Today is the first day of school for my youngest daughter. So, contrary to other times, I was up. As I went outside to let the dog out, I noticed that Orion was up. Orion is quite possibly my favorite constellation, as it has so many things in it to look at.
I quickly went inside and retrieved my 10 x 50 binoculars and was able to see the Orion Nebula (M42) to some extent. The dawn was already breaking, so it was not very clear because it was fighting sunlight and morning clouds.
However, it’s good to see my old friend again. I can’t wait until I can see it in darkness again.
Transparency was 1, seeing was 8.
To be sure, astronomy is the study of the heavens. Most people think of it as what you do when you look at stars, planets, asteroids, comets, asterisms, etc.
However, you can broaden the practice of astronomy, in my personal opinion, to just respecting and observing what happens in the sky in general. I think of it is as primarily the study of things listed before, but I like to also think of it as just LOOKING UP, like I stated in one of my earlier posts. The chief joy for me of doing astronomy is just seeing what is up in nature, and marveling at the beautiful work or art that is God’s creation.
I’m including here a gallery of (mostly) sunsets, dawns and other atmospheric phenomena that happens around sunsets/dawns. What’s beautiful about this time of day is the fact that it falls within the “Golden Hours,” times when the angle of the sun brings out shadows and deeper colors that are great for art and photography. They represent other aspects of appreciating the heavens.
Note that many of these were taken before I got serious about photography. Still, enjoy.