Tag Archives: Sun

Sunset at Vanishing Point

Near us are railroad tracks aligned southeast to northwest. In early August and May, the Sun sets inline with the tracks. Often, it is cloudy or my timing is bad. This year things worked out so some photographs were possible.

It was about 8:03 pm for this first image. The Sun was slightly to the upper left of the vanishing point of the tracks.

8:03 pm

I waited until 8:06 for the next shot. I noticed a few small clouds near the horizon. The alignment seemed a little better.

8:06 pm

One minute later the Sun went behind the clouds. For a change, I held the camera very low to change the perspective a little.

8:07 pm

Sunrises | Late August to Winter Solstice

How I See It

I like long exposure photographs called solargraphs. Photo-sensitive paper is put inside a light-tight container. A pinhole in the container allows an image to be formed on the paper after a very long time. My first attempts were described here. If the Sun shines into the pinhole, it traces a bright line across the paper as in this day-long exposure.

Everyday the Earth moves some distance around the Sun in its orbit, shifting the position of the Sun in the sky. The Sun traces in a solargraph also shift a little each day. Our front window faces east toward sunrise. I exposed a solargraph to those sunrises with hopes of seeing the Sun’s movement toward the south over a long period of time.

The pinhole camera was placed on the east window ledge on 30 Aug 2019. The plan was to leave it there until 21 Dec, the winter…

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Harvest Moon | Shine On Us

A lot of fuss was been made of the Harvest Moon on Friday the 13th. Our Chinese friends noted its significance for them and their love of Moon Cakes. On our way home last night from a dinner party with our friends, we enjoyed views of the full moon high in the southeast sky.

Awake before sunrise on the 14th, I looked for the Moon before it set in the west and was rewarded for my effort with these views. The most-zoomed was at 6:34 am.

A few minutes later sunrise approached. I turned to the east and was rewarded with this golden sky. That radio tower is 13 miles away. Good luck and blessings for all. Peace.

Space Station Transits Sun 08-17-2013

See video of this rare event.

How I See It

I received an email notice earlier in the week from CalSky about the upcoming visible passes of the International Space Station for my location. Contact me or comment below if you would like to set up your own email notices. Normally, the passes are during the evening after sunset or in the morning before sunrise. This week’s notice included a special event. The ISS was going to pass in front of the Sun along a 5 mile wide path across this part of Iowa. The centerline was to be very near me. It was to occur Saturday August 17 at 5:33:26 CDT. I contacted a couple of friends and told them about it. One of them who lived nearby agreed to meet me at the local school yard.

Bob and I met and quickly set up my video camera on the tripod. I had started a countdown timer on my iPod…

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Grand Canyon 2011

We visited Las Vegas in 2011 for the first time. We also drove to the Grand Canyon for two days. We have never been there before. It was an awesome place. Words do not really do it justice.


During a hike on the Rim Trail, we were treated to a herd of seven Big Horn.

This is a Mountain Bluebird. There were a lot of them around.

Bright Angel trail goes to the bottom. Don’t mess with the mules. See the guys on the outcrop in the distance? A sign near them said Do Not Enter. I guess they read it as Enter-Hikers Welcome.

On Thanksgiving morning, we rose well before sunrise and took the shuttle to Hopi Point. We wanted to watch the Sun rise. There is something satisfying to see the motion of the Earth bring the Sun into view like that. Sunrise was followed by a long hike along the rim from the most western Hermit’s Rest point back to a bus pickup. We saw no other people as we walked and watched the Sun paint the canyon walls with color.


Along the hike that morning were these feathery blooms, a variety of Mountain Mahogany? The entire two days at the Grand Canyon was peaceful and magical.


Lord of the Rings – ♄

The planets Earth and Saturn are currently aligned in the same general direction from the Sun. April 28th was the date of the most direct alignment called opposition. Saturn was in the opposite direction of the Sun as viewed from Earth. Saturn rises in the east each evening at about the same time the Sun sets. By late evening it is positioned high and is a pleasing sight in a telescope.

I am fortunate to have an account with the University of Iowa’s Robotic Telescope called Rigel. It is located at the Winer Observatory near Sonoita in southern AZ. The children of the Rigel director were in my physics classes years ago. He kindly gives me the account for my use. On the night of May 4, the Rigel telescope obtained this image for me of the planet Saturn.

How cool is that? I got to use a telescope over a thousand miles away to get this image. What if I could use a spacecraft actually orbiting Saturn to see images up close and in great detail? I would want to see some of the fine structure details of the rings. Galileo called the rings ‘ears’ when he first saw them in 1610.

Let’s go see them.