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Got a good reason For taking the easy way out

In the early morning hours when the neighborhood is quiet and I'm the only one awake, I go sit outside, in the dark, and listen to the silence. I'm also a star gazer. I subscribe to the magazine, Astronomy, to keep up with the 'events' that's happening beyond our reach, in the night sky. I like to know what I'm looking at and where to look. Tho Saturn is my favorite planet to observe [I've only seen its rings once -- through our telescope, on a moonless night in Tucson], I do like the idea of searching the constellations and then spotting the planet shining what appears to the naked eye that it's within the constellation boundaries but just a few degrees off from the middle of the star group.

It still astounds me that with the naked eye you see what you think are a lot of stars twinkling in the night or early morning before sunrise, but when you look through a scope or binoculars, you then witness the zillions that are there; those you can't see without the enhanced lenses.

This morning, still dark but just before dawn broke, I sat and watched the planet disappear from my view behind a billowy cloud that was just taking shape as it began to lighten with the dawning day. I sat and waited. I went indoors to grab the camera, thinking it's worth a shot....a long shot, that the little lens would pick anything up. I tested the camera's operation on taking a photo of my froggies without a flash [the large frog is partially hidden by a frog fountain in front of him]. As it worked like I wanted, I then set out to traipse in the dew drenched grass to get clear away from the patio covering, and aim the camera toward the planet just peeking out of the cloud. I could see the tiny 'dot' through the lens and double checked the camera for no flash, to make sure the lighting from the camera concentrated on the light from the planet. I remained outdoors 'til the 'bustling' city sounds of a new day starting directing me back indoors.

Tho the photo of the sky [above] is not too clear, the camera did pick up the brilliance, and I'm satisfied with my attempt without a zoom attachment, and such aperture that allows minimal light into the lens. If you click on it to enlarge it, you can then see a bit more clearly the roof top of our house and other few stars that the camera picked up. The brightest 'star' just off the peak of the house up to the right a bit? It's Venus!! Around 5-7am, look ESE, she'll dazzle the night sky for you this month. And you can see the faint outline of the cloud just to her left.

From the magazine for September ---

The brilliant Venus, which had shone brilliantly in the evening sky all year, is now dazzling observers in the morning sky. It reaches its maximum magnitude of -4.5 for the year on September 23. Venus is joined by Saturn, which lies just below and shines at magnitude 0.5. The bright star in this grouping of planets that currently lies close to Saturn is Regulus, the heart of Leo the Lion.


  1. I, too, enjoy what's up above us, Anni and found a great little book earlier in the year, called "The Night Sky". I read it through, then gave it to my 10-year-old grandson, who's also into astronomy.

    I remember being in the Outback, hundreds of kilometres from the nearest city and there are so many more stars and they are from horizon to horizon. Just wonderful and they look so close, too. It's a magical experience.

  2. Everytime I head over here, I learn something new about your