Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Nuclear Moon


At -49c with windchill, .......(you know I'm just going to drop the windchill thing, it is always windy here in Saskatchewan, especially on the bald prairie where I take my images from), I really , really didn't want to go outside to take a pic of the March Full Moon, but I thought with the cold temps I may get some wacky images of the Moon.



When the warm less dense upper atmosphere meets the colder dense atmosphere, that is -49c for example, the place where they meet acts as a refracting lens and it inverts the bottom of the Moon, what you get is the real Moon setting on a fake mirage Moon, kind of cool, at one point, the Moon looks like a mushroom cloud.


At least with the Moon I know exactly how long it takes to set so I can sit in my car until the last possible minute before jumping out and snapping the pics. Because of the Earth's daily rotation the Moon appears to travel through the sky it's own diameter , or roughly .5 degree every 5 minutes, so if I want to shoot a 10 minute real time movie clip I pop out of my car when it is around 2 Moon lengths from setting. Also just for trivia sake, because the Moon orbits the Earth in the same direction as the Earth spins on its axis, the Moon appears to travel backwards, or along with us in the sky it's own diameter, or .5 degree every hour, over a 24 hour period that's 12 degrees, multiply that by 30, the average amount of days in a month and you get....TA DA.. 360 degrees or a complete Lunar orbit of the Earth....just so you know.


To take the movie clip below I had to stand outside in the frigging cold -49c weather and count down 5 seconds to take each image, let me tell you it was hard enough concentrating not to freeze and die let alone count down the 5 seconds, but in the end it was worth it.

At around 56 seconds into the clip notice the fake Moon rise to meet the real Moon. Actually because the atmosphere itself acts like a refracting lens, the Moon we see sitting on the horizon is actually a fake Moon, the real Moon is just below the horizon, the atmosphere refracts the real Moon up to what we actually see, so in essence what you are watching is the fake fake Moon rising as the fake Moon is setting, we don't really ever see the real Moon. I know this is a lot of technical stuff but I find it interesting, maybe some of you can follow, if not, you can just look at the pretty images, at least I think they're pretty and call it a day, anyways hope you enjoy the video.




66 comments:

Genie said...

I frequently dream of two moons in the sky, maybe this fake moon/real moon/refraction thing is why!

Amazing moon images. You're always outdoing yourself! GORGEOUS!

How'd you keep your camera going, got a warmer for it now? Jeez, you are so dedicated.

OldWestMom said...

Hey!

Just wanted to let you know I've really been enjoying your blog. The photos are especially fabulous! I love it so much I gave you an award! Hope you pop by to see it!

Jo Hoffacker said...

Now those are some pretty cool pics. I've never seen that before!

Retinna Bell said...

This is my very first visit to your blog and I must say...I am in love! This is such a fantastic site. I LOVE it! I expect to come back again and again. Thanks for offering it to the world!

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, thanks Genie, I have been very lucky with my camera working and not breaking down, same with me,lol, but both of us have made some strange noises, hey who wouldn't at -49c,lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Well thank you very much OldWestMom, I will drop by to pick it up later, thanks again.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks, and thanks for dropping by Jo Hoffacker.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Retinna Bell, so glad you like the site and hope to see you again.\m/\m/

kml said...

These are fantastic, Bob. I would never have thought the moon would do that - just like a mushroom cloud. Way too cool - and so are you for standing out there and taking them for us to see!

Barry said...

I had to watch the video twice to catch it, but finally I see what you were talk about

Here in the City we have no opportunity to see a horizon. The moon just sets into the smog.\

How sad.

Marvin the Martian said...

Very cool!

Shinade said...

oh my this is the coolest thing I have ever seen Bob. Thank you so much for doing this and sharing with us.

I know Walter will absolutely love this. I will be back when he gets home so he can see this.

Thank you also for the particulars of how you got the shots.

I don't understand it but Walter will. He's truck driver but he was born with a natural gift for understanding things like this.

He's only tried about a thousand times to explain to me what a black hole is.

Oh my you have been very blessed to have the gift of this knowledge!!

Jackie:-)

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Kathy, glad you like the shots, the Moon is very cool, lots of opportunities for some interesting shots when you are aware of what to look for.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol Barry, smog would kind of screw up the shot for sure, thanks for dropping by.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Marvin!\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol Jackie, hey I'm still not sure exactly what a black hole is, I don't think there are too many people if any out there that do know for sure, so no worries, say hi to Walter for me when he gets back home.\m/\m/

Stephanie B said...

I understand the explanation. I'm in awe, as usual, at your photographic skill.

My safety self, however, quivers with fear at you putting yourself at risk in the horrific cold. Buddy, these shots are LOVELY, but TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. You are worth it, too.

Linda said...

You always amaze me! Such a beautiful film. Stay warm!

Moonshadow said...

Beautiful moon shots, Bob! I hope you have the proper thermals for being out in such cold weather.

I missed getting some awesome sunset shots tonight. I usually don't see the sunset because we're on the sunrise side of town, but I had to drive my grandson to his house to pick up his contact solution so he could spend the night and as I went by an east/west street I spotted the most beautiful big bright orange sun setting at the end of it with deep blues and purples all around it. Unfortunately, I hadn't brought my camera along. :(

AngelBaby said...

You are amazing, these pictures are awesome. I loved them especially the video, just great! I do hope I don't hear that they found you frozen somewhere so please take care of yourself.

Love and Blessings,
AngelBaby

Ryan said...

Awesome blog!

Especially this post, freakin awesome.

Wiggy said...

thats a pretty cool set of pictures and video! Thanks for sharing them

Daisy said...

The movie clip is breathtaking!

Mike said...

Cool picture of the moon! Does it warm up where you live?

