This morning, the Moon passed in front of the planet Mars. My view of the event from the east coast of the US was entirely daylight, and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to resolve anything.
I was up around 6:30am, and the sky was mostly clear. I stepped out on the back deck and took a couple quick photos of the Moon with the telephoto lens. 6:44am. The Sun was just rising, and the sky was already very blue, bright enough so that Mars was invisible to the naked eye – so I just took some hopeful shots, about 43 minutes before it was to disappear. Then I went back inside to take a shower and get ready for work.
After my shower, the sky was covered with a patchwork of fast-moving wispy clouds that matched the color of the crescent Moon almost exactly. I pulled out the telescope, and started trying to line things up – but it was frustrating, as I couldn’t see ANYTHING against the field of blue and white. I’d pull my eye off the scope and look up – clouds everywhere… oh, there’s the Moon coming back out again. Back to the telescope…
And then FINALLY, a good, zoomed in shot of the Moon’s eastern limb. Just then, my wife, standing beside me, said “My watch shows 7:28”. One minute too late… sure enough, no Mars…
I took the kids to school and went to work. By 8:30 the skies were completely overcast, no hope of seeing a reappearance. But just in case, I went back and examined those earlier shots from the back deck.
What do you know? I DID catch Mars!!
Get Out There