Posts Tagged ‘moon’

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!).


Lyrids Meteor Shower 2014

For the Lyrids Meteor Shower this year, the Moon is going to keep the sky quite light, which will make it much harder to see them.  Saying that, it should still be possible, especially when they are at their peak on the 23rd April.  I say this as I happened to be outside this past Tuesday night, watching the ISS fly over Plymouth, and to my surprise, whilst it was moving through Ursa Major (specifically the Plough part of the constellation), there were 5 or 6 tiny little explosions going off in the sky nearby.  I couldn’t quite believe it really and it put me off watching the ISS (which I always find fascinating!).

I watched for several more minutes and saw several other meteors in the sky, in the general area of the sky off to the left of Ursa Major.  These were not massive meteors as far as I could tell, as you only saw them for a split second, but this was probably due to the almost full moon which was keeping the sky bright and hiding all but the most brightest stars.  These weren’t like the tiny explosions I saw during the ISS flyover, but more meteor like.  I can only presume these were the Lyrids and the first batch I saw were so small and didn’t ‘shoot across the sky’ but burnt up as soon as they hit the atmosphere of the Earth.  The second batch must have been slightly bigger and lasted longer when hitting the atmosphere.  Either way, it was great viewing!

Earth and a Lyrid Meteor

Earth and a Lyrid Meteor taken by Astronaut Don Pettit. Copyright Nasa.

The Lyrids Meteors emanate from the constellation Lyra (hence their name) and they are part of the comet Thatcher that takes about 415 years to orbit the Sun.  The peak of the shower is usually around the 21st to the 24th of April but they can be seen for several days before and after, depending on how lucky you are!  I guess I was very lucky the other night!

Enjoy the Lyrids Meteor Gazing!! 😉