Monday, May 14, 2012

Supermoon, Sun rings, and Sunspots...Oh my!

I have had zero time to sit down and put some words with some pictures here (I actually don't really have the time right now) but things are getting backed up so I must play some catch up here.

Lets start with last week's so-called "Supermoon!".  Not to burst anyone's bubble but it was just another full moon.  However, the full moon is always a beautiful sight so anything that gets regular folks interested in looking up at the night sky, histerical claims or not,  I'm all for it!  So, no massive earthquakes or tidal waves, just a perigee moon slightly bigger than normal.  I went out and shot it with my little future astrophysicist.

240mm, f10, 1/10, ISO100
 This one was fun.  "oooh, so the right, no left... good,now up, little more...leeetle more, ooh perfect!  Now look at me...and freeze"  She's very patient sometimes.
135mm, f4.2, 1/25, ISO1250

On May 12th (My mother's birthday) there was an interesting show in the daytime sky.  A 22 degree halo or a "neat rainbow ring around the Sun" that lasted hours into the afternoon.  This allowed for some interesting distractions from my yard work.

This first one is a shot I took advantage of and framed for my Mother's day present.
18mm, f10, 1/400, ISO100

It's a good idea to block the full midday Sun from your eye as well as your camera's sensor.
18mm, f10,1/400, ISO100
As I was pointing my camera at the Sun I thought about the upcoming Venus transit (June 5th) and how I still haven't totally worked out how I'm going to shoot it (luckily it occurs at sunset so the full onslaught of solar rays won't be so harsh).  I ran inside to see what I could dig out.  I grabbed my ND400 filter and decided to go for it. 

To gain some perspective on this region, our entire world easily fits inside that darker area in the middle of AR 1476, with room to spare.
ND400, 300mm, f14, 1/4000, ISO100 
 This hand held shot above clearly shows the large current active sunspot region 1476 along with other active regions.  This set up should definitely give me good results for shooting the Venus transit.  I'm planning on shooting from Presque Isle (Erie, PA) weather permitting (please permit!!).   This will occur again in 2117, so you can wait if you want...I don't plan on seeing that one.

The skies are clearing and this week looks very astronomically promising.  Sagittarius is rising earlier and earlier as summer nears so I plan on trying a Milky Way rise time lapse in the near future.  And of course I'll be posting the rapidly approaching Venus transit.  Stay tuned.

Clear skies!

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