Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Conjunction for the End of the Year

Conjunction of the Moon and Venus viewed over my neighbor's house between 4:57 and 5:05 PM on December 31, 2008. Pictures taken with my Nikon Coolpix L4 mounted on a dollar store tripod on the ice-covered roof of my 1996 Toyota Tercel.

The things I go through for you! The temperature when I took these pictures was somewhere around twelve degrees Fahrenheit, and the winds were gusting strongly enough to put the wind chill down somewhere around absolute zero. I was bundled up well enough, but my camera has teeny tiny controls that I cannot operate with a gloved hand. So I needed to remove my right glove momentarily each time I wanted to take a picture. After doing that four times (the fourth image shown here is actually a zoomed section of the third picture) my hand felt like it was frostbitten, and I had to get the hell back inside to warm back up. Still, I think the results were worth the pain.

2008 has not been a good year. Astronomical coincidences like this at least provide us with moments of beauty that can lift our spirits, if only for a little while. I will try to keep you apprised of upcoming events throughout 2009!

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