My Supermoon Challenge

Awake early Tuesday morning April 7th, I could see the Moon low near the western horizon through the trees. I picked up the camera and walked a couple of blocks to get out from behind the trees. The Moon was nearly full. About 15 hrs later that evening it was to be full at 9:30pm. I captured some shots and headed home for morning coffee.

Show me more…

Dial-a-Moon | 2020

What will the Moon look like on any date in 2020? What will it look like on your birthday? Find out at NASA Dial-a-Moon. Go here to see views for northern hemisphere and for southern hemisphere readers. Scan down that web page for much additional information about the Moon’s motions and appearance.

Enter any month and day to see a high definition image. The composite images of Dial-a-Moon are made from those of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in low altitude orbit around the Moon since 2009.

You may leave the universal time (UT) at the default value. If you wish, your local-to-Universal time conversion can be done at this link. Or, type ‘universal time’ into Google. Go back to Dial-a-Moon to enter the UT.

NASA | Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter | 1 Jan 2020

Show me more…

This is Rocket Science | Factory Tour

I have been a fan of space travel and rocket science for about 60 yrs of my life. The technology is fascinating. Space flight is a dangerous thing to do. Success depends on reliability and small margins of error. This video published by Smarter Every Day is a tour inside the rocket factory of United Launch Alliance ULA in Alabama. I hope you find it as interesting as I did.

A few more minutes from Tory Bruno about rocket science.

Moon Occults Mars | 18 Feb 2020

I waited for this event for weeks. The Moon was going to pass directly in front of Mars at about 6 am local time. Clouds were a problem in the days leading up. The forecast gave a 50% chance of some clearing.

I normally wake up pretty early. Today was no exception as I noticed the clock said 5:05. I shut my eyes for a few more minutes of sleep. Next time I looked it was 5:55. I looked outside and saw the Moon in a clear sky. I was never going to make it in time to get a picture of Mars just before it disappeared. But, I tried. My first photo was time stamped at 6:03 am. No sign of Mars. It would have been at the 8 o’clock position if I was earlier.

6:03 am

Disappointed, I came back inside. Maybe I could see Mars emerge from behind the Moon in about 90 min. I had some coffee and tried to get over my goof. It soon was time to go out and try again. Trouble is the Sun was up and the sky was too bright to see Mars. It should have been at the 2 o’clock position in this photo.

7:23 am

Fortunately, a fellow Iowan not far from me did manage an excellent photo. Another about 10 min earlier can be found at the Space Weather Gallery site.

Mark A. Brown