4:30 AM: Washington DC – The Capitol and the Moon

 The top photo could have been taken last week. But when I stood on the Capitol lawn with the EXA camera, man was yet to step foot on the moon and our president was embroiled in a Southeast Asian war.  The camera was a manual SLR, with something called photographic film, from Kodak. (Admittedly some digital enhancing gave the image just a little more snap than the original snap! 🙂 )

As usual, click on the image for a closer look, and thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M 🙂

 

Wildflower – 7/20/17

Late afternoon on the 48th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing, peace and tranquility abound along the local Rail Trail in Forked River, N.J.

 “Tranquility Base here… the Eagle has landed!”

As usual, click on the image for a closer look, find some spider webs, and ponder that this was taken with an i-phone! Thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M 🙂

 

Shooting Venus – March 11, 2017

Venus is currently a crescent phase, as it swings quickly along its orbit between Earth and the sun. 

Nikon D5200 DSLR, cropped (enlarged) from original size (below.) f13, 600mm Tameron (150-600) telephoto, ISO 1250, 1/4000″ Handheld
Original frame of image on top, same capture, at 6:09 PM 3/11/17, 10 minutes after sunset. Venus is in the center. Can you see it??
For comparison, Tri-X film version with EXA 35mm camera, 1/25th sec, through 10″ Newtonian reflector telescope. Taken December 1st, 12:30 PM many years ago, and recently digitally post processed. Being so bright, it can be seen and photographed in the daytime. 

Venus has been shinning brightly for the last few months after sunset, but is quickly approaching what is called Inferior Conjunction, as it passes roughly between the Earth and the Sun in 11 days, 3/22/17. The planet will re-emerge as the “morning star” visible a week or two later, rising before sunrise. 

As usual, click on the image for a closer look, and thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M 🙂

1958 Thunderbird – This Guy’s First Car

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Seventeen came with the privilege to drive –  a legal license for  liberation, freedom, wondrous opportunities to explore with friends or a date, and a major lifestyle advantage. But it would take 20 months before I would actually buy my very own car, a  1958 Thunderbird.

Unfortunatly with this particular great looking coupe, I had quickly become owner of an aging, poorly maintined chasis with unsettling grinding sounds, clunks and bumps and  serious (expensive) mechanical failures deemed likely. Bought relativelty inexpensively  for $500, partly financed by my older brother, I parted unscathed with a slight profit a month later.

 But for those few springtime days of happily cleaning and waxing …while ambitious aspirations and fanciful daydreams played along with its radio, this beautiful classic car was mine.

 I wish I had it today.     

As usual, click on the image for a closer look, and thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M 🙂

“A Dog and Her Bone” – Las Vegas, Nevada

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The Sands Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV

Proudly Presents:

A DOG and Her BONE

Starring the Canine Crooner

SANDY PAWS SCHULZE

Limited Engagement Only

In the World Famous Copa Room.

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As usual, click on the image for a closer look, and thanks for viewing. Barks and and Comments are always welcome. M 🙂

Glen Campbell, a Horn Antenna, a 100 ft. Balloon and The BIG Bang…All Here, All There

In Homdel, New  Jersey, less than a mile (~one km) from the often ear splitting outdoor concerts of the Garden State (PNC) Arts Center, sits this odd looking contraption designed and built by Bell Labs, the historic and  prestigious research arm of AT&T. Jeanne and I visited this recently.

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…Known as a “horn” antenna, here facing down for storage, this large (for its day) 15 meter (50 ft.) sheet metal radio telescope was specifically built to bounce and receive radio signals off early satellite experiments using  the 100 ft. diameter Echo I Satellite Balloon, launched August 12, 1960.

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(On March 14, 1963, I took this 25 minute guided photo showing the Echo I satellite, as a wavering-bright “star trail” due to it’s slight deflation, passing overhead from the then dark skies of Bayville New Jersey.)

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But what really ensured the telescope’s place in history was the work of Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, who in 1964 could not explain a mysterious background “noise” being picked up by the ultra sensitive cryogenic microwave receiver.

They systematically tried to eliminate any terrrestrial sources. No difference was detected when pointed generally toward New York City for example. Bird droppings, thought to be creating some sort of electrostatic interference, were cleaned from the horn, to no avail. Perhaps if the Arts Center were already there, with its 10,000 patrons and concerts, it too would have been suspected. (Although Jeanne and I would see Glen Cambell perform there four years later, Engene Ormandy (music of “Star Wars”)  was also one of the early classical performers!)

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But, after conferring with Robert Dicke, a particle physicist  at nearby Princeton University – and familiar with the theoretical, but never before detected “background radiation” components of the Big Bang Theory of cosmological evolution, the source of the mysterious  “static” was eventually verified and now the keystone for the theory’s acceptance.

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The telescope is located in a semi-wooded area on Telegraph Hill in Homdel, NJ, on  the private property of Alcatel-Lucent Technologys, and not readily accessible without special permission.

As usual, thanks for viewing, and comments are always welcome. M:-)

(Thanks to Wikipedia for their indispensable resources. Please consider contributing via their site.)