Five planets alignment

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Today January 30th 2016 was the morning where five planets alignments occurred. The Planets Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter.

Five planets Alignment. From left to right, Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars, Jupiter. Lets not the Moon is included.
Five planets Alignment. From left to right, Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars, Jupiter. Lets not the Moon is included.
Here is the same photo where the Planets and the Moon are annotated.

The five planets and the Moon annotated.
The five planets and the Moon annotated.
Yes, there were clouds, how ever, this is relatively a clear night compare to the rest of the month night. The weather forecast predict a storm coming Sunday to the southern California area. which is the next day. This make this Saturday morning the period of the calm before the storm.

The temperature was around the lower 50s degree F. (around 10 degree Celsius.) The upper wind direction were from west to east. The winds near the ground were blowing from the East. The humidity was high.

Here is a close up look of the planets Mercury and Venus in the same picture frame over the San Fernando Valley:

Mercury and Venus over the San Fernando Valley.
Mercury and Venus over the San Fernando Valley.
As the Sunrise moment was approaching, I observed the marine layer over both the Simi Valley and the San Fernando Valley. The Earth shadow casting on the pink background sky was beautiful as always. It never gets old.

Earth shadow casting on the pink sky. The southern view from Rocky peak.
Earth shadow casting on the pink sky. The southern view from Rocky peak.
Another close up of the hills tops from the southern direction of the pink sky before Sunrise. The shadow division is Earth Shadow.
Another close up of the hills tops from the southern direction of the pink sky before Sunrise. The shadow division is Earth Shadow.
The view of the pink sky and the earth shadow cast from the West direction. You can see the the marine layer over Simi Valley.
The view of the pink sky and the earth shadow cast from the West direction. You can see the the marine layer over Simi Valley.
Soon after at this time of the day at 6:52 am in local time, the Sun rose from the east another day.

Moments before Sunrise.
Moments before Sunrise.
Sunrise of January 30th 2016 over the San Fernando Valley.
Sunrise of January 30th 2016 over the San Fernando Valley.
Close up. Sunrise of January 30th 2016 over the San Fernando Valley.
Close up. Sunrise of January 30th 2016 over the San Fernando Valley.
Half way through. Sunrise of January 30th 2016 over the San Fernando Valley.
Half way through. Sunrise of January 30th 2016 over the San Fernando Valley.
Today is another day. Sunrise of January 30th 2016 over the San Fernando Valley.
Today is another day. Sunrise of January 30th 2016 over the San Fernando Valley.
I spend another 2 hours around the peak and observed the changed of the marine layer as it flow over both valleys and between hills tops.

Here is the north view from Rocky peak. Which show Oat Mountain and its many Radio towers.

Oat Mountains right after Sunrise.
Oat Mountains right after Sunrise.
The flow of the marine layer from the south direction.
The flow of the marine layer from the south direction.
That’s it for today, and catch you later!

Have a nice day!

 

 

 

January 30th 2016

Santa Susana Pass, Los Angeles, California.

-Ahmad

 

Planets at Dawn

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In the early morning hours of October the 26th, the planets Jupiter, Venus, and mars aligned toward the direction of the eastern horizon and produce a beautiful triple planet conjunction show.

Followed later before Sunrise, the planet Mercury will join the morning planetary alignment

The Triple conjunction of planets Jupiter, Venus, and Mars above the San Fernando Valley
The Triple conjunction of planets Jupiter, Venus, and Mars above the San Fernando Valley
Here is a noted version of preview image:

The planets with respect to the background stars.
The planets with respect to the background stars.
The observation took place at Santa Susana pass, between the local two valleys. The weather condition didn’t prevent this night sky observation even though the valley been having cloudy nights during this month.

Orion constellation was at a good altitude above the southern horizon followed by Canis Major constellation.

Orion & Canis Major constellation.
Orion & Canis Major constellation.
The temperature was great, It was in the low 60s F or higher 50s F  (17~13 C degree)with light winds.

Closer look at the triple conjuction
Closer look at the triple conjunction
Closer look at the triple conjuction
Closer look at the triple conjunction

The planets conjunction over the hills
The planets conjunction over the hills
There were few shooting stars passed by. The most significant observed that morning were slicing the big dipper area coming from south to the Northern horizon. There was one caught on an image while photographing the conjunction of the three planets.

