Venusian Weather Balloon

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This is a painting inspired by all the manuscripts of the old and upcoming space missions to the planet Venus, the closest planet to Earth, Earth’s twin sister.

The planet Venus to me is more interesting than the Planet Mars. I personally believe that colonizing and exploring the planet Venues could be much easier than going after the planet Mars 1st.

If it was for me, I would send a mission to every celestial object there is out there to explore it, and keep going back for more.

Venusian Weather Balloon. A painting view of future exploration mission.
Venusian Weather Balloon. A painting view of future exploration mission.
The Painting took several days to finish. The Venus planet express mission by the European agency and the the saved Japaneses mission AKATSUKI of Venus had a lot of inspiration in making this piece of art. Although both missions didn’t had a weather balloon in their payload or tasks, still, they played a big part as a muse for this painting, and hopefully for more future science and art missions.

Enjoy!

-Ahmad

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

 

Comet Catalina Dec2015

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Comet Catalina (C/2013 US10) is a comet discovered in 2013 and is expected to give a beautiful show from observers on planet earth perspective on the months of December 2015 and January 2016.

Comet C/2013 US10  is a morning comet, and the observation took place in the early hours of dawn toward the eastern horizon.

Observation of this comet from California was a bit difficult due to the weather condition and the brightness of the Comet. Comet Catalina was expected to be a naked eye comet, how ever, the comet didn’t reach the magnitude 4 in the scale of apparent brightness as was expected. Today, when these pictures were taken, the apparent magnitude was about 6~7 and many low clouds near the eastern horizon had played a role in making the observations more challenging.

The Moon crescent and the planet Venus with low clouds in the eastern horizon at dawn.
The Moon crescent and the planet Venus with low clouds in the eastern horizon at dawn.

Conjunction of the Moon crescent and the planet Venus. Dec-7-2015
Conjunction of the Moon crescent and the planet Venus. Dec-7-2015
This morning the comet made a small conjunction with the Moon crescent and the planet Venus as shown in the pictures. The comet is too dim to be observed with the naked eye, but the view is beautiful with telescopic aids or a camera.

Here is a couple of close up pictures of the comet where the comet was marked in the picture:

Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
(Marked) Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
(Marked) Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
Near the conjunction Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
Near the conjunction Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
The brightness of the morning dawn before Sunrise was taken over, and making the background sky brighter than the Comet. However, more pictures was manged to be taken.

The Moon and Venus made a beautiful display by them self.

Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
(Marked) Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
(Marked) Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
A wide view of the western horizon sky before Sunrise. December 7th 2015
A wide view of the western horizon sky before Sunrise. December 7th 2015
I hope the weather will be more cooperative in the next few days and that the comet will have a good display show for it’s observers this season.

As for now, here is more pictures of the Moon, Venus, and the comet, with the dawn glare in the back.

The observation took place between 2 hours and an hour before Sunrise.

Wind were around 4~9 mile per hour (7 to 14 KPH) and the temperature didn’t exceeded 66F (~18C degree) and was in the low 50F degrees at some point.

The Moon Venus Conjunction with the Comet
The Moon Venus Conjunction with the Comet
The Moon Venus conjunction. December 7th 2015
The Moon Venus conjunction. December 7th 2015
The conjunction of the Moon, Venus, and Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
The conjunction of the Moon, Venus, and Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
The conjunction of the Moon, Venus, and Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
The conjunction of the Moon, Venus, and Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
Santa Susana Pass, Los Angeles county

December 7th 2015

-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

Venus and Jupiter conjunction 2015

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This summer, the planets Venus and Jupiter once again aligned so close to each other, within a degree of visual angular distance. From the west coast of north America, the view was beautiful, right after Sunset. The Moon was also near full, and rose after. The images were taken on July-1st-2015. The alignment lasted for few days.

Here is an image toward the western horizon. The weather was cloudy at the beginning.

The Sunset of July 1st 2015 from Rocky peak, California
The Sunset of July 1st 2015 from Rocky peak, California
 As usually, the planet Venus was the 1st bright object in night sky. The celestial canvas showed the planet Venus, and right after Jupiter.

