Astrophotography

These shots are from my set at Flickr. They are viewed best in full screen. They are a combination of straight camera shots, through scope shots and visualizations made in different software. Enjoy!

Viewing Auroras in America

Current Ovation Map

When it comes to seeing the Northern lights, it helps to live above a certain latitude. I live in New England, but still have to drive north a way to see anything good. These sites will help you know when to look.

First, you will need a dark site:

Aurora at Mt Monadnock
Aurora at Mt Monadnock near Keene, NH

This site has an excellent darkness overlay. Purple and black are best for viewing, but I’ve picked up color in photographs even in green areas as seen in the shot to the left. You might pick up some lighting or spires with your naked eye.

 

Second: Check out some maps of current conditions and learn the lingo
(Understanding K-index)

Lastly, the 11 year solar maximum is coming to an end (written Nov 2014) so get out there while you can. Dark skies!

The Clone Wars

The Clone Wars on Netflix: http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/70155581

Being an original Star Wars era child, I was of course excited at the prospect of the prequels. I was, like others, totally let down by them. My tune has changed now that I’ve finished the 40+ hours of The Clone Wars on Netflix. They took a bit to get going and there were a handful that weren’t worth watching (Episodes rated on IMDB) , but they improved vastly over six seasons. The storyline and the graphics got better and better. They brought Episodes 2 & 3 together very well. They answered questions and tied up so many of the loose ends. Lucas’ broad strokes tried too hard to deliver too much information in the movies.

Disney cut the series a bit short so you don’t get to see what happens to some characters. Sadly the animated Anakin is much better than live and Episode I still stinks. I maintain hope that these 5 or 6 new movies and The Rebels series keep the story going in the Universe that consumed so much of my childhood…

Icelandic Cuisine?

Want to try some amazing looking recipes? My FB and Flickr friend, Helga, just launched her new foodie site. Some great sounding ideas are there, especially for us Americans caught up in our Americanized versions of ethnic foods.

If your Icelandic is rusty (or nonexistent like mine) try using this English pretranslated link: http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=is&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.allskonar.is&act=url

Everything looks delicious and will more than likely make you hungry.

 

Finches at Floreana Island, Galapagos

“Seeing this gradation and diversity of structure in one small, intimately related group of birds, one might really fancy that from an original paucity of birds in this archipelago, one species had been taken and modified for different ends”. -Charles Darwin

Wanted to post this on Darwin day, but forgot to… Better late than, well, you know.

My album from the Galapagos Islands

Current cosmological model

20120831-234821.jpg

This picture show the current cosmological model based on a homogenous, isotopic, inflationary (accelerating) universe. You can see the big bang and subsequent rapid expansion and cooling. From there the cooling allows stars, galaxies and clusters to form as the Universe continues to cool and expand. The widening at the throat of the cone shows our current understanding that the Universe is going to expand faster and faster. As it does galaxies will recede away from us faster.