Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Moonlight & Snow

Halo round the moon as the clouds thicken

A gloriously bright moon with a bright Jupiter close by lured me outside on this calm frosty night. Twenty minutes before midnight and the temperatures was -3C and the sky mostly unclouded, though thick bands covered the hilltops. The moon, one day after full, was sharp and clear and Jupiter was equally brilliant. There were few stars visible anywhere in the sky such was the brightness of the moon. A light covering of fresh snow reflected the moonlight and there was no need of a torch. This was just intended to be a quick venture to see the moon and Jupiter in conjunction so I was soon back indoors. The beauty of the night distracted me though and I quickly realised I needed to see it again, more suitably clad this time.

The moon and Jupiter in conjunction, February 24.

By the time I was back outside thin clouds were starting to drift across the sky, softening the moonlight and at times obscuring Jupiter. A colourful halo appeared around the moon. Away from its light more stars appeared with Orion just starting to sink below the horizon. I stood and gazed and gazed.

Away from the moon, a few stars

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