What did you see in the sky tonight?

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Beyond
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Beyond » Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:04 am

Chris Peterson wrote:Got to look up in the day, too! Out riding today and saw all of this:

First, a beautiful circumhorizon arc. It is already starting to fade here... it lasted just seconds, a real scramble from horseback to get out my phone and shoot an image before it disappeared. It was twice as intense just before this.
IMAG02087p.jpg
And then, a thunderhead blasting spectacularly upwards. Thought we'd be caught out in bad lightning, but it missed us, and dissipated again in less than an hour.
IMAG02086p.jpg
And just as we got home, a short, moderately heavy rain in full sunlight, producing a great rainbow.
E7_11418_stitch_p.jpg
Ah, a double bow in the last picture. The middle picture seems to have a cloud ring beyond the big white cloud in the middle. Did you get to see more of it as time went on, as to whether or not it was a full circle??
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:48 pm

Beyond wrote:Ah, a double bow in the last picture. The middle picture seems to have a cloud ring beyond the big white cloud in the middle. Did you get to see more of it as time went on, as to whether or not it was a full circle??
I've seen a few of these this summer. They always dissipate before it is possible to see much more than an edge. They are called pileuses (pilei if you like Latin inflections, which I do not), and are actually more of a cap than a ring.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Beyond » Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:35 pm

Hmm... This 'cap' looks more like a ring and is behind the visible cloud. Would it then have been a 'cap', but drifted away as it dispersed, and you happened to catch it when it looked like a ring?
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:47 pm

Beyond wrote:Hmm... This 'cap' looks more like a ring and is behind the visible cloud. Would it then have been a 'cap', but drifted away as it dispersed, and you happened to catch it when it looked like a ring?
Well, the only difference between a cap and a ring is the relative densities of the edge and the interior. Certainly, this one is denser on the edges. A lot of online images of pileuses and other cap clouds show that effect.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by owlice » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:43 am

Chris, those are lovely!!!
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:11 am

Tonight at sunset, looking east, a wonderful hybrid of the Belt of Venus and some anticrepuscular shadowing. This is a mosaic of three images taken with my phone, spanning 100° horizontally.
IMAG2349_stitch_p.jpg
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Beyond » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:46 am

This morning, right about 5:30am, i saw a very bright star burst into being. By the time i thought, what the heck?, i noticed it was moving east. In my finite wisdom, i realized that a plane coming from the west, had just entered the sunlight of the rising sun. Those planes sure can reflect!
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by rstevenson » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:29 am

The night before last I was awakened (at 4:30!) by a couple of raccoons screeching away about something in the back yard. I got up to see what was happening and noticed a bright set of stars in the east, about half way up. A quick check of my star app told me they were Castor, Pollux and Athena, with Jupiter enclosed within the triangle. There was another bright star nearby, but it was the triangle containing Jupiter that really stood out. The raccoons were indifferent to the celestial display. I yawned and stumped back to bed as soon as they calmed down.

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Ann » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:29 pm

Yes, Rob, that is the spectacle I see every morning when I cycle to the train station at 5 a.m! :wink: On the other hand I don't see any evening stars, because I'm not allowed to stay out that late. :wink:

Jupiter stands out in the morning sky, as you say. The other bright star nearby might well be Capella. Capella is a bright white star with just a hint of gold in it. It is an evolved double star, really a quadruple star, whose true nature can't be spotted with the naked eye.

A nice picture of constellation Auriga, where Capella is the alpha star, can be seen here. The color balance of the picture is a bit blue, so that Capella looks blue. In reality it is non-blue. Please note "the kids", three moderately bright stars forming a triangle near Capella. If you can spot that triangle near a bright star, then you can be sure that you have seen Capella.

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by orin stepanek » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:19 pm

Last night when I took Sassy out; I looked up at the Moon. There was a halo around it. I know that this isn't unusual; but they are usually of a grayish or white color! This one looked more bluish green! I never seen one with a color like this before and I was left wondering what may have been the cause! :?
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Beyond » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:09 pm

Just after sunset today, a pinky-orange sun pillar reaching up to the bottom of pinky-orange clouds. And through holes in the lower dark clouds, pinky orange clouds. Looked really nice!
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Beyond » Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:13 am

I just saw something a bit strange. A white streak of a meteor about a fist and a half above my west horizon. The white streak started, then stopped for an estimated finger and a half, then restarted and finished about three fingers later. It would seem that it must have gone through a 'dip' in the upper atmosphere where there wasn't enough stuff to cause enough friction to 'light' it up. Never saw that happen before.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by geckzilla » Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:24 am

Could have been a skinny cloud on the horizon occluding that section of the path.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:35 am

Beyond wrote:I just saw something a bit strange. A white streak of a meteor about a fist and a half above my west horizon. The white streak started, then stopped for an estimated finger and a half, then restarted and finished about three fingers later. It would seem that it must have gone through a 'dip' in the upper atmosphere where there wasn't enough stuff to cause enough friction to 'light' it up. Never saw that happen before.
Sounds like it might have been something skipping on the atmosphere, a la:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skip_reentry

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Beyond » Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:52 am

IF it was blocked by a cloud, it would have had to had been a very skinny very dense one. The rest of the meteor light didn't look obscured at all. I've seen them glowing through cloudiness before. It looks neat. Although... the meteor could have been on the far side of one of them thar U.F.O. thingies. :mrgreen:

It was w-a-y to short a space to have 'skipped'.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:33 am

It might also have been an effect of the meteor breaking apart before burning up.

