Flame Out

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Lasting ten minutes at the most, this brilliant flaming sunrise quickly gave way to cold rain and high winds on the morning of Wednesday, April 27, 2016. This image was captured at 6:13 am CDT and looks east at Wolf Creek Trail and Miller Road in Hiawatha, Iowa. Temperature was a chilly 44 degrees F. iPhone 6 Plus camera.

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Ecliptic Dwellers

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


The moon, the planets Saturn & Mars and the star Antares were in close proximity to one another early in the morning of Tuesday, April 26, 2016. All four reside along the ecliptic, the apparent celestial spherical path of the sun, moon, planets and constellation stars of the zodiac. This image, captured at 3:13 am CDT, shows from left: the waning gibbous moon, 0.20-magnitude planet Saturn and -1.32 planet Mars. Below Mars is the 1.03 magnitude star Antares--the heart of the constellation Scorpius. Image is a 2-second exposure at f/10, 1600 ISO and 55mm focal length. Camera looks south from Brentwood Drive NE in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Nikon D7200 DSLR camera.

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Panorama East, Panorama West

Monday, April 25, 2016




From this perspective along Alburnett Road, about 2.6 miles south of Alburnett, Iowa and about .85-mile north of County Home Road (E34), the sky was equally colorful to both the east (top) and to the west. Both images are panoramas. Top image was captured at 7:53 pm CDT, Wednesday, April 20, 2016, and the bottom one minute later. The top image shows a line a receding storm clouds. Nikon D7200 DSLR camera.

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Visually Impressive, But Non-Threatening

Thursday, April 21, 2016



A non-severe storm on Thursday evening, April 21, 2016 did little more than rumble with thunder, but looked very impressive with a decent updraft. The storm was located to the west of the camera,
located in Bowman Woods Park in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Because the center of low pressure was located over Iowa, this storm was actually receding to the west. The above image shows the top of the cell, accompanied by the sun at 4:07 pm CDT.


The cell had blossomed skyward and had nearly blotted out the sun in this image captured at 4:17 pm.


The above image is a three-photo panorama stitch, taken at 4:21 pm. All photos were shot with a #4 neutral density filter. Nikon 7200 DSLR camera.

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Seven Degrees Of Mercury

Monday, April 18, 2016



Thwarted from view for nearly an hour after sunset, the elusive planet Mercury finally emerged from horizon cloud cover and afterglow around 8:50 pm CDT, Sunday, April 17, 2016, when it was about 7 degrees above the horizon. The camera looks WNW here from the grounds at Echo Hill Presbyterian Church north of Marion, Iowa. Image is a 15-second exposure at f/13, 400 ISO, 80mm focal length. Mercury shone at -0.02 magnitude and was one day away from its greatest elongation. Cloud cover and the forecast of rain on Monday evening precluded its appearance on its optimum day of separation from the sun. Air temperature at the moment of photo capture was 64 degrees F, relative humidity 56%. Nikon D7200 DSLR camera.

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Anyone See My Mercury?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


The sky was clear, the -0.53 magnitude planet Mercury was 15 degrees above the horizon
after sunset, and I had an unobstructed view of the western horizon Tuesday evening, April
12, 2016. So where was Mercury? My SkyView app on my iPhone showed it was there, but
my eyes proved otherwise. Apparently just enough atmospheric haze existed at horizon level to prevent its viewing. The above image looks west from Hindman Road, .1-mile north of Radio Road and northeast of Marion, Iowa at 7:49 pm CDT. The consolation prize was a pastel sunset afterglow--not to mention the soft lowing of cows and the smell of manure. :-)


The image above looks along Radio Road at 7:55 pm, and below at 8:15 pm.


The three radio transmitter towers of WMT AM 600 are seen at right. Temperature was 48 degrees F.
Nikon D7200 DSLR camera.

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First and Second Waves

Wednesday, April 6, 2016




Despite conditions more like winter (top), turbulent waves of clouds moved into the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area during the evening hours of Tuesday, April 5, 2016. The above image, a three-image panorama stitch, appeared in the west sky over Bowman Woods Park at 4:48 pm CDT.


By 5:33 pm a new wave of turbulence blew through (above), looking rather mammatus-like. This image looks southeast. Below, is an unusual arch-shaped cloud looking west over the park at 5:35 pm. Winds kicked up and light rain ensued at this time. Nikon D7200 DSLR camera.


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