Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earthshine, City Aurora and The UFO Show

People I'm loving this camera, in the last 3 months I've taken over 3,000 shots, given me something to do while my scopes are out of commission due to the cold weather, kept me off the street, not like I've ever been on the street, but if I ever was on the street, I'd be off the street now baby. I took the above image of the Moon during it's last crescent phase to show off its Earthshine which is Sunlight reflected off the Earth back onto the Moon's dark phase, to give the Moon an aspen glow.

The interesting thing about the above picture is I wasn't trying to image the aurora, I was trying to image the Genesis 1 satellite that was going to be passing by at that time at that altitude, in fact the aurora wasn't even visible, but after a 30 second exposure at ISO of 3200 the coolest thing happened, the aurora showed up, right over the city, reminds me of how in space shows when a spacecraft attacks another and for an instant the shield of the attacked spacecraft lights up, well we are under attack by all kinds of cosmic rays and the solar wind, and we have our Magnetosphere to protect us and it's lighting up says, hey I'm working.

There was a science fiction show called UFO that ran from 1970-1973, it was set in the 80's and it was basically about aliens trying to capture and kill humans for their body parts, to foil the aliens there was a top secret organization called SHADO, Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organisation. I just got my DVD megaset in the mail. This show was so cool for so many reasons, especially for someone my age at the time, it had UFOs, aliens, air battles, oh and the Moon girls had purple hair, and English accents. Another thing, I loved the fact that whenever the pilots go off to battle the aliens, they slide down a ramp to get into their spacecraft, very awesome.
I was lucky enough to find on You Tube a video of the 1 minute intro to the show, yep this is the kind of stuff I watch.

Remember to do your part for Earth Hour tonight March 29 8 pm-9 pm, just turn off a light, a computer, tv just for the hour, we as individuals can make a difference to retard the effects of global warming. I'll be out weather permitting to see the difference in the amount of stars I can see as our city will be turning off non-essential lights between 8 pm and 9 pm.


Swubird said...


Cool post. I watched the video. I never saw that show, but it looks interesting. I also watched the video clip about aliens at Area 51. That was also cool. They claim that there were nine flying saucers that we were trying to reverse engineer. They also claim that they had interviewed an actual alien. Who knows?

Have a nice day.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Loved learning about the Earthsine, Bob. Super photos and post!!! You sure are having fun...finding auroras on your camera. :D

I'll remember to find something to do with Jeff for an hour without electricity tonight. Hmmm...I'm thinking candles. :D

Hugs, JJ

kml said...

Wow Bob - that is really cool about the aurora only showing up in the picture - it is excellent and I bet a great surprise to discover when processing it.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks swubird, the video, is that the one with Bob Lazar? It's crazy that some people there have 38 levels above top secret clearence, geez, you'd think top secret would be a good enough level,lol \m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JJ, the city turned off a bunch of lights on the side streets tonight, our house was dark except for some candles.

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Kathy, you can imagine the surprise I had when I saw it on the view screen of the camera right after the picture was taken, forget the processing. \m/

Oswegan said...

Cool images Bob, glad to hear you are enjoying the camera. I can't wait to upgrade mine, but Dave Ramsey won't let me get a new one yet.

Moonshadow said...

Bob, I have sooo much to learn. I finally got a decent shot of the moon, but it wasn't full and it WAS cloudy. It's been cloudy ever since. I see I'm going to need a telephoto lens and of course the remote. What lens would you recommend? Did they show that series in the US? I don't recall ever seeing it. I think it's funny that the type is being done with a selectric ball head typewriter. I always wanted one. : )

Anonymous said... those hot moon girls with the purple hair, English accents and tight suits. Are you sure that's not the real reason you wanted this DVD set? :->
As usually your shots are great. I'm envious and can't wait to upgrade to the Canon 5D I'm buying for Christmas this year.
Check out the new MW Society page at
and feel free to contribute once you accept the invite.

Take care.

Ruth said...

Bob, you are such a crackup.

I see you were into space way back when. I never heard of that show either, is it Canadian? Must be British?

Very nice that you participated in Earth Hour, we were out at a restaurant. I agree with Drowsey over at her blog that businesses need to make a difference.

I like imagining you outside during that hour, seeing if you could get better views of space.

Bob Johnson said...

lol, oswegan you better listen to dave, I'm sure it won't be too long before he gives you the go ahead. \m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hey moonshadow glad your getting some good shots of the Moon. the lens I have works pretty good and is about the best for the money, it is a Canon Ultrasonic 75mm - 300mm f4-5.6 III USM

The UFO show was a British series, I don't know exactly where it was released, just know it aired in Canada.

Bob Johnson said...

lol, JD, I refuse to answer that question on the grounds it might incriminate me, oh and you forgot the mini skirts. \m/ \m/

The 5D is a great pro camera for sure, great Christmas present, looks so good too. don't tell oswegan, he might get sad, Dave Ramsey hasn't given him the go ahead yet to upgrade his, lol

Yes I have put up the badge, have to sign up and then watch , the quality of writers is amazing, so I'll be watching at first then contributing, again thanks so much for even considering me.

