There it is

_LME9434ISS 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.

_LME9425-Pano.smA 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.

Clearing

_LME8804-sm.jpgThe 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.

_LME8818-Pano.jpgIt 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.

_LME8794-smA 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.

_LME8820-smAlong 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.

_LME8799-smOrion rises, in pursuit of Taurus and Pleiades. The trees limbs point to Orion’s Belt.

Very fine night.

 

 

Perseids 2018

hoodoos_crop_smAndromeda 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.

_LME8309.smLisa 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.

RCE_1010-Pano.smBackroads. 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.

RCE_1025-Pano_smOn 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.

hoodoos.satalite.smUn-cropped merged panorama. A satellite points back towards star clusters, Chi Persei and H Persei.