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Beyond » Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:39 pm

Nitpicker wrote:It might also have been an effect of the meteor breaking apart before burning up.
I've never seen one break up. Just nice white streaks. This one was on the 'short' side of length, maybe a fist and half, with a gap in the streak. They usually arrive, warm their tootsies and leave.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by stephen63 » Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:13 pm

I got up to see the eclipse but the clouds didn't cooperate. There was a small break in the clouds, so I got off a couple of shots. Not much to look at but you can see it.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:38 am

Late on Sunday night, I looked down to observe the Earth occulting the Sun and the Moon. Then I fell back to sleep.

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Slushcritters » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:13 pm

Has anyone ever speculated that the varying 'types' of stars are actually different phases in the life of the same type of star? Has anyone ever speculated that earth's ice ages result from the sun's possibly varying temperature cycles?

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by neufer » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:30 pm

Slushcritters wrote:
Has anyone ever speculated that the varying 'types' of stars are actually different phases in the life of the same type of star?
Varying 'types' of stars of the same mass are actually different phases in the life of the same type of star?
Slushcritters wrote:
Has anyone ever speculated that earth's ice ages result from the sun's varying temperature cycles?
Many have speculated that Earth's Little Ice Age (LIA) resulted from the sun's varying temperature cycles:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age wrote:
<<The Little Ice Age (LIA) was a period of cooling that occurred after the Medieval Warm Period. While it was not a true ice age, the term was introduced into the scientific literature by François E. Matthes in 1939. It has been conventionally defined as a period extending from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, or alternatively, from about 1350 to about 1850, though climatologists and historians working with local records no longer expect to agree on either the start or end dates of this period, which varied according to local conditions.

There is still a very poor understanding of the correlation between low sunspot activity and cooling temperatures. During the period 1645–1715, in the middle of the Little Ice Age, there was a period of low solar activity known as the Maunder Minimum. The Spörer Minimum has also been identified with a significant cooling period between 1460 and 1550. Other indicators of low solar activity during this period are levels of the isotopes carbon-14 and beryllium-10.

On the other hand, in a 2012 paper, Miller et al. link the Little Ice Age to an "unusual 50-year-long episode with four large sulfur-rich explosive eruptions, each with global sulfate loading >60 Tg," and notes that "large changes in solar irradiance are not required.">>
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:31 pm

Slushcritters wrote:Has anyone ever speculated that the varying 'types' of stars are actually different phases in the life of the same type of star?
The characteristics of a star are primarily determined by mass. Stars of different masses have different evolutionary courses, and their appearance depends on when we observe them. That means that stars appear different both because there are different types, and because we observe them at different times in their lifetimes.
Has anyone ever speculated that earth's ice ages result from the sun's possibly varying temperature cycles?
Speculated, yes. Slight changes in solar output do affect climate. But the evidence is very strong that most cyclical climate change over at least the last few hundred million years is not related significantly to changes in the Sun.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by BDanielMayfield » Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:28 pm

Well I tried. I was armed with the knowledge of where to look from a series of sky views for the next few mornings from this. The local forecast for this period was poor, followed by bad, with occasional outbreaks of terrible, but the window to possibly see comet ISON before perihelion is rapidly closing, so I gave it a try.

So I got up at 5:15. I saw the moon. It has craters and dark areas. And I saw about three or four stars, dimly, through two cloud decks and air you could wear (temp 73 F, humidity approaching 100%). Though a brief cloud parting of the lower deck I did see a bright satellite, but that’s about it.

I did get a bonus though since my other hobby is birding. I heard a great horned owl.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Beyond » Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:54 pm

"Air you could wear". I've never heard it put that way before. I would imagine that it's one-size-fits-all. :lol2:
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:43 pm

I set up my camera on the deck on the morning of November 18 to shoot the sky for several hours at 10-second intervals, hoping to catch some Leonids. And I did... five of them. (I know it looks like day, but we're just seeing things lit up by the full moon behind the camera.)
leonid-composite.jpg
Serendipitously, I also caught Comet ISON rising. See it in the above image? It's right at the tip of the Ponderosa branch in the lower left hand corner (click to get a larger image). The bright star there is Spica, and it forms the top of a little equilateral triangle. Down and to the right is a 5.3 magnitude star, and almost blocked by tip of the branch is ISON. Here it is at the original camera resolution, inverted for clarity. You can just make out the tail, pointing back towards Spica.
20131118-ISON-(_MG_6824).jpg
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