Readers’ wildlife photos (and video)

I just got an email from reader Rick Longworth about Chicago and Mars. His notes:

I thought of you, Jerry, while flying over your amazing city.
Flying from Houston, TX to Grand Rapids, MI, we overflew Chicago and saw the Red Planet in the eastern sky.  Of all the millions of people down there, how many noticed Mars at close approach?  For anyone who hasn’t seen it check it out sometime this month before it fades back into a pinprick.
Video (13 seconds):

Still photo:
Video (13 sec):


  1. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 17, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Damn, I remember the last time Mars was on close approach. Took my younger son to the Planetarium to see it through a big telescope. He was young enough, I bought him a gyroscope at the gift shop, let him play with it on the table of the pizza joint we went to for a slice after. Now he’s a grown-ass man.

    Think I’ll blame Mars for the aging process.

    • Christopher
      Posted August 17, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      I know the feeling. My son turns 21 in 6 weeks or so, he’s about 4 inches taller than me and his biceps are about three times the size of mine. Who the hell is this giant I used to carry around on my back? Then I start getting sad, thinking of all the things I should have done with him…it all goes so fast! That’s the truest thing older people have ever told me. And Mars just keeps on spinning past.

  2. Posted August 17, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Yes! I was astonished to see Mars, so big and bright and red when I took the trash out last night! I don’t often look up at night and it was quite impressive.

  3. Christopher
    Posted August 17, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Due to welcomed but poorly timed clouds and rain I missed the recent peak of the Persied meteor shower. Doubt most people, especially city dwellers took any notice of that either.

  4. J Cook
    Posted August 17, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Mars has been amazing for the last several weeks in the eastern sky from my vantage atop the Mayacamas Hills. A (birders)spotting scope is useful.

  5. yazikus
    Posted August 17, 2018 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Very neat! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Posted August 17, 2018 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    How lovely!

    From our balcony, we’ve been enjoying Mars in the southern sky since July, and it’s been wondrous to behold, though not so great these days with much cloud cover and Mars’s increasing distance from earth. Also dismal has been the Perseid meteor spotting.

    It’s also been fun trying to locate these other planets and stars without the benefit of a telescope:

    • rickflick
      Posted August 17, 2018 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      I saw Saturn a few weeks ago when it was about 10 degrees from the full moon. It was exceptionally bright and when I squinted a bit through my 80 power spotting scope I imagined I could see the rings.

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