A shooting star frame the of conjunction
A shooting star frame the of conjunction
A shooting star frame the of triple conjunction
A shooting star frame the of triple conjunction (noted)
The shooting star is most likely from the Orionids meteor shower that is still active.

Orion was covered by passing clouds from time to time.

At this point of the night he Moon was reaching the western Horizon.

Another view of the triple conjunction near clouds.
Another view of the triple conjunction near clouds.
4planet_oct2015-9
Orion and the star sirius with clouds
The Moon on the Western Horizon
The Moon on the Western Horizon
Another shot of the Triple conjunction
Another shot of the Triple conjunction with passing clouds

Orion with respect to the local southern horizon which is higher than true south horizon.
Orion with respect to the local southern horizon which is higher than true south horizon.
The Pleiades were stunning as usual with Aldebaran following it. At this point of the night, Mercury was near rising, I had to take a couple more pictures of the triple conjunction and obseved the Moon set on the western horizon.

The Big Dipper was up high with it’s pattern of this time of the year and night.

Triple conjunction from Rocky Peak.
Triple conjunction from Rocky Peak.
Triple conjunction from Rocky Peak
Triple conjunction from Rocky Peak
I had to include my shadow in the frame for this one.
I had to include my shadow in the frame for this one.
The Big Dipper.
The Big Dipper.
The Big Dipper noted.
The Big Dipper noted.
A wide view of the triple conjunction from the peak over the San Fernando Valley.
A wide view of the triple conjunction from the peak over the San Fernando Valley.
The Moon set over Simi Valley
The Moon set over Simi Valley

Triple conjunction before Sunrise
Triple conjunction before Sunrise
Finally, Mercury is in the same frame image as the other planets.

Planet Mercury with the other planets
Planet Mercury with the other planets
Here is the noted version below:

Triple conjunction with Planet Mercury
Triple conjunction with Planet Mercury
The planet Mercury
The planet Mercury
One more close up of the triple conjunction. Jupiter Moons are showing easily
One more close up of the triple conjunction. Jupiter Moons are showing easily

Jupiter Left, Venus Right
Jupiter Left, Venus Right
The show of the night ended with the arrival of the most relevant start to our life, the Sun.

Sunrise October 26th-2015
Sunrise October 26th-2015
Until next time…

October-26th-2015

Rocky Peak, Santa Susana pass

Los Angeles, CA.

-Ahmad

Comet LoveJoy Early April

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Comet Lovejoy ( C/2014 Q2 ) has been with us in our sky before the year started and still with us  on April and within the grasp of stargazers across the world with the aid of binocular or an instrument of equal light gathering and magnification.

The comet is hovering near the constellation Cassiopeia at this point of its journey form the perspective of stargazer on Earth. The comet is visible from early this month to be seen and observed around the dawn hours before sunrise.

Here is a photograph of Cassiopeia rising on the eastern horizon form the night/morning of April-4th-2015 the night of the lunar eclipse. 

Cassiopeia rising at early morning hours on April 4th 2015. The shooting star at the photo is actually a passing Satellite.
Cassiopeia rising at early morning hours on April 4th 2015. The shooting star at the photo is actually a passing Satellite.
The Comet can be seen at the top of the little bush a little to the left. And it is annotated in the next image.

The Comet and constellation Cassiopeia annotated
The Comet and constellation Cassiopeia annotated
 the time in which those pictures were taken was before the Lunar eclipse totality at the time.

At summit of the mountain, near the Lunar Eclipse totality, Cassiopeia was a little higher above the horizon and the condition of the comet viewing is better, but not by much. Here are a couple of images:

A wide view of the Comet ans Cassiopeia constellation form the Summit.
A wide view of the Comet ans Cassiopeia constellation form the Summit.
A closer look of the comet and constellation Cassiopeia
A closer look of the comet and constellation Cassiopeia
Annotated, a closer look of the comet and constellation Cassiopeia
Annotated, a closer look of the comet and constellation Cassiopeia
The comet is within the 7 magnitude in brightness, and is really dim as the images shows, but still, can be observed with out heavy instruments, and if the place had a better viewing condition, and less light pollution, the view would have been great.

