A quick reminder that the voting for Round 3 of the Title Writing Prompt challenge closes at Noon, this Sunday, June 12th. You can find the poll and links to the stories in THIS post.

Now, then . . . meteors. This was the headline from one news outlet for the Tau Herculids meteor shower (May 30th or May 31, depending on your time zone): The most powerful meteor storm in GENERATIONS could light up skies above North America – but NASA cautions it will be an ‘all or nothing event’. Others, like THIS article from Australia, were more measured (and informative).

The weather was looking iffy for my location, but at around 11 pm — about 45 minutes before the show was scheduled to begin — the sky cleared up. Not crystal clear, but clear enough.

The above was the second photo I took at the time it was supposed to start. It’s very faint, but if you enlarge the photo and zoom in, you can see a diagonal trace in the lower right quadrant of the picture.

It’s more visible if processed differently . . .

On December 11, 2021, I shot this image of the moon with the Nikon P900. I cropped the sides a bit, and output the image with a maximum dimension of 1200 pixels (for the purpose of what I’m posting, there’s no advantage in viewing the original size).

This has no processing other than mentioned above.

Yes, the sky was blue because I shot this a little after 4:00 pm, when it was still light. Let me show you two versions, one post-processed with Topaz DeNoise AI, the other with Topaz Sharpen AI, and then both processed using Lightroom to turn them into Monochrome images.

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow click HERE. When you click the link, it will open in a new window and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos as this will pause the slideshow.

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

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I had three previous posts alerting readers to the December 21, 2020, Saturn and Jupiter Great Conjunction (LINK, LINK, LINK) . . . and I’m a bit behind in documenting the actual event.

This will be a “longish” post taking us From December 10th to December 21st. There will be another post documenting the days after the 21st’s closest (visual) approach of the two gas giants. But for now, let’s proceed.

This post documents days in which I was able to photograph the planets in reasonably clear skies — six days, starting with December 10th and ending with December 21st.

December 10, 2020, 17:10 — Marion, Illinois
Nikon D7500, Nikon AF VR-Nikkor 80-400mm 1:4.5-5.6D
Photo: 80mm 3 sec. f/7.1 ISO 500

Impressive, no? That’s what happens when you forget to change camera settings . . . but, luckily, I shoot RAW, so I can salvage something from that.

I had two posts alerting readers to the Saturn and Jupiter Great Conjunction of 2020 (LINK and LINK), but I realize many people were not able to see it because of weather (or other reasons).

I figure I would do a couple of posts sharing the photos I took of the event as luck smiled upon me and I was able to shoot a number of nights, including the night of the closest approach (December 21st). The two previous posts shared some of the photos, but these posts will go into a bit more depth.

We begin a month prior to the event. November 18th, to be precise, and to be even more precise, November 18, 2020, at 6:15:58 pm (18:15:58) local time (Central/Chicago time).

November 18, 2020, 18:15:58 — Marion, Illinois
Nikon D7500, Sigma DC EX HSM 17-50mm 1:2.8
Photo: 50mm 1.3 sec. f/5.6 ISO 100

I’m including the shooting data as much for me as for anyone else.  The photo was taken from my driveway and the garage lights are illuminating the neighbor’s trees.

I came across THIS site and instantly reawakened my interest in astronomical observations.

Er . . . I don’t mean making my tremendously insightful, wise, and deep commentaries on the nature of the Universe and Humans  in particular.

No, I mean looking at objects inhabiting our Universe, specifically those observable after the sun sets and with clear skies. You know; Moon, stars, UFOs.

I know, I know, I don’t need yet another hobby intruding and diluting my efforts in all my other hobbies. But, that’s the difference between obsession and hobby; the time, the effort, and depth one devotes to the hobby in question. But, I digress.

Lok at this (unprocessed photo) taken on January 14, 2019, while on my Panama cruise. For them interested, Latitude: 9:58:13.7, Longitude: 84:49:50.06. My altitude? It’s listed as 28.2 and I think it’s meters because I was on the balcony of our cabin on the Coral Princess and 28.2 feet is too low. I could be wrong, and it could be some other unit of measure.

Original (as shot) moon during the day (1:05 pm)

For them not interested in reading, you can go directly to the SmugMug Gallery HERE.  

For a slideshow click HERE. When you click the link, it will open in a new window and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the bottom-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos as this will pause the slideshow.

If you want the full experience, keep reading

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