Venus and Jupiter were the 1st celestial objects to spot on the western horizon after Sunset
Venus and Jupiter were the 1st celestial objects to spot on the western horizon after Sunset
The clouds then covered the planets for few minutes. Which gave me enough time to make contact on the Amateur Radio simplex net meeting of the local HAM radio club. Another activity I am getting more involved in recently.

Sunset
Sunset
As seen in the picture below, the planets were getting easier to spot, as it gets darker.

Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after July-1st 2015 Sunset.
Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after July-1st 2015 Sunset.
Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after July-1st 2015 Sunset.
Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after July-1st 2015 Sunset.
Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after July-1st 2015 Sunset.
Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after July-1st 2015 Sunset.
You can even notice the Moons of Jupiter in the images taken. Ganymede was on top left of the planet Jupiter, and the other three, Europa, Io, Callisto, were bottom left.

The conjunction of Jupiter and Venus as the sky getting darker.
The conjunction of Jupiter and Venus as the sky getting darker.
The planets were covered by passing clouds later on for a short while.

Venus and Jupiter Conjunction covered by the clouds.
Venus and Jupiter Conjunction covered by the clouds.
The rest of the images shows the planets as they were approaching the horizon.

Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after the clouds cover.
Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after the clouds cover.
Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after the clouds cover over Simi Valley.
Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after the clouds cover over Simi Valley.
The weather was humid, but at the summit, it was very windy, not cold. Which is a typical July weather.

Venus and Jupiter Conjunction close up.
Venus and Jupiter Conjunction close up.
Venus and Jupiter Conjunction close up as they passed visually behind the clouds.
Venus and Jupiter Conjunction close up as they passed visually behind the clouds.
The moon phase was near .99, or luminosity of 98%.

Near Full moon of July-1st-2015.
Near Full moon of July-1st-2015.
A wide angle view of the near full Moon over the San Fernando Valley from Rocky peak.
A wide angle view of the near full Moon over the San Fernando Valley from Rocky peak.
The evening was a pleasant one, as usually the case of a good stargazing session.

Again, the planets alignment did represent the view of two eyes looking down on Earth. The view never gets old.

until later…

July-1st-2o15

Rocky Peak, Santa Susana Pass, Los Angeles.

-Ahmad

Jupiter & Venus conjunction 2014

Triple Conjunction

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This evening, the after Sunset view was beautiful with its celestial triple conjunction of the Moon, and the two planets Mars and Venus. The moon is nearly 49 hours old is easier to spot after Sunset than the one day old new moon. The separation of the Moon and the Sun to the observer perspective in the western horizon is greater, and nearly 25 angular degree apart from the Sun.

A passing airplane over the triple celestial conjunction
A passing airplane over the triple celestial conjunction
Venus was really bright. In term of visual brightness magnitude, the planet Venus was -3.38 which easily outshine the planets Mars which was nearly magnitude of 1.5.

Venus, Mars, and the Moon
Venus, Mars, and the Moon
The three celestial made a beautiful evening view. The weather wasn’t as good, and the clouds were coming and the humidity was high. The clouds than were overcast.

A western horizon view of the Crescent Moon and the planets Venus and Mars.
A western horizon view of the Crescent Moon and the planets Venus and Mars.
The weather was becoming really foggy, and limit the observation, how ever, a couple of close up pictures were take.

Close up picture of Moon Crescent, Mars, and Venus
Close up picture of Moon Crescent, Mars, and Venus
A little over exposed photo of the conjunction.
A little over exposed photo of the conjunction.
One of the things I like to observe usually in the 2nd evening of a new moon, or when the moon is nearly 48 hours of age, is the southern pole region of the moon from earths perspective. The crescent at some point due to the geological features of the Moon just disappear, as if the crescent has a hole. The look of the crescent is captured well in the next photo.

50 hours old new Moon crescent cut off. The southern pole region of the Moon (The left edge of the Moon crescent in this image)
50 hours old new Moon crescent cut off. The southern pole region of the Moon (The left edge of the Moon crescent in this image)
February- 20th-2015

Santa Susana Pass, California.

-Ahmad