Wednesday, July 31, 2019

More starry nights

The New Moon is tonight.  That means no moon to us stargazers.
We've had some clear skies again this week. Sandra's cousin, Bud Gillan, and I zoomed down South to check out the stars.

I also shot a few quickie images to remember it by.

The sky glow from Venezuela was much brighter than usual that night. 

I read later that two different meteor showers peaked that night, but we didn't see a single meteor over a three plus hour time span. 

It was pretty dark out. I couldn't even begin to see the huts when I was standing by the obelisk. The camera collected a lot more photons during the a ten second exposures.

Friday, July 26, 2019

My Favorite Milky Way shot

I like this one the best, although the one in my previous post is a close second.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Milky Way with lighter Foreground

Another shot from the July 7 expedition to Rooi Limoenchi.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Rooi Limoenchi Milky Way Series

I've been posting one Milky Way shot per day on Facebook. 

Here is a collected set so far. Two more to go after these.

I'm still tweaking some of them in preparation for printing.


Saturday, July 20, 2019

Greeen Flash Surprise

We had a nice Milky Way gazing session last night (July 19) from 8pm until 9:30 or so, when the Moon came up. 
Earlier, the Sun had dropped down into the murk without any green action.
The day before, Thursday, didn't look promising, with clouds drifting along the horizon, but the Sun actually ended up showing a good bit of green. I like this one a lot.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Milky Way Panorama

Here is another image from my photo adventure at Rooi Lamoenchi on July 5.  It is a panorama made from four frames.
At the left side, towards the top of the frame is Vega, in the constellation Lyra. 
About a quarter of the way from left to right, and in the middle from top to bottom is Altair, in the constellation Aquilla. 
Right in the middle of the frame from top to bottom and from left to right is Saturn. 
Up near the top of the frame and about three quarters of the way from left to right is Jupiter and the red star Antares, in the constellation Scorpius. 
At the extreme lower right corner of the frame is the Southern Cross.  I'm not sure what Blogger is going to do to this image.  The original is 2959x1080 pixels.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Southern Cross Series

The International Bible Church had a kids camp at Kunuku Rooi Lamoenchi a couple weeks ago. We were all invited to the opening event. I took advantage of that to get some night time sky shots. 

I've got lots of pictures of the milky way with slave huts or light houses in the foreground. This was a chance for something different. I took lots of pictures, which I'll share over the next days, as i finish processing them. 

Here are three shots of the Southern Cross as the night grew darker. The S Cross is in the middle of the square picture that I shot first. 

The next one is a bit later and shows more stars. I drew lines showing the SCross on a copy of this shot to help you spot it, and labeled the bright stars Alpha and Beta Centaurus, as well as the globular cluster Omega Centauri. 

The last picture is from when it was completely dark and shows the most stars. You'll need to view these full size to see the stars.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Friday Green Flash

The green flash Friday evening was a "10." My experience is that the really bright green flashes don't photograph too well. It has me thinking about a neutral density filter. Watch the bottom of the sun's disk as it approaches the water. My experience is that when it kind of pours into the water like it did tonight, the green flash will be a good one visually, but not in the recording.

Moon and Jupiter

The Moon and Jupiter were close together Saturday evening.  The moon will be next to Saturn on Monday evening.

I tried out the Nikon Coolpix P1000 on the Moon and Jupiter tonight. Its zoom lens extends to the equivalent of a 3000mm lens on a full size camera. 

There were three moons of Jupiter visible when we started and then a fourth one popped into view. According to Sky and Telescope, it was Io. If I had been using a telescope, I would have been able to see Io's shadow on Jupiter's disk.

Sun, Moon, and Planet gazing

I saw a green flash yesterday evening. It wasn't a great one, but I was happy to see it at all. 

Then we had a moon and planet gazing session at the TWR transmitter site. Moon glare drowned out most of the stars, but Jupiter and Saturn looked good. You can see a star or two in the pictures. 

The Moon will be quite close to Jupiter tonight and then close to Saturn on Monday night. They should be even be visible in urban areas if it is not cloudy.

Monday, July 01, 2019

Milky Way Stitched Pano

This panorama is from the first set of images that I shot the other night.  It is made up from four rows by five columns.  I wasn't sure if I would be able to stitch it together, so I also shot the simpler two rows by 5 columns pano that I posted a day or two ago.
This one did turn out to be tricky to stitch together, but it is looking pretty good at this point.  The view of the constellations is the same as the previous pano, but this shot extends higher up into the sky, and I was closer to the huts.
Aquilla is at the left end of the Milky Way, and the Southern Cross with the dark Coal Sack nebula is at the right end of the Milky Way.
The pano is made from 21 images.  Each image is a stack of 9 frames for a total of 189 exposures.  The individual exposures were shot with a 35mm lens.  Each exposure was six seconds long, at f1.4 and IS0 6400.  I downsized this for posting online, but the original has enough pixels in it to print 25 by 43.5 inches at 300 dots per inch.  I'm not sure if I'll ever print it that big.  It is a little grainy and there is some chromatic aberration on the brighter stars.  I'll definitely print it myself at 13x19" though.
Hmmm, i just noticed some extra stars lurking in there. There are two Saturns, and a second bottom pair of the Teapot's handle. Will have to check that out...