Category: The Night Sky
National Space Day 2023
We celebrate National Space Day on the first Friday in May, which is May 5 this year. It was created to inspire all of us in the pursuit of knowledge and progress. There’s so much going on in the universe, it definitely deserves a day to reflect on everything! Though it’s unlikely you’ll be able to celebrate in outer space, you can still take part in your own corner of the universe with our gravity-defying facts, figures, and ideas for getting involved this National Space Day
The Waning Gibbous Moon In April 2023
Under The Ramadan Moon 2023
Have a Blessed & Peaceful Ramadan!
The Full Worm Moon In March 2023
The Full Moon in March is the Worm Moon. It is also called Lenten Moon, Crow Moon, Crust Moon, Chaste Moon, and Sap Moon. It’s the last Full Moon before the vernal equinox.
The Waxing Gibbous Worm Moon 2023 🪱
The Celestial Ball Dance In February 2023
February 2023 is a fantastic time to easily view two unique planets in our solar system. The gas giant Jupiter and our scorching sister planet, Venus, are brilliant in the night sky this month. These planetary diamonds shine bright even in regions with terrible light pollution, like New York City.
Venus is a rocky planet that’s about the same size as Earth. It’s also the closest planet to us. But on the ground, its environs are hotter than a pizza oven, at some 900 degrees Fahrenheit(Opens in a new tab). The planet’s thick layers of greenhouse gases, like the potent carbon dioxide, trap copious amounts of heat. Its upper atmosphere, however, hosts more moderate, reasonable climes.
Jupiter is a giant gas planet, containing over twice the mass of all other planets in our solar system combined. Thick clouds and storms (mainly of hydrogen and helium) swirl around the surface, including the Great Red Spot, which NASA notes has “raged for over a century.” (Opens in a new tab) Jupiter contains 92 known moons(Opens in a new tab), including the fascinating world Europa, which harbors an icy ocean beneath its cracked shell.
Pluto Day 2023
Pluto Day is celebrated annually to commemorate the anniversary of the discovery of Pluto in 1930. Although Pluto was discovered in 1930, the story of its discovery started in 1840 after French astronomer Urbain Le Verrier sensed that there was a planet outside of Uranus due to irregularities in its orbit. His intuition led him to develop mathematical calculations to explain the discrepancies in Uranus’s orbit in relation to the laws of planetary motion and gravity, which led to the eventual discovery of Neptune.
After Neptune was discovered, an event widely regarded as a validation of a subset of the astronomy practice called celestial mechanics. It was then realized that there was yet another planet disturbing Uranus’s orbit since the irregularity in its orbit continued. This led to the search for Pluto — initially called Planet X — being headed by Percival Lowell, whose death would later see the search for Pluto passed to Clyde Tombaugh, who eventually discovered it.
The planet, which was named after the Roman god of the Underworld, was considered one of the nine planets in the solar system up until 2006. The International Astronomical Union reduced its status and tagged it a ‘dwarf’ planet due to not meeting the criteria to be considered a full-sized planet and being two-thirds of the size of the earth. It is believed that the first two letters in ‘Pluto’ were in honor of Percival Lowell whose belief that there were other planets beyond Neptune, helped fuel the drive that led to its discovery.
The Full Snow Moon 2023
Almost Full Snow Moon 2023
The Full Wolf Moon 2023 🐺
Wolf Moon, Old Moon, Ice Moon, Moon After Yule
The frost and snow of Winter tighten their grip on the sleeping landscape. The nights are long, and food sources are scarce. In times past, the wolves would hunt around the village’s edge to look for scraps.
The January Full Moon is about protection. This could be anything from checking the batteries in the smoke detector to working on setting better boundaries. It is also a time to look at our habits and limits and adjust those things that do not serve us anymore.
The Waxing Gibbous Moon & The Planets In Early December 2022
A Late November Afternoon ~ 2022
November comes to an end, and so does the Autumn season. The days become shorter, and the nights are much longer. We have some nights below freezing. The greenhouse is done for this Autumn. Since mid-November, I fill the feeders with hot pepper bird seeds to keep away Bruno from trashing the trays. The birds don’t mind the hot seeds. It’s still November. But soon, the last month of the year will arrive.
Red Planet Day 2022 💫
Red Planet Day, November 28, recognizes the planet which has captivated human observers for countless years, Mars. Right now, we know that Mars is red thanks to photographs beamed back to Earth from American rovers.
