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Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, 55 Years Ago Today – Part Two

Arriving very early this day, we all parked our cars in the growing line behind the barricades on an entrance ramp to the toll plaza, …under the overhead sign in the second image below.  Finally, down by the booths, and after “Mr. First,”  the lights turned green and we were on our way.

The view was spectacular, with Manhattan off to the left; Coney Island, Lower N.Y Bay and The Atlantic Ocean to the right. The car toll was $.50 each way.  Today, 2019, tolls are collected westbound only ranging between $19 to $12.24 with E-ZPass!

(More information on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, can be found on Wikipedia, which we support with donations.)

Thanks for viewing, zoom in for a closer look, and comments are always welcome. M 🙂

 

12:53 AM

For the second late night in a row, battery problems interrupted a chance to photograph the waning moon’s rise over quiet, and peaceful Barnegat Bay, on New Jersey’s Atlantic Coast. So, it was my I-phone put to the test, …to the capture, without having to manage a myriad of options with the comparativily heavy and awkward SLR camera and attached lenses. Instead, it was a few rare moments, out there in the silent night, simply taking in and savoring the tranquility.

Thanks for Viewing. Click on the image for a closer look. M 🙂

Grand Canyon to Tetons

A slightly different take on two great national parks.

Above: Kaibab Trail, South Rim Grand Canyon – 8/7/95
Above: Early morning fog (referring to the photographer, me!) and Jackson Hole – 8/11/90

Thanks for viewing, and comments are always welcome. Zoooom in for a closer look. M 🙂

In Search of Pluto

A tale from over fifty years ago!

Using this 10″ (255mm) reflector telescope, and a simplistic chart published in Sky and Telescope magazine, I would try to confirm seeing Pluto, …a difficult star-like pinpoint at the edge of visibility. Observing from my suburban town only twenty miles (32 km) N.W. from the brightness of New York City, proved challenging.

A second observation from a considerably darker location was planned as Pluto would have slightly changed position amongst the same stars. But it didn’t happen as unfavorable weather conditions persisted for several weeks.

ABOVE: As seen in the eyepiece, …a rough drawing of visible stars in the area of where I believed Pluto was located. The arrows, particularly “G,” indicated possible candidates. I estimated magnitude 14, (the published approximate magnitude, or brightness of Pluto,) was about the faintest I could see at the time.
ABOVE: Compare the sketch to this same very small area in the constellation Leo, as shown from “Google Sky,” a searchable photographic atlas available free on-line, and certainly not available back then!

Did I see Pluto? Maybe, or maybe not. I recently concluded there was not sufficient evidence for me to comfortably confirm a sighting.  But re-visiting this event from an “armchair viewpoint” so many years later, was …an interesting way to pass the time during this pandemic year.

Special thanks to “Cosmic Focus,” an advanced amateur astronomer/imager from Australia, for providing the incentive to re-visit this quest, …and guiding me to to the current charting resources available today. His wonderful captures of Pluto and a keyway to a remarkable WordPress site can be found here or https://cosmicfocus.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/pluto-the-previous-planet.

Thanks also for viewing. Comments are always welcome, and you can zoom in for a closer look. M 🙂

Transcontinental Smoke

Instead of clear blue mid-September skies, the jet stream has picked up the massive pollution from California and environs, stretching it down toward Texas and up again to the Northeast in a 4000 to 5000 mile track spreading over the continent. Here in New Jersey, starting yesterday, the daytime sky has been distinguished by a slivery white opacity while the ground horizon remains sharp and clear. Meteorologists predict this will vary day by day based on the course of the Jet Strem.

Smoky air pollution from the unprecedented forest fires on the United States West Coast are now affecting our skies in the East. 

This image was taken about 90 minutes before sunset in Boonton, New Jersey, …and the plane is actually a model being flown over a nearby soccer field.

Thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome and zoom in for a closer look M 🙂

Perspectives – From Earth to the Moon and Beyond

About 6 weeks ago, , the near full moon was hiding behind clouds as Jupiter and Saturn were at about their closest positions to earth this year (opposition) …as seen below. (Saturn was the fainter of the two, centered just above a cloud to the left of Jupiter.)

Apologies ahead of time for difficulty in seeing this in a bright setting. 😦


Thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome, and zoom in for a closer look. M 🙂

Resilience in the wake of Hurricane Isaias

About one month ago Hurricane Isaias brushed our area with 70 mph wind gusts carrying an abundance of salt water onto vulnerable trees and shrubs. Our Red Maple Tree suffered a significant loss of foliage facing the east side.

BELOW: One week after storm, 8/4/2000

                       BELOW: Five weeks after storm, 9/8/2000 

Below: Normal view at this time of year, (from a previous year.) Original leaves would already have been losing color saturation.


Thanks for viewing.  Comments are always welcome. Zoom in for a closer look.  M 🙂 (The old car was included to show
something more interesting than an old tree!)