Jun 222015

This was a relatively faint aurora. Shows up well in photos, but hardly visible to the naked eye. Taken from Mount Pack Monadnock, New Hampshire. That’s the moon setting on the left, and lights from Manchester on the right.

 Posted by at 10:41 am
Nov 302011

The elusive green flash captured in 2006 from Key West.

About 5 Minutes Out

As the sun gets low in the sky, its light is refracted through a thicker and thicker section of the atmosphere. Eventually, the atmosphere not only refracts the light but begins to disperse it. Redder colors towards the horizon, and greener near the sun’s top.

As the last bit of sun vanishes below the horizon, there is a fraction of a second when only the green portion is left.

The Green Flash

For many years, the Green Flash was only observed visually and was thought to be a complimentary color after-image on the retina caused by the disappearance of the bright red sun below the horizon. Only after the invention of color photography was the Green Flash captured on film and its true nature understood.

 Posted by at 3:53 am
Nov 232011

This shot was taken in central Nevada while on vacation. it is REALLY dark there – to get this detail in a 2-minute exposure. The foreground is illuminated by starlight, and Wendover Utah, about 30 miles away.

Southern Milky Way

 Posted by at 5:53 am
Jun 232011

I travelled to Dubai to cover the June 15th Total Lunar Eclipse live for SLOOH. Here is my setup on the hotel balcony.

Even though it was the wee hours of the morning, the temperature was still in the low 100’s. A nice place in general, but don’t visit there in summer. Step outside and you literally burst into flames.

Dubai Eclipse Setup

 Posted by at 2:55 pm
Feb 282011

Just finished updating all the mineral photos (bigger, cleaned up backgrounds, better color balance, etc.) and also posted several new ones including the first attempt at photographing a fluorescent piece.

Drill down to the photos by name or by location.

 Posted by at 3:53 am
Jun 042010

I just got a new scanner which is able to handle medium format film, so I have started scanning in old negatives taken with my Mamiya C220 and Pentax 6×7.

These aurora were from the summer of 2004 and were taken from Miller State Park, on Pack Monadnock Mountain, New Hampshire.

May 152010

After several trips down to Florida and many launch scrubs for weather and other issues, we finally got a payoff!

This was recorded in 720p HD with a Pentax K-7 DSLR mounted on a William Optics APO Refractor.

For the full effect, make sure you watch it in 720HD mode, full screen.

Here’s the setup; mine on the right and Tom’s on the left. The big fuzzy grey thing is just a windscreen for the video microphone.

Imaging Setup for Shuttle Launch

Nov 112009

We were in New Mexico for other reasons, but managed to visit two sites while here – both in extreme southern New Mexico, near where we were staying in Las Cruces.

September 18th

Kilibourne Hole is a “Maar” – a volcanic feature where subterranean magma came into contact with ground water near the surface. The latter flashed to steam, blowing out a hole about a mile in diameter but less than a hundred feet deep. It is located about 8 miles from the Mexican border in a very empty part of New Mexico.

Kilibourne Hole Peridot

From a couple miles away you can see the edge of the Maar as a slight broad rise on the horizon. In the interior of the hole, there is a distinct layer of volcanic basalt. Under this layer, and weathered-out elsewhere, there are volcanic “bombs” that contain little specks of gem quality Olivine, otherwise known as Peridot.

Kilibourne Hole from a Distance

Here is a closer look at the wall from the outside. It is only about 20 feet tall and easy to walk up.

Wall of Kilibourne Hole

Here is the view into the hole from the top of the edge wall.

Interior of Kilibourne Hole

If you travel here, be very wary of rattlesnakes. We came across five rattlers in the space of about 10 minutes. Just make sure you make a lot of noise on the rocks so they either go away, or rattle so that you have a good shot at spotting one before stepping on it!

Blacktail Rattlesnake

Here you can clearly see the basalt layer. The bombs are found in the dirt beneath this layer, but it takes quite a bit of digging. We found a couple that had weathered out and fallen further down the slope and that was good enough for this trip as it was getting pretty late in the afternoon.

Basalt Layer

September 20th

The area south of Deming, New Mexico is filled with sites for geodes, including a state park dedicated to rockhounding. We spoke to a couple mineral shops in the area and finally settled on checking out a couple sites on the south edge of the Little Florida Mountains.

This is the general area. There was no obvious prospect hole or other diggings, so we just wandered the area and checked out the rocks. We found several pieces of Agate and one good Quartz & Agate Geode.

Geode Site

This is the view south from where we parked. There is supposed to be at least three dig sites here, so a more thorough search of the area is probably a good idea for a future trip.

View to the South