Nerdettes weblog

Just another view of/by

Moon & Envisat spotted in the skies above.

Tonight I tried another set of pictures – with the telescope as well as without from the ESA satellite/zombie Envisat.

The moon almost didn’t fit into one single shot. Yesterday it was much easier to fetch the moon as less than 50% was lit.

And today the former ESA satellite Envisat also came by. Not, as predicted by some apps exactly between bright Moon and Jupiter, but as I found out later, it flew exactly over the moon. That made it pretty invisible as the moon is very bright while being almost 75% illuminated (10 days after new moon).

Due to the 30 second exposures, I had one image which captured a plane flying over

During the photoshoot, I looked up where Envisat currently could be, as I thought I had missed it. The app Satellite AR (Augmented Reality) showed me Envisat being right above me. I looked up and right above me I could see Envisat as an orange dot. Then it all of a sudden even flashed bright orange, so I assume Envisat is rotating/spinning.

When I then looked at the pictures afterwards, I then traced back this similar orange dot. It followed exactly the track that was predicted, it’s also in the direction where I saw it and it had the same color. Could it be Envisat?

Here is Envisat in better times, during it’s integration at ESTEC, the Netherlands, almost 16 years ago.

Source: UniverseToday
And, because there’s magic in space: A picture of the offline Envisat, taken by another earth orbiting satellite, Pleiades.

First moonshot from closeby

Having tried to take pictures from the moon in the past, I now got a real telescope to try with. And it is really not as easy as I thought. Finding the moon was already quite some work. And when you think you finally got the moon in sight and walk for a few minutes away in a lighter area to check and prepare you camera, it’s gone again
The tripod also needs to be standing perfectly balanced, which is quite a struggle when instead of a light camera all of a sudden a big lump with a weight at the back (camera) is put in place.
And last but not least: focus! The sky needs to be very clear, the moon high to get the better results. And a remote control, because the tripod and camera will move once you touch it.

The camera settings were however quite easy to find, a quick preview shows you it’s either too dark or too bright.

So here’s the first one and I hope many more will come. It can only get better!

Don’t forget the lucky peanuts.

AKA: Letter from NASA to ESA Rosetta’s for it’s wake up from hibernation.


The tradition of the peanuts for JPL missions goes way back to the 1960s with the very first missions we sent to the moon. We had seven mission attempts to go to the moon before we succeeded, and on that seventh one, they had passed out peanuts in the control room. Ranger 7, which in July 1964 became the first U.S. space proble to succesfully transmit close images of the moon’s surface back to the Earth, made the peanuts into a tradition at JPL. So ever since then, it has been a long standing tradition to hand out peanuts whenever we launch and whenever we do anything important like land on a planet. We use all the luck we can get!
For MSL, we put a label on the jar that says “dare mighty things”. That phrase was taken from Theodore Roosevelt’s quote, “far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even when though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the grey twilight that knows either victory nor defeat.”

24 hours in the life of a flight animal, caged in a box.

Snoozing. My neighbour at the right stands up and shakes the dust off. Standing around. Short greeting, nose to nose through the metal bars. Walking around in a circle. Standing around. My neighbour at the left is still sleeping on his side. Standing around. It’s dark. Walking around in a circle. Standing around. She slowly wakes up and snorts loudly. Standing around. Listening.

Standing around. Hoofscratching. The light is now switched on. Standing around. Listening. The oat has been eaten already. Standing around. Disturbances in the stable. Walking around in a circle. The window built so high that I can only see the sky. At least they’ve cleaned it last week. Before that I was unable to see through. Standing around. We’re waiting for the hay. Hoofscratching. But first the manure has to be cleaned. Standing around. Boxdoor open, the stableperson pushes me to the side. Manure is removed, box door closed. Three steps forward, three sideways, shortly threatening the neighbour. Standing around. Waiting. Hoofscratching. Kicking the door, again threatening the neighbour. Standing around. Boxdoor opens, hay gets thrown in, boxdoor closed. Eating.

Standing around. They hay is gone. Standing around. Straw falls from above. It’s dusty. The stableperson has thrown straw into the box of my neighbour at the right. Coughreflex. Standing around. Outside the sky is clear, it’s probably very cold. Standing around. Inside it’s warm, and I am wearing a blanket. Standing around. Recently they’ve shaved off my fur. Standing around. The stableperson cleans the stable. It’s dusty. Standing around. My opposite neighbour still rocks from one leg towards the other. Standing around. Walking around in a circle. Standing around. Listening. Snoozing.

Standing around. Shaking my head. Kicking the box door. The owner of my left neighbour has arrived and taken her out. Standing around. My right neighbour nibbles some straws. Standing around. I’m standing on peat and don’t get straw. My stomach hurts. Walking around in a circle, neighing at my departing neighbour, she doesn’t answer. Standing around. Listening. There are more pople in the stable, walking by with their horses. Walking up and down. Standing around. Awaiting the next meal. Unrest. Hoofscraping. Neighing again.

Standing around. There was oat and again a bit of hay. All gone. Standing around. The stableperson cleaned the stable again. It was dusty. The neighbour is already back. When she came back she rolled in her box, but then her feet hit the side everytime. It happened to me once that I almost got stuck. Since then I don’t roll in my box anymore. Standing around. Short greeting through the metal bars. Standing around. There are no people anymore in the stable. Standing around. Snoozing.

Standing around. Awaiting my owner. Turn around. Standing around. Listening. More and more people arrive. Standing around. Again horses are walked by. Turn around. Standing around. The metal bars block my vision. Standing around. I won’t be going to the field anymore. Standing around. Outside the sky turned cloudy. Standing around. Dogs walk around in the stable. Two play with eachother. Standing around. Walking around in a circle. Standing around.

Standing around. My owner still hasn’t arrived. Standing around. Listening. My neighbour to my right is now taken out. Neighing. Standing around.
Short sniffing with the other neighbour. Turn around. Playing around with the water in the trough. Standing around. Soon there should be a meal again. Unrest. Turning. Hoofscraping. Standing around. Listening.

Food. My owner was there, she cleaned me and rode me in the hall. It was dusty and I had to cough. Therefor I could see other horses without metal bars in between. I could greet and sniff two. For the rest I had to run in a circle. I didn’t exactly understand what she wanted from me, it made her impatient. When she doesn’t sit on me, she’s nicer, scratches me, talks with me and always has something nice to eat. The running around was tiresome, my short fur was completely wet. She put me under a machine which was really hot and I dried quickly. Standing around. The stable cats joined me. When I came back oat and hay had arrived. Threatening the neighbour. Eating.

Standing around. Shaking my head. There are still people in the stable but less. Standing around. All food is gone. Stepping around a bit. Standing around. Sniffing the neighbour through the metal bars. A person walks by and gives a carrot to everyone. Standing around. Snoozing.

Snoozing. It is dark. A few horses nibble their straw. My stomach hurts. Standing around. Some have laid down. Turning around. Standing. Snoozing.

Snoozing. A few rats run over the metal bars. Standing around. Rustling of straw. Snoozing.

Laid down. Sleeping. Snoozing. The air doesn’t smell very well here on the floor. Snoozing. Sleeping.

My stomach hurts. Standing around. Listening. Turn around. Standing around