Artemis - the NASA mission

Later yesterday evening, I did eventually manage to get a dark sky shot like your one on the right.

However, a photo cannot do justice to the bright, shining glory of the spectacle as observed by the naked eye and which costs nothing!

Completely cloud covered tonight, but I hope to be able to follow the movements up to the conjunction on March 1st.
Skies cleared half an hour too late for me tonight. I could see the Moon, but the setting planets below were stubbornly obscured by clouds.

2 hours of shivering in the cold! I am still trying to warm up.

Found quite a decent picture from Wednesday night, though what you see here can depend on your browser and operating system I have discovered.


That was from the corner of my street. I don't think I have ever seen anything so impressive as this conjunction, unless it was the night sky in Norway, which is just stunningly clear.

You can see the Milky Way as soon as you step outside.

Terrible and unnecessary light pollution here in Portsmouth. Floodlit night tennis courts, upward pointing floodlights on buildings and monuments. Blue/White lamps.

This right next to the only decent place to star gaze in Portsmouth, Southsea Castle:

Tennis Courts, Southsea.jpg

I don't mind the tennis players too much. At least the lights go out at ten.

But I am cross at the new D-Day Museum Landing Craft exhibit. Stunningly badly designed lighting that runs all night:

D-Day Museum, Portsmouth.jpg

I am considering confronting the manager of the D-Day Museum. As it goes, I am quite matey with our local councillor, but I could see he hasn't quite grasped the concept of colour temperature and pointing lights downwards when I bent his ear about Dark Skies.

Somebody has got to care. Otherwise a generation will grow up having never seen the Wonder of the Stars. And remember that most of Physics and Mathematics was discovered from Astronomy. Sorry to RANT! :mad:
Soon, we'll have to go to a planetarium if we want to see the stars!

Many moons ago (pun intended!), back in the 1970s, I visited Jodrell Bank Observatory and its associated Planetarium. Their stunning new First Light Pavilion opened last year:

Closer to home is the Glasgow Science Centre Planetarium:

And there's one only a ferry ride away from you, Steve, the Island Planetarium on the Isle of Wight:

So you see, all is not lost. Increasingly sophisticated technology can stimulate the interest of new generations in the wonders of the universe.

Better than sitting out in the cold! :cold:


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There's a very small town in Wales in Powys which has sorted out its lighting to get dark skies:

I know this part of Wales. It is a wilderness. You can go miles and not see a house. Just a few sheep!

Here's what we missed last night:

BBC Wales Thursday 23 feb.png

I didn't get any good photos tonight. The moon has moved further away from the two planets, but there was a lot of cloud when it got dark. Not very interesting!

We await March !st. Venus is moving a degree a day towards Jupiter.
dark skies

I have a holiday home not far from the Galloway Forest Park.


Very few people live in the 300 square miles of forest and hills in the park, so nights really are black.

Since 2009, Galloway Forest Park has been designated by the International Dark-Sky Association as only the fourth Dark Sky Park in the world, and the first in the UK.

In the link above, you will learn that Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island), north Wales, has received International Dark Sky Sanctuary certification from the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA).

And you'll be interested in what the IDA has to say about lighting:
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I know all about Thing is, better 2700K lighting actually plain works better, because it doesn't dazzle, it doesn't ruin your night vision, so you see better with less illumination.

Can you spot the foolish tenant who has horrible Blue/White 4000K lighting in his apartment in tonight's picture?

maison system7 conjunction.jpg

Another Astronomical thriller due on 27 February, after 7PM. Moon/Mars conjunction. Interestingly, Mars, Betelgeuse in Orion, and Aldebaran in Taurus are all reddish in appearance.

The effect should be charming.

27 Feb 2023 Mars and Moon 1900.jpg

Can't wait! :)
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The celestial banger turned out to be a bit of a damp squib tonight. :(

Lots of cloud. About 95%.

Best I could do under the circs. I waited for a slight gap in the cloud to capture Mars. Looked like expected, but I couldn't see much of Aldebaran and Betelgeuse.

S7 Moon Mars Conjunction 27 Feb 2023.jpg

You might guess another Mars/Moon occultation is due from looking at the alignment of the moon relative to Mars, and it is next month in South Africa.

Here's the lowdown on the next three nights for the Venus and Jupiter conjunction about 7PM, weather permitting:

S7 March Conjunction.jpg

The green line is presumably the Ecliptic. Should be good! Fingers crossed. :)
Did you see this alleged Aurora yourself, Galu? As a trusted source.

TBH, I think the Scots make a lot of things up lo attract the tourist dollar, like the Loch Ness Monster and the alleged benefits of eating Porage... :rolleyes:

High pressure over Faroe bringing us a very clear sky in Portsmouth and Southsea, UK tonight.

Last night was cloudy, so I couldn't photograph the conjunction at its closest, about a full moon's width or half a degree, but tonight at 7PM, March 2nd. wasn't shabby.

About a degree apart I reckon.

I used a tripod and a long exposure on a compact camera.

2 March 2023 Venus Jupiter Conjunction.jpg

Venus is now higher than Jupiter. Well that's about it for the conjunction. Venus will be a bright evening star into early summer.

Jupiter will disappear for a while.

Venus will be maximum brightness just after June 4th. of a splendid -4.4 magnitude. Brighter than anything else apart from the Moon and Sun! :)
Did you see this alleged Aurora yourself, Galu? As a trusted source.

Unfortunately, I was completely unaware of what was going on on Sunday. The Glenfinnan Viaduct photo was courtesy of the Scotsman newspaper.

Monday was cloudy, but viewing conditions were better further north as this display over Kyleakin on the Isle of Skye attests.


I have been fortunate enough to observe the Northern Lights - while camping in Glencoe, home to the infamous Glencoe Massacre.
I think the Scots make a lot of things up ... like the alleged benefits of eating Porage... :rolleyes:

Genuine Scottish oats are known to be superior, containing a higher proportion of essential oils and protein.

Traditionally, we Scots store our porridge in a drawer, and take a slice or two to work to fuel ourselves throughout the day!


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I think the Scots make a lot of things up lo attract the tourist dollar, like the Loch Ness Monster...

Nessie nicked my chips!

Once I’d purchased my fish and chips from the cafe on the shores of the loch, I headed for a scenic place to enjoy my supper.
I was just starting to get stuck into my chips when, suddenly, I noticed a bubbling coming from the body of water.
I knew, just from looking, that those bubbles were far too big to be caused by a fish or something like that.
Stunned, I lifted my camera, engaged video mode and...
…Oh, you’re still reading? Sorry to disappoint you, but I made it up. Nessie isn’t a fan of chips!
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I thought you were making it up about the Porage/Porridge drawer!

Keeps for a week. Which surprises me...

Back on-topic in the Moon thread. I am relearning my stars thanks to this thread. I am improving my rusty camera skills.

Tonight the Moon is in Gemini.

Moon in Gemini.jpg

Above the Moon is Pollux at magnitude 1.1. To the right and above is Castor at 1.6.

"The Heavenly Twins"!

I got a nice shot of the Moon and Mars, Betelgeuse, Aldebaran, Procyon and Capella too, but stars on their own don't come out well when you shrink down the big pictures.

The Winter skies are just the best time of year for stars.