Monday, August 21, 2017

Partial Solar Eclipse

Today was an astounding day, and richly rewarding.  Another member of our astronomy club and I went to a college research station out in Sayville, and we set up four telescopes between us.  We had about 200 visitors, both adults and children and everyone was amazed to watch the sequence of the moon moving across the sun.  Everyone had such a great time, and they were so thankful that we were there with our telescopes for them.  I also photographed the eclipse for the newspaper I used to work for, and they will be publishing some of the photos that look like this tomorrow.  What a day!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunspots on the Sun!

I have been testing my telescopes, my telescope mount, and my cameras in preparation of the eclipse.  I will be going to a college marine research station with another member of our club, where we will be setting up four telescopes to show visitors the partial solar eclipse.  Someone called from the paper, and wants me to shoot the eclipse for them as well!  I am going to be a busy bee.  We are expecting more than 200 visitors for the four hour event.  What surprised me when I was shooting the sun, was that the sun has been nearly blank for nearly a month now. and all of a sudden there are a whole bunch of spots that developed over several days.  I count about eight spots in this image!  I wonder how many will be left for the eclipse tomorrow.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Zebra Stripes

When I am desperate for a blog photo, I usually head to the harbor.  I can usually find some kind of picture down there.  In this case, I was not disappointed.  I saw some swans swimming and put a long lens on the camera and started shooting.  What finally made the photo was when a boat went by and the wake, from some distance across the harbor, made these waves, which reflected the sky, or didn't, resulting in black and white stripes.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Upside Down Kitty

You will have to forgive me for always photographing the cats all the time.  But they are so cute, especially when they sleep upside down, which they do a lot.  This is Grace and I have photographed her so many times with her paw over her eyes.  She does that a lot.  What makes this picture fun is the little hook in her tail.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Eclipse Talks

I received an email request on our club website from a Rabbi looking for someone to talk about the eclipse and what causes it.  My talk would go along with a talk that the Rabbi was putting together about references to eclipses in the Torah and in Jewish Scriptures.  I agreed to do a talk because I wanted to hear her talk!  I was not disappointed,  and I found a really enthusiastic audience for my talk and demonstration.  I brought a golf ball, and a ball bearing painted white to represent the moon. Here the Rabbi is taking questions from the audience.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Observing Night

We had an observing session tonight.  Four of us set up our telescopes and we had a new visitor as well.  For some observing sessions we have had as many as twenty or more visitors.  It was such a surprise to have one new person tonight.  Here one of our members is showing her a Planisphere, which is a map of the skies showing the stars and constellations.  The skies were not all that dark because of light pollution and moisture in the air.  So she got to see Jupiter, and Saturn and one globular cluster in our telescopes, but most of the galaxies were obscured.  She was absolutely blown away by the idea of seeing the planets with her own eyes.  It is fun to have such an enthusiastic visitor.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Ghost Ship

On the way back from the hardware store (where I bought some more paint) it started to rain lightly.  As I drove along the harbor I could see this yacht in the distance, and through the rain it looked like a ghost ship.  So I parked the car, grabbed my camera with a long lens, and got down to the waterline.  The ship was there, but not so ghostly anymore, because the rain had stopped.  I took the picture anyway because it still looks a little bit ghostly, right?