Monday, December 24, 2007

Moon & Mars

We went out last night around midnight to try to see the Moon and Mars, which were quite close together and almost directly overhead at the time. It was very windy and finally starting to clear - low clouds were moving rapidly, leaving occasional gaps through which we could see the full Moon, Mars, super-bright Sirius, and Orion. The clouds were quite bright, illuminated by ground lights, creating an eerily beautiful scene. Although it was obvious that it was the clouds that were moving, when looking overhead with no visible ground references, there was a strange illusion that the Moon, Mars, and the stars were flying through fixed clouds, at an apparent speed similar to that of the International Space Station when I've seen it passing overhead. Very weird illusion.

I didn't try to take pictures but several people on Flickr did. The one shown here is courtesy of KM&G-Morris. It doesn't show any detail on the Moon (as we saw quite clearly through the cloud gaps), but it reminds me most of what we saw last night. Other photographers had clear skies and took very sharp Moon-Mars images, including this one.

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