“Great Scott!” er… SPOT – Jupiter Collides with EARTH!

I dreamed that the Earth was being threatened by Jupiter’s “Great Red Spot!” 

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No, that’s not really true, not even the dream part.  BUT, the clouds above do look a little like planet Jupiter’s atmosphere with its “Great ‘Red’ Spot,” just above and behind the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant here in New Jersey! Furthermore, the smokestack may be attempting to suck power out of the “spot,” as JCP&L investigates more sustainable energy sources; similar to my previous suggestion raised  about New York’s Con Ed last year,  here,  

For reference, here is the real thing: (Stock photo from Wikipedia.)

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And below, my younger day’s attempt at “astrophotography.”
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Jupiter and its “Great Red Spot” (8″ f/12 reflector, 75x; EXA 35  mm SLR, 1/25th sec. Tri-X B&W film,) captured a long, long time ago in my parents back yard, way before digital imaging, and by today’s standards – pretty meager!  

Thanks for viewing. Click on or finger stretch images for increased detail, and comments are always welcome: M 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Great Cosmic Clock – Perseid Meteor Shower

 

The Perseid meteor shower occurs around August 12th every year.          EVERY YEAR.

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Above, a so so “capture” from the NJ Pinelands of a Perseid meteor last year  (8/13/15 – 18mm ISO 4000, 15″, f/4, enlarged)

 This morning, while watching for and seeing a few impressive Perseid meteors, I tried thinking of the first time I ever saw a meteor. My memory brought me back to a family vacation in Barnegat Light, New Jersey – a rental property near the beach with a flat roof accessible by outside stairs.  Years later, while scanning old B&W pictures, I failed to establish an accurate date for that particulal week, but at 4:30 AM this morning, out there in the night,  I recalled as a young boy being “scared” at the frequent fast moving streaks in the dark sky during that vacation. Dad was introducing my brother and me to ‘meteors.’ 

I pondered that memory and  the timely annual recurrence of meteor showers… and  realized (as an aside,) that I finally had an accurate date frame for that early Jersey Shore vacation! All in all pretty insignificant, but…how neat!

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Above, Dad on the roof –  town of Barnegat Light, NJ.

Below, my older brother and me on the beach, with Barnegat Lighthouse beyond.

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As usual, comments and inquiries are welcomed. Thanks for viewing. M 🙂

A Few Favorite images

A few previously unpublished images from the archives – or – what to publish when you are a.) too busy, or b.) at wit’s end (end of wits?) to create anything else!

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Sandy Paws guarding the remote – Northern N.J. 5/4/15
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Tyler guarding the goal, N.J. – 4/25/15
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Gull scrounging for food, Seaside Heights boardwalk, NJ – 5/23/15
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Grazing around at the Senior Equine Retirement Farm, near ATCO, NJ – 5/23/15
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Home for the birds and the buzzin’ bees, Jersey Shore – 5/19/15
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Clouds blowing by the moon on a windy night, Jersey Shore – 2/23/15
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West side of Hudson River, Tompkins Cove, NY – 5/29/15
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Optimism by the Hudson River, Tompkins Cove, N.Y. – 5/29/15

Thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M 🙂

 

Mercury Transiting the Sun, today 5/9/16

DSC_0140DSC_0140 - Version 2About 8:58 AM EDT this morning, Mercury (The round black dot) is seen beginning its transit in front of the sun. (Sunspots are visible above.) Image at about 600 mm f 6.3, 1/400 sec, hand held. 

As usual, click on to view closer, and Comments are always welcoms. M 🙂

 

 

“There’s a Moon Out Tonight” Make that FIVE! – Co-Starring Jupiter and The Four Moons

Some astronomy pastime tonight (March 21, 2016,) as Jupiter and the moon were pretty close together in the eastern sky about two hours after sunset.

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Above: The slightly over-exposed moon, and Jupiter just visible to the left. 400mm telephoto lens, ISO 4000, 1/1600 sec, f6.0, hand held

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Above: In circle: A 200x close up of a slightly longer and slightly distorted exposure of Jupiter (to left,) showing three of four “Jovian” moons tonight, with the fourth out of frame in the magnified insert. 

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Above: An accurate graphic representation of  the positions of the four brighter moons of Jupiter at about the same time the images above were taken, orientated horizontally. By the time the night is over, the two closest to Jupiter will have passed in front of the planet. (Courtesy “Javascript Jupiter”.)

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Above: An image of Jupiter taken by a younger version of myself some years ago, using Extachrome Color film 35 mm SLR camera and the telescope below. 

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Above: 8″ newtonian reflector telescope

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

PROOF! Con Edison Sucking Energy from Sun!

 

DSC_00902/6/16, 7:06 AM Solar energy being sucked into one smokestack of the East River Generating Plant, Manhattan. Note the proximity of the Con Edison headquarters and its suspicious “Tower of Light” on the left. 

 

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At 7:02:40, just 4 minutes prior, the sun is seen right behind the Con Ed Building, a 26 story tower completed in 1928 serving as a testament to the company’s power and influence over New York City.

 

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A few days later, 2/11/16,  a closer vantage point reveals the suspicious proximity of the so called smokestacks (actually a mile further) to Con Ed’s odd looking, bronze Tower of Light.

No issues here…whatever their methods, Consolidated Edison has served the needs of most of New York City and Westchester County for over 150 years providing steam, gas and electrical energy.

Oh, and yes…the first photo, in fact, shows an interesting optical refraction of the sun’s image by the heat rising from that one smokestack. 

As usual, click on the image for a closer look, and thanks for viewing. 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.)

“Got It!” Plane Silhouetted Over Moon

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August 26, 2015, 8:15 PM from the Jersey Shore

It was only a matter of time, good weather, and patience, I knew it was going to happen. It was right on line. And when I clicked that shutter, I knew I had it! It was hard to contain my excited exclamation…”GOT IT” Job done!

Click on for closer look.

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

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