How to photograph the Aurora Borealis





Satellite Passing with its own cloud?



Comet C/2011 L4 PanSTARRS

IMG_6371.jpg Finally got a view of Comet PanSTARRS over Bothell. 


Supermoon from Seattle 2012

IMG_5901-2.jpg Another break in the usual Seattle spring weather gave me the oppurtunity to photography the Supermoon rising behind something interesting in the area. My first choice was Three Fingers.


Aurora Borealis - May 8, 2012

A March 7 X5-class flare delivered a glancing blow to our ionosphere and led to over 24 hours of auroral activity. I headed south to avoid the clouds over Seattle and ended up near Black Diamond and captured the dim, but active display.

The aurora, as visible from our area, rarely get the waving and curling arms you see in photos from Norway and the Yukon, but we do get to see the full extent of the rays, from the green base to the violet and red tops.

Video details:


New Camera!


For the past 6 months or so, I've been essentially working two jobs, my regular, full-time Software Engineer position, and also supporting the growing customer base for my wife and my software consulting business, JLB Web Consulting, which has been adding 10-30 hours a week on top of that. Fortunately, I get to do both jobs from home!

So, as a little reward to myself for working those hours, I bought myself a Canon 5D mk II DSLR body. I've been using a Canon 30D for a number of years now, but have been extremely curious about the 1080P video capabilities of the 5D (which has been proven as a primary camera filming a number of feature films and TV shows). So I dropped the hammer and bought one. I've also been various curious how shooting with a full-frame sensor is.




My own mystery object

[Solved: it was a reflection of a light source inside the house, filtered through the flats of the blinds.]

One of the RSS feeds I follow is Latest Worldwide Meteor/Meteorite News blog which mentioned an observation from Tacoma of a North-South meteor sighting around 6pm on December 3. I figured this might be something my WeatherCam might have captured, as the time fit within the capture period of my daylight camera. Though the odds were slim, as my camera only captures a frame every 20 seconds.

While there is a faint contrail (aligned with north-to-south), there was no brilliant of obvious sign of a meteor streak, unfortunately. While some bolides are known for leaving a lingering trail, the contrail that visible falls within the standard YVR (Vancouver) approach, and lasted much too long to be a bolide contrail (which tend to disappate rather quickly). The contrail starts at around 5:45pm and passes overhead and out of view at 6:02pm.

However, while I'm watching my video, I notice a bright object appear, then disappear. I first thought this might be a lens flare from the lamp in front of my house, but it was on at full illumination before and after the object appears and disappears.



All sky camera?

Jenn thinks I am crazy, but she started it. My current thinking is that I now want to make not only a time-lapse webcam to accompany my weather station, but I want an All Sky weather camera. More after the bump.There are two main types of all sky cameras out there, and they primary serve two purposes: cloud observation and night sky observation (usually meteor hunting). I'm going for the cloud obversation aspect. The two types that are employed are usually constructed with either:



How to take pictures of the moon



A very frequent question one sees on the photography forums is how to take a simple shot of the moon. It sounds simple, but there are a few technical issues you must work out in order to accomplish acceptable results. Click below to learn how.

Shooting the Moon


Noctilucent Clouds (NLCs)

There's a buzz this summer in the Astronomy/Atmospheric communities about a little-understood atmospheric phenomena called "Noctilucent Clouds". For some reason, this summer has had an outpouring of sightings. With some keen observation and some timing, you can see and photograph these for yourself.


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