Red Light in the Night Sky

A couple weeks ago I looked up into the sky to the east and saw a reddish light in the sky. This was while we were still having bad air quality so I at first thought it was just a star because of the smoke in the air.

However, I checked to see where Mars was in the sky and found that it was the red planet.

Mars - Night Sky Shot - Planet Mars - Red PlanetI have seen it many times since and have looked at it with my binoculars. I also remembered some pictures that I took of Mars back in 2014 at the time of an eclipse so thought I would share them tonight.

This picture was not too clear, but I was definitely able to get a good enough shot to show that it was a planet. My current camera does not have a good enough optical zoom to get a picture like this. However, I am thinking of pulling out my old camera.

Moon, Mars, Spica, Lunar Eclipse, Blood Red MoonDuring the eclipse Mars was above and to the right of the Moon from my perspective. Here you can see a picture that I took during the height of the eclipse. You can see the disc shape of Mars and tell that it is a planet and not a star.

You can also see Spica even though it was close to the Moon.

Spica - Virgo - Constellation Virgo - Lunar Eclipse - Night Sky - Moon and MarsHere is another picture with a bit better focus.

Moon and Mars - Eclipse - Blood Red Moon - Total Eclipse - Lunar EclipseHere is one later in the eclipse. Spica has disappeared since more light was being reflected by the moon. In this picture Mars is more red. It was also getting hazy so perhaps the haze contributed to the redness in this shot.

It is nice to be able to go out and walk in the evening again without worrying about the poor air quality.

But, the forecast is not too good for the weekend. Winds are shifting and we may have a valley full of smoke again by Sunday.

I thought again tonight of buying a nice telescope. I question how much I would use it though. Would it be worth the cost?

Steven

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