What the Stars Tell of The Times – The Washington Times, February 9, 1896
|| 12/1/2009 || 2:21 pm || + Render A Comment || ||
What the Stars Tell of The Times
Horoscope of a Newspaper Cast by an Astrologist
An astrologer has cast the horoscope of The Times and given some practical hints about the ancient science, as follows:
Time-lapse photograph of Mercury, Jupiter, and an airplane taking off
|| 1/1/2009 || 6:40 pm || Comments Off on Time-lapse photograph of Mercury, Jupiter, and an airplane taking off || ||
6 second time-lapse photograph of Mercury (left), Jupiter (right), and an airplane taking off (top)
This evening marks the first time I’ve seen the planet Mercury in night sky. What makes this extra beautiful is Mercury, the smallest planet in the solar system, was next to Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. I have now have seen all of wandering stars known to the ancients.
Below I decided to digitally zoom in as far as I could and see what the time-lapse photograph would look like:
Time-Lapse Video of the Conjunction of Venus, Jupiter, and a Crescent Moon in Washington, DC
|| 12/2/2008 || 3:26 pm || Comments Off on Time-Lapse Video of the Conjunction of Venus, Jupiter, and a Crescent Moon in Washington, DC || ||
Before I took the photographs last night I first recorded this timelapse video. The video consists of hundreds of frames taken exactly two seconds apart using my Canon SD750 digital camera mounted on my tripod. I started recording the video around dusk before I could see Jupiter through the twilight and let it record until the planets were out of frame. The music is Transit of Venus by John Phillip Sousa (1893) and performed by the Virginia Grand Military Band (2003). I’ve used this music before when filming other planets and it’s pretty much become my de-facto music for all my astronomy related videos.
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Astrophotography of the conjunction of the Crescent Moon, Venus, and Jupiter
|| 12/1/2008 || 10:02 pm || Comments Off on Astrophotography of the conjunction of the Crescent Moon, Venus, and Jupiter || ||
This evening I took a series of photographs of what I feel to be one of the most beautiful planetary alignments I’ve seen in my life. Below are the rest of the photographs and tomorrow I’ll post the timelapse video I recorded of the planet’s slow transit through the night sky.
Timelapse Astrophotography of Venus & Jupiter nearing their conjunction
|| 11/29/2008 || 11:48 am || + Render A Comment || ||
For the last month I’ve been watching the planets Venus and Jupiter inch closer and closer through the night sky. I was first tipped off about the conjunction by the Boston Globe and intend on taking some more photographs on Monday night when they’ll line up with the moon. In the photograph above you can see a plane taking off from Reagan National Airport below the the two planets.
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Jupiter traveling through the night sky of Washington, DC
|| 8/3/2008 || 7:53 pm || Comments Off on Jupiter traveling through the night sky of Washington, DC || ||
Due to light pollution it’s very hard to observe the planets and stars at night in Washington, DC. However, Jupiter has been visible on the southern horizon this entire summer.
The video clip was taken on my back deck using a tripod and Canon SD750 digital camera set to time-lapse mode. A photograph of Jupiter was taken every two seconds for over two hours.
If you look closely, you’ll see a tiny ball in the lower portion of the screen. It goes invisible for a few seconds, which I believe was from a distant cloud, but for most of the video clip you can see Jupiter slowly transit the night sky.
I’ll have to check Stellarium to see when Mars is visible again because I’d like to try recording that planet as well. Maybe someday I’ll have a camera with better zoom controls so the planet doesn’t look like a spec of dust on the screen!
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An updated Armillary Sphere
|| 9/28/2007 || 8:54 pm || Comments Off on An updated Armillary Sphere || ||
Above is an Armillary Sphere, which was used in ancient times as a celestial calendar. Created prior to the orrey, which is a helio-centric model, the Armillary Sphere allowed it’s user to know where the moon was in relation to the earth. It also featured a zodiac, which I’ve been playing with earlier this year.
To make the above image, I edited the public domain engraving on the Wikipedia page and added a very tiny NASA Blue Marble satellite image of the western hemisphere of the earth. I am probably going to add this image to this website’s splash page, which will knock the total number of visual combinations to over 3,000! I’d like to make a few more first. The U.S. Naval Observatory’s logo gave me some ideas :-).
Since May I’ve been very interested in old maps and the scientific instruments that were used. When I discovered Julius Schiller, who published Coelum Stellatum Christianum (which replaced pagan constellations with biblical and early Christian figures), I began to take quite an interest in celestial cartography.
Around that same time my next door neighbor, thinking that my cartographic expertise had to do with astronomy, offered to let me borrow his children’s telescope. Since then (about mid-August) I’ve been looking to the night sky about once a week; much to my enjoyment. Last week was a highlight because we met on the rooftop and set up the telescope. I showed him and his kids how to use the telescope and was able to show them the moon for the first time. DC has quite a bit of light pollution which makes celestial observances quite tough. The neighborhood watch was even in effect because my housemate said people from the street over knocked on our door warning her about people on the roof.
My favorite night sites are Venus and the Moon, simply because they are the easiest to find. I really want to see Mars, Saturn, or Jupiter. But I’ll just have to wait until the night’s right (or I have ample patience). Ironically, a week after my neighbor brought over the telescope, the new version of Google Earth came out with an integrated celestial viewer.
I have more to write about my nightly observations and research I’ve been dabbling in at a later date.
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