Adventure in Learning

Juniper (Hubble Telescope), NASA photo (source NYT, 11/23/21)

Tuesday, November 23, 2021 (December’s fullest moon [“Cold Moon”] rises on the 18th.)

Monthly, I post photos of full moons that my friend Susie and I watched rise and captured. Some of our photographs showing very clear, colorful, and bright moons, make me wonder if the wide sky could offer anything prettier.

An intrepid sky-watcher, Susie brings binoculars to our moon chases and searches for visible planets. She tells me where to look while handing over her binocs. I’ve felt interested, but now am surprised at being very caught up by these NASA photos. Of suddenly more beautiful old friends.

Through Susie’s binoculars, I’ve seen Juniper’s rings. But Hubble’s stunning new image, in today’s NYT, is “a close-up look at the candy-colored ribbons of clouds and storms on the face of the solar system’s largest planet.”

One looking closely sees atop Juniper a dark center. NYT says it reveals that “a mysterious six-sided hurricane has reappeared around the planet’s north pole. The storm, big enough to swallow four Earths, was first spotted by the Voyager spacecraft in the early 1980s. Last year it was hard to see but this year it has reappeared.”

Gorgeous sky-element photos have this almost total neophyte trying to re-imagine sky-space. Long grounded and happily satisfied with sightings of our shifting beautiful Moon, I’m surprised by wanting to see more sky elements and understand better their workings.

The Hubble Space Telescope is 30 years old. Like humans who manage to outlive “one’s best life”, it continues to serve. A new scope will launch in December, the James Webb Space Telescope. Nearly 3x bigger than Hubble, it’s capable of “seeing through” planet clouds and hazes, to find and map heat radiation, and send new information about the workings of Earth’s planets.

A link to today’s NYT article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/23/science/hubble-telescope-jupiter-saturn-uranus-neptune.html

Dear Friends: Unexpectedly recognizing an interest, and wanting to know more. Diana

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