Monday, February 27, 2012
The season of winter was still very evident in this snowy scene looking east across Bowman Woods Park in Cedar Rapids, Iowa around 8:17 AM, Sunday, February 26, 2012. This view was imaged from Bowman Woods Elementary School. Thinly veiling the rising sun are altocumulus undulatus clouds. By the end of the day, with temperatures peaking at 51 degrees F, the snow was all gone.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
The sun sets above a unit of the Colton Square Condominiums just north of Boyson Road and C Avenue NE in Cedar Rapids, Iowa around 4:53 PM, Wednesday, February 22, 2012. Official sunset time was 5:47 PM CST. This view looks west from the parking lot at Noelridge Christian Church on C Avenue. Occupying much of the sky is altocumulus undulatus clouds.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Looking somewhat out of place and peculiar, I spied this band of light stretched out low on the northern horizon around 9:20 PM, Saturday, February 18, 2012. The band seemed to hold its position and shape unlike the isolated cirrus clouds that drifted straight over me. Had I photographed the Aurora Borealis--Northern Lights? After returning home and checking the auroral oval on spaceweather.com (which shows the current strength of magnetic storms hitting Earth's atmosphere) it seemed probable. The oval extended down into the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin, giving credence to the identity of this image. The image is a 20 second exposure at f/4.5, 640 ISO, 18mm focal length. It was shot from just west of the grounds at Christ Community United Methodist Church in Marion, Iowa. In the background just in front of the tree line is East Robins Road. The bright line at left was caused by aircraft lights.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
The previous day's posting was but one exposure of the 64 stacked images shown here. Each of the 64 exposures was shot at 30 seconds at f/4.5, 250 ISO and 18mm focal length. The open field in the foreground is located just west of the grounds at Christ Community United Methodist Church in Marion, Iowa. Total exposure time was from 8:41-9:17 PM, Saturday, February 18, 2012. The bright streak at center in this view of the east sky is the planet Mars. The brownish smudge at right is clouds drifting into the frame. The photo stacking effect was created from StarStaX software.
Monday, February 20, 2012
As luck would have it, a meteor appeared in the frame of one of 64 images I was taking to create a stacked star trail image. Also seen in this image looking east from just west of the grounds at Christ Community United Methodist Church in Marion, Iowa is the -1.00 magnitude planet Mars at center. Mars is the brightest object amid stars of the constellation Leo. Encroaching clouds are seen at right. The months of February and March are usual slow times for meteor activity with early morning times as the most favorable for viewing them, so this occurrence was very satisfying. This image was shot at 9:00 PM, Saturday, February 18, 2012. It is a 30-second exposure at f/4.5, 250 ISO, 18mm focal length.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
I was busy photographing star trails a few miles from this location in Marion, Iowa when I noticed what appeared to be a large bank of clouds situated low across the northern horizon after 9:00 PM, Saturday, February 18, 2012. To be sure, some isolated cirrus clouds were passing overhead at this moment but the northern scene appeared far removed from the cirrus. I had been aware of aurora potential throughout the day so I relocated to a better vantage point about 2 miles to the west and took this image. The image looks north from Echo Hill Presbyterian Church along C Avenue. Upon returning home, I checked out spaceweather.com and noticed how far south the aurora oval was and soon viewed photos of Northern Lights displays from the neighboring states of North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. I'm still not sure if these are indeed far off aurora, but the scene never seemed to vary or move as clouds would. This is a 25 second exposure shot at f/4.5, 640 ISO and 18mm focal length and photographed around 9:32 PM.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
This dominate elevator structure located at the corporate headquarters of EIC (Eastern Iowa Construction & Roofing), 2957 Highway 13 northeast of Marion, Iowa stands tall against the stars in this view looking north around 8:00 PM, Saturday, February 18, 2012. The beams of light at lower left and right emanate from outdoor floodlights on the lower part of the building. The image is a 30 second exposure at f/6.3, 250 ISO and 18mm focal length.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
This image is the product of stacking 56 30-second exposures into a single image using StarStax software. Total time duration was from 8:00-8:40 PM, Saturday, February 11, 2012. I had to overcome of some 5-degree F windchill factors and the ruining glare of headlights from an oncoming errant vehicle at far right of one exposure to achieve this finished image. The headlight glare was subsequently Photoshopped out. This image looks east toward Noelridge Christian Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The bright streaks at upper left belong to the constellation Ursa Major, the bright streak emanating from the right side of the building is the -0.83 magnitude planet Mars. Each exposure was shot at f/5, 250 ISO and 18mm focal length.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Two bright planets show off their brightness while one needed this 30-second exposure to be seen clearly. Venus shines brightly at center lower at magnitude -4.13 while Jupiter competes at upper left at magnitude -2.27. Zooming in this image allows one to see the 5.92 magnitude planet Uranus, the first "star" visible under Venus. Uranus can be seen with the naked eye under dark conditions. However it never was recognized as a planet throughout early history because of its dimness and slow orbit. The houses in the foreground are located on White Ivy Place NE in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as seen from the grounds of nearby Noelridge Christian Church. This photo was shot at f/5, 250 ISO and 18mm focal length, 7:57 PM, Saturday, February 11, 2012.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
A short burst of steam from the Duane Arnold Energy Center (DAEC) near Palo, Iowa created this colorful plume reflected by the setting sun as seen around 5:28 PM, Wednesday, February 8, 2012 from the grounds at Noelridge Christian Church in Cedar Rapids, about eight miles to the facility's southeast.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Hundreds of stars sparkle across the southeast sky like confetti as seen from Radio Road just northeast of Marion, Iowa and .3 mile east of Highway 13 around 7:40 PM, Monday, January 30, 2012. Prominent among the myriad pinpoints of light is the constellation Orion (center), with the glow from NGC 2024 Diffuse Nebula, NGC 1977 Open Cluster and NGC 1976 Nebula in the left belt and scabbard areas clearly seen. The bright object at center lower is the -1.47 magnitude star Sirius in the constellation Canis Major (Larger Dog) and at far left is Procyon, at magnitude 0.37, in Canis Minor (Smaller Dog). Both stars are relatively close to Earth with Sirius being 8.6 light years away and Procyon at 11 light years away. A very faint Milky Way strip, overpowered by urban lights, runs vertically between Procyon and Sirius. This image is a 30 second exposure at f/5.6, ISO 320 and 18mm focal length.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Low level clouds brilliantly reflect light from the setting sun in this view looking south from Brentwood Drive at Chatham Road NE in Cedar Rapids, Iowa around 5:16 PM, Thursday, January 26, 2012. The sky was in the process of clearing out and these clouds were moving right to left in this image. Dimly visible at upper right is a waxing crescent moon.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
The planet Venus, named for the Roman goddess of love (et al), blazes away at magnitude -4.08 behind power lines as it sets in the southwest sky as seen from Radio Road just northeast of Marion, Iowa and .3 mile east of Highway 13. Venus was residing in the constellation Aquarius on this night (7:42 PM, Monday, January 30, 2012). Visible stars at left (behind utility pole) belong to the constellation Cetus, and at right are stars in Pegasus. This image was a ten second exposure at f/5.6, ISO 320 and an 18mm focal length.