Bob Johnson said...

lol Ruth, I don't remember if I ever wasn't interested in space stuff.

The series was British produced, way ahead for it's time, I was at the time still reeling from the cancellation of Star Trek 2 years previous ,lol.

We did what we could for Earth Hour, our mall and company were really behind it and turned off what we could at work as well.

The city did turn off some lights, unfortunately it was cloudy, couldn't do my experiment where I count the stars in the Big Dipper during and after Earth Hour to see if there was any difference. \m/

Livingsword said...

Hey Bob;

You are getting some very fine images from your camera, but only 3000 shots in 3 months? LOL LOL

Phasers or quantum torpedos? Hmm I guess it could be destruptors…

I am very thankful for the Magnetosphere, I will have a sip of tea in celebration….*sip*…

I loved UFO!!!!!!!! The whole show was cool but I liked the girls the best (just like Space 1999)…you know I used to have blue hair with a red lighting bolt on the side….

Is the DVD set available in stores or do you have to order it?

Earth hour was enjoyable as was the video Bob, thanks for a the retro look….

I always have a lot of fun here bob!!!

You do a great job…..

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks livingsword, lol you know all the spaceshow speak, love it.

Phasers, Quantum Torpedos, Disrupters, sigh, I can go weeks without hearing those words, verbal or written, thanks for putting them in your comment. \m/

That is too cool that you knew of the show and thought it was cool, but of course we didn't just like it for the Moon girls, it was a very informative show, good plots and all. \m/

I loved Space 1999 as well, and your hair would have been very cool especially with the red lightning bolt, there was a time when one of my daughters changed the color of her hair daily,lol.

You have to buy the UFO megaset online, I bought my copy at

I haven't seen it in any retail store, glad you have a good time when your here, thanks for dropping by.

Roger said...

I wish I had your camera Bob lol! You take the most awesome photos with it!!

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Roger, thanks, your the man Roger with taking pics, love your wildlife shots. \m/ \m/

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob,

The Earthshine on the moon looks very pretty :) I can imagine hypothetical Moonlings getting light from the Earth at night, just as the moon does to us. But will that light be blue colored?

I hadn't seen that show but it reminded me a lot about another show during *my* childhood, called "Space City Sigma". It was in Hindi.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks priyank, never heard of that show, googled still nothing only comes up with an incomplete imdb info screen, I would like to know more about it if you know of any other web site.

Will said...

Hi Bob - We did the lights out thing last night. I was actually the only one home so it was a bit easier. I noticed after that my greenhouse lights were still on. Oh well. I wonder if any space shots of the dimming will be shown anywhere?

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Will, I'm hoping somebody was on the ball and recorded the Earth from satellites, we have the technology to do this, it would be very interesting for sure.

Moonshadow said...

Bob, hop on over to my blog and pick up your award!

Peter said...

Hi! Thank you for taking me back to my past as I also loved that show and THOSE moon girls. Weren't they just GREAT!

That also reminds me, Captain Kirk had a way with alien girls, didn't he, lucky fellow!

As for the 29th, I spent 10 hours under fluoro lighting but the lights did go out on (well, most of them anyway) the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Take Care,

self taught artist said...

(still have to scroll to see whole page) this blog has become a work of art bob johnson!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks a bunch moonshadow for the award, thanks for thinking of me and the mention on your blog!!

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, Peter the moongirls were something, it is great you got the series, it does take a guy back down memory lane, one of the reasons I bought it.

Kirk, what can I say about him, quite the ladies man,lol

Thanks for sharing what you folks did for Earth Hour, that was cool.\m/ \m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Paula, always great to see you here, thanks for reminding me, totally forgot, works on all my computers. I don't know if there is anything we can do but will look into it further.

Two Feathers said...

I loved that idea of everyone turning off their lights, and I found it really interesting that it didn't even make the news here in Kansas City.

I have this fantasy that I indulge in when I'm out driving late at night.... it goes something like this:

On either side of me... for a radius of anywhere from 10 to 100 miles (depending on my mood) ... all the street lights go out. Criminals are paralized (I do understand that dark streets can be dangerous). And people go outside and look up at the stars... and wow! they can actually see them!

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Shirley, to bad Earth hour wasn't advertised down there.

Love your fantasy, especially about the criminals being paralyzed,lol \m/

Anuj said...


You really have a talent with camera.
Video was cool too.

Space has always mesmerized me, and it is heart warming to see people share my passion.


Anuj Pathania
Business Consultant

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks anuj, and thanks for dropping by.

Lynda Lehmann said...

Bob, your posts are getting more and more interesting and eclectic as you go! Imagine seeing the aurora by accident!

I'm like you, forever shooting, but my winter shots are more apt to be in the warmth of the kitchen!

I'm glad you're having such a great time with your camera!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Lynda, eclectic, love it makes sense. I tried doing shots from the window, doesn't work so well at night, have to go out in the -35c weather, good news it is getting warmer, actually not using gloves a lot of the time now, lol \m/

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

Rofl - thanks for the video clip - that did bring the memories back.... the string vests were hilarious!

