Skip navigation

Tag Archives: Astronomy

Lunar Eclipse April 2015

I’ll never get tired of watching lunar eclipses.  Even though I understand the science of what’s occurring, there’s still something magical and mystical about the event.

This morning’s eclipse peaked exactly at 5:00 AM in the San Francisco Bay Area. This image shows the darkest point of the eclipse.  There was still a sliver of light on the upper right edge of the moon that never disappeared completely.  I think folks in western Alaska and Hawai’i were treated to “true” totality…but we got the next best thing!

No complaints from this photographer.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I could use a nap!

A couple of weeks ago, in the post about Haleakala, I promised I would put up some images of constellations that I took from the rim of the volcano.  This is one of them:  Ursa Major, aka The Big Dipper.

These are a few of the places I’ve been on this planet where I’ve been able to see amazing night skies, devoid of light pollution and air pollution, which stand out in my memory:

  • somewhere in the Pacific Ocean about halfway between California and Hawaii.  I did a sailing race and was treated to two weeks of amazing stargazing.  The 0200-0500 watch (in every other respect torturous) was the best for this.
  • The Australian countryside.  I’ve never been to the true Outback (called the Never-Never in Aussie slang) but it’s on my Bucket List, if for no other reason than spectacular stargazing.
  • Haleakala, on Maui, and Mauna Kea, on The Big Island, both volcanoes in the state of Hawai’i
  • The deserts in Southeastern California, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada
  • The Andes in Peru
  • The desert in Baja (Mexico)
  • The high Sierras (California)
There are many more places on my astronomic Bucket List I have yet to visit.  For example:
  • Anywhere I can see the Northern Lights (I’ve never seen them.)
  • Anywhere I can see a total eclipse of the sun (I’ve seen many partials, but never a total.)
  • The Himalayas
  • Africa
  • Anywhere on earth far enough from urban areas where there is no light pollution to dim the splendor of the night sky.
  • Outer Space (I’m hoping it becomes affordable in my lifetime!)

Here’s another well-known constellation:  Orion, aka The Hunter.  Contrast this shot of Orion with the one in yesterday’s post that was taken in Agoura Hills (Los Angeles County).  The difference is dramatic.  Which sky would you rather see at night?