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Clouds and CameleopardalidsWell, sadly I have to report that the much anticipated (and over-hyped, apparently) meteor “storm” of 2014 was a giant fizzle, or more accurately a little drizzle! After driving first to my observatory, and then out to Joshua Tree National Park in an effort to dodge clouds (mostly successful), we saw just a handful of meteors. A few seen were decently bright, but nothing that was blinding or casting shadows, unfortunately. Here are the results, posted on my web page:

http://www.astrocamera.net/2014/0523/index.htm

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Into the Night - Sunset from 39,000 feet
On a recent flight, I was fortunate to see a nice sunset with the bonus view of the Earth’s shadow climbing high into the sky…

A clear evening and a nice positioning of the planets allowed viewing of Jupiter, Venus, Mars, and Saturn and still left time to descend and have an excellent dinner at the Kula Lodge and Restaurant.
 
Click on the image for an enlarged view.

As an extension of our trip to see the solar eclipse, we visited Tibet where we also successfully viewed Mt. Everest. Click on the image to see more shots of Mt. Everest by moonlight.

Mt. Everest by Moonlight

Mt. Everest by Moonlight

Moonrise view from the White Mountains

Moonrise view from the White Mountains

Moonrise against the earths shadow.

Moonrise against the earths shadow.

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The shot at right shows the moon rising against the shadow of the earth, which was cast while the sun was setting. These shots were taken from the Grand View Campground of the White Mountains in California.


The crescent Moon and Venus in conjunction set up a final astrophoto op for 2008 at sunset on New Year’s Eve.  Click the photo to see a larger view.

Moon & Venus  - 31 Dec. 2008

Moon & Venus - 31 Dec. 2008


A last-minute change in plans for the landing of the shuttle Endeavour meant a chance to see a shuttle landing in person, perhaps the last such opportunity in California as the shuttle program approaches its end (scheduled for 2010).  Unfortunately, we didn’t realize that the public was positioned a l-o-n-g ways off!

Click on image to see landing sequence.


To start out this blog, I thought I’d begin by stepping back to the beginning of the year…

Comet Holmes, a periodic comet that suddenly brightened up dramatically in 2007 was still hanging in through early 2008.  It must have been a very large, sudden outburst of dust and gas that caused this otherwise nondescript comet to become bright and large enough to be seen by the naked eye in a dark sky (not in the city).  Because its orbit placed it high in the northern sky, it was visible to me for many months, so I was able to take many photos as the gas shell became progressively larger and dimmer.  Also fortunate for me was the fact that it was moving so slowly among the stars that I could track on the stars rather than the comet itself.  Too bad it didn’t have a spectacular tail to go along with the rest of it.

Comet Holmes pass by the California Nebula

Comet Holmes pass by the California Nebula

By March of this year it was down to its last gasp and I took my last photo of it on March 8th.  Fortunately it was passing the California Nebula at the time, so it made for another interesting sequence of shots.

On the back burner is a rainy day project to merge the whole sequence of Comet Holmes shots into one giant mosaic.  Looks like that will have to wait until computer hardware and technology allow me to handle really big image files…


Welcome to my astrophotography blog.  This is an experiment to see if it can complement my astrophotography page at http://astrocamera.net/.