Here is a closer zoom in look to the Comet.

A closer look with the Comet Lovejoy
A closer look with the Comet Lovejoy
Annotated Comet Lovejoy
Annotated Comet Lovejoy
I am looking forward for the next mornings to try to capture the Comet even further more, and hope to see it even in next month in May.

Here are last two images, one crop of the comet and another wide view image of the Northbound horizon from the Summit of Rocky peak mountain.

Crop of comet Lovejoy
Crop of comet Lovejoy
A view of the North horizon from Rocky peak mountain.
A view of the North horizon from Rocky peak mountain.
The Sunrise was great.

Rocky peak mountain, CA.

April 4th- 2015

-Ahmad

 

 

Lunar Eclipse April 2015

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The first Lunar eclipse of the year was on the morning of April 4th 2015.  For south California, the Moon was visible most of it 6 hour eclipse duration that started on 2.01 AM and ended just after it set around 6.46 AM at Sunrise.

The visible part of the phenomena took place on 3.15 AM

The Lunar eclipse after 3.15 AM on April 4th-2015
The Lunar eclipse after 3.15 AM on April 4th-2015
The town near by, Simi valley, had the normal light pollution. The weather wasn’t humid enough to lower the quality of observation. There were little to no clouds and the temperature around the 15s Celsius degrees (60s F degree). The winds were less than 18 on the valley near the ground. However, from the Santa Susana Pass in which those photographs were taken, the  winds were at high speed, and increased the chill factor. The direction of the wind weren’t coherent near the trail head, however, from the peak, the winds coming from North, North East.

Simi Valley
Simi Valley
The eclipse was crawling on the Moon, as those set of pictures shows. The pictures were taken in different exposures. The longer exposure to show the redness color on the Moon, and the shorter exposure to show the brightness and shadow differences during the events.

The Moon still have most of it's full Moon luminosity still.
The Moon still have most of it’s full Moon luminosity still.
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
A wider view again of the Lunar Eclipse April 2015
A wider view again of the Lunar Eclipse April 2015
How it looked like to the eye. Lunar Eclipse April 2015
How it looked like to the eye. Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Over exposed image to show the redness color casting on the Moon
Over exposed image to show the redness color casting on the Moon
And the rest of the upcoming set is the images before reaching the eclipse totally at 5 AM at local time.

Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
And here is a photograph of what it looked like as it get closer to totally

Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 above Simi Valley
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 over Simi Valley.
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 over Simi Valley.
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 over Simi Valley
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 over Simi Valley
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Near totallty over the Simi Valley
Near totallty over the Simi Valley
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
Lunar Eclipse April 2015
The next set of images were taken after 5 Am and it show the end of the eclipse as the bright light from the Sun start to get near.

One of the most beautiful thing in this eclipse form this location is the chances to observe the phenomena and photograph it at Dawn light and colors. The eclipse looked so beautiful with the morning light and sunrise colors.

Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise time
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise time
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
The last and next three images show the contrast of Earth shadow, The Lunar eclipse, the landscape and the horizon with the Sunrise colors, and the Moon is setting.

Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise. Moon set.
Lunar Eclipse April 2015 near Sunrise. Moon set.
Aside from this, the Sunrise was beautiful as always, and while  the eclipse was happening, I get the chances to observe The new Nova at Sagittarius and Comet Love joy close to the Cassiopeia constellation on Sunrise time.

Until the next sky event…

 

Santa Susana Pass

California

April 4th 2015

-Ahmad

 

Nova in Sagittarius 2015

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This new heavenly visitor that appeared in our night sky, from earth perspective, to be near the heart of the milky way galaxy. The new Nova can be observed with the naked eye in Sagittarius constellation  a couple of hours before sunrise time.

Nova in Sagittarius.
Nova in Sagittarius.
Nova in Sagittarius (Indicated with yellow arrows )
Nova in Sagittarius (Indicated with yellow arrows )
I have enjoyed the new view of the night sky with it’s newly Nova arrival. The Nova appeared earlier this week, and it was predicted by Astronomers and Stargazers around the world that it will be visible to the unaided eye by Morning March-22. However, the star in the night sky canvas is a view that hardly ever change to the naked eye, so a visible Nova is an experience that not many got to enjoy or witness in one life time. As if the night sky had a new is drawing a new star in its canvas, even if it was temporary, after all, the whole universe is in a temporary state.

