Unless the sky is quite overcast, winter night or evening skies become a showcase of lights in various forms. You'd surely find me standing in our backyard or somewhere in our neighborhood when our back porch is buried deep in the snow, mostly accompanied by my camera mounted on a tripod. My head is untiringly bent toward the sky, my eyes scanning the space visible from my vantage point.
There's always something of interests during those nights. Sometimes when I expected to see some predicted sky events which didn't turn up, another phenomena would show up instead. Even when there are no spectacular shows for skywatchers on some nights, there are always those twinkling lights of the constellations. Looking at those stellar lights is actually looking billions of years into the past. Isn't that amazing?
Here are some of my sightings during January and February evenings/nights:
(NOTE: I captured all of these with my simple compact camera with 24x zoom. You may click on the pictures for larger viewing)
the AURORA BOREALIS
the ORION and TAURUS constellations
the MOON and STARS amongst the diaphanous CLOUDS
a composite of constellations - ORION, TAURUS, PLEIADES, GEMINI, etc.
the waxing CRESCENT MOON captured two nights after the so-called Black Moon of February 18
and the CONJUNCTION of the CRESCENT MOON, VENUS and MARS
I, the incurable skywatcher, backyard astronomer and "space explorer", stand in awe as I gaze at these sparkling lights that adorn the winter night skies....
....And I muse on their significance.
"He made the great lights,
For his loyal love endures forever.
The moon and the stars to rule over the night,
For his loyal love endures forever."
- Psalm 136:7,9
"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
True, we're just diminutive beings compared to all these colossal celestial lights, yet our Creator's love for us is much more surpassing than all of these. By putting all these things in the sky, he demonstrates his power, which is an assurance that he will fulfill his grand purpose for mankind, such as the one described here: A Peaceful New World—Will It Come? Surely, he keeps us in mind and takes care of us!