APOD: Spica, Mars, and Eclipsed Moon (2014 Apr 16)

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APOD: Spica, Mars, and Eclipsed Moon (2014 Apr 16)

Postby APOD Robot » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:06 am

Image Spica, Mars, and Eclipsed Moon

Explanation: A beautiful, reddened Moon slid through dark skies on April 15, completely immersed in Earth's shadow for well over an hour. It was the year's first total lunar eclipse and was widely enjoyed over the planet's Western Hemisphere. Seen from the Caribbean island of Barbados, the dimmed lunar disk is captured during totality in this colorful skyview. The dark Moon's red color contrasts nicely with bright bluish star Spica, alpha star of the constellation Virgo, posing only about two degrees away. Brighter than Spica and about 10 degrees from the Moon on the right, Mars is near opposition and closest approach to Earth. The Red Planet's own ruddy hue seems to echo the color of the eclipsed Moon.

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Re: APOD: Spica, Mars, and Eclipsed Moon (2014 Apr 16)

Postby Nitpicker » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:15 am

A lovely image and an impressive double for Mr Peach: an APOD and a LPOD on the same day!
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Re: APOD: Spica, Mars, and Eclipsed Moon (2014 Apr 16)

Postby Ann » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:37 am

Superb image!

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Re: APOD: Spica, Mars, and Eclipsed Moon (2014 Apr 16)

Postby HellCat » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:59 am

Is my monitor in need of cleaning again? Or is there a smudgy thing about 4 degrees out from Mars, on the 330 degree radial?
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Re: APOD: Spica, Mars, and Eclipsed Moon (2014 Apr 16)

Postby Nitpicker » Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:21 am

HellCat wrote:Is my monitor in need of cleaning again? Or is there a smudgy thing about 4 degrees out from Mars, on the 330 degree radial?


Too big to be galaxy NGC5015, so I'm going with a small, thin, atmospheric cloud.
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Re: APOD: Spica, Mars, and Eclipsed Moon (2014 Apr 16)

Postby CURRAHEE CHRIS » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:34 pm

Very pretty picture. One of my favorites this year.
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Re: APOD: Spica, Mars, and Eclipsed Moon (2014 Apr 16)

Postby Boomer12k » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:41 pm

I saw just the beginning of it....before it clouded up entirely for the duration....if it had been the previous night, I would have got some great shots....next time...

As it was, I got shots of Mars, but I don't get much detail because of atmospheric movement. I got a GREAT shot of Jupiter, some of my best clear ones, and a decent shot of Tycho Crater area. But sadly missed the eclipse...

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Re: APOD: Spica, Mars, and Eclipsed Moon (2014 Apr 16)

Postby Anthony Barreiro » Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:29 pm

What a lovely picture! Through the telescope, fifth magnitude h Virginis, seen here just above the Moon, was a lovely companion to the eclipsed Moon. And here in California Mars appeared beside the Moon, rather than below her.

I can hardly wait for October 8.
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Re: APOD: Spica, Mars, and Eclipsed Moon (2014 Apr 16)

Postby Joe Stieber » Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:37 pm

I too had envisioned capturing a similar picture of Mars, Spica and the totally-eclipsed moon on the morning of 2014 Apr 15, but alas, inclement weather precluded it. Here in southern New Jersey, there were broken clouds during the penumbral stage, so I saw some slight darkening around 1:30 am EDT (0530 UT), but then the clouds thickened. Around 2:15 am (0615 UT), after the start of the partial stage, a light sprinkle of rain was falling, but a gauzy gap in the clouds appeared in the moon's direction and I was able to see some umbral darkening of the lunar disc and get an unremarkable picture of it. I checked again a couple of times later, but it was heavily overcast, so I never saw any totality.
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Re: APOD: Spica, Mars, and Eclipsed Moon (2014 Apr 16)

Postby Anthony Barreiro » Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:47 pm

Joe Stieber wrote:I too had envisioned capturing a similar picture of Mars, Spica and the totally-eclipsed moon on the morning of 2014 Apr 15, but alas, inclement weather precluded it. Here in southern New Jersey, there were broken clouds during the penumbral stage, so I saw some slight darkening around 1:30 am EDT (0530 UT), but then the clouds thickened. Around 2:15 am (0615 UT), after the start of the partial stage, a light sprinkle of rain was falling, but a gauzy gap in the clouds appeared in the moon's direction and I was able to see some umbral darkening of the lunar disc and get an unremarkable picture of it. I checked again a couple of times later, but it was heavily overcast, so I never saw any totality.

That's a lovely picture, Joe. Very moody and atmospheric!

