A Total Eclipse Family Event – 8/21/17

My wife and I (and Sandy Paws, the dog,) journeyed about 750 miles (1200 km) from New Jersey to see and photograph the Total Solar Eclipse last week, meeting up with most of our immediate family for an unforgettable, awesome event which none of us, including the youngest, will ever forget.

Through a very dense solar filter, these first two images show the moon in silhouette, moving slowly from upper right to lower left across the sun. Click on to see the sunspots near the center, and lower left limb.

Totality descended rapidly in the final seconds… exposing this unreal, and unforgetable sight, joined by gasps and “Oh my God, it’s beautiful (s)..” Fontana Village is a resort in western North Carolina, today within the “path of totality,” a ~70 mile (113 km) shadow area – this time moving west to east across the United States. Above,  the sun’s outer corona is captured.
Above: Totally eclipsed over two minutes, the sun just ….reappears. This shorter exposure shows the inner corona and solar flares (reddish bursts to the right and lower right of the sun,) often referred to as the ‘Diamond Ring effect.”
As the moon continues along, gradually exposing more of the sun… the strong filters and solar glasses are again required, as the landscape moves from deep twilight to full daylight in a little over an hour.
Besides finding it hard to concentrate on the quickly changing demands of eclipse photography, the totality is unlike anything you could ever experience. Spontaneous applause and cheers welled up from the field in a unified expression of being witness to something extraordinary.

Accompanied in the field by our children, their children; my brother and sister-in-law, and Sandy Paws, we appreiciated such a beautiful day for an exceptional event just south of the Great Smoky Mountains.
As usual, click on the images for a closer look, and 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 🙂

A BIG Perspective on the New Year

 

         2014, the New Year, starts next Wednesday. A year…. the time it takes Earth to circle the sun. 

In these two weeks or so, two other planets will be lined up, stringing out almost in a straight line from the sun.

Therefore, for those peoples who have considered this particular point in our orbit as the place to be to mark the next cycle, we might as well invite Jupiter and Venus to join us this year in celebration.

 SO, HAPPY NEW YEAR, Earth, Jupiter and Venus.

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Venus will be “on the line” (between Earth and the Sun) on January 11th. In a small telescope, it currently appears like the crescent phase above, and to the naked eye, it is very bright in the SW sky after sunset, but quickly (apparently) closing in on the sun. On rare years, it passes directly in front of the sun as shown at right – in 2004.         

 

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Jupiter will be at “Opposition” (along that line) on January 5th. Since it’s “opposite “ the sun as seen from here (Earth!) look for it shinning brightly high above at midnight. The B/W images above were taken by myself many years ago when amateur expectations were far less than today; and at right, Jupiter and 4 of its moons as captured recently, where expectations are far greater!   

 I did not take the picture below – wish I had!  But it is my favorite.  From Apollo 8, 45 yrs ago this past Christmas Eve.

Earth-Rise over the moon.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!