Wondering about wild grapes

Monday, October 31, 2011

Wondering about the moons.

Hey, it’s Halloween, should we be howling at the moon? If so, which one? There are lots of moons in our solar system and back on the 27th I showed you a painting that I made of our moon. There are some others that we can see with a pair of binoculars and they are visible out there tonight; go take a look. Jupiter is that really bright star almost directly overhead as today turns into tomorrow. But it is high in the eastern sky when the sun sets, so you have no excuse, other than clouds, not to see it. The moons will look like very small bright stars in a straight line. If you look at different times during the night they will be in different locations. Jupiter and its moons are a dynamic place and always interesting to watch.

There are all sizes and types of moons in our solar system. Some have water volcanoes, some are a frozen, cracked shell over what we think is an ocean, some are pretty, and some are ugly. I thought that I would show you a couple of pictures of alien moons taken by our unmanned space probes. These two moons are special; they both have something to brag about. First, let me tell you that I found both these pictures in Astronomy magazine’s 100 greatest pictures issue.

This first picture is of Saturn’s moon Mimas, showing a huge impact crater that is about 81 miles across and is one of the largest craters in the solar system. I think this picture is breath-taking:

Now, for contrast, let’s go from bright to dark.  This other picture is of Phobos, which is the largest and innermost moon of Mars.  It is the darkest satellite in our solar system:

To celebrate Halloween, go out and look at the night sky. It will give you more cheer than “trick or treat” candy.

You all have a safe and happy Halloween. Hope you all survive the ghosts and goblins. Have a good day now, you hear?


  1. That's no moon, it's a deathstar!

  2. It might be a "deathstar" but it is beautiful.

  3. It's a real shame you never got on at NASA . You truly are Space Cadet :-)

  4. Don't have to worry about spooks and having to have candy around here. The coyotes haven't figured out they could get free candy if they dressed like humans.

    I usually do my sky watching when I have company. It just isn't much fun doing it by my lonesome.

  5. Ben, I have been in there and made designed things for their maintanance department, but never got to push any buttons (grin).

    David, Yeah, here too. Can't see my place from the road and I try to keep my gate closed. It is more fun star gazing with a friend.

  6. Being away from the lights of the city make star gazing a lot better at your place, I'll bet!

    I certainly hope you don't get run over with trick or treaters!

  7. HJ, yeah, it is a little darker but not much. I have gone to a few star parties back when I had a vehicle that could carry my scope and they were held at pretty dark sites. As far as trick or treaters go, I have never had any here.

  8. Thanks for the amazing pictures and info. I love to check out the space weather site. It's pretty fascinating.

  9. Sel, I think that everything in this universe is fascinating.

  10. Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life...

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