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 🙂

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!)

 

Tokyo, Pan Am, the SST and Hawaii

          As a follow-up to my previous post here back in the 1980’s, I departed from Narita Airport in Tokyo on an overnight and almost empty PAN AM 747 to Hawaii. I would meet my wife, Jeanne, as she arrived from New York, where there was a glimpse of the British Airways Concorde Super Sonic Transport, at that time providing regular transatlantic service at over 1300 MPH (~ 2100 kph.) 

Above: British Airways SST as seen landing at JFK, NY, March, 1981

Above: From the waiting room at Narita Airport, …my overnight ride to Hawaii.

Sleep, stretched out on empty seats, was easy on the overnight, above  …and  approaching Honolulu, below.

39.120 3-7-81 Hawaii Approaching Oahu_edited-1

Above: Jeanne arriving from the mainland, later that afternoon.

Above: From our balcony in Waikiki. Rainbow courtesy of “Pineapple Showers.”

Thanks for viewing, …and comments are always welcome. M 🙂

PANDEMIC BLUE

            Yes, a new world-wide color: Pandemic Blue. Particularly those in urban areas have likely noticed what is one of the effects of significantly reduced airline and surface-traffic exhaust.

             Doesn’t the sky in this image, taken this morning in my suburban backyard,  look …nice?  Pandemic Blue. AND, as a bonus, if you are into “star-gazing” or astronomy, check out the night-time skies. Yes, …it’s more transparent! Pandemic Black

A small silver lining to an event that has become almost incomprehensible worldwide! 

Thanks for viewing. Hope all is well with you and yours during this thing! And you can zoom in for a closer look.  M! 

 

 

Strength!

        Sitting here at home during the Corvid – 19 Pandemic, I looked back on an image taken ten years ago, on Mother’s Day, May 8th, 2010. It was right out of the camera, with really nice lighting and conveyed a simple thought about …strength from above, the highlighted cables holding up the mighty George Washington Bridge. Today we reflect on the strength of our first responders and health care workers; and the universal pause for Mother’s Day, as we endure this most unprecedented time.   
Thanks for viewing. Zoom in for a closer look, and comments are always welcome. M 🙂