After 5 nights of rain and clouds we finally had a clear day, but it yielded quickly to an approaching front. When I set up the 12.5 inch Dob, it was clear. By early evening the sky presented incoming bands of cirro-status. The holes had haze and the more solid areas were blanking Sirius and Saturn. But the optics were cooled so I danced through some holes for a bit. Who can resist a sketch when the sight is pretty--even with the effects of the atmosphere?
55 Deg F; 60% humidity; 50% cloud cover
12.5 inch Dob with an EQ platform; optics only
Pencil and pastels on black Artagain sketch paper
Saturn:178X with a Radian; a beautiful yellowed silhouette
Sirius: 65X with a Panoptic; dancing and flickering with the high level moisture and the clouds
Orion's core: 65X with a Panoptic; ghostly white with softened edges
It is not a coincidence that Psalm 104 and Psalm 146/147 have similar and parallel themes: praise to God for his majesty; His greatness proclaimed because he created the heavens; and His greatness because he created the earth's characteristics--especially those affected by the water cycle. This is a fascinating juxtaposition of themes because the latter two represent common observing conditions and objectives: moisture in the atmosphere and seeing through it in order to see the heavens. While moisture is often viewed as a problem, thank God for a thin band of life that is permitted because the water cycle is essential to life and finely tuned to permit us to observe both life within it and the heavens above--through a nearly transparent window. All of it speaks of God's majesty--the opening theme for both sections of Psalms. In contrast to the popular view that the universe is a great cosmic experiment that self-created complexity and runs by chance, it is truly a pointer to the Creator and Sustainer of life.