This is last night’s occultation of Mars by the moon. This was the best picture I got, taken two minutes after Mars came out from behind the moon. I added the gray circle to show where the disk of the moon would be if you could see it.

I had a better picture in mind for you, but I was sadly defeated by a big ol’ fog bank that covered the entire sky within 50 miles of my house. I went home with my tail between my legs, but by 4:29 am, when the occultation ended, there was a break in the clouds and I could see the moon from my backyard. There was still a slight haze, but both moon and Mars ended up tolerably sharp anyway.

Note that this is a composite photo. The moon required a very different exposure than Mars, so I took two identical pictures with different exposures and then stitched them together.

February 18, 2020 — Irvine, California

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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