A photogenic comet visits in a year when the world is shut down by a virus. We can still appreciate its beauty and find an isolated area in a nearby park. Photographing comets has become considerably easier in the twenty years since my previous attempts trying to capture Comet Hale-Bopp on film!
A few days from the winter solstice, at the arctic circle, the moon sets at noon. The sun, hugging the opposite horizon is also about to set, casting its red light on different generations of pine trees.
The ocean of trees part to make way for electric power to cross the northern regions of Sweden. The sun has momentarily peeked above the horizon and will soon drop below it again in the days before the winter solstice at this arctic circle location.
The Earth moves under the North Star while the moon illuminates the red rock canyon wall of Ayers Natural Bridges Park.
We were pleasantly surprised to discover this hidden gem in Wyoming, land donated from their ranch by the Ayres family. The park was entirely free, including campsites, but no pets are allowed. This is considered a benefit to some.
Amateur astronomers from around the country gathered at the observing facilities of the Minnesota Astronomical Society on a warm July evening. They discuss their observing plans for the night and wait in eager anticipation as the brighter planets start to appear in the fading twilight.
The moon rises over the cityscape of Minneapolis as its buildings start to turn on their own lighting.. This is the “supermoon”, a designation for when the moon is unusually close to Earth and hence, appears even larger than expected.
At 66 degrees north, Husavik Iceland is one degree away from the arctic circle. This places it directly beneath the usual position of the auroral oval, that zone of active energized atmosphere that creates the northern lights. The weather in Iceland is often overcast, but on this day the clouds cleared and the aurora were so brilliant they could be seen even over the lights of the city center and its active harbor.
At the end of totality, the moon starts to uncover the sun’s incredibly brilliant photosphere and creates a visual effect called the “diamond ring”. It lasts only a moment, but leaves an remarkably strong emotional impression that may be responsible for why those that witness it, seek it again, at the next total eclipse of the sun.