Wednesday, September 30, 2009

365 Theme 232: Photograph

Page one above the fold. Original image here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Adventures in Astrophotography

Star trails, although in this image it is the camera that moved, not the stars. The red monstrosity is the telescope set up next to mine. Behind it is the open trunk of a car. (This and this is what they look like when you do it right.)

The artistic effects of a fog filter by a photographer too cheap to buy an actual fog filter. Dew on the lens is free!

Finally, a tip for all you budding astrophotographers: once you set the focus try not to fiddle with the lens. Or you'll get shots like this one, with big round out of focus stars.

Mr. Murphy was my assistant on this night.
365 Theme 174: Local Landmarks

For very large values of "local".

This is M31, the Andromeda Galaxy. The largest galaxy in the "Local Group". Two satellite galaxies of M31 are also visible, M32 and M110. Another galaxy, which may be NGC 278, is visible in the upper left corner [Update: the galaxy in the upper left has been identified as NGC 185].

M31 is the visible to the naked eye at a dark sky location. At 2.5 million light years away, it is probably the most distant local landmark visible from earth. And no doubt it is the largest object I'll ever use my macro lens on.

Monday, September 21, 2009

365 Theme 324: There's No Place Like Home

Another image made at Cherry Springs, this one is a close up of the part of the sky covered by the last image. Deneb, the brightest star in the constellation Cyngus, is to the lower right. To the left of Deneb is NGC 7000, also known as the North American Nebula. It is the pinkish area the bottom of which looks like the Gulf of Mexico.

If you draw a line between Deneb and the Xi Cygni, gold star off the California coast, it will pass through New Jersey, the state which I call home.

Further more, all of the stars you see here are in the Milky Way galaxy, which is of course our home galaxy.
365 Theme 68: Cross

The Northern Cross asterism in the constellation Cygnus the Swan. Another image made at Cherry Springs State Park in Potter County Pennsylvania. The cross is somewhat difficult to make out, as there are so many stars in this image.
365 Theme 235: Places of Worship

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."
- Albert Einstein, What I Believe, 1930

The Milky Way over Cherry Springs State Park.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

365 Theme 136: Hair

Another Pine Barrens flower, Lophiola aurea or Gold-Crest.
365 Theme 201: Not Your Mother's Tongue

Unless your mother is a great black backed gull.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

365 Theme 155: Imperfect

Unfortunately, this harvestmen has but seven of the normal eight legs.

365 Theme 244: Public Transportation

Of a day gone by.

If you look closely you'll see the railroad ties. Closer still you can see the track. But it has been quite some time since steam engines plied this line. Once upon a time the coming of the railroads to the Pine Barrens of New Jersey was seen as the opening of the area to increased development and industry. Fortunately for us nature lovers it was too little to late. And all that is left are the scattered ruins of a former time.

Monday, September 7, 2009

365 Theme 159: Inspiration

Even when things look their worst, keeping on fighting.

(Alas, the gull had crab for lunch.)
365 Theme 223: Pair

Actually, two pair. The first pair, the oystercatchers, is obvious. Perhaps not so obvious is the second pair.

It is a dangerous world out there, as evidenced by the missing feet on two of the birds. If you look closely you can see the nearer oystercatcher and the gull each have one club foot. I wonder what story each could tell of the events which led to their current state?
365 Theme 196: Navigational Aids

For ships of both air and sea. Do you think they had this in mind?

This lighthouse is Twin Lights in Highlands, NJ. First built in 1828 this building was erected in 1862. Decommissioned in 1949 and acquired by the state of New Jersey in 1962, which now operates it as a historical museum.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

365 Theme 71: Curly

Another Pine Barrens flower, Trichostema dichotomum aka Blue Curls.

A Puzzle.

There are seven birds in this image. Can you find them all? A hint: there's only one gull.

As always, click on the image for a larger version. Good luck!