Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Blue Moon for New Year's Eve 2009 (maybe)

This post should really be described as 3 views from my back deck.

For the first time in almost twenty years, there's going to be a Blue Moon on New Year's Eve. (DJW Edit: *** According to an interview I heard on ABC Radio this morning, with a spokesman for Brisbane Observatory, he said it depends on which latitude you live in. According to him, in Australia, or east coast Australia, the New Moon kicks in fully on the 1st of January. In that case, we will get a Blue Moon at the end of January, then no full moon in February at all (which is a bit unusual) then we get a second Blue Moon at the end of March. For most international readers of this post, the information stands correct as published.

Don't expect the Moon to actually turn blue, though. The phrase 'Blue Moon' has been mythologised by folklore. It is simply the second full Moon in a calendar month.
Reference: NASA

This was taken at 9:29 pm, 30 December 2009
looking north, from my back deck.
For those of you who appreciate my variable "skyline" images - ranging from foggy views of 50 metres or so, to full zoomed images of the distant Budawangs and Sassafras Mountain, some 70 Kms distant, this is how the evening sky looked, at twilight, at 8:55 PM. Looking due south from the back deck. The far southern rim of the Shoalhaven Valley is in the very far distance - approximately 60 Kms distant. The tall trees are on the next hill, at the Robertson Cemetery - 900 metres away. The High Tension Powerline pylon is about 500 metres away, in the next paddock.
And this next image is for those of you troubled by urban lighting problems - Neon Lights flashing across the street, or a really bright floodlit building next door.

These are the only two house lights I can see from my back deck. To the left one can see one farm-house approximately 5 Kms away (with a small second light in a shed or other "outbuilding").

This was taken at 9:33PM, looking due south from the back deck.
Click to enlarge the image.
To the right is a modern house approximately 5 Kms away, beyond Belmore Falls, with lights which are far too bright for sensible rural requirements.

This is typical of former city dwellers who have moved to the country - and have not adjusted their lighting requirements to sensible standards. These are lights designed as a "status symbol". You get a lot of that in the country, with the city folks who have not yet understood the true function of house lighting - which is to provide illumination for purposes of being able to see your way around your own house at night (not to impress passers-by). On the Belmore Falls Road there are few, if any "passers-by" at night. Who are they trying to impress?

Clearly they have not done an "energy audit" of their domestic lighting requirements.

Global warming? What's that?

Happy New Year to all my loyal readers.


mick said...

Beautiful skyline - and I do like the lack of light pollution!

Gaye from the Hunter said...

Hello Denis,

your full-moon shot is spectacular! And I always enjoy your skyline pictures - they always evoke a sense of space.

Wishing you peace and good health for the new year.


Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick and Gaye.
I was pleased with the moon shot. Thank Heavens for Digital. I took quite a number of shots before I got the aperture and timing right to allow me to see the details of the moon.
For those of a technical bent, it was 1/320th of a Second at F 5.6 aperture.
More open than that, and the moon was overly bright, and no detail visible. Auto settings did not work for me. I had to close down the auto settings, and go fully manual.
As I said, thank heavens for the instant review capability of digital.
I like the late afternoon sky - especially when I can see the far horizon. Soft and gentle light is great. Sometimes spectacular sunsets too.
At least I am not crowded in. Even though I only own two hundred metres of my view, I have a great "borrowed landscape" as the garden designers call it.
There is a baby "Hoop Pine" planted in line with the Power Pylon. In some 20 years, (if I am still here) the Pylon will be hidden - maybe.
I am nothing if not an optimist!!!


mdeals said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Poseidon said...

very calm feeling fro seeing your photos