For centuries, the naked human eye has been able to detect the reddish tinge of the solar system’s fourth planet, glimmering in the night sky. Little did scientists know, the red on Mars’ surface came from a preponderance of iron oxide, common rust. On Red Planet Day we celebrate our fascination with Mars, along with all the scientific advancements in understanding the dusty planet.
The Total Lunar Eclipse In November 2022
Despite it being a chilly and windy morning, I still went outside to photograph the Lunar Eclipse. When I walked up the driveway, I also could see many star constellations. Due to a clear sky, the stars were very bright. On top of the driveway, I had to hurry up. The Moon set soon. However, it was still in the phase of totality. When I was done capturing photos, it dawned in the east. I also had enough of the cold wind. I was chilled and needed some coffee.
Backyard Stargazing In November (1)🪐🔭
Tonight, I gazed northeast and southeast from our back porch. From there Jupiter could be seen close to the waxing gibbous November Moon. Zooming in with my camera the four Galilean Moons were visible orbiting around the Gas Giant. Gazing at the northeastern skies, I could clearly make out the star constellation Cassiopeia. Perseus hasn’t completely risen at 8:00 pm. And Pegasus didn’t fit fully into the frame. Triangulum can be seen in the night sky.
The Full Hunter’s Moon 2022 🏹
The Hunter’s Moon is also the October Full Moon. The leaves fall from the trees and the fields stand empty after harvest. The forest’s animals have fattened up for the winter ahead. The thinning leaves and empty fields made this an easier time to hunt in preparation for the winter ahead.
The October full moon is about honoring that which has passed; the plants and the animals that gave their lives to sustain ours and our ancestors who brought us into being and helped shape our world. Cook old family recipes or retell old family stories in honor of your ancestors.
Travel Journal, Day 1 (Part IV): The Harvest Moon Over Wheatfield, New York 2022
… to be continued …
The Full Harvest Moon
The Pumpkins, squash, and beans are ready for harvest. And the bright light of the Harvest Moon allows us the extra time needed to finish the harvest. The leaves on the trees begin to turn color. The Summer’s sunshine gives way to the fall’s Darkening evenings.
The Harvest Full Moon is a time to find balance in our lives, of settling into a slower rhythm after the Summer’s adventures. It is a time of giving thanks and enjoying the abundance in our lives.
August Stars & Constellations (1)
In Texas, I used to do a lot of stargazing in the Dallas suburbs. The best time was always when the Moon was new or crescent. Believe it or not, I still could make out the major constellations in the urban sky. When we moved to Connecticut, I lost this interest a little bit. Mainly, it has to do with making myself familiar with the angle of the stars & constellations. Another problem is the tall trees on our property. I might have to ask my neighbor if I can sit on a camping chair on the big rock in her front yard or go up to Mt. Fair to get a better view of the sky. It would be sad if I completely lost interest in the night sky.
The Last Quarter Moon In August 2022
🎵 … Fly Me To The Moon … 🎵
The Waxing Gibbous Moon In August 2022
National Moon Day 2022
Today is the 53rd Anniversary of Apollo 11 landing with three Astronauts aboard, the Moon. On July 20, 1969, at 11:00 PM EST, Neil Armstrong announced, that he would make “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
The Full Buck Supermoon 2022
Buck Moon, Thunder Moon, Hay Moon, Blessing Moon, Meadow Moon
The herbs grow tall in the forests and along the river beds. The male deer regrow their antlers as Summer peeks and matures. The Summer weather rolls across the landscape as it encourages nature to grow and produce. As the Moon waxes, we draw in the expensive energy of adventure and exploration. We spend time in the woods and at the beach. We hike and work in our gardens. As the Moon wanes, we release any judgment we may have about enjoying the playful spirit of Summer. But we also balance that with dream work, meditation, and slow gentle walks.
The Waxing Gibbous Moon In July 2022
The Waxing Crescent Moon In July 2022
The Full Strawberry Supermoon 2022 🍓
The Waxing Crescent Moon In June 2022
This is not the first time I’ve noticed a reddish dot in my waxing crescent Moon photos. My guess, I just caught one of the Luna orbiting satellites just at the right moment, when the sunrays or the earthshine reflect the satellite panels.
The Last Quarter Moon In May 2022
The Pink Full Moon In April 2022
The First Quarter Moon In April 2022
The weather seemed to be bi-polar today. Sunshine, rain, sunshine, rain, … Tonight, the sky cleared up and was almost cloudless. It was a good chance to photograph the First Quarter Moon.