'Tis the season, season for Solar/Lunar Halos, Sundogs and Solar Pillars. I took the above image from my front yard. Halos are caused by the Moonlight/Sunlight being refracted off the hexagonal ice crystals in the high wispy cirrus clouds which refract the Moon 22 to 50 degrees producing the halo, 22 degrees around the Moon, from the Moon to the inner edge of the halo covers 22 degrees of the sky. I made sure I got the houses in the same frame as the halo, gives you some kind of perspective on how big these things are. The cool thing about the above image is as people were walking by they were asking me if something was going on in the sky, I then pointed to the halo and got a lot of wow's , that's beautiful never noticed it. They are so fleeting that unless you are looking for them they go unnoticed, we in our busy day rush from point A to point B never noticing the beauty of the Earth and sky around us, never really stop to look at the halos, smell the roses.
I had mentioned about Lunar Halos in my previous post so Genie decides to look for them , finds one, and gets her first image of one, great job Genie!!
I had also mentioned about the biggest Full Moon of the year occurring last Friday , I had clouds so I couldn't get a pic for you, but once again Genie comes through with a cool picture of it, again way to go Genie!!!
Well we are on the topic of readers pics, Majase Cyc sent me a Solar Pillar image. Solar Pillars happen when plate like ice crystals reflect the Sunlight creating the Pillar, what I like about this image besides the pillar is the crazy cool depth of field, everything seems to be in focus no matter the distance, very striking, do yourself a favor and check out Majse Cyc's sites very very unique and interesting.
Another reader image above, Moonshadow just got her Canon 40D, same camera as me, hey it rhymes, back from the shop and was lucky to capture the Perigee Full Moon, great atmospheric shot with the trees and clouds.
-34c, but feels like -45c, that's the temp at 3:30am Saturday December 13, the peak of the Geminid meteor Shower, and yes I was out taking pics of meteors, call me crazy, crazy like a fox! I have a system , I set up my camera just outside the drivers side window of my car and take images using my shutter release cable, thing is, even then I was too cold, if I keep the window closed I can't really actually see the shower, so I had to leave it open a bit, and at "it feels like -45c" it gets cold, not biting cold in the car, but still cold and talk about tricky getting from the passenger side to the drivers side to operate the camera and make adjustments if needed on the camera, I have to lift my leg over the stick shift not once but twice since I have 2 of them, this time I pulled a muscle, Crap I am such a klutz, honestly it's amazing I've made it this far in life without poking my eye out with a stick, seriously.
So I finally get all set up and take pics of some meteors, NOOOOOOOO, after just 20 minutes the battery is toast, put my other one in thinking, wooo, glad I got another battery, and the same thing happens, 20 minutes and it's done, the wind chill factor taking it's toll. So I go home charge them both up and back out again. I do this a couple times and then it's time to upload to the computer.
I know I got some good shots, the shower itself was okay, but as you can see from the above image, the nearly Full Moon was right in the middle of the radiant constellation Gemini, you can see Castor and Pollux just off the top left of the Moon, add in all the ice crystals and you get a whole lot of white, wiping out a lot of the meteors.
So I get home and start to upload the images, and my computer freezes!! I ended up with the first 10 and a half images, none of course had any meteors on them, never did recover them, sucks.
The image above was taken Sunday night, went back out before the Moon rose to see if I would have any better luck, at least I got a picture of a meteor, doesn't even look like a Geminid, too far from the Radiant, hey it's a meteor.
Leave you now with an animation of my Lunar Halo, put it through a Photshop filter called Plastic Wrap, why do that? because it looks cool, scary cool, like a big eye in the sky watching over us.
I'd like to take a moment here to thank the designer of my website Lady Omega for fixing the code for my Christmas tree countdown, there was a problem with part of the code showing over top the tree and no matter what I did I couldn't get rid of it, Lady Omega came to the rescue and made it all better.