Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Paper Moon


Yesterday morning, Mary mused, "I think the paper should have been delivered by now."

It was early. I was dressed. The St. Petersburg Times was out there, waiting for me. So was a clear sky, and this in the east....

I photographed the shot up top at 5:47 AM (all times mentioned are EST), using a 4-second exposure at f/4.5. The Moon keeps company with Antares, the brightest star in the constellation Scorpius. The longer exposure brings out Earthshine, which occurs during crescent phases. Here, the dimmer part of the Moon reflects light from the Earth (doubly-reflected light, since the Earth reflects light from the Sun), while the crescent reflects direct sunlight.

The name Antares is Greek for "rival of Mars," since Ares, the Greek god of war, had his counterpart in the Roman war god Mars. The red color of the star Antares resembles that of the planet Mars.

We're in Cleaning Mode. I've finally moved the decades-old, bug-eaten bed out of my studio and moved in plastic file drawers that have sat empty on an unused desk. I'd had visions of using the bed during all-nighters in the studio, but it just became a horizontal file space instead. When I need to lie down I can go into the bedroom. The mattress and box spring sit in the garage preparatory to being trashed. The frame is still in decent-enough shape to be donated.

The bedroom desk, which never lived up to its potential there, either, will come in here when I've cleared a space for it.

The place still looks like a disaster, but at least now it looks like an intermediate-cleaning-stage disaster. There's light at the end of the clutter -- or so I keep telling myself.


Photographed at 5:46 AM, using a 1/3-second exposure at f/4.5. You can see a hint of craters at the terminator.

Earlier, at 5:44 AM, I used a 4-second exposure at f/4 for a wider shot. In addition to the Moon (with Earthshine) and Antares, we have Jupiter at the upper left of frame.


Two faint stars also show up above and below the moon. I believe these are Sigma ("Al Niyat") and Tau Scorpii, respectively. Al Niyat is Arabic for "the arteries" and used to apply to both Sigma and Tau because they both lay near Antares, seen as the "heart" of the scorpion.


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