Chris McKitterick (mckitterick) wrote,
Chris McKitterick
mckitterick

Astro-images of the day: early morning astronomy

I couldn't sleep, so I got up around 6:00am to do a little early morning astronomy. I used to do this regularly when I was a kid, turn on my alarm to wake me at 2:00am or so, when the sky is at its darkest and most house lights are off.

I peered outside and saw Venus blazing so brightly; she drew me outside - even in the 36° weather - with my telescope:

Click the image to learn more about Venus.

Since I was outside, I also took a look at Saturn:

Click the image to see more Saturn photos.

The sky was so dark and high-contrast that I could see the Orion Nebula with my naked eyes. Turned my 'scope to it, anyway:

Click the image to see the source page.

Of course, one can't miss the Pleiades Cluster when it's up (I love this shot with a comet blasting past):

Click the image to see the story.

As I was finding the Pleiades, I saw a star just as bright as the others in the sky, but moving fast. I quickly grabbed my little 'scope and tracked it for about 20° across the sky. So cool! That was the International Space Station whizzing by overhead, replete with our astronauts:

Click the image to see the story and to find the ISS in your sky.

And of course the Moon was up, too, third-quarter and waning. Even so, I could see so many more stars than usual. It's so beautiful this time of the morning, so dark-sky! I suspect part of it is that my pupils were about as dilated as possible after hours of sleep, but also most of the city lights were out, what with most people sleeping.

Must try this again some time. EDIT: Okay, now I'm dead-tired. Going back to bed for a bit. G'day.

Best,
Chris
Tags: astronomy, telescopes
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