Friday, July 8, 2016

My best photos continue to be accidents

In March 2016 I was photographing the constellation Orion and got this:

Obviously, the camera moved during the photo, its movement is hard to create. The movement was fast at first, creating thin, faint streaks, and then slowed creating ever thicker and finally stopped points. The motion was caused my the clutch on my camera mount slipping, but the slipping action was sudden followed by increasing braking. I'm not sure how to get my mount to slip and brake like this again for other photos, but I think cold weather will play apart.

Another accident from this trip is catching the morning sunrise through a stunning orographic cloud:

"Klaatu Barada Nikto," as they would say in The Day the Earth Stood Still.

And of course, catching meteors are always accidents. This one is from April 8:


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Circum-horizon Arc

On April 8, 2016 a nice circum-horizon arc appeared. I had seen a similar arc a month earlier, but only had my cell phone to photograph it. I tried a photograph with my phone but couldn't see the arc in the picture, so I took off my glasses to get a closer look at the image.  I was wearing a set of polarized clip-on sunglasses over my corrective lenses and realized that when removed, I couldn't see the arc in the sky either.  I put the sunglasses back on, and there was the arc again. Next, I tried photographing the arc through my sunglasses. The polarized photos were noticeably better at capturing the perceived color. So when I saw a much brighter arc, one that was visible without polarized sunglasses, I took photos with my Canon digital rebel camera with and without my sunglasses over the lens.

Circum-horizon arc with polarizing sunglasses over the lens

Circum-horizon arc using the camera's kit lens as is.

A more professional photographer would probably buy polarizing filters for all his lenses.


Fog bow

I saw fog bow on May 16, 2016. A fog bow is the same effect as a rainbow but the sunlight is being refracted by fog droplets instead of rain. The result is a bow that is white but of the same angular size as a rainbow.

This fog bow sighting followed a night of star gazing at Palomar Observatory Campground, the first Explore the Stars event for 2016:

Meteor in Delphinius

Milky Way in late spring


Dishing It Out

On Jan 5, 2016, I noticed a bit of light on my horizon that I believe to be the sun's reflection off of a dish antennae:

Apparently, near sunset on January 5, my home is in the right place to catch the reflection off of a tower. Assuming nothing moves the tower or its dish, I expect this to occur next January, give or take a day because of the leap year adjustment.

Here's a closeup:

This reflection will be one my yearly calendar markers. It will also me to test how much of a difference a day will make in the recurrence this event.

It's also like having my own fixed Irridium Satellite Flare:
Image: Flare of sunlight caused by the reflective
dish antennae of a satellite in the Irridium Satellite system. 
This one occurred near Polaris as viewed from my backyard on Sept. 1, 2012