APOD: Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus (2015 Mar 02)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD: Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus (2015 Mar 02)

Post by APOD Robot » Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:08 am

Image Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus

Explanation: It is not every day that such an interesting cloud photobombs your image. The original plan was to photograph a rare angular conjunction of Mars and Venus that occurred a week and a half ago, with the added bonus of a crescent Moon and the International Space Station (ISS) both passing nearby. Unfortunately, on Madeira Island, Portugal, this event was clouded out. During the next day, however, a spectacular lenticular cloud appeared before sunset, so the industrious astrophotographer quickly formulated a new plan. A close look at the resulting image reveals the Moon visible toward the left of the frame, while underneath, near the bottom, are the famous planets with Venus being the brighter. It was the unexpected lenticular cloud, though, perhaps looking like some sort of futuristic spaceship, that stole the show. The setting Sun illuminated the stationary cloud (and everything else) from the bottom, setting up an intricate pattern of shadows, layers, and brightly illuminated regions, all seen evolving in a corresponding video. Mars and Venus will next appear this close on the sky in late August, but whether any place on Earth will catch them behind such a photogenic cloud is unknown.

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Re: APOD: Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus (2015 Mar 02)

Post by Ann » Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:54 am

The mothership is landing. For sure. :shock:

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Re: APOD: Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus (2015 Mar 02)

Post by fpeelo » Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:15 am

Mothership? Nah. It's obviously a big shark going to swallow that little shiny moon thing.

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Re: APOD: Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus (2015 Mar 02)

Post by Boomer12k » Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:21 pm

That is just awesome, and spectacular!!! I especially like the eerie glow of light shining through to the right side....

Looks like a big Zeppelin...

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Re: APOD: Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus (2015 Mar 02)

Post by supamario » Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:24 pm


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Re: APOD: Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus (2015 Mar 02)

Post by Ron-Astro Pharmacist » Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:32 pm

Think it might be Mercury trying to steal the show? ... One from the past.
Mercury.jpg
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Re: APOD: Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus (2015 Mar 02)

Post by Buddy » Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:53 pm

This is a point, near the top, about one quarter of the way in from the right.

At first I thought it was Mars because it was slightly orangish.

Anyone know what that is?

I like zooming in for the Jupiter "dots", seeing those satellites in a row is so cool...

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Re: APOD: Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus (2015 Mar 02)

Post by Cousin Ricky » Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:07 pm

You have to take a look at the link to the original photograph. The APOD version has crippling JPEG artifacts. At first I mistook Mars for an artifact.

When I saw the conjunction IRL, it took me a couple of minutes before I could even see Mars.

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Re: APOD: Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus (2015 Mar 02)

Post by MarkBour » Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:39 pm

This image is great, but the video in the link is more amazing still. As I view the video, it appears that the cloud was stable even as a lot of air moved through the location. It looked much like an eddy in a stream that keeps bubbles floating on top in a stable location even as a great deal of water moves through. Is there someone on this forum that can help me to better understand that? Maybe a meteorologist, or anyone who knows more about the atmosphere and cloud formation than I do. Mainly, my question is whether or not my impression was right. I generally think of clouds as things that form in a given air mass, and then they are carried along with that air mass. But I know it's not always that simple. Nevertheless, the video was surprising.
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Re: APOD: Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus (2015 Mar 02)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:07 pm

Ann wrote:The mothership is landing. For sure. :shock:

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MarkBour wrote:This image is great, but the video in the link is more amazing still. As I view the video, it appears that the cloud was stable even as a lot of air moved through the location. It looked much like an eddy in a stream that keeps bubbles floating on top in a stable location even as a great deal of water moves through. Is there someone on this forum that can help me to better understand that? Maybe a meteorologist, or anyone who knows more about the atmosphere and cloud formation than I do. Mainly, my question is whether or not my impression was right. I generally think of clouds as things that form in a given air mass, and then they are carried along with that air mass. But I know it's not always that simple. Nevertheless, the video was surprising.
I agree Mark. Don't lenticular clouds mainly form over mountains that force moving air upward? Was there a mountain underneath this cloud?