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Stephanie, thought you'd get it. I hear you about the safety , I try to dress in layers, but that cold wind does a job on the eyes, fingers and toes, I really need like a spacesuit, any idea where I can get one on the cheap?lol.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks a lot Linda.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Moonshadow, no thermals, I keep on meaning to get some.

Too bad about missing the Sunset, I always carry the camera with now, expecially in this kind of frigging cold weather, for halos and sundogs and such.

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, me too, I'd hate to be found dead, thanks for dropping by AngelBaby.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks alot Ryan, and thanks for dropping by.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks a lot Wiggy!\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks so much Daisy, I'm glad you like the video.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Mike,lol, no, well kind of warms up, the only month it hasn't snowed here, July, sucks,lol.

kRiZ cPEc said...

very interesting, thanks for sharing the footage and the shots.

Final_Transit said...

Wow, never knew that, it does look like a mushroom cloud. Bob, is it refraction from atmosphere or reflection from snow (or both)? I read about atmosphere causing refraction but doesn't that simply bend light and cause moon/sun to look ellipsoid rather than a sphere? It wouldn't create a mirror image, will it?

btw, in Toronto we have spring already! :P :P :P

Peter said...

Hi! Just finished watching this and now it's time to jump into my heated waterbed!

Take Care,
Peter

flit said...

I've been there.... well, not there exactly ...but have driven right through Saskatchewan a couple of times :)

great shots!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks kRiZ cPEc and no problem, love to share this stuff.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Priyank, good questions, the atmosphere does a lot of strange things, even invert depending on the extremity of the temp inversions and the difference in the densities of the lower and upper atmospheres, and at -49c, there is a lot, sometimes it even blocks the light altogether.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, Peter, I almost did, but I decided to go outside instead, I used to have a heated waterbed, geez, they were really hard to get out of on a cold winter's day,lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks flit,lol, most people do drive right through to get to other places, especially in the winter time.\m/\m/

Stephanie B said...

Space suits ain't cheap and, with Portable Life Support System, they weigh hundreds of pounds, you might want a different alternative. Have you thought of diving gloves and the like of neoprene?

notedscholar said...

My goodness. This is very frightening!

NS

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Stephanie, too bad about the spacesuit,lol, I am looking into and will probably get some better gloves, how bout space suit gloves, can you get them separately,lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol NS, it was.\m/\m/

Ivanhoe said...

It was all worth of the freezing, Bob :o) I cannot believe that your camera is working under those conditions. Hope it will get a bit warmer for you soon!

Shinade said...

Walter loved this and did explain it to me.

I subscribed to you at YouTube. I hope you don't mind but I might steal this on Sunday and post it on Simply Shinade.

I just love it...I will link it to you of course!!
Jackie:-)

Shinade said...

Oh yes I forgot....Walter and I both are very curious at what size telescope or lens you are using.

After seeing these awesome shots and videos of yours we have started another savings account!!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Ivanhoe, I am amazed as well, although it was making some whiny sounds,lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

That's great Jackie, no prob with the video, I love it.

I use a 300 mm lens on all my shots unless otherwise stated, plus I just bought a 1.5 tel-extender which effectively makes it a 450mm lens, then I do some cropping to frame it properly. The key I find is with the Canon 40D I have live view with x10 magnification I can zoom in on the spot before I take the shot and get a real tight focus.\m/\m/

beth said...

Beautiful shots.

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Beth, thanks a lot.\m/\m/

Dr. Lauren said...

Wow, it looks like a red mushroom cloud. That is bizarre.

Hicham said...

A very well done job, Bob :) It's always amazing for me to follow up with the the space surronding out planet, beside the nature on the Earth itself.

Keep up the good work on this excellent blog!

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Dr.Lauren, it is bizarre isn't it.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks a lot Hicham, and thanks for dropping by.\m/\m/

Swubird said...

Bob:

Wow man, you are really getting good at that movie stuff - sound track and everything. I could definitely see the round moon transform into a huge elongated egg just before it set. Fantastic. One of these days, though, you're going to stand out there a little too long and become a permanent fixture - frozen.

A chilling happy trails to you.

Bob Johnson said...

Lol swubird and thanks, I picked up some warmer gloves and a giant scarf, I'm more concerned now with my camera then myself,lol.\m/\m/

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

GORGEOUS moon photos, Bob!!! The colors and imagery are AWESOME!!! We have cloud cover and I was wanting to see the March full moon. THANK YOU!!!

I found something for you on Twitter.

http://twitter.com/jacobm

Jacob is in Shanghai right now and tweeting about it. You can ask him questions.:D

If you sign up for Twitter, I'm Northern Nancy. :D

Hugs, JJ

João Soares said...

Hello Bob Johnson
Glad to meet you and your blog.
Simply dreamfull.
Hope also like to visit mine, Bioterra, an environmental blog (mainly in Portuguese, but many links are english based)
Abraços*(Star) Hugs
***João Soares***Portugal

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks a lot JJ, and thanks for the twitter link. I do have a twitter account although I have never used it, mostly for lack of knowing how,lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Joao, I will definitely take a look at your site, thanks for dropping by.\m/\m/

Roger said...

Awesome job Bob! I know you put a lot of work into your films, but I am sure to you it is not work at all but a pleasure. Nice job my friend.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Roger and thanks also for subscribing to my videos.\m/\m/

Anna said...

Damn Bob :D :-D how come your moon always looks better, lol. I have to say I never seen moon like that with the naked eye. Wow these are nice images, and damn that is cold!!!! Anna :)

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, damn right it was cold Anna, and thanks for the compliment about the Moon shots.\m/\m/

Web 2.0 Design said...

Excellent pics. Many thanks for sharing this....