Was up early to try to get a photo of Comet NEOWISE. It is in the northeast before dawn. I spotted it a few mornings ago and even got a few photos, however without a tripod they were a little fuzzy. This morning Willow and I prepared with tripod and flashlight to check camera settings.
We headed for the banks above Lake Windermere. It was my hope to get the lake in the foreground. Comet NEOWISE was easy to locate with the naked eye. I needed binoculars a few mornings previous. Like certain stars and constellations once you find them your eye is drawn to them.
It’s a real treat to see comets. NEOWISE will remain visible for a while as it heads back towards the outer solar system. Estimated time to make a return journey 6800 years. Pretty lucky for Willow and I to be standing there when we were.
Goodness me! Who took a bite out of the Moon!
Lisa and I headed for Brewer Ridge to watch the Full Moon rise over the valley.
The Moon always seems to take it’s time rising, especially when it’s cold. Lisa and I took pictures of the mountains until the light ran out. We admired bright Venus above and at our backs. Orion unveiled in the darkness along with the Twins of Gemini, Pleiades appeared just before the Moon.
The last of the days light on the eastern slopes.
At last the few whispy clouds in the east became illuminated and the Moon peeked out behind the rocky crags.
The Moon picks a spot to rise along the ridge.
The Milky Way over Columbia Lake. Venus can be seen over the ridge. Jupiter is above and to the right. Light pollution from the town of Canal Flats and atmospheric airglow contribute to the surreal colour. It should be noted these colours can not be seen by the eye but is recorded on the camera’s light sensitive sensor.
It cleared up this weekend and only seemed fitting to get a few shots of the stars. Jupiter and Venus rise in the morning before dawn near the brightest part of the Milky Way, as viewed from this part of the Earth.
The Hoodoos and stars.
Lisa, Willow and I headed out in to the brisk -25 night. We drove south to Columbia Lake then walked to a bluff. The lake groaned below, the ice contracting in the cold. It is a sound I grew up with and always makes me feel good. I always thought it sounded like whales singing when I was a kid.
We had to wait for Jupiter and Venus to rise along with more of the Milky Way. Finally they were up. Luckily we weren’t yet frozen. Very fine morning.
ISS appears in the west. The streak is its movement captured in a 30 second exposure.
There have been plenty of times I’ve seen the International Space Station go across the night sky. Tonight was the first night I planned for it. It seemed only fitting with newly arrived Canadian, David Saint-Jacques aboard.
It is the first time a Canadian has been in space since Chris Hadfield in 2013.
Chris Hadfield has been an inspiration to Canadians, sharing his experiences, singing songs and even writing a children’s book.
I followed Hadfield’s photography when he was on the Space Station. He took wonderful images of the Canadian landscape as it appeared from space. They were both fierce and fragile.
A panorama of three photos facing east. Taurus, Hyades and Pleiades can be seen in twilight. A meteor streaks towards Nutmucqcin.
I arrived early took a few pictures and set up the camera. Sure enough the Space Station appeared right on time in the west and started across the sky. It increased in brightness as it moved directly overhead. It was my intention to get a photo of it against the eastern landscape, however the cold made my camera loosen from the tripod. Metal parts shrink in -12°c. The camera had been sitting without use for a half hour. By the time I secured the camera ISS was gone. That’s planning for you and why I’ll never work for NASA.
From what I read and hear all Canadians are excited to have another astronaut to cheer for and wish David Saint-Jacques a safe, successful mission.
The Milky Way dips below the horizon, leaving the night to the brilliant winter stars.
Willow and I took for the benches, beyond the ruck, into the burn. We arrived early. The Moon wasn’t down and Orion wasn’t up. We neither had a cup of coffee or a beer to expedite the wait. Willow occupied herself looking for mice. I thought about hunting. How I could have filled the freezer by now, instead I’m foolishly after stars.
It was an exceptional fall day. No clouds, cool but with sunshine. Today cannnabis is legal for recreational use in Canada. It is the step in the right direction to give people the right to do what they have been doing all along. Growing, packaging, advertising, pricing distribution and tax collecting will now be handled and approved by government and friends.
A meteor streaks beside Mars before it follows the moon over the eastern ridge.
It is odd to see folks so long in favour of prohibition now on the other side, espousing and controlling the market they see as lucrative.
Along the fence line, into the darkness, chasing the night.
Wouldn’t it be funny if everybody just grew their own.
More small gardens would be a good thing.
It took the moon to go down before the sky was dark enough to make out The Milky Way.
Orion rises, in pursuit of Taurus and Pleiades. The trees limbs point to Orion’s Belt.
Very fine night.
Andromeda and a Perseid share the sky above the ribs of earth.
Lisa and I spent the night and early morning chasing shooting stars.
The smoke in the valley bottom was poor so we headed for the mountains. It was still smokey but we could see stars.
Lisa captures a stunning meteor emanating from the heart of Perseus.
We spent a few hours at higher elevation. The Perseids flew. Lisa and I agreed trying to get photos of meteors is like fishing. It is so enjoyable, to cast or press the shutter, and see one jump or streak beyond our line. It is a beautiful thing to watch and experience. Just like fishing she caught the big one getting the picture above.
Backroads. A Perseid Meteor flys (left) over the haze and below the stars.
The meteors were continuous but not as plentiful as other years. It could be we missed the peak. It could also be the sky was obscured with smoke, letting us only see the brightest. The ones we saw were long and often left smoke trails.
On the benches, coming home. Mars shining through the smoke (low, left of the Milky Way). The tip of a bright meteor at the top of the frame.
On the way home the smoke thickened. We stopped here and there to document the night.
We arrived home at 5. We agreed it’s tough to stay up all night, but well worth it.
Un-cropped merged panorama. A satellite points back towards star clusters, Chi Persei and H Persei.