I hadn’t been keeping up too intensely on matters astronomical the past month or so, so late last week when I went for a night run and saw an unusually bright “star” in an odd location, I assumed it was Venus.

It was intensely bright and yellowish-hued – I could barely help seeing it even during my run. As soon as I got home, I quickly got out my Sony DSC W1 and a tripod and snapped a couple of pix. None turned out too well, but I was happy to capture the sight.

And, of course, when I checked up on it, I realized that Mars is now very, very close to Earth and hence very visible. Without further ado, the ‘god’ of war:

mars in the night sky

And here’s another, with some post-processing to make it ugly. I was trying to capture the trees in the foreground as I shot east and up towards the top of Glen Mountain. But they were so dark I had to resort to some extreme Photoshop tricks to bring them out … hence the massive amount of noise in the shot. There are probably ways to reduce that noise selectively, but I’m neither a Photoshop expert nor in possession of vast amounts of unencumbered time …

mars silouetted by trees

Ummm … Mars is the bright speck near the trees …