Our view from Iowa this morning toward the pre-dawn sky was clear. High in the dark sky was Venus. Planets Mercury and Mars were supposed to be about halfway down toward the horizon. I have looked for them the past few mornings with no success. Either I was late to look and the sky was too bright, or some clouds were in the way. This morning I looked earlier at 5:55am and the sky was very transparent. Success!
Reg is the star Regulus in the constellation Leo. It photo-bombed the scene next to Mercury.
The view this morning actually included four planets if you count the Earth beneath my feet.
Regulus is one of the brighter stars regularly (ha) used in celestial navigation, Jim. Your posting prompted me to wonder about technology for doing that. Sure enough, there’s an app for that (several, actually.) iMariner Celestial Navigation ($32.99) is a stand-alone app independent of the internet which contains all the cumbersome tables and nautical almanac data needed to get fixes with a sextant. The manual process was fraught with chances for error and an entire speciality (quartermaster) was used in the Navy to make it reliable. Almanacs had to be updated and printed regularly and every ship carried a set of spherical trig tables to go with it. This is impressive and useful technology!
That sounds like a very useful app. Navigating a ship or boat on the open sea is quite a skill. I know the basics and could determine my location ±big errors. 🙂 It makes me think of the Robert Redford movie All Is Lost. Did you ever see it?
No, I haven’t. It does sound interesting. Thanks. It is available on Amazon Prime, to which we belong. I’ll see if Mollie will go for it. (It’s Redford, not Newman, btw. : )
Thanks for the btw…fixed it. 🙂
One of my greatest pleasures was seeing four planets and the moon in alignment. We could see with the naked eye but also had a high powered telescope! 😁Some things just stay with you forever.
Yes they do! I understand the feeling completely. Thank you.
Nice photo. Speaking of the moon, you might enjoy the second entry here — using moonlight to generate an image similar to daytime visible. Amazing.
Yes, I did like that. It helps that it was nearly a full moon. That gives me an idea to try using the moon as my light source.