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.