11 February 2017

#Skywatchers Delight: #Eclipse, #Comet and #FullMoon Last Night #Astronomy #HomeSecurity #StarGazing #SnowMoon #TheGreatOutdoors

I love astronomy. I grew up in a rural area where one could actually see the stars amid the pitch darkness of the night sky away from city lights. I spent countless nights gazing at the sky, with naked eyes, binoculars and telescopes (bought and made), tracking the passages of stars, planets, comets and other space phenomena. It was good fun in the cow pastures and open fields of my childhood! As an adult, I still camp out for celestial events, though my equipment is a bit more advanced. Sometimes, my friends and I will have sky watching parties for big events when visible from our area.

Last night and earlier this morning showcased a triple event for skywatchers like me. At 7:43p Friday evening a "penumbral" eclipse of the moon occurred. (Not as good as a total eclipse ...of the heart... but still neat to witness.) Of necessity, of course, there was also a Full Moon, called the Snow Moon due to its occurrence in the heart of our Winter when there is a high likelihood of powder on the ground --- it was a bright white ball. Then about an hour ago, Comet 45P was visible in the early morning sky streaking through the constellation The Rock Hercules. Beautiful!

It's a brisk morning, and in spite of the thermos of hot cider and the cozy blankets that kept me alert overnight, I am now turning in for a power nap before getting up to seize the (remainder of the) day! I've got more repairs to do from where my property was vandalized by some ignorant punks two weeks ago. I'm still smouldering about it, but am soldering on. (I'm also configuring a state of the art home security system, but more on this later as I test, build and adjust it.)

Though it's starting off cold today, it'll be quite warm by this afternoon, and temps will be back up to 70 over the next few days. (Our Winter/Spring yo-yo weather continues.) Enjoy the weekend!

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