When I just getting my Science Geek on in Elementary school, I became interested in Space. It could have been the fact that I insisted on being called Luke for quite a while after Star Wars came out or that I wanted to become an astronaut (still do). The Christmas of 1985 (i’m pretty sure), my love of all things extraterrestial and Christmas came together as I got a telescope for Christmas. It’s a Jason brand Reflector telescope and I have it in my workshop… somewhere. One of the accessories that you could purchase was a camera adaptor, such that you could take pictures of what you saw in the telescope. And with that telescope and even in the light polluted sky of Petersburg, I was able to see Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. I could also see the surface of the moon with some clarity. I made out the 4 large moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn were also at a great angle. Once I was in college, the telescope was put away and my attention was diverted by things like classes, beer, women, more beer and more women. I did stay in the science field as my bachelors degree is in Physics with a Mathematics minor… damn, my “cool” factor just went down 10 points.
Now, I have tried to take pictures with my Canon AV-1 (35mm), since it has a larger lens. I tried to take a picture of Mars when it was closest to the Earth a few years back, but I just was not able to get a good, focused shot of it.
This morning, when leaving to take The Elder to school and me to work, the moon looked awesome on the predawn sky and I noticed a planet hanging out directly above it. STELLLLLLAAAAA!!!! I went and grabbed my camera and took a few shots.
You notice the crescent moon in the tree limbs, if you look directly above the moon, you a dot. This is the planet Venus. You can click on the picture to see the picture in large format. You can scroll around to see the Moon and Venus. This would be my first clear astrophotograph. Now, I don’t think that I’ll be on APOD anytime soon, but you never know (and Knowing is Half the Battle)