Thursday, September 23, 2010

Full Harvest Moon, Jupiter, Atumnal Equinox...

Jupiter -  Picture from Sky & Telescope

For a no-fuss observation of the night sky, check out Jupiter for the next few months.  From September through January 2011, Jupiter is higher in the night sky than it has been in awhile and she is more visible to us in the Northern Hemisphere.  If you have a telescope or a really good pair of binoculars, you can see Jupiter's Galilean moons on any clear night.  Just a couple nights ago, Hubs heard the weatherman say that Jupiter's moons would be very visible and so we sauntered outdoors to take a look.  It was a crisp, clear night and the viewing was excellent!  We saw them -- Jupiter like a bright gem surrounded by tiny diamonds strung on an invisible bracelet.  We used our Leupold field glasses (10x42/Field 5.0 degrees).  I had to rest my elbows on the side of the truck box to keep steady enough to see it all clearly.  The night we looked, we could see two moons on either side of the planet.  They rotate quickly around Jupiter so it can look a little differently at different times.  It really is a thrill.  From the Sky & Telescope's This Week's Sky at a Glance, you should also be able to see Jupiter's Great Red Spot with a telescope at various times.  I'm not sure our binocs will be able to focus in on it, but we will give it a try.  At the moment, we have cloudy skies and so the Full Harvest Moon will not be visible tonight unless it clears off.  Don't miss it.

Celebrate the First Day of Autumn with me! 
Take a few moments to look around you and notice the changes in the season:

Golden Cottonwood leaves
Dry grasses in full seed
Purple and white asters
Hanging heads of sunflowers, full of seeds
Do you see the goldfinches nibbling the sunflower seeds too?
Large flocks of blackbirds flying together in waves
The smell of fresh-turned soil while digging potatoes
Early sunsets
Full Harvest Moon
Crickets chirping
Wasps are out on warm afternoons
Northern Flicker calls
The smell of a wood fire burning
Spider webs
Red Rosehips
Ripening Apples

What changes are happening where you live?


  1. Well, I have notices the fire flies are long gone and the spiders are appearing...I hate spiders!!! We are finally feeling a breeze after all summer long it was so hot and so still. There are leaves changing and our pond water is a little more cool and green!
    The corn is being harvested early and the beans are awaiting. Today there are leaving blowing through the breeze. This might be my all time favorite site of all.
    Enjoy your day. Dianntha

  2. Autumn changes: Spiders, billions of lizards, butterflies and dragon flies, the hooting of owls at night, cooler mornings and evenings. Unfortunately, no leaf-changing---I wish, oh I wish!

  3. Isn't the moon beautiful? It kept watchful eye on us last night as we drove home from a visit with the in-laws. For years I've thought about getting TheManoftheHouse a telescope, but I'm afraid of choosing something that he doesn't like. But I want to surprise him. It's such a dilemma! Thanks for the Jupiter tip -- I'll be sure and tell him.

  4. Cutting back overgrown flower beds and watching hubby mow the leaves so that we don't have to rake them. The grape harvest has started already; the farmers are halfway through. It's an early year for all the harvests. I wonder if this means winter will come soon as well.

  5. What a beautiful post. Last night, I think I was too tired to notice the moon. Sad. Bill said the moonlight was sweet early this morning, before I got up. I'm looking forward to noticing fall this weekend. I am missing it a bit, being inside all day. I'm going to think about Jupiter. Thank you for sharing in your loving and true way, Jody.

  6. Sniff, sniff, it has been foggy here and we could not see the moon. Wish I was at your house xoxo Clarice

  7. That was fun to read Jody and I've compared your list with mine.
    Dry grasses in full seed amd many berries this year in the hedgerows:black byrony,Dog rose,last of the blackberries, The sweet chestnut and the acorns are also beginning to brown.
    Large flocks of blackbirds flying together in waves is quite specatacular to see in the Peak district but not aroung the Midlands :(
    Early sunsets, with such beautiful colours streaking across the sky.
    Full Harvest Moon, well it's probably there but the cloud cover is being persistent here:(
    Crickets chirping is unfortunately only a distant memory of Africa for me as we never here them in England.
    Wasps are out on warm afternoons: well I'm glad to say they are beginning to fade out here as they are a real nuisance with nesting in my roof!
    Northern Flicker calls was not a bird I was familiar with Jody. Thank you for sharing it is a beautiful looking bird.
    The smell of a wood fire burning - not yet in the house
    Spider webs - oh they love my old house with it's beams;)
    Red Rosehips
    Ripening Apples - and such a waste here as they fall to the ground and no one , except me who picks them up.
    enjoy your fall. x

  8. I love your list of changes that you see as Fall arrives! Except for the wasps bit. I can do without that part. :-)
    Fall is one of my favorite seasons! (well, OK, I admit, I love all the 4 seasons, for different reasons!)

  9. Oh, thanks for the sky watching tip! I love night skies but seldom remember to watch for these things.
    Happy autumn to you!

  10. We have had a harvest moon these past few days; if you're out at the right time of night, it appears huge and orange. It's rather breathtaking.

    Fall is slow to arrive this year, but finally we're getting some rain. The leaves are falling from the trees, but that's because they've been baked off by high temps. I'm ready for cold!



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