Inner Planets Party

Approximate positions of the Inner Planets from the Sun (light) with Jupiter hanging out to the right

Approximate positions of the Inner Planets from the Sun (light) on March 20, 2014, with Jupiter hanging out in the lower right corner

303°  Our Solar System is throwing a party and we’re all invited. All the inner planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars) are gathering on one side of the Sun. This is not that rare of an occurrence, but it will be another four years until the Inner Planets are in this type of grouping. Mars is close to ‘opposition,’ meaning it is directly on the opposite side of the Sun from Earth. As the Sun sets, Mars will be rising in the East.

Silver clouds with a white lining

Silver clouds with a white lining

99°  This was the best shot of the day with lenticular clouds to the East of Reno as the Sun was setting.

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Ides of January Full Moon

Ides of January Full Moon

Ides of January Full Moon

90°  The problem with taking a picture of the full Moon is that it is so bright that it’s almost impossible to get the features of the Moon without sacrificing any other subject matter. It’s a little like the Uncertainty Principle, which states that the more precisely you know the position of a particle, the less you know about its momentum and vice versa

In photography, the more the variance in light in the subject matter, the less detail you can capture of the subjects. When the Moon is low I prefer to pick up the features of the foreground at the cost of ‘burning out’ the Moon in the image.

Moon, My Constant Moon

Silent Moon

Silent Moon

200°  When I was a boy I was given a small telescope and I remember spending several weeks observing the Moon with it. I became fascinated with the Moon, and I still consider it my lonely friend that quietly hovers over our world. When I see the features on the Moon through a telescope I get a sense of being there, floating above the surface. 

If desire could have helped me fly then I would have been to the Moon and back again. I don’t think people understand how special our Moon is and what it has meant to life on Earth

If the Moon is visible I almost always look up at it. It always reminds me that I’m part of the cosmos.