Lunar Eclipse | 8 Nov 2022

It was election day in the U.S. I was up early to go serve as a poll watcher at my local voting place. Because of the lunar eclipse, I was up to view it before leaving the house. The Moon was low in the northwest beginning to encounter some tree branches.

In this first photo, the time was 5:26 am still during the totality phase. A dark tree branch in the foreground can be seen running vertically. I opened a living room window for the image using my digital camera on full zoom. Not quite in focus.

5:26 am | Canon PowerShot SX60 HS | ISO 1600 | 0.6s

I waited awhile for it to emerge from totality at 5:46 am. By then, it had moved farther down into the tree branches to see from the living room. I took the camera and tripod out to the driveway and got a clear view some 3 minutes later.

5:49 am | Canon PowerShot SX60 HS | ISO 1600 | 0.20s

Jupiter Oscillations

A typical procedure in astrophotography involves mounting a camera on a stable platform like a tripod so it doesn’t move during exposures. Some people have motorized platforms that allow the camera to move and track the subject for long exposures of several minutes. I was curious how an image would look for a camera mounted on strings that allowed it to swing forward-backward and left-right at the same time during an exposure. Years ago, this image appeared in a magazine. I kept it and thought of trying it someday.

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Night and Morning Sky Shows

Recent good weather provided two viewing opportunities about 8 hours apart. The first was an International Space Station pass over our area on 30 July 2022. The ISS was to appear low in the NW sky at about 9:41 pm, pass overhead at about 65˚ elevation, then disappear into Earth’s shadow low in the SE at about 9:47 pm. I programmed my camera to take a series of images to record the progress across the sky. It was set to record 1-second images of ISO 3200 about 10 seconds apart. I pressed start and the program didn’t do what I expected. So, I did it manually.

The images were placed into iMovie for this video of ISS playing peek-a-boo with some clouds.

The second sky views came at around 5:25 am the next morning on 31 July. I planned to view 5 of the planets. I looked south to easily find Jupiter high in the sky. The Galilean moons were arranged left to right Callisto, Ganymede, Io, and Europa.

Callisto, Ganymede, Jupiter, Io, Europa

Looking east revealed Venus rising well before the Sun.

The prize for the morning included Mars and Uranus in the same field of view.

Finally, I looked around me to see Earth cast in the morning light to top off the 5 planets.

Lunar Eclipse | 15 May 2022

The skies cleared as evening approached. The Moon was aligned with Earth and the Sun. Their syzygy at 9:30 pm CDT brought the Moon into the umbra of the Earth’s shadow. Desktop software gave a simulated view like this. The faint inner circle is the umbra. The larger circle is the penumbra.

My camera was mounted on a tripod and set for capturing images about every 15 minutes starting at 9:30. The images were cropped to place the umbra in nearly the same place in each image. That placement highlighted the movement of the Moon over the 15 minute time periods between photos.

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Jupiter Nears Venus | 27 Apr 2022

The Moon was watching from below as Jupiter and Venus neared each another. This view was at 5:40 am local time. The closest approach for the two planets is Saturday 30 April. They will be separated by less than the width of our Moon. Get up and see it if you have clear skies.

5:40 am | 27 Apr 2022