High-tech, Low-tech, planetary observations.

By Marcus Wilson 01/07/2015


First the low-tech:  The conjunction of Venus (the brighter one) and Jupiter as recorded by my very lousy cellphone camera  just after sunset yesterday. 

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Now the high-tech: A day before that Pluto occulted a star. It moved in front of the star, rather like an eclipse. The significance of the event was that it allowed Pluto's atmosphere to be studied – by looking at the way the light moved through and around the atmosphere, various properties of the atmosphere can be inferred. The SOFIA project was in action, capturing the event, at the other end of the cost spectrum to my mobile phone. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hXIeecp8oU&feature=youtu.be

There'll be more Pluto excitement coming as the New Horizons probe flies closeby in just a couple of weeks.  

 

P.S. I should add in the conversation I had with my son (just turned 3) yesterday, after showing him the planets outside. 

Benjamin: "I don't like planets"

Me: "Why not?"

Benjamin: "Because they're quite noisy"

Me: "How are they noisy?"

Benjamin: "Because Grandad says they're quite loud, actually."

Umm…. Work that one out!