Your Place in it All

Coming into the Summer night skies, when you don’t have to shiver to observe the sky. :sunglasses:

Slow down and go outside at nightfall. Look up and consider the stage.
Starting with where you stand on this planet in relation to the light source. Place East and West from where you observe. Find Polaris, the North star (the two stars that form the Big Dipper’s front edge point to it).
That will give the perspective of your planet’s direction of rotation, it’s axis and Earth’s seasonal orientation to the Sun.

This is a magnificent picture of the Moon, with Jupiter and it’s 4 largest moons. If you were on the Moon looking back at Earth, it would look very much like this. Just after dark you would be standing on the terminator - the line between night and day, just barely on the dark side.

The Moon and multiple planets - especially Jupiter, with binoculars you will see it’s moons also align pointing at the Sun. Now you can see the ecliptic, the entire system’s orbital plane, and where you stand in relation to it.

All at once, you become aware that you have expanded your perspective to encompass it all, the gravitational embrace of the entire system that your planet participates in, down to the spot you are standing on!
Pause there and witness the wonder of where your place is in it all, and then go back inside and get warm. Don’t be surprised if someone asks you what you are smiling about.


I’m forever looking up. I’d never get a photo that good though because too much light pollution here in Central Florida. Maybe next time in Denver I’ll bring the big lens and try up where it’s cold enough even in summer :slight_smile:


Great pic and post. I love taking photos of the moon. I’ve even gotten Jupiter once, but it wasn’t nearly as beautiful as yours!


Well, you obviously do not live around here.:smile_cat:
Summer nights here are in the 40’s to 50’s. Sometimes it gets real warm and is in the 60’s.
Can’t wait for June it might get up to 70 during the day and we may even have a cloudless night, I will be able to get my Celestron 20x80’s out and look up and see something but clouds, only problem is we have to wait until around 10 for it to get dark and come in at 4 am because it is getting too light.

Look up and see something, for us unfortunate Northwestern peeps. Think I need to move back to Texas.


Warmer nights, true, but I’m not looking forward to the 110 degree days :stuck_out_tongue:[quote=“numosbk, post:4, topic:6951”]
Look up and see something, for us unfortunate Northwestern peeps. Think I need to move back to Texas.


What magnification lens did you use to take that photo @PrintToLaser?

A 20X pair of binocs will give a great view of Jupiter’s moons.


basically says it all…


That’s one of the great things about being out in the country - stars!! I can’t tell you how nice it is to be able to sit out on the porch and just look out and see stars in the night sky. I think I could see a total of 12 or so living in Houston. Our Milky Way doesn’t rise until super late at night this time of year, but I’m ok with the 10pm view.


Beautifully said and illustrated. Here is my tribute to the moon.


Where does the moon pull my heart,
For I know she does.
We think it only at full
When she yanks our eyes
Front and center
Requesting reverence
Commanding care.
But in silent whirl about me,
at tide full or ebb,
Lady Luna
Tugs and tears,
Rips and rends.
Every speck of my body
Tickled to convulse in silent desire
To join with her star stuff.
I so small,
Barely a puff of being,
Pull right back.


Okay if we’re going to wax poetic :smile: I can’t think of a better muse.

Ode to the Stars

Beneath the ebon vaults
I stand and gaze aloft
At crystals of the night
Refracting beams of hope.
I decrease.
I wonder.
I tremble.
I yearn.
So far away but near,
I long to reach and touch,
To see what distance hides
And know you better still.
I decrease.
I wonder.
I tremble.
I yearn.
To sail the milky stream
Through heavens vast expanse,
To go where only dreams
Have wandered cosmic trails.
I decrease.
I wonder.
I tremble.
I yearn.


Light pollution 101 at Erie High about 8 years ago. Gee I miss the Great World Wide Star Count… :cry:


@marmak3261 and @kennethclapp, those are some lovely poems, and need to be engraved on walnut, cherry, or maple in my opinion!


This is my most recent moon photo taking from my yard about a week ago. Since buying a Canon PowerShot SX 60HS camera with 65x optical zoom last fall, I find myself going outside a few times a month to get photos in various phases.


Wow, that’s a stunning photo! I’m impressed that you took that without a telescope.


Thanks. What I found particularly interesting is I took this photo at 7 PM while the sky was still blue. I took the photo below a minute later. The primary difference is the zoom level. I’m sure someone here can explain why the sky became black when I zoomed in tighter.


Google “dark background with lights” and you’ll get more information than you ever wanted.

In short, you take advantage of the inverse square law in order to knock out a background and make it appear completely black! By comparing distances of your light and model you can achieve a solid black background. Yes, that is a lot of gobbledygook. Read some of google links :slight_smile:


I see a lot of you share my love of the night sky, and my apologies, @timtsuga and @teditz, I should have clarified that is not my picture. It’s clear illustration of orbital mechanics inspired the post.

@johnwills, that is a great moon shot! I really enjoy following the terminator across the month as it highlights the topography.

@dwardio, yes, over the twenty years here on the cringe of the metro area I have watched the foggy glow of city lights creep southward.

@marmak3261 & @kennethclapp, very nice, thank you!

@jbmanning5, very nice sky you have there! Envious.

@hansepe, I love the night sky, but I’m not one of the dedicated die-hards that will meet on the top of Mt. Evans at midnight in the winter for the best seeing!

@PlGHEADED, yes, too bad for many, they are lucky to see a handful of stars, so there is little incentive to look up. The Navy showed me what the night sky looked like to the ancients. I have seen very clear nights in the mountains and desert, but the most astounding I have seen is on a moonless night in the south Pacific. Really, the best show on earth.
Many have lived their entire lives without seeing that Majesty.


Me either! Top of Mt Evans in middle of summer maybe, but you’re welcome to that elevation in winter :slight_smile:


Well that sent me down a rabbit hole I hadn’t planned on but a learned some things to help me photograph my t-shirts.


Oh yeah, important warning omitted there :slight_smile: