Sunday, June 21, 2015

Jupiter, Moon, Venus Conjunction II

This evening the triple conjunction was pretty nice from Powell Observatory at Lewis-Young park in Louisburg, KS. Look closely to see the Gemini twins, Pollux and Castor, just above the dome. The 30" telescope can just be seen inside the 20-foot dome. The smaller dome houses a 12" scope used for astrophotography. Hundreds of people listened to talks about astronomy, looked through the 30" and many other telescopes set up in the field by members of the Astronomical Society of Kansas City.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Moon, Jupiter and Venus Conjunction

Driving home from visiting with friends I had to stop and take picture of the lovely conjunction of the Moon with the planets Jupiter and Venus. The twins, Pollux and Caster, are way over to the right and faintly visible just above the trees. They are the major stars in the constellation Gemini. After many days of constant rain it was so nice to have a day with clear skies for a change.

Friday, May 29, 2015


After a wonderful dinner with my sister and her husband, we arrived at her home in Pueblo, CO when I saw this rainbow. I took 6 pictures, 3 for the top half and 3 for the bottom half. I stitched them in the program ICE (Image Composite Editor), a free stitching program from Microsoft.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Venus Passes Close to the Seven Sisters

Looking West soon after the sun on April 10, Venus was a beautiful sight near the Pleiades star cluster, also known as the Seven Sisters. The image was taken with a 24mm lens at f/4 for 10 seconds, ISO 1600.  The Orion Nebula, the fuzzy spot in the sword of Orion can easily be seen. Another star cluster, the Hyades, is the V-shaped grouping in the constellation Taurus.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Time Lapse of April 4, 2015 Lunar Eclipse over KC

I finally finished the Time Lapse of the April 4, 2015 Lunar Eclipse setting over the Kansas City skyline. A surprise for me was also seeing the earth's shadow drop behind the buildings soon after the Moon set.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Lunar Eclipse from the City

Click on image for a larger view
It all started when fellow Astronomical Society of Kansas City member, Jay Manifold, mentioned at our monthly meeting, that he found a place not too far east of downtown Kansas City, MO where the eclipsing moon would be setting along the Kansas City Skyline. I did my own research by locating the small nameless park in Google Earth. A Google street view looked promising, so with that, some NASA info on the April 4, 2015 eclipse and a program called "The Photographer's Ephemeris", I determined approximately where the moon would be among the buildings. With Jay's help, I found the names of the buildings and created the daytime view you see above.

Among the dozens of image I took, this one combines the not quite eclipsed moon, with the KC Skyline in a beautiful, dark blue twilight sky.

 The sky was so clear that we saw it go behind the 925 Grand building. The tall building at right is the 909 Walnut and the one in front is the Federal Courthouse. It's interesting to note that if the moon was totally eclipse, we may not have seen it. What we saw was the last bit of moon peeking out from behind earth's shadow. In Kansas City, the moon was totally eclipsed after it set behind the buildings.

Clif Guy took this nice shot of the group. From left to right, Jay Manifold, Sam Davidson, Don and Terri Dixon, Denise Moser and myself. It was just above the freezing point and quite chilly.

Denise, Don, Terri and Jay. Good view from the little grassy knoll.

The angle in the photo by Terri Dixon shows my camera in the foreground making it look twice as big as it really is! Clif Guy an Jay Manifold in the background.

Soon after the moon was gone, everyone took off for breakfast. I love a good breakfast with good company, but I wanted to hang around for the "Golden hour". Soon after the sun rises it shines a golden light over everything. As I was packing up to go home, a very nice man in a uniform came over and told me that I wasn't supposed to be there. The property belongs to the University (UMKC?), but he thought I was just taking photos of the skyline and didn't bother me until I was done. We talked for bit about eclipses and then he drove off. Apparently the University does not want people hanging around their little park.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Crescent Moon, Venus and Pleiades

Click on Image for a larger view

The planet Venus was a wonderful site next to the crescent Moon this evening, March 22, 2015. This is a view from my backyard. The Pleiades Star Cluster is at the top.

I my Canon T4i on a tripod and used my 18 mm - 135 mm lens set at 18 mm and f/3.5 and ISO 1600 for 10 seconds.

This one was taken with my 300mm f/4 lens set at f/8 for 2 seconds at 800 ISO. I used my iOptron SkyTracker on a tripod to track the pair so that I was assured of a sharper image.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Comet Lovejoy near the Plieades

A few days ago I set up my camera with my 70-200 Canon lens on my iOptron Sky Tracker and took 418 30-second images in about 4 hours. Out of those 418 I used 98 to put together the above image. On that day, Jan 16, 2015, it was near the Plieades Star Cluster. I was pleasantly surprised to get the nebulosity that surrounds these beautiful cluster.