“Blood moon” lunar eclipse as seen from Madison, WI

Photos of the blood moon eclipse of April 15th 2014, taken at 3:00 am using a Canon G5:

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No tripod, unfortunately. But well worth the interrupt in sleep. The window in the cloud cover was perfect! Magnificent!

UPDATE – great writeup from EarthSky on why Mars was so close to the moon, and a nice illustration from Classical Astronomy page on Facebook that matches the picture – the blue star to the lower right is Spica and Mars is the bright red spot on the upper right.

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NASA rover in the Inaugural parade

This was a cool moment in tonight’s (ongoing) coverage of the Inauguration festivities:

That’s the prototype of NASA’s new electric moon rover under development. It’s not actually due to be launched to the moon for another 12 years and the design might change and we might not even go to the moon if the economy doesn’t get better – but assuming we do, as a nation, avoid some sort of Shoe Event Horizon scenario, then something like this might end up on the moon someday.

Obama’s face was shining when the rover came along. I can’t blame him. It’s the coolest thing in the parade by far.

amazing earthset/earthrise videos

Kaguya mission logoThe Japanese spacecraft Kaguya, on a mission to the moon in what is described as the most significant moon exploration since Apollo, has delivered incredible HDTV-quality videos of the Earth rising and setting over the lunar horizon. These are unbelievable, like special effects in some movie, but they are real.

Earthrise from the moon

Earthset from the moon

The (english-language) homepage for the Kaguya mission is here. Kaguya is named for a princess in the Japanese folk tale, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter.