Posts Tagged: Astronomy

The Setting New Moon and Mt. Tom

The Setting New Moon and Mt. Tom

Tues. 02.28.17 – Last evening I went out to my photography corner of Brockman Lane and Dixon Lane*, so that I could take photos of the New Moon as it set behind Mt. Tom to the west. I used the US Navy Observatory Moon rise and set calculator to figure out when it would set and when civil twilight would be so I could take the above new moon photo and attempt to take a photo of the Mars & Uranus conjunction.

When I drove out at 6:30pm, it was approximately 42F / 5.5C and there were frogs singing their little hearts out. Odd but true. Frogs trying to get laid in February when it is still dipping below 32F / 0C at night. By the time I finished nearly 40 minutes later, it was at least 5 degrees colder, a wind had picked up, and the frogs had wisely retreated. My gloves** were not equal to the task at hand and my fingers were sending mayday alerts.

The good news is that I was able to take a series of photos of the Moon and Venus (Instagram), the Moon setting behind Mt. Tom (Flickr), three photos of Mars & Uranus.

Why no posted photos of Mars & Uranus with the used Nikon 70-200mm f4 lens taken with my Nikon D800? Post-processing is my achilles heel. I love to shoot, but I hate post-processing. Working in Lightroom and Photoshop bring out the worst of my personality and work habits. I am normally a patient person who can spend hours crafting a thing, but not in photo post-processing.

Last night, the Flickr version of the Moon Setting on Mt. Tom was my favorite of the three photos I took within a minute and then processed the RAW files to jpg. This morning, the photo I posted above is my favorite. But the truth of the matter is that only the Instagram photo that I took with my camera phone captured the color of the late dusk sky correctly.

No matter how I fiddled in Lightroom last night, I could not get the RAW files to have the right two tones of the late dusk sky. I had to resort to using split tone highlights and shadows – this feels like it is too much processing. But that is the point of shooting RAW, I get to do my own processing and not let the camera generate the jpg.

Anywhoo, forgive my grousing. If you have a clear horizon, do go look at the new moon as it sets tonight. Astro Bob has a nice blog post on the new moon for the 27th & 28th of February, as well as how to find Mars & Uranus with binoculars.

*Do you all sense a theme here? Local high point with low sagebrsuh so the view of the Eastern Sierra, the White Mtns., and the Owens Valley is good.

** I wonder how my Finnish photo friends shoot at night and dawn in winter with a tripod? I must inquire what gloves they use that allow for dexterity & flexibility but keep one’s hands warm.

Sunday Tidbits : The First 2017 Edition

:: A few Sunday Tidbits for you ::

A lovely flash fiction story on what Cassandra also saw that she did not tell the Trojans about

2017 in (potential) Bright Comets :: If you don’t already have Astro Bob on your RSS Feed / Subscription, you should.

Stephen Hawking on This is the most dangerous time for our planet :: Ok folks, how are we all working to pull out of this tail spin of our own making?

And in other notes, my two gently used hardback books by Roberto Calasso have arrived.

Dusk Tonight or The Almost Super Moon

The Moon that in 12 Hours Will Be Super and Full Bolsa Chica Wetlands at Dusk Triangle of Airplane, Venus, and Mercury - along with Emmy, Eva, and Catalina Island

Sun 11.13.16 – Late this afternoon, I drove down to the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve Station at the corner of Bolsa Chica Ave and Pacific Coast Highway to take photos of the Almost Super Moon as it rose in the late 4 o’clock hour. After all the photos were taken, I drove to the Huntington Cliffs parking lot at the top of Dog Beach to take photos of Mars, Venus, and Mercury in the last of the dusk. Afterwards, I walked Belle le Cane along the Cliffs. It was a lovely start to the evening.

All photos taken by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D800 and a Nikon 50mm f/1.4G lens. Please double click on the thumbnails for the larger lightbox gallery.

Last Night’s Sky

Looking across the Colorado River to Crossroads with Capella and Auriga
Scorpius, Saturn, Libra, a Truck on Hwy 95 View from The River Looking Up: Jupiter, M44 - The Beehive Cluster, Venus, and Gemini Cephus and some Trees Venus, Gemini, and The River plus a palm tree

Thurs 05.28.15 – Last evening just before 9pm, I took myself to the dock at the La Paz County Park near the Buckskin Fire station to take photos of Venus and Jupiter and various stars & constellations in the very last bits of twilight. Here are the best of the photos taken last night, if you click on a photo it will take you to a lightbox gallery where you can also enlarge the photos to look at more detail.

All Photos taken by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D800 and a Nikon 50mm f/1.4G lens.