Venus-led Celestial Love Triangle

Sunday, March 22, 2015




The planets Venus, Mars and a crescent moon formed a celestial right triangle in the western sky at dusk on Saturday, March 21, 2015. Venus (upper left) blazed at magnitude -4.0, while Mars (right of the moon) appeared much less bright at magnitude 1.34. Both of these images were captured from the Bowman Meadows housing development in Marion, Iowa, the top at 8:12 PM CDT and the bottom at 8:19 PM. Nikon D5000 DSLR images were captured with automatic settings. Air temperature was 45 degrees F. This clear sky opportunity was replaced by a winter mix a little over 24 hours later. The waxing moon was one day removed from creating a solar eclipse in various parts of the world.

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Grain Bins And Night Sky

Wednesday, March 18, 2015




The afterglow of sunset, a brilliant planet Venus and the aesthetic silhouette of a cluster of farm grain bins provided these striking images Tuesday evening, March 17, 2015. The location was Jordans Grove Road, about .6-mile north of Radio Road, approximately between the towns of Marion and Whitier Iowa. Air temperature was a brisk 35 degrees F. The top two images face west and were captured at 7:46 and 7:49 PM CDT, respectively. The bottom image looks NW at 7:53 PM. A chance to view Northern Lights from a strong geomagnetic storm this night was quickly eliminated by encroaching clouds. Nikon D5000 DSLR images achieved using automatic settings.

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Evening Planetary Companions

Wednesday, March 11, 2015



The planets Venus and Mars were prominent in the western sky at 8:07 PM CDT, Wednesday, March 11, 2015 with the fading glow of the sun still on the horizon. Venus (upper right) shone like a brilliant jewel at magnitude -3.98, with Mars (below and right of Venus) at 1.31. This image was captured as an eleven second exposure at f/9, 1000 ISO and 26mm focal length. Nikon D5000 DSLR. The location was Alburnett Road (W58), .3-mile north of County Home Road, just north of Marion, Iowa. Foreground illumination provided by the tail lights of my vehicle. Air temperature was 42 degrees F.

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Venus And Mars Are All Right Tonight

Sunday, February 22, 2015




The planets Venus and Mars were less than a degree apart from one another on the evening of Sunday, February 22, 2015. Venus (left in images) gleamed at -3.95 magnitude and Mars at 1.26 magnitude. The top image was captured at 6:31 PM CST, the middle at 6:34 PM and the bottom again at 6:31 PM. The bottom two images include a waxing quarter moon. All images look west from the parking lot at Christ Community United Methodist Church in Marion, Iowa. Prime viewing was actually two evenings earlier, when the planets AND the moon were clustered in very tight formation, but cloud cover prevented it. Air temperature at the time of image capture above was a frigid 3 degrees F, and my exposed fingers became painfully numb in less than a couple of minutes! Camera: Nikon D5000 DSLR.

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Florida Memories

Friday, February 20, 2015




A family vacation to the great state of Florida in 2007 produced the two images seen above. The bottom image shows a billowing cumulonimbus cloud ahead of our vehicle as we traveled south (SE) toward our destination of Orlando. Our location in the image was on Interstate 75 in north Florida, less than a mile from Exit 460 around 3:25 PM EDT, June 10, 2007. A beautiful sunset is shown in the top image near the pier at Clearwater Beach, 8:05 PM, June 14, 2007. Camera: Canon Power Shot A95.

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End Of An Early February Day

Thursday, February 5, 2015




Altocumulus clouds partially hid an already bleak sun on this early February afternoon as seen from Bowman Woods Park in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Both images look west around 3:35 PM, Tuesday, February 5, 2015. Air temperature was a brisk 20 degrees F.

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Boyson Park Snow Scenes

Wednesday, February 4, 2015




The three images above are more photos during the snow event of Sunday, February 1, 2015 as seen from Boyson Park in Marion, Iowa just east of Cedar Rapids. 9 inches of snow was on the ground at this time, and an addition 2 more would fall before it was all over. Times of capture were: top (10:56 AM), middle (11:08 AM) and bottom (11:14 AM). Temperature was 20 degrees F.

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