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Sun, Moon and Stars

Blue moon

Daytime images of our only natural satellite are a lot of fun. Normally we only pay attention to the moon in the dark but during the day it looks pretty neat against those blue skies.  Taken yesterday morning, the waning gibbous moon was easily seen in the southwestern sky.

I can’t help but look at the moon and wonder ‘what could have been’ had our nation continued on its course of manned space exploration exploring beyond low Earth orbit rather than essentially giving up in the early 1970s. Surely by now we would have bases on the moon and likely would have even been to Mars. Such a shame.

The landing sites of Apollo 12, 14 and 15 can actually be seen in this image. Those of Apollo 11, 16 and 17 are just inside the area in shadow on the right. Want to know where they are? See here for more info.

A daytime capture of a waning gibbous moon. (© Tony’s Takes)

A daytime capture of a waning gibbous moon. (© Tony’s Takes)

High country Milky Way and a shooting star

Browsing through some pics from last year I came across this one that I haven’t shared. Taken on September 11 up at Brainard Lake Recreation Area. Above Mount Audubon lies the Milky Way. Toward the top right of the image you can see a meteor as it enters the Earth’s atmosphere.

I don’t really have the photo gear needed to do high quality #astrophotography but I still love getting out there every now and then and giving it a shot. This particular location is at an altitude over 10,000 feet and away from most of the contaminating influence of city lights which provides for some amazing nighttime sky viewing opportunities.

The Milky Way is seen above Mount Audubon in the Brainard Lake area.  (© Tony’s Takes)

The Milky Way is seen above Mount Audubon in the Brainard Lake area. (© Tony’s Takes)

Just a random moon shot

Snapped this early yesterday morning on the northeastern plains of Colorado. It was just a couple of days past full but beautiful as always.

A waning gibbous moon as seen from the Colorado plains.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A waning gibbous moon as seen from the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Moonset over Mount Fairview

Here’s one from my trip to Banff National Park in Canada that I haven’t shared. We were at Lake Louise and while the scene of the lake itself was the main focus, I couldn’t help but train my camera on the setting moon.

The 9,003 foot high mountain was first summited in 1893 and towers prominently over the lake and the surrounding terrain. Despite it being late June, you can see there was still a good bit of snow up there.

A setting moon is seen through whispy clouds above Mount Fairview near Lake Louise, Alberta. (© Tony’s Takes)

A setting moon is seen through whispy clouds above Mount Fairview near Lake Louise, Alberta. (© Tony’s Takes)

Supermoon!

Tonight’s full Beaver Moon as seen from Adams County, Colorado. Clouds were a bit problematic at different points but all in all, it ended up pretty nicely. I’ll be trying again tomorrow morning at moonset to see if I can capture another batch. Our only natural satellite is at its closest in 68 years so I better take advantage of it while I can. 😉

Scroll down to view my complete series of the celestial event.

The Supermoon rises above a pond in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

The Supermoon rises above a pond in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Moon sets behind a craggy mountainside

Taken last month in Rocky Mountain National Park. I was up before dawn as usual and while I waited for the coming sun to illuminate the landscape, I turned around and captured this image of the setting moon. The clear atmosphere at high altitude allows for some pretty cool images with clarity you just can’t get at lower elevations.

The moon sets behind a mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

The moon sets behind a mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Setting Harvest Moon

A couple of images I captured early last Sunday morning as the moon set in the west. I had high hopes for getting some cool images of the supermoon but came away kind of disappointed in the results.

First, the spot I chose wasn’t the best – I don’t care too much for the Purina building there. Haha. Second, it has been so warm here on the Colorado Front Range that the heat emanating from the ground was creating a lot of distortion and preventing sharp pics.

If I had it to do over again, I would have chosen a location much closer to the mountains.

The Harvest Moon sets on the Colorado Front Range.  (© Tony’s Takes)

The Harvest Moon sets on the Colorado Front Range. (© Tony’s Takes)

The Harvest Moon sets on the Colorado Front Range.  (© Tony’s Takes)

The Harvest Moon sets on the Colorado Front Range. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bright stars and streaking taillights

The plan was to try to get some quick snaps of the Milky Way at a spot an easy walk from where I was camping a couple of weeks ago at Mary’s Lake in Estes Park, Colorado. I knew the ambient light from the town would be a problem but the biggest issue was one stubborn cloud that insisted on staying right over the heart of the galaxy preventing any chance of getting what I was hoping for. Instead, I panned a bit more to the east toward the clear sky capturing some very bright stars and in this image, the taillights of a car going down the road.

Taillights streak down a road with stars up in the sky in Estes Park, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Taillights streak down a road with stars up in the sky in Estes Park, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Star bright, city light

Star bright, clouds illuminated by city light. Taken two weeks ago in Roosevelt National Forest. The stars were absolutely gorgeous at 3:30am when this image was taken. While the sky was mostly clear, there were a few clouds. In this image, one is lit from beneath by the lights of Boulder, Colorado. I kind of liked the effect.

Stars dot the night sky while the city lights of Boulder, Colorado illuminate a cloud. (© Tony’s Takes)

Stars dot the night sky while the city lights of Boulder, Colorado illuminate a cloud. (© Tony’s Takes)