Eclipse – Just WOW!!!

Solar Eclipse Collage

Eclipse Humor: Smiley Face

Eclipse 1: First Contact

Eclipse 2: Three Sunspots Visible

Eclipse 3

Eclipse 4

Eclipse 5

Eclipse 6

Totality 1

Totality 2: Solar Prominences

Totality 3

Totality 4

Totality 5: Regulus on Lower Left

Totality 6: Diamond Ring Effect

Totality 7: Venus on Upper Right

Totality 8: 360 degree Horizon Sunset Glow

Eclipse Ale

Richard & Pam Winegar’s Eclipse Photography Gear

There are no words to properly describe the eclipse – just WOW!!!  The collage shows the progression of the solar eclipse in Jackson, Wyoming, on August 21, 2017.  Individual pictures follow (click to enlarge for detail).  Early morning we walked five minutes from our Teton Village hotel to ride a gondola up Rendezvous Mountain.  We set up our camera equipment in a beautiful wildflower meadow overlooking Jackson Valley.  We heard a ram’s horn blown in the distance when the eclipse began.  First contact is seen in the collage photo on the upper left.  Three major sunspots were visible on the face of the sun.  An amazing amount of light still came from only the tiniest sliver of sun.  At totality at 11:34 am it was safe to remove protective glasses and filters and look directly at the sky.  The beauty and magnificence of the sight was jaw-dropping!  Everyone gasped and cheers went up!  Many of us, myself included, had an emotional response – it brought tears to my eyes. Photographs do not begin to capture what the eye can see – the corona’s streamers extend way out beyond the sun and across the sky.  It felt like Star Trek come to life.  At least three solar prominences were visible on the edge of the sun, and the diamond ring effect was stunning!  The sudden darkness of totality brought a chill to the air.  The star Regulus and the planet Venus became visible, and a sunset band of orange extended 360 degrees around the horizon.  After 2 minutes and 20 seconds the light burst forth again and the air warmed.  I will never forget that moment!  I think we have officially become eclipse chasers.   The next U.S. eclipse will be April 8, 2024 in a path crossing from Texas to Maine (https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar/2024-april-8).

Florida: Supermoon Lunar Eclipse

Faint Ring Around Full Moon

Faint Ring Around Full Moon

Reddish Hue of Moon During Eclipse

Reddish Hue of Moon During Eclipse

Firefly Trail Over Camera Lens

Firefly Trail Over Camera Lens

We set up a time lapse camera to capture the Supermoon Lunar Eclipse on Sunday night, September 27, 2015.  Although the weather started off iffy, in the end we did record the beautiful sight.  A list of worldwide eclipses over the next 10 years is at:  http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/list.html 

Individual pictures above are pulled from the video.  As you watch the video, you’ll first see a faint ring around the moon.  Then the moon disappears completely as it is darkened by the eclipse and is covered with clouds, before reemerging as a red dot during totality of the eclipse.  Next the moon brightens as it becomes full again while tracking right (west) across the sky.  Sporadically you’ll see bugs flying over the camera lens, including a firefly that flew close above it.  The clouds switch directions over time, and at the end you’ll see bright planet Venus rising on the left side (east) before sunrise fills the sky.

Florida: Spectacular Dawn Rocket Launch Today!

30 Second Exposure of Atlas Lift-off

30 Second Exposure of Atlas Lift-off

Tadpole-like Expanding Cloud Plume of Mist

Tadpole-like Expanding Cloud Plume of Mist

Leftover Swirly Clouds that Stayed for Quite Some Time Afterwards

Leftover Swirly Clouds that Stayed for Quite Some Time Afterwards

We had an absolutely spectacular Atlas 5 rocket launch this morning of a Navy MUOS communications satellite into orbit.  The 20-story tall rocket lifted off at 6:18 am.  The dawn sky brightened as the rocket took off and rose up.  Then we saw something we had never seen before – the white rocket plume brightened into an enormous tadpole-like cloud of mist as the rocket arced east across the Atlantic.  The phenomenon was caused by the perfect combination of sun angle below the horizon and high humidity.  The white cloud of water vapor (not smoke) was formed when the rocket’s hot exhaust gases hit the air.  It was an amazing sight, and one of the top two launches we have ever seen!

Space Station on a Starry Night!

Space Station Trail in Night Sky

Space Station Trail in Night Sky

Starry Night Sky with Constellation Orion (middle) and Bright Planet Venus (upper right)

Starry Night Sky with Constellation Orion (middle) and Bright Planet Venus (upper right)

Space Station Track (Yellow Line) by Our House (Blue Dot)

Space Station Track (Yellow Line) by Our House (Blue Dot)

Long Exposure to Capture Owl Hunting in Dark

Long Exposure to Capture Owl Hunting in Dark

The International Space Station tracked right by our house last night in Palm Bay, Florida! It moves FAST! ! Other evening sightings included tree frogs on the window, raccoon and babies under the tree, armadillo looking for bugs, and owl hunting from a favorite perch by the pond (her sudden whinny behind me was surprising!). 

Space Station Flyover

Moonrise in Florida

Moonrise in Florida

Long Exposure of Space Station Flyover

Long Exposure of Space Station Flyover

Airplane Trails 1

Airplane Trails 1

Airplane Trails 2

Airplane Trails 2

View of Pacific Cyclone from Space Station (streamed by ISS Above to our TV - click for details)

View of Pacific Cyclone from Space Station (streamed by ISS Above to our TV – click for details)

We had an extra bright flyover of the International Space Station on Friday evening.  It was a gorgeous warm night with a full moon rising.  As I was taking the pictures, I could hear mama owl singing by the pond.  For better photography next time, I’m looking forward to a nice dark night so that I can take a longer exposure.  If you want to see the Space Station, check flyover times at: http://spotthestation.nasa.gov/ Remember that the Space Station emits a bright continuous light (the reflection from the solar panels), and airplanes emit flashing lights.

California: Palomar Observatory

Palomar Observatory

Palomar Observatory

Model of Telescope

Model of Telescope

Celestial Lamp

Celestial Lamp

Palomar Mountain View

Palomar Mountain View

Big Berry Manzanita Flowers

Big Berry Manzanita Flowers

Purple Lupine Flowers

Purple Lupine Flowers

Scarlet Bugler Flowers

Scarlet Bugler Flowers

The drive up to Palomar Observatory is especially beautiful in spring (near San Diego, California).  The wildflowers and mountain scenery are gorgeous!  The telescopes at Palomar have discovered quasars, brown dwarfs, and Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. 

Spectacular Atlas 5 Rocket Launch Tonight!

Timed Exposure of Atlas 5 Rocket Launch on January 23, 2014

Timed Exposure of Atlas 5 Rocket Launch on January 23, 2014

We had a spectacular rocket launch tonight here on the Space Coast of Florida.  NASA launched a 3.8 ton Atlas 5 communications satellite from Cape Canaveral at 9:33 pm Eastern Standard Time.  What an awesome sight!  This picture is a 2 minute timed exposure of the launch as seen from our home in Palm Bay (about 40 miles south of the Space Center).  Notice the reflection of the rocket trail in the pond (click on the picture to see details and star colors).  Updates and coverage of all worldwide rocket launches is available at http://www.spaceflightnow.com/.

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