Planets

May 19, 2002


May 2, 2002

Photograph taken at ~ 10:00 p.m., May 2, 2002


April 28, 2002


April 11, 2002

Jupiter, Saturn, Pleiades, Mars & Venus.


March 9, 2002

OBSERVATION:
Sky
: mostly clear with some clouds to the southwest.

Temperature: -5 F. with a cold northwest wind, making the windchill about 15-to-25 below - "IT BITES."  Is it really worth it to be out observing the sky as cold as it is?  Should I just drive back to Bismarck?  Well, I'm here, and so I might as well enjoy it.

Landscape: a "clean" white from 5-to-10 inches of new snow this week.  I feel like a kid driving through the deep, soft snow with my four-wheel drive (while realizing that getting stuck just once would turn all that fun into a lot of unwanted work).

Sunset: 6:40 p.m.  The horizon turns from blue, to orange, to rose, to purple.

Venus: first sighted at 6:42 p.m.  I could easily see the planet & could have seen it earlier had I looked in the right place.  At 7:36 p.m., the planet is still above the western horizon.  It twinkles from white to red and back to a white color.  Soon it can no longer be seen as it fades behind some clouds.

Zodiacal Light & Comet Ikeya-Zhang: I take photos of the previously mentioned features in the western sky using my motor driven equatorial mount (to prevent star trail).  However, I suspect that the motor drive isn't working (possibly because everything is frozen - including myself).  When I get home later that evening, I find that a bolt is loose, and so the gears did not mesh.  A lesson learned - next time I will be more prepared (I would have looked closer, but touching the "ice cold" tripod with bare hands was not on the top of my priority list, especially when I was sitting in a warm vehicle while taking photographs.  Thank you manufacturers for making a long cable release shutter).

The drive home: thank you heater!  You wouldn't realize how much I appreciate "you."


March 2, 2002
Venus in the western sky.


November 3, 2001

The first photograph below was taken at approximately 6:30 a.m.  The second photograph below was taken at approximately 6:50 a.m.  Upon driving to Bismarck, I could still see Venus in the sky at 7:12 a.m.  I quit observing at that time.  The planet was still bright - my question - how much longer would I have been able to see it?  Sunrise was at approximately 7:27 a.m. this morning.


September 30, 2001

The planet Venus at ~ 6:00 a.m. on September 30, 2001.

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