The Nova next to the Milk Way band
The Nova next to the Milk Way band
The event is worth getting up earlier, or staying up late to be witnessed even if stargazing is not the observer profession.

Personally, the experience was extremely powerful, even if it was a little point of light that barely touching the limit of the naked eye (Visible magnitude brightness  of 4.5~5).

When I saw Sagittarius, right away, I saw the new star, or more accurately, the Nova. Sagittarius wasn’t Sagittarius, at 1st glance, I realize how the new Nova altered my memory view of the constellation. The constellations positions against the starry sky, to our senses, are stationery with respect to one human life spam.

I hope this thought help understand the significance of the event.

The Milk Way Galaxy band, Scorpio constellation, and the planet Saturn near dawn time.
The Milk Way Galaxy band near dawn time.
A more centered view of the Nova in Sagittarius.
A more centered view of the Nova in Sagittarius.
Here are two more versions of the same image where in one of them, the constellation Sagittarius is highlighted, and the other where the Nova is.

Sagittarius constellation highlighted .
Sagittarius constellation highlighted .
The Nova is highlighted in this image.
The Nova is highlighted in this image.
The temperature was near 7 degree Celsius (~44 degree F). The clouds were very low near the eastern horizon, but did not interfere with the event.

The site from where I was observing featured a good dark sky, and I couldn’t help my self taking more images of it until Sunrise.

The Milky Way Galaxy band
The Milky Way Galaxy band
The Milky Way at down light
The Milky Way at dawn light
Good Morning Sun Shine.
Good Morning Sun Shine.
Hungry Valley, California.

March-22-2015

-Ahmad

July’s Moon, Venus, and Mercury.

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On July the 12, the US National Weather Service Los Angeles/Oxnard issued a weather prediction of a surge of monsoonal moisture that will be present in Southern California for the coming three days. People didn’t expect to see lots of clouds in July, even if this is expected by the metrologies.

In this time of the year, it is expected for mid July to have short thunderstorms days around the mountain region, which happened on the 13th/14th and reached the suburban area too.

From Los Angeles and Ventura counties perspective, the weather had following consequences on sky observation. The Full moon nights rose between partial clouds, or haze. After, on the 13th of July from Santa Clarita, the moon rose in a mostly clear night sky, with few clouds which made a spectacular view.

Moon Rising. Picture Location Santa Clarita, CA.
Moon Rising. Picture Location Santa Clarita, CA.
July clouds 2014-2

July clouds 2014-3

July clouds 2014-4

 

The 14th was nearly overcast, which prevent observation of the Moon, and the passing of the International Space Station.

The 15th had partially cloudy nights. The clouds direction was from east to west from Santa Susana pass and the winds were blowing from the San Fernando Valley to Simi Valley for most of the night until nearly 5 am, where the clouds start to break up and change direction. The eastern horizon starts to be filled with far away mountain clouds and covered the passing of the ISS which was expected to have a brightness of magnitude -2.9. The space Station could not be resolved.

Pleiades rising
Pleiades rising
Before dawn
Before dawn
Venus rising
Venus rising
Toward south
Toward south
Venus, and dim Mercury
Venus, and dim Mercury
San Fernando Valley Before Sunrise.
San Fernando Valley Before Sunrise.
Eastern Horizon
Eastern Horizon
Sunrise
Sunrise
Sunrise
Sunrise
The clouds start to form in the east noticeably before Sunrise and Venus was covered for most of the time and affected its real magnitude brightness and made it dimmer. The planet Mercury couldn’t be resolved until later when it hit a higher altitude. The Sunrise time was very near, and the sky was already bright.

The Haze start to take over.
The Haze start to take over.
The wind start to blow from the south, and according to the US National Weather Service Los Angeles data that was taken from the measurement of Bob Hope Airport Burbank, it continue to do so for most of the day.

The night of the 16th was overcast, and no observation could have been done during the night.

Los Angeles County

July 12th/16th 2014

-Ahmed