Monday, November 1, 2021

Backyard Towhee, Mercury at Sunrise + Nov 7th Comet???


On Halloween, I had been in my back yard and I heard an Eastern Towhee nearby. I went for a walk along the hedgerow - which was not noteworthy, but eventually the Towhee stopped by and perched for a while. Another sparrow species in October!

On the previous weekend, I had photographed a few more Orange crowned Warblers, as well as a nice Lincoln's Sparrow with a Song Sparrow. 

It has been cloudy and rainy for the last two weeks, so I was amazed to see a clear sky this morning as I prepared for work. I had checked my "Stellarium App" and noted that Mercury was just above the sunset. Its took a moment or two, but yes, It was slighly visible with binoculars. My cell phone camera was able to pick it up as well. I then took a few photos with my telephoto lens. A neat thing about Mercury is that since it closely orbits the sun, you can only observe it right before sunset or right before sunrise and certain times of the year. Venus has that property as well, but its much brighter to see and is present for longer times at sunrise and sunset. 

This was another stunning sunrise recently:

Here are some closeups of Mercury:

Good Birding and Good Astronomizing!


PS: TWO Comets will be visible before the end of the year:

1-Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (Brightest on Nov 7th, Closest on Nov 11th)

2-Comet Leonard ("The Christmas Comet") - More details in December.

For Comet 67P/CG --- It will be brightest on Nov7th, and it will be close to "Pollux" of constellation Gemini. Look for the "twins" above the Eastern Horizon at around midnight on Nov 7th with binoculars, scopes etc. I will be trying to use astrophotography skills to capture it myself. Hoping for clear skies that night. 

Consider viewing this video below for more Nov 2021 astronomy highlights. 


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