Also good to know that there's someone else out there who clocks 1k photos a month.

Bob Johnson said...

No problem Julie, I'm watching the string vests nightly now with my dvd set,lol. I never ever thought it'd be possible to take 1,000 pics a month, I mean why would someone, then you get a DSLR and you do, this is in the cold weather, can only imagine what I will be taking when it warms up. \m/ \m/

Lynda Lehmann said...

wow, bob, it would be way too cold for ME to go without gloves! guess i'm getting old....

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob,
That si-fi show was inspired by Star Trek. A space city formed by advanced human species entrusted with protecting the earth from aliens. It was during those socialist times in India when we had just a handful of TV channels and no exposure to outside world. I scanned several websites too be none of the shows from that era are on there :(

Anna said...

Hey Bob, glad that you are staying off the streets, lol. I can hear you about the camera, however, the funny thing is, I put mine away for the winter, just used it for special occasions, like the eclipse, and moon shots. Its almost like we switched, lol. These are great photos of the moon, and the aurora, you are really lucky to have all this, however, it is really nice of you to share it all with us. Great again, Anna :)

Anna said...

...ok Bob this is where I met to insert my favorite icon, lol, \m/, Anna :)

Bob Johnson said...

lol Lynda, still have to use gloves the majority of the time, especially moving the tripod, steel legs burn the finger tips. lol \m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks for trying priyank and the extra info, I couldn't find anything on it, too bad. \m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Anna, Love the camera and how it automatically keeps track of the amount of images taken, I never would have thought that many, but it has given me something to do and I'm loving the results. \m/

thanks for using the icons,
my fav is the rocking alien too.

\m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/

Marvin the Martian said...

I wanted to tell you, I enjoy your blog and your photos. I would dearly love to unpack our 5-inch reflector and do some stargazing, but we never seem to have the time in the jungle, and the bugs are often thick enough to clog the lens.

Have a nice evening...

:greenalien: :S

Bob Johnson said...

Hey marvin thanks for dropping by, you have jungles on Mars?, I knew it. You also have a 5" reflector, that is cool, you could see a lot with that, throw caution to the wind, risk the bug attack, view the cosmos. \m/ \m/

Max said...

Hey Bob,

Loved the header: thumbs up!!! :D

Crescent moon: did you know that if you cut your hair during this phase it will grow faster? When I was told for the first time I thought it to be silly, but then I tried it and I had to admit that it is hair grew like crazy!

This aurora is so beautiful! I love looking at your captions of it...there is something magical about the way you look at them (one can tell that you really like them). And if you weren't expecting, consider it a gift from God specially for you :D!

I think I watched a few episodes of UFO...I remember these purple-headed ladies lol. But nowadays I am not into Sci-fi anymore, that phase is over...
"English accents" do you fancy British accents?

Earth Hour seemed a good initiative, but Portugal didn't participate and as such I only heard about it at 21:15 on the News....*nodding*! I had to personify the Portuguese politicians trying to justify to the EU why Portugal wouldn't participate LOL....


Livingsword said...

Hi Bob!

You know with all the talk around here of Moon Girls, Space 1999 and Kirk your blog is seconding as a sci-fi page! Very nice….

I have always found it interesting how most guys think Kirk was the best captain and most of the ladies prefer Picard….even though on screen Kirk got more of the ladies….

Thanks for the link looks interesting….and my birthday is coming up….

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Max, glad you like the header, it is cool, that is wild about your hair growing faster during the crescent phase of the Moon.

Sci Fi is a phase I shall never be out of,lol.

I think the thing with accents, it is just something that is different, could be any accent, just the fact that it is something out of the ordinary from what I'm used to makes me fancy it.

Too bad about the not participating in Earth hour, I think it was a super great thing. \m/ :yes: :greenalien:

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks livingsword, the scifi part is just happening, so much a part of me, gotta come out somehow, I am watching the season premier of BSG, tomorrow night, can hardly wait, My favorite show/series of all time,\m/

Interesting about kirk/Picard, you are of course right, My oldest daughter loves Picard, thinks Kirk sucks. lol

Your Birthday coming up, that is cool, are you going to do a special post for it? \m/

Omega said...

Hi Bob, great post and great video! I should try to find it here in Videovault, they must have it. I think there should be great audio samples there as well.

Max-e said...

What I find interesting is that you know where to look for what space vehicle. Is there some place that shows all the orbits?
In my army days, back in Zimbabwe in 1973 one of our pastimes when on patrol, was to see how many satellites we could spot. There were many.
I remember how one night, back in the Southern end of Africa, I decided to show my kids how much traffic was up there and was very disappointed. I think we only saw one, whereas in central Africa we would see up 8 in the same amount of time. I don't know if we chose a bad time or if it was something to do with the position of the orbits.
Getting the aurora must have been a real bonus. That picture of the aurora taken from space was also very special.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks lady omega, I thought it was too cool they had the whole intro , it is amazing what they do have on you tube.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks max-e, the best site to go to is

this will give you all the satellites and when they pass over your area,just plug in your lat and long and you are good to go. you are right sometimes you get lots of flybys and sometimes not, really odd

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