Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Weird picture of the day

The Kona winds meant I missed the recent triple conjunction of the Moon, Venus and Jupiter, the clouds and vog were just too bad to stand any chance of seeing anything. Fortunately, some people, such as Andrew, managed to take a picture of it at Vacation Resort Hale Pohaku. Nice one!

Sod's law suggests that after an event such as this the evening sky will become clear the day after, and this theory has a lot of support. This evening, the sky was clear. Jeeze. Oh well, time to get on with some late-evening chores, but then I saw the crescent moon setting between the trees in my driveway and poking out between a couple of cloud banks. Quick! Get the camera! Where is it? Damn it!

I rushed upstairs to grab it and then remembered I'd put it in the glove box of my car to take a picture of the vog this morning. Of course, I'd completely forgotten during the morning commute that I'd taken the camera with me, so no vog pictures either.

At what age does senility first start to become apparent?

By the time I'd taken a breath and worked everything out, the moon was about to set behind the clouds and vegetation so I just ran out and took a couple of quick shots. There was no time to figure out which of the 450 thousand available camera settings I should use so just set it to something I thought might work, and the picture above is the result.

What a strange looking image, eh? You can click on it to get a larger version in case you didn't know.

It really is the moon, but with the top part illuminated by sunlight reflected from the Earth (earthshine). The bottom part, directly reflected sunlight, is horribly overexposed. Sorry about that. By the time I would have figured out what setting to use the moon would no longer be in that gap between my driveway trees and the clouds, so this is all you'll get.

What's the bright spot at the top of the picture? It's Venus. Or Jupiter. I can't remember. Now where did I leave my car keys?

7 comments:

mirmilant said...

Tom,

I have to say that I think that is a really good picture. You should think about enlarging it and making it into a poster... I think it might work.

Ant

P.S: sigh... just 2 more nights...

Tom said...

Ant - I may have a better shot - we should talk when you get down because I have absolutely no artistic ability or appreciation whatsoever, so I need help there!

Have fun at the summit - I'll be up there soon...

Protege said...

Tom, this is my favourite pictue by far. It is very mysterious and almost magical. I am ruled by the moon and has always been intrigued by this glowing disk in the night sky.
And by the way, I totally identify with you and the camera settings, I can never get it right either.;)

Diane said...

1. It's too bad you didn't get that picture in time for a Halloween post! Cool.

2. Senility started, for me, at 34 (of course, I'd just had a baby, who sucked out all my brain cells for her own use... which explains a lot about her now, come to think of it).

3. Thank you so much for your very sweet comment on my blog. Funny does always win out in the end... it will this time, too :)

4. Absolutely add me to your blogroll! I'd be honored.

Diane said...

And PS... I've prayed to the gods of ex-husbands and dog poo (I think there's a volcano named after them somewhere) and asked that they both skip over me 'til at least next year. Keep your fingers crossed... those gods are ornery ones, they are, with odd senses of humor.

Andrew Cooper said...

"vacation resort of Hale Pohaku"!?! Yes they have accommodations, but the rooms are rather spartan, there are no guest services to speak of, a long way from the beach and the food is nothing to be mentioned in a restaurant guide!

Cool picture.

Tom said...

Protege - thank you! I tried re-reading the manual again tonight so now have about three or four of the settings memorised. Only 449,496 to go...

Diane - unfortunately I'm incapable of giving birth so I can't use your excuse (which is one I've never heard before but sounds plausible to me!). I'll have to think of something else. You've been added to my blogroll with much pleasure!

Andrew - "Vacation Resort Hale Pohaku" is actually a term coined by one of our operators. I think he's been exposed to too many UK astronomers with their love of sarcasm! I like the name though, it takes a little of the pain away from having to stay there...