Full Pink Moon Eclipse

Full Pink Moon Eclipse #1

Full Pink Moon Eclipse #2

Or “Blood Moon,” if you prefer. David and I watched a bit of the lunar eclipse early this morning. We didn’t think we would see much of it due to the cloud cover from yesterday’s storms, but we were pleasantly surprised. I also didn’t expect to get a couple of half-way decent photos — at least, for little point and shoot. An added bonus, we heard wild turkeys in the woods; and the White-throated Sparrows are still visiting. They have such a distinctive, beautiful song!

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A Brief Glimpse of the Eclipse

I was looking forward to seeing the total lunar eclipse early this morning. I haven’t seen one for many, many years. I even stayed awake two hours later than normal to catch it, but I didn’t get to see much of the eclipse due to cloud cover. The thunderstorm prior to the eclipse beginning was pretty spectacular, though! The video is grainy and edited for the best lightning strikes that I captured. You’ll hear me say, “I smell a skunk.” When David said, “You’re shorter,” he was handing me the umbrella to protect the camera from the rain. One of these days, we’ll learn to keep quiet while taking video, haha!

I really didn’t get any noteworthy photos of the eclipse. My camera simply does not have the capabilities to photograph the moon well. Last night, it was more about the experience of witnessing the eclipse. The clouds broke briefly enough around stage 3 to 4 of the eclipse for the following two images, but they’re the best I got before the clouds overtook the moon again. And by that point, I was ready to go to sleep!

¬†Full Hunter's Moon Eclipse (around stage 3 - 4)Full Hunter’s Moon Eclipse (around stage 3 – 4)

Full Hunter's Moon EclipseFull Hunter’s Moon Eclipse

No, this next photo is not the sunrise. Before I headed in to go to bed, I snapped one last photo of the light pollution in the distance. The light had a much more eerie feel than the photo captured.

Light PollutionLight Pollution

Much earlier in the evening (last night), I couldn’t resist snapping a few photos of the moon as it rose high in the sky. I shared these last night on Flickr and Twitter. I meant to add them here, too, but got sidetracked. I’ll include them now since the theme of this post centers around the moon and the night sky.

99% Full Hunter's Moon99% Full Hunter’s Moon

99% Full Hunter's Moon (8 second Long Exposure)99% Full Hunter’s Moon (8 second Long Exposure)

Both are similar, yet I thought the second photo was interesting due to the blur created by the movement of the clouds. Sitting staring up at the sky with the clouds moving as quickly as they were, created an optical illusion, making the moon and stars appear to be moving at twice their normal speed. It was kind of dizzying to watch.

I’m not sure when the next lunar eclipse will be. I’m just glad that I took the time to enjoy the night sky even if I didn’t get to watch the entire eclipse. Our universe is truly an awesome wonder.

The Moon, Jupiter, and a Drive-by Ranger

When David got back from the store, he told me to get outside with my camera. I’m glad he did because the moon was so pretty. Tonight’s waxing crescent moon sat between Jupiter and Venus. Venus had already set below the horizon, but I managed to get a couple of shots of the moon and Jupiter. I believe the two smaller stars above Jupiter are Tau and Alnath. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. I couldn’t resist shooting the above photo when I noticed a neighbor getting ready to leave. I love long exposure shots. Both are full-size and unedited. Click on the photos for the larger version.

Day 334 A Starry Night

Day 334 A Starry Night by pixygiggles
Day 334 A Starry Night, a photo by pixygiggles on Flickr.

Numerous sirens and the booming voice from a loud-speaker drew me outside tonight. Neither Cookeville High School nor Tennessee Tech were having football games tonight, so I’m not sure what was going on. I had heard the loud-speaker for hours, though. Something else must be going on at the high school. It sounded too close to be TTU. I went out at just the right time because a jet left a nice contrail right under the moon. If you click on the photo, the link will take you to Flickr where I have a few of the stars labeled.

Day 176 Night

Looking towards the north sky. I’m pretty sure that’s Cassiopeia.

David and I are on a different sleep schedule than most people because he works second shift. Personally, I love being awake during the night hours as it is more peaceful and quiet. Even when David was not working second shift hours, I found my sleep schedule constantly migrating to the late hours of the night. Yes, I am very much a night owl and quite the bear when I wake up!

The downside to this is that it makes it very hard to plan outings. For instance, I would have loved to have gone to the free concert today at Dogwood park; but we would have had to rush out the door as soon as we awoke, especially since we chose to stay up till the wee hours of the morning to take advantage of a power outage. No, not like that, get your mind of the gutter. ;P

At some time between 3:00am and 3:30am, we had a neighborhood blackout. I’m not sure what caused the power outage, but the power didn’t come back on until around 4:30am. We did hear a lot of sirens when we first stepped outside to gaze at the stars, so my guess is that there was an accident somewhere close by. My thoughts go out to whomever was having a bad night.

We could have gone ahead and gone to bed at 3:30am which would have only been an hour or so earlier than normal for us; but we decided to star gaze, something I haven’t done in a very long time – at least, not for a full hour. There is something very special about throwing a blanket down on the ground and lying back to take in the profound expanse of the night sky. Nothing can make me feel quite so small. The universe is an awesome place, indeed!

Last night’s experience was well worth missing the concert today. It gave me the chance to reminisce about one of my favorite childhood memories. I’m sure that I get my love for gazing at the stars and moon from my dad. I remember the quilt that Daddy would spread out on the lawn of our old, country two-story farmhouse on summer nights and him pointing out constellations in the night sky while my sister and I listened intently. After our neighbor had a street light installed at the edge of our properties, this would come to an end; but I’m left with a special memory that I am so glad to have shared with my dad.

Light Pollution from the South – That would more than likely be the lights at TTU.

Straight up, but probably more west than north.

Western Sky

Most of these images were captured using an ISO speed of 800 and 15 second exposure.

Click on any of the images to view larger. Right clicking on the image over on Flickr will give you the option to view the original files (size 4320 x 3240), no edits – straight out of the camera.

It was a happy coincidence that this power outage occurred early this morning because I was wanting some great night photos for the scavenger hunt community collaboration project over at NickExposed.com. I’m very pleased with these and hope they inspire you to take the time to appreciate the greatness that is our universe. Share the moment with your children for you never know what wonder it will inspire.