Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Christmas 2012 Moon-Jupiter Conjunction

I blogged a couple of days ago about the Christmas Conjunction of Jupiter and the Moon. I even suggested today would be a good time to try for Jupiter during the day.
Unfortunately, in Tucson it was cloudy most of the day, especially later in the afternoon when the Moon and Jupiter would have been positioned for a daytime attempt. Early in the evening, the clouds were very thick and you could barely see where the Moon was in the sky behind the clouds with no sign of Jupiter.
After watching the Doctor Who Christmas special, I went outside just to check and see if there was any chance of seeing anything. Much to my pleasant surprise, there were Jupiter and the Moon surrounded by a 22 degree Moon halo! Needless to say that necessitated grabbing a camera and a couple of my wider angle lenses (since the radius of the halo is 22 degrees, that means I need a a lens with at least a 44 degree field of view to see the whole thing...fortunately, I have a couple that will do the trick). So here are the pics.
IMG_7325IMG_7319Very nice treat on Christmas night. Just goes to show you never know when the sky will give you a little break.

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.


BL Basketcase said...

In the past month I saw halos around the moon 2 different times. I have never witnessed that phenomena before. Very wonderful picture!

kkdither said...

Great capture, hale! Very pretty. Some would say a Christmas miracle. (sorry, had to)

hale-bopp said...

Well, I would say it's a Newtonmas Miracle because of a. my leanings and b. Issac Newton did early experiments with prisms and optics which eventually led to our understanding of how optical phenomena such as Moon halos form :-)