Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Building units at Colton Circle Condominiums in Cedar Rapids, Iowa stand out in vivid silhouette at dusk around 5:35 PM, Wednesday, January 12, 2011. This image, looking southwest, was shot from the parking lot at Noelridge Christian Church on C Avenue NE. A little over two hours later, this clear sky became completely clouded over.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Mercury, always a challenge to observe because of the planet's close proximity to the sun, achieved its greatest western elongation Sunday morning, January 9, 2011. This nine-second exposure at f/6.3 of a clear southeastern sky captured Mercury (left center between power lines and horizon) just 2 1/2 hours before its greatest elongation (maximum angle between the sun and an inferior planet as seen from Earth). Mercury's apparent magnitude was -0.22. The bright star between the power lines at right center is the red giant Antares, in the constellation Scorpius. The brightest object at upper right is the planet Venus, which achieved its own greatest western (morning) elongation the previous day. This image was shot around 6:30 AM, January 9 along Boyson Road near Timber Oak Place in Marion, Iowa. The artificial lights along the horizon at right belong to the city of Marion. Air temperature at this time was -1 degree F.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
The constellation Orion (center), the Great Hunter in Greek mythology, glitters in the southeast sky around 10:20 PM, Tuesday, January 4, 2011. "Following" Orion are his "dogs," the constellations Canis Major (Greater Dog, lower left) and Canis Minor (Lesser Dog, upper left). The star Sirius in Canis Major, also known as "The Dog Star," is the brightest star in the sky, glowing at a magnitude of -1.47. Appearing as bright or brighter in this image is Procyon in Canis Minor. Although very bright, Procyon is actually dimmer than Sirius, glowing at a 0.37 magnitude. The star at top left is Alhena in Gemini, shining at a 1.90 magnitude. This 12-second exposure at f/3.5 and an ISO of 800 was taken from Bowman Woods Park in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The brownish splotches between Canis Major and Orion are clouds.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
With the peak actually coming before midnight in the Midwest on Monday, January 3, 2011, viewing of the Quadrantid meteor shower from Cedar Rapids, Iowa was very difficult as skies were mostly cloudy in the early evening hours. This viewing opportunity came before dawn the next morning as skies cleared. This 30-second exposure at f/3.5 with an ISO of 400 was captured around 5:25 AM, January 4. It looks northeast and includes a faint meteor streak located in the constellation Draco at top center. At right center is the constellation Hercules. The bright star Vega in the constellation Lyra is seen partially obscured by the tree branches at center lower. A 12 degree F air temperature with windy conditions made it feel colder than the -3 degree F morning I had on my Geminids photo vigil on December 14.