Comet Neowise

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!

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Excelsior, MN
20 July 2020
Canon EOS Ra with 70-200mm (200)4 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600


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Ayres Natural Bridge Park

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.

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10 July 2019
Ayres Natural Bridge Park, Douglas Wyoming
Canon 60Da with EOS EFS 10-22mm(@10mm)
Composited 5-minute exposures at f/5.6, ISO 200, 2-1/2 hours elapsed


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Astronomical League

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.  

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13 July 2018
Eagle Lake Observatory at Baylor Regional Park,  Young America MN
Apple iPhone 7+
1/60 @ f/2.8, ISO 1250


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Minneapolis Moonrise

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.

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Minneapolis MN
2 December 2017
Canon EOS 60Da, EF 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm
1/60, f/2.8, ISO 400


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Icelandic Aurora

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.

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Husavik Iceland
21 September 2017
Canon EOS 60Da, EFS 10-22mm @ 12mm
2 sec, f/4, ISO 800


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The Belt of Venus

The rosy glow of scattered twilight in the East is known as the “Belt of Venus”, which rides above the deep blue of Earth’s shadow on the sky.  Here it is witnessed from the vantage of Hawaii’s tallest peak, Mauna Kea, as the world’s premier telescopes prepare for another evening of peering into the universe.

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Mauna Kea, Hawaii
3 January 2017
iPhone7+ panorama


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Nile Star Trails

We are guests on the river boat Omar El Kayan, named after an Arab poet, visiting the areas of Egypt where Lake Nasser, created by the Aswan dam has submerged the ancient temples along the former banks of the Nile river.  Abu Simbel was the most famous, but there were others, and we visited the sites where they had been carefully relocated.

At the end of a hot day navigating the lake, the boat moored. The wind and water were calm and the sky was dark on this section of the Nile.  Out of curiosity I made a series of exposures hoping to capture the feeling of stars above the famous river and the desert around me.  But calm water does not mean motionless water, and the camera recorded the small wave motions rocking the boat on which I was a passenger for the night.

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Nile River near Kasr Ibrim, Egypt
8 October 2016
EOS 60Da with EFS 10-22mm(10mm)
5 minutes, f/4, ISO 1600
Composite of 23 5-minute exposures (~2 hours)


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Abisko Aurora-2

The view from the docks at  the town of Abisko on Lake Trondetraske. The “Gates of Lapland” is seen in the distance as a notch in the wall of mountains.

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Abisko, Sweden
16 Nov 2015
EOS 60Da with EFS 10-22mm(10mm)
30 seconds, f/4.5, ISO 1600


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