Archive for the ‘Moon’ Category

Full Moon

Here is a nice pic I took of the Full Moon on July 2nd 2015. I took it as it was showing off some strange colours, as if it was a Super Moon or starting some sort of Eclipse. Anyway, it looked quite different to normal so thought I would try and get it on camera, so please see below for the best pic I got. 😉

Full Moon

Full Moon

Moon, Mars And Venus

Just after Valentine’s Day this year, the Moon, Mars and Venus all lined up vertically in the night sky. Unfortunately, in Plymouth, the weather was awful for the few days of the alignment so I was unable to see it, but when it cleared on the 22nd February, I managed to take a couple of photos of the Moon and the planets.  As you can see below, they weren’t quite in line, but I was amazed at how close Mars and Venus were to each other, considering only a week or so previous, Mars was all the way up to the far left of the Moon.

Here is the photo I took. See if you can spot Mars near Venus.

The Moon, Mars and Venus

The Moon, Mars and Venus

If you had trouble making out Mars in the above pic, here is an annotated version. You will see how close Mars was to Venus.

The Moon, Mars and Venus - Annotated

The Moon, Mars and Venus – Annotated

Here is another pic I took when it wasn’t quite so dark. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the camera to focus properly so the brightness of the Moon and Venus made them blurry, but at least in this pic, you can clearly make them out, and also Mars as the reddish splodge just above and to the right of Venus.

The Moon, Venus and Mar - Lighter

The Moon, Mars and Venus – Lighter

Solar Eclipse Over Plymouth

This morning was the partial Solar Eclipse over Plymouth, and the event put on a very good show! The weather was pretty good, even though a smoggy cloud had blown over the city, and the Sun was shining quite brightly behind the thin layer of cloud/smog. In fact, the cloudy smog actually helped as it stopped the Sun from shining at its brightest, which helped viewing immensely, especially for those of us who didn’t have any special viewing glasses.  Instead, it was possible to wear sunglasses at the height of the event and see the eclipse properly (in moderation of course), as the cloudy smog blocked out any extreme brightness.

When the event reached its pinacle at about 9:25 am, about 86% of the Sun was obscured by the Moon, looking at it from Plymouth. An eerie darkness spread over and the temperature plummeted! It was already a cold morning (1.5 degress when I cycled to work), and easily must have got close to that when the Sun was mostly covered. It was a very noticeable temperature difference anyway! There seemed to be a hush amongst any wildlife as well, from start to finish, and there was no wind at all.   It was silent and still, which made the event more special.

I was watching it from the car park at the Plymouth Science Park, where I work, and our entire office (bar one) went outside to have a look. Everyone was trying to take photos on their phones, but the Sun was still too bright for that really, unless you were really lucky! It seemed that the small part of the Sun that was poking out from behind the Moon was trying to make up for the covered up bit! Needless to say, we all looked at the Sun a little more than we should have! Tut!

It was great though and gave me goosebumps when the Moon could be clearly seen in front of the Sun, it was just a shame that I didn’t have any proper glasses. Next time, I will make sure to have some, that’s for sure!! 😉

Here is the best photo that I managed to take from my mobile phone.  Due to the brightness of the Sun, the actual eclipse was refracted and reflected to a different area on the lens, and shows at the bottom left of the image, instead of where it should be, amongst the brightness in the centre of the image.  I was quite pleased with the aurora effect that came out around the brightly lit area though (where the Sun/eclipse was meant to be)! This image was taken at about 9:26am, so the Moon was roughly covering 86% of the Sun at this point.

Solar Eclipse Over Plymouth

Solar Eclipse Over Plymouth, copyright Simon Trethewey

My wife managed to get a better picture at home using an old Casio digital camera. In this one, you can clearly see the eclipse taking place and it is in the right place in the sky (as opposed to mine above!). It is a few minutes before it reached its peak, so you can see more of the Sun in this one, but you can quite clearly see the Moon making it’s way across.

Partial Solar Eclipse Over Plymouth

Partial Solar Eclipse Over Plymouth, copyright Kelly Trethewey

What an amazing spectacle, and I can’t wait for the next one in 2021, although it won’t be quite as good as this one. I certainly won’t be around for the next Total Eclipse in the UK in 2090, but my three boys may! 😉

Full Moon Over Plymouth Hoe

Here is a photo that I took last March (2014) whilst sitting in my car with my family, eating Fish and Chips, at Devils Point in Plymouth. The photograph is looking back over Plymouth Hoe towards Mount Batten and Jenny Cliff.

I took it on my phone as I hadn’t taken my proper camera as I wasn’t expecting to need it, so I was quite annoyed when this scene unfolded before my eyes. My phone doesn’t produce the best photographs when it is dark, but I though this one came out pretty good!

It was a full Moon at about 17:30 so it wasn’t fully dark, but dark enough so that the light of the very bright Moon glistened off of the sea, directly in front of us. It looked absolutely beautiful, especially when a few clouds started to go across the Moon, which made it look somewhat magical.

It was pure luck that we were there at this time, but we were all glad of it and enjoyed the view until we left (and also the Fish and Chips that were delicious!).


Comet Spotting – Attempt #2 – SUCCESS!

After not being sure if we would make it out this evening due to Kelly being ill all last night and this morning and the strange weather that we have had today (rain, sleet, hail and snow!), we did manage to go out, and I am very glad that we did as we spotted the Comet!! 😉

Instead of going to Jenny Cliff, we made the shorter journey up to Shaugh Prior on Dartmoor, as we knew of a good vantage point there, and arrived shortly after sunset (about 18:30 with sunset being 18:18).  The Moon was a lot higher in the Sky tonight than last night, and a lot easier to spot as it was a much brighter crescent.  So we had a good look around it but couldn’t see anything to start with and it took about 25-30 minutes to spot anything remotely that looked like a Comet.

When I did finally spot something, the object that I saw was very slowly moving across the Sky horizontally and in the general area of where we thought the Comet ought to be.  It also had a very long but dark smoky tail but the head of it didn’t have any lights or a brightness to it.  We honestly didn’t (and still don’t) know what this object was – it definitely wasn’t an Airplane – it looked more like a meteor to me but who knows!!

At about 19:10 I decided to have one final look (it was absolutely freezing cold) and just had a general scan of the Sky underneath and around the Moon, and finally spotted it!  It was very faint and to the lower right of the Moon (not to the lower left as on previous nights) but it was unmistakeable.  You could see the head of the Comet being lit up by the Sun and the long tail reaching out behind it almost vertically.  We couldn’t see the twin tail unfortunately, but we were very glad that we finally saw it after nearly giving up!  It was a very exciting 10-15 minutes looking at it (whilst a Tawny Owl was calling in the nearby trees which did make it a bit creepy though!).

Here is an image from NASA that looks almost exactly the way we saw it, although it wasn’t quite as bright as this tonight.

Comet Pan-Starrs

Comet Pan-Starrs

Tomorrow is the last day of decent weather for the next few days, so we will be going out again to Shaugh Prior to have another look.  Am hoping we will get an even better view of it! 😉