Jupiter and Mars 5/20/2016

It was with high hopes that I went to the River Ridge Observatory Friday night. I knew the full Moon meant I would likely be alone but the Clear Sky Clock indicated that the seeing (a measure of air steadiness and a requirement for planetary photography) would be good.  Though mostly cloudy when I left the house at 8, I felt sure it clear up.  It never really quite did. The seeing was not as good as I hoped and the broken clouds were continuously revealing and then obscuring the planets and the Moon. I finally gave up around 11:30 when an unbroken layer of clouds hid the Moon and Mars and somewhere Saturn. However, my main goal was accomplished – my first picture of Mars of this opposition.  Mars will rapidly improve over the next few days then as rapidly recede as the Earth swings close by and then keeps going.  I was also treated to a singing contest between Eastern Whip-poor-wills and Chuck-will’s-widows and a Yellow-breasted Chat who couldn’t sleep.

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Full Moon in Clouds River Ridge Observatory May 2016 0867

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