous shot of the moon!
Time for me to invest in a tripod...happy saving up on my side :P

p/s: Thank goodness the problem I had on blogger is solved :)

lisaschaos said...

Fun! Hey, at least you tried! I always love the moon, but haven't even tried lately.

My Way said...

Gorgeous moon shots. I love them. Thanks for sharing.

Shadow said...

i'm moonstruck at the best of times. loooovely

Poutalicious said...

What a coinky-dinky we both chose moon photos for sky watch - I think it's an obvious Friday the 13th choice. Your crescent moon is AWESOME

Skies said...

Beautiful banca moon...happy skywatching.

jadey said...

Excellent post my 55 is up too.

D Herrod said...

Very cool.

Tarolino said...

So sorry you missed it. So did I. Or I did not have a good enough camera for night time shots at the time. Only got it later so the moon with Venus is best I have managed. Also I lack a good long lense as it is.
Anyway your moon shot is just wonderful and it is nice to have a momentum of both planets in the same shot too so well done for having managed that and for sharing it of course.

vincibene said...

I missed it too. I was at work and I had no camera. But I saw it and it was wonderful at a clear dark blue sky.

Your moon picture is wonderful!

tarheelrambler said...

That crescent moon is gorgeous! I don't know why, but I just can't get a decent photograph of the moon. I try and try and try, but they just don't turn out. {sigh}

Babooshka said...

It is a cooler shot of the moon and any planets I have. I really should keep an eye out for these planetary activities, such marvellous images.