Sunday, March 18, 2012

My Tryst with the Luminaries

Astronomy is one of my unwavering interests. I've always considered myself as a frustrated astronomer, and yet, I am still an astronomer, a backyard astronomer. I only use my naked eyes, a not-so-powerful pair of binoculars and a simple camera. And these are enough for me to contribute to my deep-seated joy.

My head is always bent skyward. From the start of my day to the depth of the night, my eyes keep searching for something in the sky, mostly unusual ones. I keep track of the popular meteor showers. My heart sings every time I see the prominent constellations on a clear night. When I read about some incoming celestial events, I'm one of those who eagely look forward to them. Most times, bad weather would interfere and I'd miss such events. At times, the weather may be perfect for viewing, but such phenomena would turn out to be not visible in this corner of the planet. Even then, other interesting luminaries unexpectedly show up in lieu of the ones I'm supposed to have a rendezvous with. Even if I miss them, my spirits still soar in blissful heights as I gaze at the others.

One time, I was waiting for a meteor shower which was supposed to "spray" hundreds of meteors in the night sky that time. I was a bit disappointed to see only two or three tiny shooting stars that zipped in a jiffy. As if knowing my disappointment, one of my favorite constellations, Orion, instantly loomed radiantly before my eyes. What a treat! With my camera mounted on a tripod, I took this 15 seconds exposure.


In the course of a year, I usually spend ecstatic moments with celestial objects through my naked eyes. Here are some of them.

Haloed sun over our city


The sun during the geomagnetic storm


The waxing moon

Up close....


Planetary alignment of Venus, Jupiter and the moon


Moon and Venus




Near convergence of the moon, Venus and Jupiter


The different faces of the moon and some constellation


These are just a few of my astronomical friends who are always up there to comfort and inspire me. They are there when human friends may not be available, especially in moments of gloom.

They are God's way of showing that He keeps watching over us because He loves us and cares deeply about us;  his way of saying, "Don't be afraid, for I'm always here by your side."

"Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not gaze about, for I am your God. I will fortify you. I will really help you. I will really keep fast hold of you with my right hand of righteousness."
- Isaiah 41:10