At Chabot observatory in the Oakland hills we had high clouds throughout the eclipse and periods of fog after midnight, but we were able to see the Moon through most of the eclipse. For about 15 minutes during mid-eclipse the sky cleared enough to show the Moon's coppery color very well, and stars down to third and fourth magnitude were easily visible to the unaided eye. Then the clouds and fog moved back in and the Moon disappeared completely. Most people went home before the end of totality, but those of us who kept watch were treated to the spectral Moon emerging from the Earth's shadow, glowing through the fog and clouds. If I had my druthers, I would druther have had a clear sky, but it was a lovely night nonetheless.
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Re: APOD: Spica, Mars, and Eclipsed Moon (2014 Apr 16)

Postby BillBixby » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:30 pm

APOD Robot wrote:Image Spica, Mars, and Eclipsed Moon

Explanation: A beautiful, reddened Moon slid through dark skies on April 15, completely immersed in Earth's shadow for well over an hour. It was the year's first total lunar eclipse and was widely enjoyed over the planet's Western Hemisphere. Seen from the Caribbean island of Barbados, the dimmed lunar disk is captured during totality in this colorful skyview. The dark Moon's red color contrasts nicely with bright bluish star Spica, alpha star of the constellation Virgo, posing only about two degrees away. Brighter than Spica and about 10 degrees from the Moon on the right, Mars is near opposition and closest approach to Earth. The Red Planet's own ruddy hue seems to echo the color of the eclipsed Moon.

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Very unscientific of me but does the moon cover only about half a degree? My eye tells me there are only two moons distance between Spica and the moon. That would make it one degree as compared to the two degrees mentioned above. I do see about 17 moons distance between Mars and the moon, so I have no problem with the ten degrees mentioned above. Should I reboot the way I am thinking (moon covers about 1/2 degree), or say to myself that the about two degrees mentioned is close enough for government work.

Always great work done in the APOD picture and I thank all for the work bringing the sky to my computer every day. The eclipse was clear in the sky here and I felt very blessed while watching it.

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Re: APOD: Spica, Mars, and Eclipsed Moon (2014 Apr 16)

Postby Ann » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:12 pm

As can be seen in this picture, the Moon is surprisingly small in the sky. It just looks big because it is (normally) so (apparently) bright.

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Re: APOD: Spica, Mars, and Eclipsed Moon (2014 Apr 16)

Postby Nitpicker » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:50 pm

BillBixby wrote:Very unscientific of me but does the moon cover only about half a degree? My eye tells me there are only two moons distance between Spica and the moon. That would make it one degree as compared to the two degrees mentioned above. I do see about 17 moons distance between Mars and the moon, so I have no problem with the ten degrees mentioned above. Should I reboot the way I am thinking (moon covers about 1/2 degree), or say to myself that the about two degrees mentioned is close enough for government work.

Always great work done in the APOD picture and I thank all for the work bringing the sky to my computer every day. The eclipse was clear in the sky here and I felt very blessed while watching it.

Bill


You are right Bill, the separation between Spica and centre of Moon is a little more than one degree in this APOD, say one and a quarter. Given the speed of the Moon relative to the fixed stars, and its relative closeness, at some point(s) during the eclipse, from some places on Earth, the separation would have been exactly two degrees.

Half a degree is a typical angular size for the Moon. Or half the width of your little finger when held at arm's length.
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Re: APOD: Spica, Mars, and Eclipsed Moon (2014 Apr 16)

Postby BillBixby » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:14 pm

Thank you, Nitpicker. I shall consider the view closer to 1degree than to the APOD explanation of 2, and the explanation to be slightly erred but close enough. Given that many are lamenting the sky nature gave them last night, then the APOD must be taken as the whole event and what others viewed secondary to what is given in the camera view presented. A picture worthy of being chosen as the APOD. Great pic.
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Re: APOD: Spica, Mars, and Eclipsed Moon (2014 Apr 16)

Postby gmPhil » Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:08 am

Lovely photo - shame it's been spoilt by a silly white border someone's seen fit to add...
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Re: APOD: Spica, Mars, and Eclipsed Moon (2014 Apr 16)

Postby Nitpicker » Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:29 am

gmPhil wrote:Lovely photo - shame it's been spoilt by a silly white border someone's seen fit to add...


I don't know if that is an aesthetic preference, or what. But I have noticed with my un-bordered astro images, if they are displayed on some monitors in a window with a white background -- especially if a darkened room -- then the white can bleed into the edges of the dark image. So, making a black margin with a thin grey border actually seems like a sensible idea to combat that sort of thing.
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Re: APOD: Spica, Mars, and Eclipsed Moon (2014 Apr 16)

Postby Anthony Barreiro » Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:23 pm

Nitpicker wrote:
gmPhil wrote:Lovely photo - shame it's been spoilt by a silly white border someone's seen fit to add...


I don't know if that is an aesthetic preference, or what. But I have noticed with my un-bordered astro images, if they are displayed on some monitors in a window with a white background -- especially if a darkened room -- then the white can bleed into the edges of the dark image. So, making a black margin with a thin grey border actually seems like a sensible idea to combat that sort of thing.

And here, students of rhetoric, we see two examples of criticism of a visual image. Compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of each argument. Which is more convincing?
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