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Re: APOD: Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus (2015 Mar 02)

Post by Ron-Astro Pharmacist » Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:44 pm

I don't even know if this is a lenticular cloud but can clouds form lenticular clouds from any source of moisture? (I know I've posted is image before but it's the only one I know of that shows my point)
Lenticular Cloud and Corpuscular Rays Eagle ID.jpg
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Re: APOD: Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus (2015 Mar 02)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:49 pm

Ron-Astro Pharmacist wrote:I don't even know if this is a lenticular cloud but can clouds form lenticular clouds from any source of moisture? (I know I've posted is image before but it's the only one I know of that shows my point)
Lenticular Cloud and Corpuscular Rays Eagle ID.jpg
What is your point?

There are no lenticular clouds in your image (there looks to be cumulus and altocumulus couds; the latter could evolve to lenticular clouds given the right kind of conditions). Cloud formation simply requires water vapor in the air, and typically some kind of particles for water to condense on (clouds are liquid water, not gas). The actual type of cloud that forms depends on many other factors.

(The rays are crepuscular, not corpuscular.)
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Re: APOD: Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus (2015 Mar 02)

Post by saturno2 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:19 pm

The image that I saw on Feb 21 was
iridiscent cloud, Moon and Venus,
different the image APOD now.

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Re: APOD: Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus (2015 Mar 02)

Post by DavidLeodis » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:39 pm

In view of the wording "with the added bonus of a crescent Moon and the International Space Station (ISS) both passing nearby" I had expected the International Space Station link to bring up an image showing the ISS moving through, but it did not bring up such an image. I think that the mention of the ISS was rather pointless. As for the Moon "passing nearby" that created an interesting mental image of the Moon also speeding through! :wink:

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Re: APOD: Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus (2015 Mar 02)

Post by Nitpicker » Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:45 pm

DavidLeodis wrote:In view of the wording "with the added bonus of a crescent Moon and the International Space Station (ISS) both passing nearby" I had expected the International Space Station link to bring up an image showing the ISS moving through, but it did not bring up such an image. I think that the mention of the ISS was rather pointless. As for the Moon "passing nearby" that created an interesting mental image of the Moon also speeding through! :wink:
The APOD is from the day after the planned quadruple-grouping of Mars, Venus, the Moon and (supposedly) the ISS. Sadly, this event was clouded out. Given that the location of ISS transits across the sky are highly dependent on the location of the observer, and Madeira is so remote, I doubt that the quadruple-grouping would have been visible from many other places.

As for the Moon, it was orbiting Earth at more than 1 km/s. From the APOD, you can get a good feel for how far the Moon moved in a day, based on its separation from Venus and Mars.

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Re: APOD: Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus (2015 Mar 02)

Post by Ron-Astro Pharmacist » Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:35 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Ron-Astro Pharmacist wrote:I don't even know if this is a lenticular cloud but can clouds form lenticular clouds from any source of moisture? (I know I've posted is image before but it's the only one I know of that shows my point)
Lenticular Cloud and Corpuscular Rays Eagle ID.jpg
What is your point?

There are no lenticular clouds in your image (there looks to be cumulus and altocumulus couds; the latter could evolve to lenticular clouds given the right kind of conditions). Cloud formation simply requires water vapor in the air, and typically some kind of particles for water to condense on (clouds are liquid water, not gas). The actual type of cloud that forms depends on many other factors.

(The rays are crepuscular, not corpuscular.)
I was speaking of the cloud forming on the top of the cumulus cloud at the center of the photo. My point is that if lenticular clouds can form over any source of moisture (cumulus clouds, a heated ocean or other source of water vapor) it was possibly the answer to the previous person's question.

Yes I know I spelled "crepuscular" incorrectly. (I deal with red corpuscles each day at work so I messed up) :(
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Re: APOD: Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus (2015 Mar 02)

Post by Ron-Astro Pharmacist » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:46 pm

But then maybe there is an anti-corpuscular ray to cure autoimmune hemolytic anemia? Hmmm – I'll have to ask our hematologist? See - there might be a world where Astro-Pharmacists are actually useful. :no:
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Re: APOD: Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus (2015 Mar 02)

Post by Roberto Capacci » Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:39 am

Bautiful and dramatic :)