Monday, December 2, 2013

Jewels of November Night Sky

According to several astronomy websites, November's sky is bejewelled with amazing celestial shows. It showcases an ever-changing display of  objects like stars and constellations, visible planets, moon phases and the highlighted attractions, which are the Leonid meteor shower and the comet ISON, though this comet will keep its course until December 26 when it gets closest to earth.

Many of these events would take place in broad daylight and the wee hours of the morning. I have missed all of these since I don't see anything with naked eye in daylight and I'm not an early bird.

At night, though, I'd love to go sky-watching in our backyard despite the piercing winter frost. But I can't stay out long, just enough to make out the outlines of the prominent constellations, identify some bright planets and take a few photos.

I've missed the Leonid peaks but I caught sight of the remnants of its shower a few days later while traveling in the night. I could not see the comet ISON with my naked eye when it was supposed to be close to Orion. But I'm counting on seeing it this December.

Despite all these misses, I did see other jaw-dropping (for me, that is) late night sky objects. Click on the photos for enlarged viewing.

*** the planet Jupiter shining brightly beside Castor and Pollux. The clouds parted to reveal the trio.

*** Orion ascending

*** winter halo around the moon

*** juxtaposition of the moon, Jupiter, Orion and Gemini

*** moon ring (sorry, the glaring moon conceals its own face)

*** phases of the moon

*** Auriga constellation

*** waning crescent in the morning

*** vertical translucent pillar of tangerine light at sunset, which is actually a common sight here

*** morning sky in pastel glow

These are the only images that I was able to capture out of all those jewels in the sky. There were more up there, but this is not about photography, right? It's about seeing the marvels that the sky holds, witnessing the million-year old lights from distant stars, soaking oneself in the endless flow of dynamic energy, and being at one with the elements of the universe.

During those nights of sky-watching, my extra-terrestrial alter ego shot out to space and did a star-hopping to hobnob with her fellow spatial creatures. She came back to earth bearing the memories of her brief interstellar holiday. 

And my spirits soared in bliss. And I was replenished once more ... to live on ... with a heart full of joy, appreciation and gratitude for all the endless blessings, whether great or simple, from the Almighty Maker of such celestial jewels and all other good things.

"When I see your heavens, the works of your fingers,
The moon and the stars that you have prepared,
What is mortal man that you keep him in mind,
And the son of earthling man that you take care of him?"
- Psalm 8:3,4

And yet...

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life."
- John 3:16